Sales of domestic passenger cars in China were slightly down in December 2017 as expected after record volume in the same month last year. With a volume of 2,59 million sales, the volume was down by 0,4%, the third month of decline in 2017. On the positive side, this is the highest volume of the year, as consumers pulled forward their orders for small cars (engines of 1,6 liters or less), as the sales tax on these cars returned to their normal level of 10% as of January 1st, up from 7,5% in 2017. We’ll discuss the full-year 2017 figures in a separate post, and will focus on December here: the only segment to show growth was that of crossovers and SUVs again, although even their growth has slightly slowed down [Read more…]
After looking at the November 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s take a closer look at individual model sales figures. After hitting a historic #1 spot last March, the Ford Fiesta has been off the European podium every month since. Until November, when deliveries of the new generation Fiesta boosted the model back to third place behind the traditional leader Volkswagen Golf and the Renault Clio. The Golf is up for the 5th consecutive month of which its third straight double digit gain after its facelift, while the Clio is down for only the second time this year. [Read more…]
In November 2017, European sales of passenger cars continued on the same pace as in October, with a 6% growth rate to 1,25 million sales, partially helped by one additional selling day compared to November 2016. This marks the 9th month of increased sales this year 2017 and brings the year-to-date total up 3,7% to 14,36 sales after 11 months. That’s already above the 2015 full year figure and gives us an estimated 15,6 million sales for the full year 2017, the fourth consecutive year of growth and just half a million sales off the record years 2004 and 2005. Sales of regular cars (hatchbacks, station wagons, sedans, coupes and convertibles) are stable in [Read more…]
The domestic passenger car market in China edges up by 0,8% in November 2017, to just over 2.55 million sales, the highest volume of the year so far. With such a slow growth rate and a December ahead of us which showed booming growth rate last year, it will be difficult for the Chinese car market to reach its expected 5% growth rate in 2017. Year-to-date sales for the first 11 months are up 3,07% to 21,64 million and we expect the market to be stable again in December, which would give us a total of 24,24 million sales in 2017, up just 2,7% on 2016 and the slowest growth rate in modern history, down from 17,2% last year. At least we can be almost sure the market will show another record year as sales would have to be downby 25% in December for a full-year decline (or down to its 2015 level, which hasn’t happened a single time so far this year). Last December, consumers were rushing to buy new vehicles before the sales tax increase on vehicles with engine sizes of 1.6 liters and below rose from 5% to 7,5% on January 1st, 2017. A similar effect will be noticeable this year, as the tax will increase to 10% on January 1st, 2018.
Back to November: the only segment to show growth was that of crossovers and SUVs again, which were up by 10% to nearly 1,1 million sales (YTD up 14%), while sedans were down 3,8% to 1.23 million sales (YTD down 1,4%) and MPVs took the biggest hit at -10,3% to 227.000 sales (YTD down 12,5%). Within those sales figures, sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids (New Energy Vehicles) jumped 83% to 119.000, or 4,7% of the market. Full EVs took the grunt of those sales, rising 75% to 102.000 while PHEVs gained 154% to 17.000 sales. For the first 11 months, EV and plug-in hybrid sales rose 51% to almost 609.000 units, or 2,8% of the total market. The Beijing government has set a target of 6,7% in 2020 and as much as 20% by 2025, helped by a carbon credit scheme that was originally planned to be imposed in 2018 but which has been postponed to 2019. This year, total sales of New Energy Vehicles are expected to top 700.000. [Read more…]
After looking at the October 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s take a closer look at individual model sales figures. For the last two months we’ve had a newcomer to the podium, with the Skoda Octavia scoring a best-ever 3rd place in August followed by the Nissan Qashqai jumping to a surprise 2nd place in September, and in October we welcome back the Peugeot 208 on the podium for the first time since May 2013, marking only the 5th time the 208 scores this high. For comparison: its predecessor 207 finished on top of the ranking in 2007 and in 2nd place a year later. The 208 is not far behind its rival Renault Clio and outsells all other subcompact cars this month. Not to discount its performance as sales are up 14,5%, but it also benefits from unusual circumstances at some of its rivals with both the Ford Fiesta (still down 10,4% but back up to #4 now that deliveries of the new generation are picking up traction) and the Volkswagen Polo (-41% to #22) hampered by their generation changes and the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (-18,3% to #15) hurt by a reduction in fleet deliveries by the brand’s new owner PSA, as well by a decline in overall UK volume. The two French subcompacts trail the market leader Volkswagen Golf which is impressively up by 24%, its fourth straight month of growth (and its second with double digits) after a 14-month losing streak. An impressive rebound considering its facelift has been only minor in terms of cosmetics and the VW Group has added a number of crossovers to its line-up that are expected to cannibalize sales from the regular hatchbacks and station wagons.
