United Arab Emirates September 2015: Toyota Land Cruiser 200 reclaims leadership

Toyota Land Cruiser 200 UAE September 2015The Toyota Land Cruiser 200 reclaims the UAE Top spot off the Toyota Hilux in 2015.

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UAE returns to BSCB, I give you the rankings for now, complete analysis will follow shortly.

Previous post: Gulf 1st Half 2015: All Toyota models data now available (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous year: UAE Full Year 2014: Toyota Hilux overtakes Prado

Full September 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 50 models below.

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U. S. North to South: Seattle WA and Portland OR, welcoming Bob

1. Bob Seattle 3Bob will be my ride for the next three weeks. 

If you thought I got lost somewhere in southern Alaska, you thought wrong! After last stopping in Ketchikan Alaska, we are now hitting Seattle in Washington state and for the remaining part of this U.S. North to South series I have the privilege to drive a 2015 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4×4 Turbo Diesel. I baptised last year’s Ram 1500 Albert, and this year I will follow the letters of the alphabet, just like for hurricanes. My ride for this U.S. North to South drive will be named Bob. First impressions below, where we also elucidate the mystery of Ford Seattle license plates 2.000 miles up north in Barrow, Alaska…

2. Bob Seattle 4

But first, I hear you ask: why a male nickname? Here’s the thing: in France where I am from, everything is sexualised (nothing new here) and everything has a gender. Trucks, including pickups, are male, while passenger cars are female. So even though I have now called Australia home for thirteen years, naming my truck Barbara is just wrong, very wrong to me. So Bob it is. This Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4×4 8′ Box Turbo Diesel retails for $48.565.

Bob is a Heavy Duty Turbo Diesel

A little bit over a year ago when I took the wheel of Albert the Ram 1500, I was surprised at how car-like nimble it was. Bob is a whole different story altogether. Even though it is part of the same family of pickups and counted together in the monthly sales charts, stepping up from a Ram 1500 to a Ram 2500 is exactly like going from a car to a truck. Last year I would have liked Albert to sound more manly: as astoundingly frugal as it was (I reached 30 mpg), the 3.0L Ecodiesel did not sound like I was driving an actual truck. With its 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine, Bob is every bit of the truck I had always dreamt of driving across the United States. Sounds like a truck, and feels like a truck to drive too.

3. Bob Gearbox

Being European I am used to handling manual gearboxes, I have done so all my life to the point where automatic feels eerily unnatural to me. Here too Bob is a step-up though. Contrasting with the automatic rotary shifter featured on the Ram 1500, Bob’s manual lever is gigantic and lodged on the dashboard – not the floor – feeling like a good old-fashioned truck – or bus for that matter. Giving away its primary function as workhorse, Bob’s first three gears are very short, making for interesting starts at red lights and a full contrast to the Tesla Model S I drove earlier this year!

4. Bob Seattle 2

Bob sits very high on its wheels, requiring a windshield-side handle and muscled legs to jump in. Its 8′ box makes it a longer vehicle than most in the city, so I feel taller and bigger, and I also take a lot more space on the road. All this combines very nicely to give a quintessential U.S. truck experience. It took me a day to get used to his little quirks, but Bob and I are now ready to roll! First stop: downtown Seattle. Navigating this monster in the (very) steep and narrow Seattle streets is a baptism-by-fire akin to my Manhattan experience with Albert last year. Parking on the street is no option: there are no (free) parking spots large enough. My only way out was the outdoor oversize section of an underground parking lot. Full-size pickup trucks are definitely frowned upon in green-obsessed Seattle…

5. Seattle Chowder queueOnly in Seattle: two hour-queue for a chowder.

5. Seattle Elephant Garlic

Now onto Seattle as a city. I had no expectations, but wasn’t thrilled either. Healthily grounded after two full weeks spent in mostly remote Alaska, I was somehow looking forward to a more “sophisticated” experience for lack of a better word. But the town’s crowd of latte-sipping hipsters, suit-wearing buskers and queue-making chowder-eaters have left me unimpressed. Pike Place Market is a must-see but nothing out of the ordinary for a Frenchman. It was however nice to enter the very first Starbucks coffeeshop ever built, located nearby. I think it’s time to hit the road.

