The European car market has been in a bit of rollercoaster in the summer of 2019, with sales down 7,8% in June, then up 2,6% in July before dropping 7,6% again in August. Expect a double digit gain again in September as the market suffered a severe 23% drop in that month last year as a result of the WLTP fuel efficiency standards kicking in. Still, the market is down 3,3% for 2019 so far, and September alone isn’t going to bring that back into positive territory. While in July SUVs and crossovers were the only type of vehicles to improve their sales, in August logically all types were in the red, with MPVs once again the biggest losers an falling at more than double the rate of the overall market. In July and August, electrified vehicles continued to gain market share, more specifically EVs, as PHEV sales took a nosedive due to WLTP regulations. Electric car sales grew by 90% in July and by 69% in August, while PHEV sales were down 19% in July and down 29% in August. The marker share of electrified vehicles grew to a record 3,3% in August with battery electric cars taking a 2,2% share of the overall European passenger car market.
Segment bounces back after years of decline on the back of BMW 8-series sales
Sales in the US Large Sports and Exotics segment rose by 7.8% to 21,983 in the first half of 2019, a strong rebound that may put an end to the decline the segment has been experiencing since 2014, including last year when sales fell by almost 20%. With the all-new Chevrolet Corvette looming large on the horizon the future of the segment [Read more…]
Segment decline continues as BMW Z4 fails to make up for losses elsewhere
Sales in the US Mid-sized Sports segment fell by 8.6% to 98,360 in the first half of 2019, a slightly slower rate of decline than the 10.6% the segment recorded in 2018, but a substantial fall nonetheless. Much of this is driven by the big three US muscle cars (Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger), which continue in the market [Read more…]
Only new Hyundai Veloster prevents segment from a serious sales decline
Sales in the US Small Sports segment fell by 0.8% to 18,305 in the first half of 2019, which on first glance may suggest that the segment is holding steady. This, however, would be greatly misleading. In fact, the only model to see positive growth is the hugely popular (by segment standards) new Hyundai Veloster, whereas the rest of the models [Read more…]
The formerly enormous and lively Frankfurt auto show, its halls usually filled with huge display stands, is a mere shadow of its former self, as a great number of automakers and brands have taken a raincheck on the 2019 edition of Europe’s largest auto show. Sure, the Germans are there, and a handful of Chinese brands have made the trip to Germany, and we even saw notorious auto show avoider Ford returning, but the showfloor has shrunk considerably from previous years. There are many more automakers and brands to have skipped Frankfurt this year than there were coming back. The French brands, FCA, Toyota among others had various reasons to take a pass, as the traditional concept of Car Show is quickly being caught up by the changing times, and with individual car ownership on the decline, this trend seems unstoppable.
Having said that, there’s still plenty to drool over, or complain about, so let’s get straight to our personal opinion on the latest model launches.
Ok, so it’s smaller and has a shorter range at a similar price point than the VW ID.3 that was launched at the same show, but the Honda e makes up for a lot of that in sheer huggability. The retro-styled hatchback with its big, round headlights and its squatted stance just has that wannahave factor that we’ve come to miss from the clean lines of VW’s [Read more…]
After returning to growth in the first quarter of 2019, the premium large SUV segment in Europe accelerates in the second quarter with a 6% increase in sales, to bring the first half figure up 4% to just under 142.000 sales. As to be expected from a still very fresh model, the BMW X5 holds on to the segment crown and even manages to consolidate its leadership with a 10% gain. That adds 0,8 percentage points to its shareof the segment, which now stands at 14,5%. Its nearest rival is the Range Rover Sport, helped by the PHEV version which has a take rate of 26%. That’s even better than the #3 Volvo XC90 which has a take rate of 24,5% for the T8 Twin Engine version. The XC90 is down 13% in the first half but still outsells the all-new Volkswagen Touareg which more than doubles its sales of last year. The Audi Q8 distances its sibling Audi Q7 for 5th and 6th place, the latter down 39% for the half, with Q2 sales even down by more than half as the Q7 was in 8th place just ahead of its all-electric sibling Audi e-Tron. This is the only luxury segment where the Germans don’t dominate the top of the charts, but just due to their large number of entrants (12 out of 24 nameplates are German), they still control more than half of its sales with a 60,2% share of the segment. BMW is the leader with 17,6% share with its three models, followed by Audi with 17,3% with its three models, and Mercedes-Benz is struggling at just 11,9% for its four models. This is mostly due to the fact that the new generation Mercedes-Benz GLE has only just started deliveries and the nameplate is still down 39% for the first half, but should be able to recover in the second half of the year.