European sales of passenger cars returned to growth in October 2017 after a one-month decline in September. 1,2 Million new cars were registered in Europe, which leads to a 10-month figure of 13,1 million, an increase of 3,5% on the same period last year and more than the 2014 full year figure. That means 2017 is very likely going to be the fourth consecutive year of growth after hitting a low of 12,3 million sales in 2013. Sales of regular cars (hatchbacks, station wagons, sedans, coupes and convertibles) are up by 0,5% (YTD: -0,5%), while MPV sales are down by 5,5% (YTD: -11%) and sales of crossovers and SUVs are booming just like in the US and China: up 19,8% (YTD: +16,7%).
Among the five biggest markets Spain, France (both +13,7%) and Italy (+7,1%) outgrow the European market while Germany (+3,9%) trails and the United Kingdom continues to struggle with another double digit loss (-12,2%). Besides the UK, only Ireland (-13,8%) and Finland (-4,6%) lose volume in October, while Bulgaria (+41,3%), Lithuania (+33%) and Hungary (+30,4%) show impressive growth rates. Year-to-date, Italy (+8,9%) and Spain (+7,3%) are the fastest growing among the five largest markets, followed by France (+4,8%) and Germany (+2,3%). In contrast, UK sales are down by 4,6% so far in 2017.
Sales of domestic passenger cars in China edges up by half a percent in October 2017, to almost 2.32 million sales, the highest volume of the year so far. With such a slow growth rate and 2 months ahead of us with booming growth rates last year, it will be difficult for the Chinese car market to reach its expected 5% growth rate in 2017. Year-to-date sales for the first 10 months are up 3,34% to just over 19 million. If the pace does not improve for the full year, it would be the slowest growth rate in modern history, and down from 17,2% last year. At least we can be almost sure the market will show another record year as sales would have to be down 12% in the last 2 months for a full-year decline (or down to their 2015 levels, which hasn’t happened a single time so far this year). Back to October: the only segment to show growth was that of crossovers and SUVs again, which were up by 13,5% to 995.600 sales (YTD up 17,3%), while sedans were down 3,9% to 1.116.200 sales (YTD up 1,9%) and MPVs too the biggest hit at -13,2% to 205.600 sales (YTD down 5,7%). Within those sales figures, sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids jumped 107% to 91.000, or 4% of the market. For the first 10 months, EV and plug-in hybrid sales rose 45% to almost 490.000 units, or 2,6% of the total market. The Beijing government has set a target of 6,7% in 2020 and as much as 20% by 2025, helped by a carbon credit scheme that was originally planned to be imposed in 2018 but which has been postponed to 2019. This year, an estimated 700.000 New Energy Vehicles are expected to be sold.
The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in October stood at 25,8 million, a similar level as last month. The share of domestic automakers in October jumped to 42,8%, up 3 percentage points on September and the highest figure since last March, but still down from 44,2% in October 2016. Sales of domestic brand vehicles across all segments were down 2,7%, compared to a gain of 5,2% for European brands, +5,3% for US brands and +10% for Japanese. In contrast, South-Korean brands continued their losing streak to 10 months as they lost 21,5% in October and 53,1% YTD. [Read more…]
After looking at the September 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s look at individual model sales figures. Keep in mind the September ranking is skewed towards models that are relatively popular in the UK, due to the twice annual license plate change that boosts March and September in this market, so the UK takes up about 30% of total European sales this month, compared to about 18% over the course of an entire year. The first thing that you’ll notice at the top of the ranking (and also a result of its success in its home market UK) is the record 2nd place for the Nissan Qashqai, whose previous best ranking was a 5th place which it hit 4 times, including twice this year ( February and July), but in September the Qashqai was the best seller in the UK, Spain and Finland, helping it outsell all subcompacts which usually crowd the podium behind the traditional leader Volkswagen Golf. The Renault Clio is in third place ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, whose #4 position is the highest in 12 months for the nameplate, despite losing 22,2% of its volume on last year. The Corsa is suffering mostly from a 41% loss in the UK, which means this market accounts for 88% of its lost sales this month. The Volkswagen Tiguan makes it 2 crossovers in the top-5, while the Ford Focus benefits from the seasonal peak in UK sales where it is relatively strong to jump from 26th place in August to #6 in September. The last time the Focus ranked this high in Europe was June 2015. That leaves the Volkswagen Polo in 7th place as it’s not the #2 VW in Europe for the second consecutive month, something that hadn’t happened before in at least the last 10 years. The Skoda Octavia drops from its record #3 position last month to 8th, while the top-10 is completed by the Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris, a third consecutive top-10 finish for the latter. [Read more…]
