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…]
In May, automobile sales in Europe recorded their highest monthly growth rate in more than a decade, at just over 15%, which also makes it the 33rd straight month of growth. A total of 1.315.772 sales is also very close to the figure of May 2008, just before the market started its decline from the financial crisis in Europe. The year-to-date figure of 6.532.869 is up 9,5% on the first five months of last year. Again, the Southern European countries are showing the fastest growth rates, at +27,3% in Italy, +22,3% in France and +20,9% in Spain. German car sales were also strong at +11,9%, while the growth in the UK stalled after a few years of robust gains. Analysts expect the Brexit vote to have a negative effect on car sales in the UK, which may result in slower growth of the European market in the second half of 2016. In May, only Switzerland and Ireland showed modest declines.
As a result, manufacturers that are strong in southern countries benefit the most, as Renault-Nissan adds almost as many units as Volkswagen Group, with PSA and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles also adding some good volume. Only three manufacturers lose volume in May: Mitsubishi Motors, Tesla Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru‘s parent company. Relatively, AvtoVAZ shows the fastest growth from a low base on its new models, which are available in just a handful of European countries so far. Mahindra & Mahindra are still boosted by the resurrection of the SsangYong brand, while Lotus continues to alternate between big gains and big losses from one month to the other. [Read more…]
The Chinese car market is one of the most diverse, with over 400 different locally produced passenger cars, and more than 1.000 including import models, minivans and commercial vehicles. And it keeps expanding, with 12 all-new models in March, 7 introductions in April and another 7 in May, excluding 3 additional (electrified) versions of existing models. We’ve already discussed the overall May 2016 sales figures for China, here we’ll introduce those newly launched models for this month.
FAW Xenia R7
The most successful new introduction is from a brand that has suffered from a product drought, as this is only the third new model in the past 20 months. No wonder the FAW Xenia R7 immediately becomes the brand’s second best selling model in its introduction month with 3.931 sales, more than a quarter of FAW brand sales in May, but not enough to keep the brand from losing 17,3% of volume this month. The Xenia R7 is a small crossover priced from 69.800 Yuan (US$ 10,600 / € 9.350), powered by a 1,6 liter four-cylinder engine with 109hp and 155 Nm. Size: 4.300/1.780/1.650 mm. It is produced by FAW-Jilin, a subsidiary of First Auto Works based in Jilin province. It will probably replace the FAW Xenia, also known as Xenia M80, which was based on the previous generation Daihatsu Xenia / Toyota Avanza, the best selling cars in Indonesia. But don’t be surprised if this model stays in production, as long as there’s demand for an even cheaper alternative. [Read more…]
Sales of automobiles in China increased 13,3% in May, the fastest growth rate so far in 2016. That means just over 1,7 million new passenger cars were registered in the country, for a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Selling Rate of 22,1 million in May. Year to date, the figure stands at 8,8 million sales, an increase of 9,7% over the same period last year. Local brands continue to lag the overall market after enjoying a short boom in share in the beginning of 2016. In May, their share was down to 37,5%, the lowest of the year so far, but still up from 35,2% in May 2015. Sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped 36% to 627.000 units, MPVs followed with a 28% increase to 182.000 sales and even sedans sales were back into positive territory, albeit slightly at 1,5% to 904.000. Sales of EVs and PHEVs continued to thrive, with electric cars up 162% to 26.000 sales and Plug-in Hybrids gained 68% to 9.000 units.
As all models in the top-10 improve and 11 of the 12 best selling models add 25% or more to their volume of last year, the Chinese car market proves very dynamic again. The Wuling Hongguang reclaims its leadership after being outsold by the Haval H6 last month, while the quick rise out of nowhere of the Baojun 560 appears to have stalled. After its introduction last July, it has sold more than 30.000 units a month between October and March, including two 40.000+ months, but it dropped to 25.000 in April and is down to 18.500 in May, while falling out of the top-10. It’s still the best selling newcomer, ahead of the Buick Verano.
Breaking news: Jaguar Land Rover has finally started to report sales of its locally produced models in China: the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport. The former has been sold since October 2014 and the latter since a year later. We don’t yet have data from before this month, but May data shows that the Discovery Sport is the most popular of the two at 3.800 vs. 1.600 sales, undoubtedly helped by its optional 7-seater capability. With local production of the Jaguar XFL starting in a few months, we’ll finally be able to gain an insight into the performance of the Indian-owned British brands in China. [Read more…]
After exploring the May 2015 auto brands sales, we’ll take a closer look at the most successful car models in Europe. The market leaders are surprisingly stable, with the only change in the top-7 done by the facelifted Ford Focus overtaking the Nissan Qashqai. The Renault Clio is down from its high last month, but still in a comfortable third place, although as the months pass it will become more and more difficult to challenge the ageing Ford Fiesta for its traditional #2 spot by the end of the year.
The fastest gaining model in the top-10 is the new generation Volkswagen Passat, clear leader of the midsize segment, with its closest mainstream rival the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia at #43 and the all-new Ford Mondeo up 75% but from such a low base that it’s still only in 54th place. In the premium midsized segment, the soon-to-be-replaced Audi A4 at #29 is actually threatening the 28th ranked BMW 3-series thanks to huge sell-out discounts and perhaps because nobody will notice you’re driving the old one since it looks exactly the same…..
The new generation Skoda Fabia enjoys a second straight in the top-20 and ahead of the Toyota Yaris, which outsold it by 8.000 units in March, while the new Mini at #24 more than doubles its sales from last year’s may. [Read more…]
Growth of passenger car sales in Europe has stalled in May 2015, with just a 1,3% increase over the same month last year, at 1,142 million cars sold. As a result, the year-to-date improvement has shrunk to 6,53% at almost 6 million sales. Is this month a temporary glitch in the 22 month-long recovery or does it signal an underlying weakness in the European car market? We’ll have to see next month. Spain and Italy showed strong gains of 14% and 10,8% respectively, and the UK continued its impressive performance at +2,4%. However, French car sales were down 3,5% and in Germany 6,7% fewer cars were sold in May. Year-to-date figures for these five largest markets are still positive, though.
Renault-Nissan benefit the most again, adding just under 10.000 sales, while both premium manufacturers Daimler AG and BMW Group followed suit at almost 7.500 and 5.900 extra sales respectively. Surprisingly, after being among the biggest contributors to Europe’s recovery, Volkswagen Group is suddenly among the biggest losers, with a minus of just over 5.000 units, a figure only “beaten” by PSA at -7.000 sales. As becoming usual, General Motors is in the negative top-3 at -4.500 units. [Read more…]