Sales of small MPVs in Europe accelerate their decline in Q3 of 2017. After a 14% loss in 2016, a 10% decline in Q1, a 23% decline in Q2, the segment loses 35% in the third quarter, bringing the year-to-date figure to just over 190.000 sales, down 22% on last year as we continue to lose players in the segment. Surprisingly, one nameplate manages to improve its volume in Q2 and does so with double digits. The Ford B-Max, which has seen its sales decline every year since 2013, gains an impressive 34% in the third quarter, which makes it the best selling model in the segment for that period. However, that party won’t last too long as production of the model has ended last September. The traditional segment leader Fiat 500L is down at a similar rate as the rest of the segment and holds on to its 27% share of the segment. [Read more…]
After a 6% growth rate in the first half of 2017, Europe’s largest segment by volume declines 2% in the third quarter. That brings the year-to-date figure to 2,17 million, up 4% on the same period of 2016. Major culprit of this slowdown in Q3 is the former segment leader Ford Fiesta which suffers a 44% decline in Q3 as it is changing over to the new generation. That has dropped the Fiesta to 9th place in Q3 although it holds on to its third place year-to-date, helped by a 17% decline in Opel/Vauxhall Corsa deliveries as a new generation of that car is long overdue as the Corsa is still based on a platform launched in 2006. The Renault Clio continues to sell strong and is the only model in the top-5 to grow in the third quarter, doing so by 11%. That allows it to stay ahead of the Volkswagen Polo which was running on its last legs as it too has a new generation arriving in Q4. The Peugeot 208 holds on to its 5th place while its sister model Citroën C3 stroms up the charts from #9 last year to #6 thanks to the successful launch of the new generation. However, the C3 was outsold by both the Dacia Sandero and Toyota Yaris in the third quarter. The Sandero keeps going from strength to strength even without any major updates, while the Yaris has recently been facelifted.
The minicar segment shows a slight recovery in Q3 of 2017 with a gain of 1% but is still down by 1% for the first 9 months of 2017, with almost 980.000 sales. Fiat’s share of the segment is down on the first half of the year but up on the first three quarters of 2016, with 30,6% share of the segment and holding on to the top two positions with the 500 and Panda. The Volkswagen Up! remaims #3 of the segment, with less than half the sales of the best seller, but was the only model in the segment that showed double-digit growth in Q3. However, it was still outsold by the Hyundai i10 in the third quarter, the fastest growing model in the year-to-date top-5. The gap between the two models is too large to be closed in the last quarter, so another podium finish for the Up! seems to be wrapped up. The fifth placed Toyota Aygo is the best seller of the Kolin triplets, built together with PSA, and also the only of the three to continue growing its sales, as the Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1 are both down by double digits. The same can be said of the remaining two members of the VW triplets, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii.
Mitsubishi Motors has presented an ambitious growth plan for the next three years, called “Drive for Growth”. According to this plan, the brand will invest more than 600 billion Yen (€ 4,5 billion / US$ 5.3 billion), of which R&D spending will increase by 50% to € 1 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) to develop six all-new models (including the recently launched Eclipse Cross crossover for the US and Europe, and the Xpander MPV for Indonesia) and significantly update five existing models. As a result of this product offensive, worldwide sales should increase by 40% to 1,3 million units in 2020 and the company expects to return to profitability with a profit margin of 6% by the 2019 fiscal year. This is the first business plan by Mitsubishi since Nissan took a controlling 34% share in its struggling rival in 2016. According to Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko “this is an ambitious program to maximize our strengths in growing product segments, especially four-wheel drive, and to pursue growth in markets where our brand has strong potential, particularly the ASEAN region.” [Read more…]
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.
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 a booming first quarter of 2017, sales of exotic cars in Europe have stabilized with a 2% decrease in the second quarter. First half sales are still up, but by “only” 18%, to 3.951 units. We already had a new segment leader in Q1 with the all-new Aston Martin DB11, but in Q2 we crown yet another new leader, as the Ferrari 488 has topped the charts for the first time in its career. Ever since it replaced the former segment leader Ferrari 458 Italia, the Bentley Continental GT had topped the charts. Until this year, that is. After a stable Q1, the Continental loses 23% of its volume in Q2, which leads to an 11% loss year-to-date. The next generation will be revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in a few weeks time and will arrive in Bentley showrooms next year. The DB11 slows down slightly in the second quarter and was even outsold by the Continental GT in Q2 (by just 6 sales), but is expected to rebound later this year when deliveries of the AMG V8 twin turbo engine pick up steam. The only other model in the segment to sell more than 100 units per quarter is the Lamborghini Huracan in fourth place with a 12% increase in the first half.
After 3 years and one quarter of booming growth, the premium large SUV segment in Europe has hit a roadblock. Sales were down 6% in Q2, pulling down the year-to-date growth rate to just 2%, less than the overall market. A total of 150.235 large luxury SUVs were sold in the first half of 2017. The BMW X5 is on its way for a fourth consecutive year on top of the ranking, ever since the current generation was launched. The Audi Q7 jumps from 4th place in the first quarter to 2nd in the second quarter and also grabs that position in the first half ranking, outselling the Volvo XC90 (down 30% in Q2) and Range Rover Sport (down 13% in Q2). The XC90 has seen a similar drop in the US, where they blamed it on limited availability due to worldwide demand, especially for the T8 plug-in hybrid version, but the same seems to be happening in Europe now. With less than 1.000 monthly sales, China can’t be responsible for the limited availability in Europe and the US, so there must be another explanation. We’ll keep you updated as we find out more. [Read more…]