After four months of growth, new car sales in Europe are down again, by 2,1% to 1,46 million sales in September 2017. This is only the second time this year that the European car market is in negative territory, and the year-to-date figure is now down to +3,3%, the lowest it has been so far this year. September is still the second best month so far this year, after March and just ahead of May. A total of 11,9 million cars have been sold in the first nine months of 2017, which is close to the 2013 full year figure of 12,3 million sales. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+8,1%) and Spain (+4,6%) once again showed the strongest improvements, while France was stable at +1,1%, but Germany (-3,3%) and the United Kingdom (-9,3%) are pulling the market down. They are not the only one, as 11 out of the 30 countries of the EU and EFTA saw their sales decline, of which Denmark (-22,2%), Latvia (-20,8%) and Ireland (-17%) by double digits. Year-to-date, Italy (+9%), Spain (+6,7%), France (+3,9%) and Germany (+2,2%) continue to grow so far in 2017, but UK car demand fell by 3,9%
Surprisingly, tiny Suzuki Motors is the manufacturer that adds the most volume in September, ahead of juggernauts Renault-Nissan and Toyota Motor. All add between 2.500 and 4.000 sales, so small gains this month. On the other end of the spectrum we do see a few large declines, most notably those of Ford Motor Company and PSA-Opel, which each lose more than 12.500 sales compared to September 2016. Looking at relative growth, Tesla Motors is firing on all its kilowatts with a gain of 46%, ahead of Aston Martin and Suzuki, while Mahindra & Mahindra is the fastest declining manufacturer due to its ownership of SsangYong and loses more than a third of its Eurpoean volume. Honda and SAIC MG are also on the wrong end of the list with double digit declines.
The Chinese car market continue sits steady growth in September, showing a 3,4% increase to almost 2,3 million sales of passenger cars. This is the fourth consecutive month of single digit increases after years of booming growth. It also builds confidence in the belief that the market will continue its winning streak in 2017 and finish the year in positive territory despite an exceptionally strong last quarter of 2016. That brings the year-to-date total to almost 16,8 million sales, an increase of 3,7% on the same period in 2016. In absolute terms, 2017 is ahead of last year by 600.000 sales, which means the likelihood of yet another new sales record is becoming greater by the passin gmonth. We’d need at least an 8% sales decline in the last quarter to see the first annual decline in a few decades in China. Even considering the exceptionally strong finish of 2016, that seems pretty unlikely, especially taking into account the sales tax on cars with engines of 1,6 liter and smaller will increase again in January, from 7,5% back to its normal rate of 10%, which should pull forward sales of this kind of vehicle to the last quarter. Back to September: the crossovers and SUV trend seems unstoppable with yet another double digit gain: +10% to 971.000 sales, while sedans improve 3,7% to 1,16 million sales and the decline of the MPV segment accelerates to -25% to 165.900 sales. Within those sales figures, electric cars and PHEVs also showed a impressive improvement of 79% in September, to almost 78.000 sales. EVs were responsible for most of that growth, as sales increased 83% to 64.000, compared to a 62% increase for PHEVs, to 14.000. These figures add up to 325.000 EV and 73.000 PHEV sales in China so far this year, an increase of 38% on the first 9 months of 2016 and 2,4% of the overall market. The Beijing government has set a target of 6,7% in 2020 and as much as 20% by 2025, helped by a carbon credit scheme that will be imposed in 2018
The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in August stood at 25,8 million, a similar level as last January, which has been the highest so far this year, and up by 850.000 on August, marking the 6th consecutive month of increased SAAR. The share of domestic automakers in September was 39,8%, the highest figure in the past 3 months and down from 41,8% in September 2016. Sales of domestic brand vehicles across all segments were down 1,5%, compared to a gain of just 2% for US brands, +12% for Japanese brands and +15% for European brands. In contrast, South-Korean brands are down for the 9th month this year, by 23%.