Europe August 2014: Market celebrates 12th consecutive year-on-year gain

September 21st, 2014 No comments

VW Passat Europe August 2014The VW Passat is inside the Europe Top 10 for the first time since November 2012.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

I give you the models ranking for now, more data and complete analysis will follow shortly.

Previous month: Europe July 2014: Nissan Qashqai hits best ranking in 16 months

One year ago: Europe August 2013: BMW 3 Series and Audi A3 smash records

Full August 2014 Top 10 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Europe

USA Coast to Coast: New Orleans, Louisiana

September 20th, 2014 3 comments

1. Kia Rio NOLAThe Hero in Town: the Kia Soul

* See the Full 30 Photo-Report by clicking on the title and click on any photo to enlarge! *

You can follow all US Coast to Coast Reports here

We have arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, also called NOLA or, more affectionately, Big Easy. A very different experience than all other American cities I crossed so far, especially given the fact I was there on a Friday night… Bourbon Street with all its performers, singers, live music, cheap (so cheap!) alcohol is a sight I had not thought possible in the US and one I don’t think I will see again in this trip. Of course, NOLA has its own very particular vehicle landscape, so let’s get straight into its description…

2. Dodge Challenger NOLADodge Challenger in New Orleans LA

Firstly let’s set apart one obvious element: Louisiana being another Ford F-Series State, it is the most frequent vehicle spotted in NOLA but this about as not exciting as it gets. Rather, let’s focus on the impressive performance of all German brands here, I’ll go as far as saying that they hold an even higher market share in NOLA than they do in New York. Local favourites include the new gen Mercedes ML Class, Mercedes GLK and BMW 3 Series but many other models make a remarkable reappearance here like the Mini or Smart Fortwo.

3. Ford F150 NOLA 2Ford F150 in New Orleans LA

The most popular passenger car is the Nissan Altima, in line with my observations in Tennessee and Mississippi. The Honda Accord is not far behind though, judging by the high frequency of new generations in town. Also strong: the Toyota Tacoma at its highest so far in the trip (possibly just below the Altima and Accord), Honda Civic, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Accent and Toyota RAV4. Less so: the Toyota Corolla and Ford Fusion.

4. Albert NOLAAlbert getting a little posh in New Orleans LA

Almost all taxis in New Orleans are either Dodge Grand Caravan or Nissan Quest and there is one model that has frankly surged in popularity compared to all other areas I have visited so far: the new generation Kia Soul, so much so that I will make it my Hero in Town for New Orleans. Brand-wise, Nissan is particularly successful here with the Versa, Sentra, Pathfinder and Maxima all over-performing on their national ranking.

5. Nissan Juke Versa NOLANissan Juke and Versa in New Orleans LA

Arguably the eccentric capital of the United States, New Orleans had to display a few oddities: the only two Nissan Murano convertible I saw in the entire trip were parked a few blocked away from each other in the French Quarter, and it looks like the Honda CR-Z may have once cracked the Top 20 in town given how many I spotted in such a small area.

6. Nissan Cube NOLANissan Cube in New Orleans LA

Still, the best-sellers in town should still be relatively conservative: Ford F-Series, Ram Pickup and Chevrolet Silverado (in this order). This changes somewhat when we leave New Orleans towards Texas: the Silverado becomes extremely frequent with a constant flow of 2013 models on the highway. As we pass Baton Rouge, the sales charts should become 1. Silverado 2. F-Series 3. Toyota Tundra 4. GMC Sierra 5. Ram, with also a surge in popularity of the Tundra-derived Toyota Sequoia. In Lafayette, the Ram comes back up the popularity charts.

7. Toyota Tundra NOLA 2Toyota Tundra in New Orleans LA

Building on my Charleston observation, overall one in 3 new F-Series is a F250/350, this ratio shooting up to 50% after Lafayette. Other striking observations in this part of Louisiana include a new gen Hyundai Santa Fe much more popular than both the old generation and all other States before now, the Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL seen in very high numbers again, and the price of unleaded plunging down below $3 a gallon at $2.95 in Lafayette, the lowest so far and since during this trip – note diesel stays high at $3.66 cash and $3,71 credit in that very station.

Full Photo Report below.