4. Toyota Prius Taxi SeattleToyota Prius Taxi in Seattle 

But before we do so, a word on the best-selling cars in Washington state (See all the sales figures for the ten states visited here). With Seattle as the main population hub, it’s a passenger car-dominated state with the Top 3 sellers belonging to that segment: the Toyota Camry, Corolla and Subaru Outback. Although less prominent than in Alaska, the Subaru craze is still raging here indeed, as is the case the entire Northwestern part of the United States. A healthy amount of privately-owned Subaru Outbacks can be spotted all through town and outside as I witnessed during a day trip to Snoqualmie Falls. In fact, the best-selling “light truck” in WA and 4th overall is the Subaru Forester, outselling the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado in a rare achievement.

6. Toyota Prius SeattlePike Place Market in Seattle

Seattle is the kingdom of eco-friendly cars. The tone is given as soon as we leave the airport with a Tesla depot in full view housing dozens of Model S awaiting delivery. A multitude of Toyota Prius can be seen streaming along its streets, with the majority of the town’s taxis being Priuses too. All recent launches in the category are well represented, including the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and three BMW i3 spotted in a matter of hours.

7. Ford F-150 Seattle2015 Ford F-150 in Snoqualmie Falls.

Compared to Alaska, the car and truck landscape is definitely newer: there are no more old F-Series on the roads while they are still legion up north: I only spotted one 1980s model in two days. I also saw my first Scion iA and new generation Hyundai Tucson of the trip. On this last point, Hyundai is grabbing a much higher market share on the Washington car market than it was in Alaska, with a constant flow of Elantras (#4 passenger car here so far in 2015) gracing the Seattle roads.

8. Chrysler 200 SeattleChrysler 200 in Seattle

Seattle may be green, yet it is still socially awkward: while the traffic was at a standstill for miles on all lanes of the highway on the way back from Snoqualmie Falls, the two-people vehicle lane was totally empty…

11. Plymouth Seattle

Just miles south of Seattle in Renton near the Seattle Tacoma airport, I was able to elucidate a mystery I mentioned while still in Barrow in Northern Alaska. There I spotted a number of Fords with a Sound Ford license plate. According to the Sound Ford website, it is about to celebrate 40 consecutive years as the #1 Volume Ford dealer in Washington. A quick chat with Derek, salesman at Sound Ford Renton, tells us why we can find cars from this dealership all the way up northern Alaska 2.000 miles away: “Yes we do ship a lot of cars to Alaska indeed. Here around Seattle you have a dozen Ford dealers in the area, so the competition is intense. Our retail prices are much lower than what Ford is able to charge in Anchorage, Alaska. Customers purchase their cars on our website, give us instructions as to which port and barge to drive the car to, we unload the car in the barge and they pick it up in Barrow. Barge transport to Alaska costs around $1.000 and even when factoring that cost in, these customers end up saving $5.000 to $10.000 per vehicle by purchasing it here instead of in Anchorage.” It all makes sense now, and looking at the most frequent cars in Barrow I would guess a lot of Ford F-150 pickups have made the leisurely 3-week barge trip around the Bering straits, waving at Russia on the way.

10. Bob Optimus PrimeBob and Optimus Prime

It’s now time to take Bob on the road and for his first day of highway we are headed south to Portland, Oregon. On the way and thanks to a tip from fellow TTAC writer Cameron Aubernon I got Bob to meet with Optimus Prime from the latest Transformers blockbuster movie, keeping him on his toes and showing him that even though he was a monster on the road, he was still no match for the modified Mack truck…

12. Smart Fortwo PortlandSmart Fortwo in Portland

According to the Lonely Planet, Portland is “an up-and-coming destination that has finally arrived and a can’t-miss stop on your adventures in the Pacific Northwest”. Once again and I’m sorry I feel this way, but I found it to be an over-rated snobbish town. This is not what I am doing this drive for, rather big skies and National Parks. The car park in Portland however makes for interesting observations: more Smart Fortwos here than in the rest of the U.S. combined (only a slight exaggeration), Teslas Ecocab taxis and customers that have fully embraced the revived Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups.

