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%.
After looking at the August 2017 car brand sales in Europe, let’s zoom in on individual model sales figures. The major thing to notice in the top-3 is the arrival of the Skoda Octavia behind the usual suspects VW Golf and Renault Clio. If last month the Octavia set a new personal best ranking with a 4th place, it immediately breaks that record in August, landing on the European podium for the first time since the nameplate’s was launched in 1996. The facelift with the double headlights must really have struck a chord with European buyers. In fourth place, the Volkswagen Tiguan equals the record ranking it also hit last April, and it’s Europe’s best selling crossover for the third time this year after April and January, and for the sixth time ever, after August, October and November of 2016. But wait, there’s one more record breaker in the top-5: the Dacia Sandero climbs two more spots on the personal best it set last month and is in the European top-5 for the first time ever. This also makes it a Renault-Dacia 1-2 in the subcompact car segment, as the Sandero outsells overall top-5 regulars like the Volkswagen Polo (#6), Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (#8) and Ford Fiesta (down to a record low of 32nd place), as well as other rivals like the Peugeot 208 (#9) and Toyota Yaris (#10). Granted, the Polo and Fiesta suffer from model change-overs and the Corsa is getting a bit long in the tooth, but that still doesn’t really discount the Sandero’s top performance with a gain of 23,3%. [Read more…]
European car sales are up by 6% in August 2017, the largest year-over-year increase in the last 3 months, and the fourth straight month of growth for the European market. August being the traditional holdiday month for Europeans, especially those in the South, it’s by far the slowest month of the year in terms of volume. Just 893.000 cars were registered in August 2017, more than a million fewer than last March. The year-to-date figure now stands at 10,54 million sales, up 4,1% on the first eight months of 2016. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+13%) showed the strongest improvements, as France (+9,4%) also outgrew the market, and Germany (+3,5%) improved at a lower pace, but the United Kingdom (-6,4%) is once again going in the opposite direction. Including the smaller markets, Lithuania (+34,4%) and neighbouring Latvia (+25,8%) showed the strongest growth, split by Iceland (+28,8%). Besides the UK, other markets in a negative trend are Ireland (-21,3%), Denmark (-12,1%), Cyprus (-10%), Belgium (-8,1%) and Romania (-3,3%).
Renault-Nissan is the biggest gaining manufacturer for the first time since last March, although the company has held on to its top spot in the year-to-date rankings ever since. In August, Renault-Nissan’s gain is more than 10.000 sales ahead of the next best performer, Volkswagen Group, while Daimler AG is not far behind the latter, leaving last month’s big winner Toyota Motor Company off the podium this month. In terms of relative growth, Aston Martin doubles up for the second consecutive month, while the two Chinese manufacturers SAIC and Geely also outperform. SAIC’s MG brand comes from a low base, selling just a few hundred cars a month in the UK only, while Geely benefits from its investments in the Swedish Volvo brand and the small British Lotus sportscar brand.
The Chinese car market grows for the third consecutive month in August 2017, with a 6,5% increase to 1,87 million sales. That brings the year-to-date total to almost 14,5 million sales, an increase of 3,7% on the same period in 2016. Looking at the final four months of last year, they were exceptionally good in terms of sales volume due to the pending reduction of the tax cut on small vehicles (engines of less than 1,6 liters). The tax, which was temporarily halved to 5%, increased to 7,5% on Jan. 1st 2017 and will return to its normal rate of 10% on Jan. 1st 2018. This may give the Chinese car market another boost in the final few months of this year, but will it be enough to keep the market from decreasing for the first time in a couple of decades? The year-end rally in 2016 pulled forward a lot of sales, which translated in a slow start of 2017 and that may be difficult to make up in the final few months of the year. Back to August: crossovers and SUVs continue their boom with an 18% increase to 760.700 sales, but for only the second time this year, after February, sedan sales also improved, up 4% to 954.800 units. The MPV segment remains weak with a decline of 19% to 155.200 sales. Within those sales figures, electric cars and PHEVs also showed a impressive improvement of 76% in August, to almost 68.000 sales. EVs were responsible for most of that growth, as sales increased 96% to 56.000, compared to a 22% increase for PHEVs, to 12.000. These figures add up to 260.000 EV and 59.000 PHEV sales in China so far this year, an increase of 30% on the first 8 months of 2016 and 2,2% 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 24,9 million, the highest since last January and up almost a million on July. The share of domestic automakers in August was 38,5%, the lowest figure in the past 13 months and down from 39,15% in August 2016. However, it’s worth noting that the share of domestic brands in the crossover segment is an impressive 56%. Despite their success in this hot segment, sales of domestic brand vehicles across all segments trailed the market growth at +4,7%, though still beat the US brands at +2,8% and the South-Korean brands at -27,2%, their lowest rate of decline since last February. With European brands up 8,7%, most of the growth in China came from Japanese brands at +25,3%.
