After looking at the April 2018 car brand sales in Europe, let’s look at individual model sales. The Volkswagen Golf remains unbeatable and is as usual followed by three subcompacts, with the Renault Clio as its closest rival for the fifth time in seven months, just ahead of the new Volkswagen Polo and the new Ford Fiesta, both of which outperform the Clio in terms of year-over-year growth. In fact, the Fiesta is the best performer in the top-10 with a growth rate of almost a third on its slowest April in decades, just as the new generation was arriving in showrooms. The Volkswagen Tiguan is the best selling crossover again as the Nissan Qashqai suffers from a fallback after its excellent performance in March. [Read more…]
European sales of passenger cars rebounded strongly in April 2018 after the first loss of the year in March. 1,34 million cars were sold in Europe this month, an increase of 9,7% on April 2017, when sales declined 7,2% on a 19,8% loss in the UK market due to an increase in the Vehicle Excise Duty that month. Accordingly, the UK is up by 10,4% this April, its first year-over-year improvement since March 2017 when sales were pulled forward in anticipation of the tax hike. Whereas the UK is traditionally the #1 European market in March, as it was this year as well, in April it is down to #4 in terms of volume, behind Germany (+8%), France (+9%) and Italy (+6,5%). Spain even outgrew the UK in April with a gain of 12,3%.
Another double digit gain for domestic passenger car sales in China which show no sign of slowing down as many analysts expected. A total of 1,9 million cars were sold in April, an increase of 14,2% over the same month in 2017. Year-to-date sales are now up 6,2% to 7,9 million cars. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in April is stable at 24,8 million, similar to January and March and up from 21,2 million in April of last year. [Read more…]
After discussing the April 2017 European car brand sales ranking, let’s take a closer look at which individual models are helping their brand succeed or fail. After the freak event in March, when the Volkswagen Golf was not the best selling car in Europe, things have returned to normal in April, although the Golf is still the biggest loser by far in the top-25 wiht a loss of more than 28% on last year. The Golf lost more sales from April 2016 to April 2017 than its rival Renault Megane sold last month (Golf: -13.831 units). And while the Golf no longer sells double the volume of its nearest competitor, it still has a gap of almost 10.000 sales to the #2, as the entire top-3 is down. One culprit for the Golf’s demise is obvious in 4th place: the success of the Volkswagen Tiguan, up 70% to equal its highest ranking ever. Last month’s leader Ford Fiesta is down to 7th place as it’s payback time for its dependence on the UK market, which was exceptionally strong in March, but exceptionally weak in April. The same can be said of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, down 15% into 8th place. We welcome the Citroën C3 into the top-10 for the first time ever, as it even threatens to outsell its recently acquired stablemate Corsa. The Skoda Octavia is back into the top-10 which means there’s only one crossover in the top-10, as the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Captur are both just outside. The Captur is down 14% but remains ahead of its rivals Peugeot 2008 (#14) and Opel/Vauxhall Mokka X (#25), which are both down by single digits as competition in the segment has intensified by the arrival of new players. [Read more…]
The Chinese car market is one of the most diverse in the world, with over 400 locally produced passenger car models from more than 70 domestic and foreign brands. If we include imported vehicles, minivans, pickups and commercial vehicles, there are more than 1.000 different models available. In the March 2017 sales ranking, we welcome 11 new models: 6 crossovers, a sedan, a hatchback and an EV version of an existing crossover. In the April 2017 sales ranking, we welcome 9 new models: 5 crossovers, 1 MPV and 3 sedans (of which 2 EVs).