11. Subaru Outback PortlandFavourites in Portland: the Subaru Outback and Forester.

Looking at the official car sales figures for 2015 in Oregon, we find an eerily similar picture than that of Alaska: the overall best-seller is the Ram pickup, so Bob feels right at home, followed by the Subaru Outback, Toyota Camry and Subaru Forester. The Ford F-150 is knocked out to 4th overall, with the Toyota Tacoma at #4 light truck confirming the taste of Oregon customers for mid-sized pickups.

I won’t spend the night here but will drive a further couple of hours east to sleep in The Dalles, at the border between Washington and Oregon, in the first of many Motel 6 hotels I will stay at during this trip. The good news in this part of the country is the low gas prices: from $2.729 a gallon of diesel in Anchorage to $2.299 Seattle and $2.599 in The Dalles. That’s up to a full dollar per gallon less than what I was paying last year, and will make up for the weaker fuel economy of my Ram 2500, standing in the low twenties for now.

Next we cross Idaho to reach Glacier National Park in Montana. Stay tuned!

Bulgaria October 2015: Nissan Qashqai distances Dacia Dokker & Sandero

Nissan Qashqai Bulgaria October 2015The Nissan Qashqai is the best-selling new vehicle in Bulgaria in October.

* See the Top 30 All-brands and Top 170 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Bulgarian new car market is up an estimated 11% year-on-year in October to 2.424 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total to 23.990 units, up a robust 12% on 2014. Dacia remains the most popular manufacturer with 12.3% share above Toyota (10.5%), Renault (10%), Skoda (8.4%) and Volkswagen (8%). This month the Nissan Qashqai leapfrogs all Dacia to install itself in pole position with 5.9% share above the Dacia Dokker (4.7%) – still comfortable leader year-to-date – and Sandero (3.4%). The Renault Captur jumps back up 11 spots on September to #4, the Toyota Aygo is up 10 to #11 vs. #33 year-to-date and the Great Wall Steed 5 reappears inside the Bulgarian Top 20.

A caveat to these results is the fact that Bulgaria sales figures are skewed by re-exports to other European Union countries, with a large portion of new car sales in the country never making it to local roads – as much as 30% – thanks to Bulgaria displaying some of the lowest car prices in the EU. See here for more on this phenomenon.

Previous month: Bulgaria September 2015: Dacia Dokker leads, Toyota Corolla up to #4

One year ago: Bulgaria October 2014: Skoda Octavia shines, Dacia Dokker #1 YTD

Full October 2015 Top 30 All-brands and Top 170 All-models below.


Algeria October 2015: Dacia places Logan & Sandero on top

Dacia Sandero Stepway Algeria October 2014. Picture courtesy of dzairauto.comDacia sales in Algeria are up 38% year-on-year in October.

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After withholding the disclosure of its September sales figures, Renault-owned low-cost brand Dacia is back with a vengeance in Algeria in October with sales up 38% year-on-year to 5.749 – double the amount of any other carmaker in the market, including parent company Renault at 2.863 (-17%). Hyundai is up one spot to #3, overtaking Peugeot and Toyota – both down a harsh 39% on October 2014. Despite sales down 38%, Seat ranks at a cool 6th place whereas Volkswagen is outside the Top 10 for the 2nd month running. The Dacia Logan regains control of the Algerian models sales charts, dislodging its twin the locally-assembled Renault Symbol down to #3 this month. In fact, Dacia places its three hero models inside the October Top 6 with the Sandero at #2 and the Duster at #6.

Previous month: Algeria September 2015: Locally-assembled Renault Symbol #1

One year ago: Algeria October 2014: Dacia holds 17%, places 3 models in Top 10

Full October 2015 Top 10 brands and models below.


Colombia September 2015: Now with Top 50 best-selling models

Renault Logan Colombia 2015The new generation Renault Logan has finally launched in Colombia.