After looking at the July 2017 car brand ranking in Europe, let’s discuss sales figures of individual models. Like in May, Volkswagen places 2 models on top, with the Polo in run-out mode to prepare for the new model that will arrive in showrooms shortly. With places 4 through 7 all within a margin of just 600 sales, we find a surprise in fourth place, as the facelifted Skoda Octavia improves its ranking record. Its previous best was a 5th place achieved in Oktober 2013 and August 2015. The Nissan Qashqai ranks 5th for the second time this year and frankly outsells its closest challenger Volkswagen Tiguan, which is out of the top-10 for the second month in a row and only 1.100 sales ahead of the Peugeot 3008, the fastest growing nameplate in the top-75. As the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa is suffering from its advanced age compared to much fresher rivals, it is down to 6th place of its segment, behind even the Dacia Sandero and Toyota Yaris. The latter of these two is the biggest winner in the top-10 with a gain of 15% thanks to its facelift. The Corsa is also challenged by its new stablemate Citroën C3 in 13th place. [Read more…]
July marks the third consecutive month of growth for European car sales, and the sixth this year. A total of 1,19 million cars were registered in the 28 countries of the European Union and EFTA, an increase of 3,2% on last year. This brings the year-to-date tally to 9,56 million sales, up 4% on the first seven months of 2016. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+13%) showed the strongest improvements, as France (+9,4%) and Germany (+3,5%) also outgrew the market, but the United Kingdom (-6,4%) suffered another blow. Including the smaller markets, Greece (+19,7%) was once again the best performer, while Ireland (-7,2%), Switzerland (-4,6%) and Denmark (-3,3%) are the only other three markets to lose volume on last year.
Among manufacturers, Toyota Motor is the best performer in terms of absolute growth, although Renault-Nissan is only a handful of sales behind and Daimler AG remains pretty close as well. The first two add more than 10.000 sales to their July volume of last year, while the latter grows by close to 9.600 sales. On the other end of the scale, Ford Motor Company loses more than 7.000 sales as its best seller Fiesta is in a model change phase which temporarily hurts its deliveries. BMW Group loses almost 1.200 sales and Honda continues to lose volume for the 7th month this year. In relative terms, Aston Martin is the only manufacturer to more than double up, while Tesla Motors adds 63% and General Motors‘ US brands Cadillac and Chevrolet (sports cars and SUVs) grows by almost 50% from its low base. Mahindra & Mahindra is hurt by slowing sales of its South-Korean SUV brand SsangYong and is the fastest declining manufacturer, followed by Ford Motor Company and Honda.
After two months of slumping sales in April and May, the Chinese car market recovers with two months of increases in June and July. July sales are up 5,4% on 2016 and a whopping 30,8% on July 2015, which was especially depressed when the Chinese stock market crashed, before the Beijing government stepped in with their tax reduction on vehicles with small engines. A total of 1,65 million new passenger cars were sold last month, naturally a new record for July sales in China. The year-to-date total now stands at 12,59 million sales, an increase of 3,4% on the first seven months of 2016. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate stands at 24 million in July, the highest figure since January. SUVs and crossovers are once again the main (and only) winners in April with sales up 18% to 689.500 units, while sedans decline for the fourth consecutive month at -0,3% to 824.900 sales and MPV sales continue to plunge at -11% to 136.500. New Energy vehicle sales improved 55% to 57.000 units, as EV sales gained 70% to 45.000 units and PHEVs rebounded for the second straight month at +16% to 12.000 sales. Year-to-date, EV and PHEV sales in China are up 22% to 251.000 sales, of which 204.000 EVs (up 34%) and 47.000 PHEVs (down 13%). Sales of domestic automakers were up 9,5% and their share is up from 38% to 39,5%, although that is the lowest share since last January. Japanese brand cars are up 16,3%, sales of US brand cars are up 3,9% and of European brand cars are up 0,9%, while sales of South-Korean brand cars are down 46,7%.
After analyzing the car brand sales ranking for June 2017, let’s take a look at sales figures of individual models. The Volkswagen Golf scores its 14th consecutive monthly loss but remains firmly on top of the ranking. The Renault Clio continues to gravitate at its high level, ahead of the Volkswagen Polo, which maintains a surprisingly high level of sales considering its successor has already been revealed and should arrive soon. We’ve seen similar trends at Audi with the replacements of the A3, A4 and A5, but of course the most extreme example is Volvo with the XC60 first generation which gravitates at record heights in the final months of its career. Despite a loss of 9%, the Opel/Vauxhall Astra is back up to 4th place for the first time since last August ( andup from a horrid 12th place in May) because the Ford Fiesta is down into 9th place as deliveries of the new generation are yet to gain traction. The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa cannot benefit from the Fiesta’s demise as it too is down by more than 20% and out of the top-10. That means the Peugeot 208 is now the #3 best selling subcompact car, but even worse for the Corsa: the Dacia Sandero is only just over 400 sales behind, compared to a gap of over 10.000 sales a year ago. The Citroën C3 isn’t far behind these two either.
The Renault Captur is once again the best selling crossover in a record 5th place for the nameplate, despite a 6% loss on last year. The Nissan Qashqai is stable and keeps its place ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan, even though the latter shows a massive 45,6% increase on its predecessor last year. After a horrid 20th place in May, the Ford Focus is back into the top-10 and is the best selling Ford since February 2012. The Renault Megane is finally climbing up the charts to #15 even though it loses 1,1% on last year. For the first time this year the Fiat 500 beats its platform sibling Panda for 2 months in a row. And for the first time since shortly after its launch, the Peugeot 2008 (#19) is outsold by the Peugeot 3008 (#18). The latter is a homerun for the French brand, as it’s only 2.000 sales behind the Tiguan (#14) and firmly in 3rd place of its segment. The Volkswagen Passat (#23) continues to sink down the ranking and is now only 13 sales ahead of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (#24), although the latter also includes the coupe and convertible versions. The Fiat Tipo (#26) has a third month of 15.000+ sales in the last four, and is closing in quickly on the Peugeot 308 (#25). [Read more…]