After looking at the May 2018 brand sales ranking, let’s take a closer look at which models were moving up the charts. For the first time since June 2017, market leader Volkswagen Golf is down year-on-year but it still sells over 40.000 units this month. Its crossover sibling Tiguan more than offsets this loss with a 18,6% gain, moving into 4th place and best selling crossover. Its rival and the usual suspect for that title Nissan Qashqai is down into 3rd place of that subsegment behind the Renault Captur, respectively in 8th and 9th place overall. [Read more…]
In May 2018, sales of passenger cars in Europe were virtually flat at +0,8% after an almost 10% gain in April. A total of just over 1,4 million vehicles were sold in this period, bringing the year-to-date total to just over 7 million in five months, an increase of 2,4%. The major EU markets showed very diverse results, with Spain (+7,2%) and the United Kingdom (+3,4%) in the black, while Germany (‐5,8%) and Italy (‐2,8%) saw their demand for cars decline in May. Sales in France (+0,1%) were flat. Fastest growing markets were Romania (+43,3%), Bulgaria (+34,6%) and Lithania (+32,6%), the only three markets posting growth of more than 17,5%. In the negative was most notably Iceland (-25,7%), but also Norway (-8%), Czech Republic (-4,8%), Luxembourg (-3,1%) and Switzerland (-2,1%).
The market for domestic passenger car sales in China continues to grow in the first half of 2018, with another 8,5% gain in May to nearly 1,85 million sales. That brings the year-to-date gain to 6,75% with 9,76 million cars sold in five months. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in May stood at 24,4 million, the lowest of the year so far but up by 2,2 million on May of 2017. [Read more…]
After looking at the May 2017 car brand ranking in Europe, let’s discuss sales figures of individual models. The first thing to notice is that the market leader Volkswagen Golf scores its first single-digit loss since last January, after 3 months with double digit losses of which April was the worst with a decline of 28,3% (or almost 14.000 sales less than April 2016), although it must have hurt more that the Golf was outsold by the Ford Fiesta in March. The facelifted version is now fully available and VW’s compact hatchback (and station wagon) can continue its dominance of the European car sales charts. In May its smaller sibling Polo was in 2nd place, just ahead of the Renault Clio, both above 30.000 sales for the second time this year. The Polo will be facelifted later this year, the Clio has just been freshened. Meanwhile, the new generation Fiesta is just entering dealerships across Europe and should start to make an impact later this year. For now the Fiesta is stuck in 4th place, ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, the biggest loser in the top-10 at -8,2%. [Read more…]
European car sales returned to growth in May after a one-month hiatus because of a late Easter. In May 2017, just over 1,4 million cars were sold in the European Union and EFTA, an increase of 7,4% on last year. This brings the year-to-date tally to 6,85 million sales, up 4,7% on the first five months of 2016. Of the five largest countries, four outgrew the market while the UK recorded its third consecutive monthly decline at -8,5%. In contrast, Germany (+12,9%) and Spain (+11,2%) showed double digit growth and France (+8,9%) and Italy (+8,2%) also improved with impressive figures. Besides the UK, only Ireland (-7,9%) and Greece (down a horrid 20,9% in May but still in positive YTD) declined, while Croatia was the biggest gainer (+34,1%), followed by Hungary (+28,6%) and Romania (+27,1).
If Volkswagen Group was the big volume loser in April with a loss of more thsn 28.000 sales, in May the company rebounds with an increase of over 25.000 sales, almost as much as the #2 and #3 fastest growing manufacturers combined, Renault-Nissan and Daimler AG. On the other end of the scale, Honda, Tata Motors with its Jaguar and Land-Rover brands and Mazda lose the most volume, although Honda is the only manufacturer to lose more than 1.000 sales year-on-year. [Read more…]
Car sales in China seem to have stalled after years of double digit growth. The main culprit for the slowdown has been mentioned on these pages before: the government has artificially boosted demand for cars with small engines since the 3rd quarter of 2015 when the market threatened to sink into the red due to a collapsing stock market and reduced customer confidence. That tax break has worked perfectly in pulling forward car purchases in Q4 of 2015 and in 2016 but it was cut in half by the beginning of 2017 and has since affected the Chinese car market in a negative way. Sales of vehicles with engines of 1,6 liters or less fell 9% to 1.15 million last month. In Q1, total market sales were still up by 5,7% but two months of declines have brought the year-to-date tally to 9,25 million, up just 2,7% on the first 5 months of 2016. A 2,2% loss in April was a first warning sign and now in May sales are down by another 2,1% to 1,71 million units. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate rebounded to 22,2 million, still the second lowest figure in the past 12 months. SUVs and crossovers continued to fuel the market with sales up 13% to 715.000 units in May, but this could not offset declines in deliveries of sedans (-9,3% to 839.000 sales) and MPVs (-17% to 150.000). The share of domestic automakers was the lowest since last August at 40,3% and it has fallen hard since its peak of 47,1% in February. However, compared to May 2016, the domestic brands have increased their sales 3% while the foreign brands saw their volume shrink by 5,5%. Year-to-date, the domestic share is now 43,4%.
The Chinese car market is one of the most diverse, with over 400 different locally produced passenger cars from over 70 domestic and foreign brands, which increases to more than 1.000 models including imported vehicles, minivans, pickups and commercial vehicles. In June just 2 new models were introduced, but July marks a return to the familiar launch cadence with no less than 7 new models, including an all-new brand, the second new brand in 2016 and the third in the past 12 months, after Qiteng in January and Enranger last July. This month marks the addition of 3 domestic SUVs, 2 sedans and one MPV. We’ve already discussed the overall July 2016 sales figures for China, below we’ll introduce those newly introduced models for this month.
The highly anticipated resurrection of the Borgward brand has materialized with sales of the BX7 SUV starting in China this July. For those who haven’t heard of Borgward before: this is a former German luxury brand that ceased operations in the 1960s. It’s most famous model is the Isabella, which was produced from 1954 till the end of the company. In 2005 Christian Borgward, the grandson of the original founder started making plans to restore the brand to its former glory. Fast forward a decade and although Christian is the president of the company, its owner is 100% Chinese: Beiqi Foton Motor, a subsidiary of BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation), one of China’s largest automotive manufacturers. Surprisingly, Foton Motor is the commercial vehicle division of BAIC, making anything from heavy trucks, light trucks, pickups, SUVs, vans and MPVs to pickups. Unsurprisingly, Borgward tries to capitalize on its heritage, not bothered by the fact that it’s largely unknown to its prospective buyers, especially those in China, but the brand expects its image to benefit from the emphasis on its German roots, in a similar way Qoros also tried to flaunt its German design and technology. [Read more…]
After exploring the May 2016 European car brand sales ranking, we’ll zoom in at the model level to see the latest trends in European auto sales. The most striking change in the top-5 is the demise of the Ford Fiesta, until last year the steady #2 behind the Volkswagen Golf, but now relegated to #5 for the second month in a row by three of its main rivals. The Renault Clio has taken charge with an increase of almost 25% to over 30.000 sales, but the Volkswagen Polo and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa also show double digit gains. Even the Peugeot 208 is closing in on the Fiesta thanks to a 32% increase after its facelift. Ford will have a new generation of its best-seller by the end of this year, and it can’t come too early for the brand. [Read more…]