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

This month we give you an exclusive Top 50 models ranking for Colombia with one month delay – September data. This is passenger cars and LCVs only and excludes medium/heavy commercial vehicles. The Chevrolet Sail keeps the lead with just under 7% share above the Chevrolet Spark at 5.7%, but Renault monopolises the remaining spots in the Top 5. Now that the new generation Logan and Sandero have finally launched in the country, this may even change in the next few months as the two leading Chevrolets are under threat to continue their implacable reign.

Chery Y380 Colombia 2014The Chery Y380 is the most popular Chinese nameplate in Colombia.

The Sandero holds 5.3% of the Colombian market in September vs. 4.7% year-to-date, followed by the Logan at 4.8% vs. 4.1% and the Duster at 4% vs. 3.7%. Notice also the Hyundai City Taxi at an excellent 6th spot, the Nissan Frontier leading all pickups at #9, the Suzuki Grand Vitara holding strong at #12 and the Chery Y380 topping all Chinese nameplates at #36.

Previous post: Colombia October 2015 (brands): Mazda, Foton and Hino up, market down 29%

September brand post: Colombia September 2015: Renault and Mazda impress

Previous year: Colombia Full Year 2014: Chevrolet Sail tops record market

Full September 2015 Top 50 models Ranking Table below.


Portugal October 2015: BMW on podium, Peugeot 2008 hits record

Peugeot 2008 Portugal October 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Peugeot 2008 ranks 6th overall in Portugal this month.

* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 212 All-models by clicking on the title *

Another month of strong growth for new car sales in Portugal with October up 16% year-on-year to 13.724 units, lifting the year-to-date total to 151.992, up 28% on 2014. Mercedes is finally dislodged from the freak pole position it held for two months running, down to #4 but still displaying the strongest year-on-year gain in the Top 15 at +44% to 1.204 sales and 8.8% share. Renault (+30%) is back to #1 with 11.8% of the market followed by Peugeot (+19%) at 10% while BMW leaps two spots on September to third place with 8.9% share (+23%). All German luxury carmakers are in great shape with Audi up 39% in 6th place.

BMW 1 Series Portugal October 2015The BMW 1 Series leaps to 5th place in October.

Volkswagen marks a pause and its sales up just 1% pull the brand down two ranks on last month to #5 vs. #2 year-to-date. Notice also Ford up 41%, Smart up 177% and Mazda up 62%. Model-wise, the Renault Clio and VW Golf dominate, with the Peugeot 208 up a whopping 78% to #3 thanks to its facelift, the BMW 1 Series jumping 9 spots on September to #5, the Peugeot 2008 up 50% to hit a record 6th place, the Renault Captur up 52% to #7, Mercedes A-Class up 56% to #9, Citroen C3 up 64% to #14, Ford Focus up 152% to #15, Mercedes CLA up 180% to #19 and VW Passat up 250% to #22

Previous month: Portugal September 2015: Mercedes holds onto pole position

One year ago: Portugal October 2014: VW Golf leads again, Nissan Qashqai #3

Full October 2015 Top 35 All-brands and Top 212 All-models below.


Hong Kong (China) October 2015: BMW 2 series Tourer shoots up to #1

BMW 2er Gran Tourer Hong Kong October 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deBMW 2 Series Gran Tourer

* See the Top 40 All-brands and Top 183 All-models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Hong Kong are still compiled by a separate organisation (HKMTA) even though it is now technically part of China and show new car sales up a meagre 0.6% year-on-year to 4.652 units, with the year-to-date total now standing at 46.330 registrations, up 5% on 2014. Below Toyota down a worrying 21% to 1.054 sales and 22.7% share, BMW is up a spectacular 72% on a year ago to 688 deliveries and 14.8%. This fantastic result is partly due to the exceptional success of the BMW 2 Series Tourer: thanks to 215 deliveries of the all-new Gran Tourer, the BMW nameplate simply takes the lead of the Hong Kong models ranking in October with 273 sales and 5.9% share, outselling the perennial leader the Toyota Hiace at 235 units and 5.1%.