The midsized premium SUV segment in Europe falls into decline in the second quarter of 2019 with a 9% loss to just over 125.000 sales, after a 1% growth in the first quarter. As a result, the first half figure is down 4% to just over 260.000 deliveries. Among brands, BMW is the big winner after replacing its two entries into this segment last year as both are up by large double digits. The Mercedes-Benz GLC stays on top of the ranking, even accounting for the GLC Coupe version of which sales are included with the regular GLC. Mercedes-Benz sells 410 more cars than BMW but is losing ground quickly with a 20% drop in sales, compared to +47% for the X3 and -12% for the former segment leader Volvo XC60, which has a take rate of 17,7% for the PHEV version. However, the German brands are launching their full electric crossovers this year, with the Mercedes-Benz EQC already in showrooms, the BMW iX3 coming early next year just like the slightly larger Audi e-Tron, to which Volvo does not yet have an answer. The Audi Q5 is down 18% but holds on to 4th place as there’s a significant gap to the rest of the segment. [Read more…]
Sales of limousines in Europe stabilized in the second quarter of 2019, after declining in 2018 and Q1. In Q2 sales were stable at just above 12.000 units, bringing the first half figure to just under 22.700 sales, down 9% on last year. We have one newcomer and just two nameplates at the bottom of the top-10 that improve their sales year-over-year, with the rest all in red, of which all but one with double digits. The dominant segment leader Mercedes-Benz S-Class loses a significant chunk of its share of the segment with a decline of 32% in the second quarter, bringing the year-to-date number to a loss of a quarter of its sales, with a 5,8 percentage points loss of share to 26,8% of the segment. In the second quarter, the top-3 was upside down from the first half ranking, with the Porsche Panamera as the top seller with sales stable on last year, after a 50% loss in Q1, bringing the year-to-date figure to -26%. The BMW 7-series also outsold the S-Class in Q2 as it reduces its loss of the first quarter with an 8,5% improvement in Q2 thanks to the facelift. Keep in mind that S-Class sales include the Coupe and Convertible versions, which BMW splits out under the name 8-Series and most other brands don’t offer in this segment. [Read more…]
The premium large car segment in Europe has fallen into a double digit decline in the first half of 2019, with sales down 17% in the second quarter to just under 95.000 sales, after a 13% decline in the first quarter. That leads to a year-to-date decline of 15% to just over 195.000 sales. Only two of the 13 existing models in the class sell more than they did in the same period of 2018, while all the others suffer double digit declines. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class holds its top position with sales down 11% which means it increases its share of the segment to 28,9%. Despite a take rate of 13,9% for the plug-in hybrid version, its nearest rival BMW 5-series loses 19% but still outsold the #3 Audi A6 in the second quarter by nearly 2.000 units. The latter has just been renewed and delivers 15% more vehicles than in Q2 of last year. The A6 adds 6 percentage points of share of the segment, which means these three models now account for 76,5% of all sales in this class. At brand level, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi control 83,3%, up from 77,7% last year. The A6 clearly has a shot at the #2 spot for this year, but is already too far behind the E-Class to reclaim the segment title it last held in 2015. There’s only one caveat to that remark: the E-Class is also available in Coupe and Convertible versions, and sales of those are not split out. Unfortunately we can’t directly compare sales figures of only the sedan and station wagon versions, but the E-Class isn’t as dominant as it seems from these numbers. The Volvo S90/V90 takes a hard hit because of cannibalization from the new S60/V60, which looks very similar to the V90 but is quite a bit more affordable. Sales of the Swedish models are down by 41%, accounting for almost half of the total segment’s decline so far in 2019 and there’s now a significant gap to the top-3.
Segment sales surge on the back of great performances from Escalade, X7 and G-Class
Sales in the US Premium Full-size SUV segment rose by 31.7% to 69,767 in the first half of 2019, making this far and away the best-performing segment of all. What’s more, this performance that comes courtesy of new models (BMW X7) and new versions of existing ones (Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz G-Class), puts the model well on course to [Read more…]