After a successful launch of its first crossover, the Roewe RX5, SAIC launches its first sedan with its new corporate design, and it immediately is one of the most mature looking Chinese sedans on the market. Gone are all the frivolous shapes and shiny chrome accents, well except for the grille, that is. You could almost call it boring. The i6 launches in one of the most difficult segments in China, that of affordable compact sedans, but still a segment with a lot of potential. Power comes from either a 1,0T three-cylinder with 125hp/170Nm mated to a 6MT or 7DCT gearbox or a 1,5T with 170hp/250Nm also mated to a 6MT or 7DCT gearbox. A PHEV version named i6e will follow soon, powered by a 1-liter three-cylinder withh 125hp and a 82hp electric motor. Dimensions are 4.671/1.835/4.460mm with a wheelbase of 2.715mm. [Read more…]
The Chinese car market is fluctuating in the first four months of 2017: After a stable January, a promising 20% gain in February 2017 and a modest growth of 2,9% in March, April sales are down 2,2% again, for a total of 1,68 million units. Of course, this is still the second-best ever April figure, and the YTD total now stands at 7,54 million, an increase of 3,8% on the first four months of 2016. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate stands at 21,4 million in April, the lowest figure in the past 12 months. Sales of vehicles with engines of 1,6 liters or less fell 10% to 1.14 million, after the central government phased out a tax break on these models at the beginning of this year. SUVs and crossovers are once again the main (and only) winners in April with sales up 10% to 674.000 units, while sedans sales decline for the second consecutive month at -7,3% to 840.000 sales and MPVs lose volume for the fourth month in a row at -15% to 153.000. New Engergy vehicle sales improved 7,9% to 34.300 units, as EV sales gained 19% to 28.500 units but PHEVs plunged 27% to 5.800 sales. The share of domestic automakers dipped below 42% for the first time since last August as they benefitted the most from the tax cut on small vehicles.
After discussing the April 2016 European car brand sales figures, let’s look at the model level which cars are selling well in Europe. Despite the increased competition from the new generations Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane, and despite VW having been discredited by the diesel scandal affair, the Volkswagen Golf manages to continue improving, albeit slower than the overall market. The Golf’s strength can partially be explained by its solid reputation as a company car, and the subsequent preferential treatment the VW brand gets with the Golf and Passat when companies buy or lease new vehicles for their employees. They have decades of recognizable and inoffensive (some would say: boring) design to thank for that. The Renault Clio manages to grab 2nd place as it did exactly one year ago, ahead of 4 subcompact rivals, of which the facelifted Peugeot 208 shows the biggest improvement, while the YTD #2 Ford Fiesta is starting to show its age.
The Skoda Octavia jumps from 14th in March to 7th in April, followed by the Passat and the Astra, both with the exact same number of sales. That leaves the Ford Focus to complete the top-10. The Renault Captur keeps improving and consolidates its leadership of the fast-growing small crossover segment, with the Peugeot 2008 now in 2nd place (#17 overall), ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka (#24). The Nissan Qashqai drops out of the top-10 at #14 with the Hyundai Tucson closing in at #23 and the Kia Sportage at #25. The Renault Kadjar can’t keep up with the South Korean cousins and has to make do with 35th place, and that’s before the new generation Volkswagen Tiguan (#29) is fully available. Volkswagen’s new Touran hits the spot with a 38th place, ahead of the Citroën C4 Picasso in 39th, while the soon to be replaced Renault Scenic (#50) is also outsold by the Volkswagen Sportsvan and BMW 2-series Active Tourer (#47 and #48). [Read more…]
April 2016 marks the 32nd consecutive month of growth for car sales in Europe. At +8,9%, European car dealers sold 1.308.891 passenger cars, making it the best April since 2009 and bringing the year-to-date figure to 5.217.097, an increase of 8,1%. Of the five major markets, Spain is the most dynamic with a growth of 21,2%. Italy, which was the fastest growing market in the first few months and even outsold France in January and February, sees its growth slow down to a still very healthy +11,5%. Germany (+8,4%), France (+7,1%) and the UK (+2%) are in single digit growth, while Switzerland is the only country of the EU28 to lose volume in April, at -1%.
Volkswagen Group is back as the manufacturer adding the most volume, despite growing slower than the overall market. All of it volume brands showed volume gains, but only Audi and Porsche added market share. The performance of Daimler AG is more impressive, with an increase of 21,6% as Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW and reduced the gap to Audi by more than half. FCA passed Ford Motor Corporation thanks to strong volume gains at Fiat, Jeep and even Lancia, despite the latter being down to a single model in a single market. There are no big volume losers in April, with Mitsubishi Motors the biggest of them at -565 units, followed by Aston Martin and Tesla, both down just a handful of units. [Read more…]