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Hong Kong October 2015The Mercedes-Mayback S-Class breaks into the Hong Kong Top 50 this month.

Audi also impresses with sales up 3-fold on a year ago to 253 units and 5.4%, as do Land Rover (+131%) and Volvo at a round +100%. Over on the models ranking, notice the Honda Stepwagon remaining at #3, the Toyota Spade at #5, Toyota Sienta at #7, BMW 1 Series at #10, Mercedes S-Class at #11, Land Rover Discovery Sport at #18, Volvo XC90 at #28 and Mercedes GLE at #30. Finally, the Mercedes Maybach S-Class brilliantly breaks into the Hong Kong Top 50 at #42 with 26 units sold this month.

Previous month: Hong Kong (China) September 2015: Toyota Spade soars to #5

One year ago: Hong Kong (China) October 2014: Lexus NX in Top 10

Full October 2015 Top 40 All-brands and Top 183 All-models below.


Ukraine October 2015: Renault takes control in market down just 5%

Renault Logan Ukraine October 2015. Picture couertesy autocentre.uaRenault dislodges Toyota to become Ukraine’s #1 carmaker in October. Picture autocentre.ua

* See the Top 50 All-brands and Top 272 All-models by clicking on the title *

In our last Ukrainian update dating from July, we stressed the fact that the local new car market was ‘recovering’ with sales down 21% year-on-year. The situation got a lot darker since – with August volumes down 46% and September down 24% – before getting a lot better: October deliveries are down just 5% year-on-year to 5.596 units, the strongest month of 2015 so far. Keep in mind we are still evolving at just one-third of the sales levels of just two years ago, before the Ukrainian market got obliterated by the Crimea crisis. In fact, sales recorded over the past four months (18.780) are only marginally better than October 2013 alone (16.081)…

ZAZ Sens Ukraine 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe ZAZ Sens, #1 in 2014, is back to pole position at home in September.

H2 monthly sales 2013-2015 – Ukraine:

UKR Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2013 17,984 22,195 20,333 16,081 15,444 17,047
2014 6,818 6,402 5,788 5,891 6,802 7,629
2015 5,344 3,464 4,376 5,596

BMW X5 Ukraine July 2015. Picture courtesy bit.uaThe BMW X5 is up to #12 overall in Ukraine in September…

A lot is changing in Ukraine in these exceptional times. Toyota had established itself as the #1 manufacturer in the country in 2014 and so far in 2015. Geely was #2 last year but has sunk to #12 in 2015. Yet in October Renault well and truly takes control thanks to sales evolving at a very fast pace: +46% to 578 units for a 10.3% market share, the first time in recent memory that the French carmaker manages to cross the symbolic 10% mark. Renault’s success is solely due to its “access” range: the Logan (#1 year-to-date), Duster (#9) and Sandero (#11) account for 83% of its sales so far this year. Toyota (-26%) is knocked down to #2 while Ford is up a smashing 47% to third place and 7.3% share edging past ZAZ (-10%), Skoda (-11%) and Nissan (-14%). Other brands helping the market stabilise this month include Kia (+52%), BMW (+71%) up to #8 vs. #26 in FY2014, Chevrolet (+173%), Mercedes (+67%) and Chery (+73%).

Audi Q7 Ukraine October 2015…while the Audi Q7 breaks into the Top 20.

The models ranking is available with one month delay, so we will analyse September data. If the Logan stays on top year-to-date, remaining the only nameplate to sell over 1.000 units at 1.090 and 3.6% share, in September ZAZ aggressively monopolises the Top 2 spots with its twins the Sens (#1) and Lanos (#2) adding up to 308 units and 7% market share. The Skoda Rapid and Ford Fiesta both jump 9 spots on August to #4 and #5 respectively, the BMW X5 is up a further 3 ranks to reach an incredible 12th spot, the Toyota Prius ranks #15 and the Audi Q7 breaks into the Ukrainian Top 20.

Previous post: Ukraine July 2015: Renault Logan tops recovering market (-21%)

Full August/September 2015 All-models/brands and October Top 30 brands below.

