European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Premium midsized and compact SUV segment

The premium midsized SUV segment in Europe remains stable in 2013, also in the models ranking.

BMW-x3-audi-q5-range-rover-evoque-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013BMW X3 shows the biggest decline, but remains the leader of the segment, although Audi Q5 is getting close, followed closely by the highly successful Range Rover Evoque. Volvo XC60 loses some ground, but is still way ahead of Mercedes-Benz GLK. Mercedes clearly have made a misjudgment giving it a square, rugged look compared to the sleek, rounded exteriors of X3 and especially Q5, as GLK is selling at half the volume of its German competitors.

The increased interest in Land Rover Freelander must be a result of steep discounts, as the second generation wasn’t exactly state-of-the-art at its introduction in 2006. The long overdue new generation won’t come until the end of 2014, though. It is heavily dependent on the British market, taking 68% of its European sales in the first three quarters of the year.… Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Premium large SUV segment

Mercedes-M-Class-Range-Rover-Sport-Porsche-Cayenne-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013The premium large SUV segment in Europe shows a smaller decline in the first three quarters of 2013 than the non-premium large SUV segment, at minus 14%. However, every model in the top 10 is losing sales compared to last year, except for one.

Mercedes-Benz M-class has kept the crown of the segment, despite the new generation coming in the first half of 2014, so it is safe to say that M-class will still be in the lead by the end of next year. The fight for second position is on, though. With Porsche Cayenne leapfrogging VW Touareg and BMW X5, which show even bigger declines. The new generation Range Rover Sport  is in showrooms now, and it has some positive press reviews in its pocket. It has shed a lot of weight, switching from a body-on-frame to a unibody configuration, and that makes it more efficient, more comfortable and sportier at the same time, giving it a good shot at leaving those 3 Germans behind to take 2nd place in 2014. However, BMW has just introduced its new generation X5 and even though cosmetic changes are relatively small, it won’t give up without a fight.… Continue Reading …

European sales Jan-Sep 2013 Exotic car segment

bentley-continental-gt-ferrari-458-italia-sales-europe-jan-sep-2013Sales of exotic cars in Europe are relatively stable in the first three quarters of 2013, and no changes at the top. Bentley Continental GT and GTC increase their combined lead over Ferrari 458 Italia. It must be because of their engine downsizing, adding an optional V8 to the V12. Some updates in 2014 and the introduction of the 458 Speciale should help the Italian model to take the lead next year. Mind you, sales of McLaren MP4 are not published, but they don’t come close to Ferrari 458 Italia, with 1.400 annual MP4 sales worldwide.

Mercedes SLS AMG has taken a huge hit, down 55% year-on-year, which has given Audi R8, Aston Martin Vantage and newcomer Ferrari F12 the chance to storm ahead.

Aston-Martin-DBSAston Martin is on a roll anyway, with Vanquish relaunched successfully and DBS sales up over 250%. Introduction of Vanquish Volante next year will help sales even further. You’d think Aston Martin is owned by VW Group, since all its models look alike and are hard to distinguish from each other, while still being successful.… Continue Reading …

What are VW’s intentions with Seat?

Seat-vs-Skoda-1999-2012

VW has been a stockholder of Seat since 1986 and full owner since 1990, with the Spanish brand supposedly being the sporty brand of the now 11-brand group. However, the model strategy did not always support this. And after sales peaked at over 520.000 units in 2000, the brand has seen sales drop to just over 300.000 units in 2009 and 2012, the lowest number since at least 1998. It’s sister brand Skoda meanwhile, has seen sales rise every year since 2002, passing Seat in 2005 and peaking in 2012 at almost 950.000 units, more than triple those of Seat. In 1999, Seat was ahead of Skoda by 134.000 units.

With VW Group boss Ferdinand Piech openly courting Alfa Romeo, another troubled Mediterranean sporty brand, the future of Seat seems to hang by a thread, even though Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has taken every opportunity to deny Alfa Romeo is for sale or will be in the near future. But what if struggling Fiat needs some of those billions of Euros in VW Groups war chest to buy the remaining stake of Chrysler or just to pay off some of its huge debt? With Alfa Romeo in the hands of the Germans, what value would Seat hold in the Group’s brand portfolio? Especially with the brand reporting operating losses since 2008, adding up to over € 1 billion.

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Tesla vs. Fisker: 6-0

Tesla-Fisker

Tesla Model S & Fisker Karma

 

Aremote-control-cars a toddler we all played with a remote controlled toy car, always bumping into the newly painted living room wall or against your father’s toes. Believe it or not, these cars could have been your first introduction to the battery electric car. Now that we have grown older and have become accustomed to the pleasures of the internal combustion engine, some people argue that the world is ready for a true battery electric car. Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive are the small heroes trying to kick the establishment of their feet for failing to react quickly enough. But why does Tesla succeed while Fisker hasn’t?

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