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Canada October 2015: Toyota RAV4 and Tacoma shoot up

Toyota Tacoma Canada October 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comThe new generation pushes Toyota Tacoma sales up 86% in October.

* See the Top 255 All-models, Top 40 brands and Top 15 groups by clicking on the title *

Nothing can stop the Canadian new light vehicle market right now: the 5% October lift to 163,199 units is the 31st consecutive month of year-on-year gains and pushes the year-to-date total to an all-time record 1.625.571 deliveries, up 3% on 2014 which was already a record year… Thanks to sales up 6% vs. stable volumes for its two main competitors, General Motors takes the lead of the groups ranking at 14.3% share, distancing FCA-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (13.7%) and Ford Motor Co. (13.5%). Yet FCA still leads the way year-to-date at 15.4% share vs. 14.6% for Ford Motor and 13.7% for GM. Honda Motor is up 10% and Nissan Motor up 24%. Ford, Toyota and Honda (+15%) top the brands ranking, with Lexus (+29%), Nissan (+24%), Jeep (+17%) and GMC (+13%) the other great performers in the Top 20. Further down, Porsche (+45%), Cadillac (+47%), Land Rover (+72%), Scion (+84%) and Maserati (+113%) shine while Chrysler (-48%) and Smart (-68%) crash.

Toyota RAV4 Canada October 2015The Toyota RAV4 is among the five best-sellers in Canada this month (2016 PHEV model pictured).

The Ford F-Series unsurprisingly keeps holds of the models pole position with sales up 2% to 9.607 followed by the Ram Pickup at 7.070 (+10%), the Honda Civic at 6.272 (+6%) and the GMC Sierra at 5.016 (+15%). The Toyota RAV4 jumps four spots on September to top the SUV charts in 5th place overall and the Chevrolet Silverado (+15%) gains one rank on last month to #6. An overwhelming majority of significant year-on-year gains are delivered by SUVs this month, with the exception of the Toyota Tacoma boosted by the new model up 86% to #23 vs. #44 year-to-date. The Honda HR-V posts a new ranking record at #22, and the following nameplates all improve spectacularly on their October 2014 score: the Honda CR-V (+32%), Nissan Rogue (+55%), Jeep Cherokee (+43%), Hyundai Tucson (+81%), Nissan Murano (+127%), VW Tiguan (+56%) and Mercedes GLA (+86%). Launched last month, the Scion iM is up 5 spots to #118.

Previous month: Canada September 2015: Ford F-Series breaks monthly record

One year ago: Canada October 2014: Chrysler and Jeep shine… again

Full October 2015 Top 255 All-models, Top 40 brands and Top 15 groups below.


Argentina October 2015: Toyota Etios up to 4th place in market up 21%

Toyota Etios Argentina October 2015Toyota Etios

* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 60 models by clicking on the title *

The Argentinean new car market seems to have finally bottomed out: after gaining 11% in September it is up a by a beautiful 21% year-on-year in October to 57.817 units. Volkswagen remains the most popular carmaker in the country but improves at a slower rate than the market at +10% to 19,7% share, distancing Ford (+30%) while Renault more than doubles its sales year-ony-year to 7.680 units and 13.3% share. Chevrolet (+44%), Fiat (+61%) and Toyota (+6%) follow. Notice also Audi up 172% yet Honda down 51% and Hyundai down 59%. Model-wise, after two months of Chevrolet Classic reign, the VW Gol Trend reclaims the pole position it holds year-to-date thanks to 3.075 sales and 5.3% share with the Toyota Hilux stepping up to 2nd place and 4.4% of the market despite sales down 4%. The Toyota Etios is up 42% to hit its best Argentinean ranking since March 2014 at #4, the Fiat Palio is up 68%, the Ford Ecosport up 49% and the Ford Focus up 43%. The VW Amarok maintains itself inside the Top 10 at #9, the Renault Kangoo is up 60% and the Fiat Siena up 53%.

Previous month: Argentina September 2015: Chevrolet Classic #1 again

One year ago: Argentina October 2014: Toyota Hilux new leader

Full October 2015 Top 35 All-brands and Top 60 models below.