9. Ford F150 NOLA 31987 Ford F150 in New Orleans LA

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USA Coast to Coast: Driving through Mississippi

September 20th, 2014 No comments

New York New OrleansUS Coast to Coast trip so far. Picture courtesy of Google Maps

You can follow all US Coast to Coast Reports here

We are now leaving Memphis TN to drive South to New Orleans in Louisiana, crossing Mississippi in the process via the State capital Jackson. Mississippi is home of the blues, famous for its cotton fields and the birthplace of Elvis Presley. 3 million people inhabit this State with Jackson standing at 175,000 souls. We are now entering another level of pickup domination: the Ford F-Series leads and the Top 3 to 5 best-sellers in the State potentially being pickups… I’ve also chosen this post as an opportunity to give you my impressions on US budget motels…

Going to JacksonApt soundtrack leaving Memphis…

Driving to the tune of the Walk the Line soundtrack – yes I’m going to Jackson, I noticed a trend towards commercial F150 crew cab models (with black bumpers), a very healthy amount of F250 while the Ram pickup – like the 1500 (Albert) I’m driving, now pops up on the road at levels not seen since the start of this trip. I also spotted shiny new Toyota Tundras for the first time in a while.

Nissan Altima MississippiNissan Altima in Winona MS

Logically (as it is manufactured here in Mississippi), the Nissan Altima should be the best-selling passenger car in this State, but the hero of the day is the Chevrolet Malibu, a car I had hardly spotted since I landed in the US, before today that is. A constant flow of Malibu is travelling along Mississippi highways right now.

Chevrolet Malibu MississippiChevrolet Malibu

Ford TaurusFord Taurus

Building on my observations in Tennessee, the GMC Acadia can be seen very frequently in Mississippi, as well as the Buick Enclave and Ford Taurus. In terms of heritage I saw a surprisingly high amount of Chevrolet HHR. On the other hand, I didn’t notice any particular surge in popularity for the Toyota Corolla, manufactured in Blue Springs, Mississippi.

Albert MississippiAlbert in Winona MS

I did not want to tamper with the authenticity of my Coast to Coast trip and decided to test out the oh-so-American concept of budget motels, perfect for this type of voyage. Going for the cheaper end of the scale while trying to avoid falling into dodgy-land, here are my impressions. Note this is based on all motels I stayed at up until Texas which post-dates this article so it is a definitive list (I won’t update it!)… But first a big salute to US highway signage that indicate all food, lodging and gas options before each exit. Makes for a very simplified choice process.


1. Econolodge

The best value-for-money US motel chain I have stayed at is Econolodge, at $49.99 in Savannah. The typical motel experience with flat buildings (meaning not 2nd storey), a parking spot in front of each room, sleepy welcome (at 11pm, granted) but all the amenities in the room including free wifi (a given in all motel chains) and a comfortable sleep. At the time it was the cheapest motel I got to stay in and also the best.

Motel 6

2. Motel 6

Owned by the Accor Group, Motel 6 is the most frequent motel chain I have spotted along US highways and it also gave me the best value-for-money night of the entire trip at $39.99 in Dallas. Add in a very warm welcome, one of the best beds and rooms in the trip and a worried ‘you didn’t like it?’ by the receptionist when I checked out after only one night and you’d think Motel 6 would come first in my ranking. Not so, simply because of a relatively expensive first night in Washington DC ($89.99), with the same level of comfort. Given Motel 6 is much more widely spread than Econolodge it would be my default choice along this trip.

3. La Quinta

Not the cheapest chain (but not the most expensive either), ok rooms and very consistent quality levels across two nights in different States. Not that it was a point of difference for me, but I know many customers choose La Quinta motels because they are the only chain at that price level to be consistently pet friendly. The receptionist at the La Quinta Amarillo TX will remain as one of the more colourful characters of this trip: “Whyyyyyy are you staying in Amarillo there is nothing here!” A breath of fresh air among the circumspect (yet polite) welcome I received in most other places.

Albert Days Inn NashvilleAlbert in Days Inn Nashville TN

4. Days Inn

Another very frequent motel chain along my route, Days Inn however loses a couple of spots due to too large variations in price and quality over my trip. The best experience was a $59.99 night in Nashville with top notch quality, wifi and amenities, but I enquired at a couple of other Days Inn along the way: double the price and double the dodgy factor.

5. Sentry Inn in New Orleans

Although this motel, reached at ungodly hours of the night on my way from Memphis, was potentially the closest to dodgy I got to on this trip, in a questionable neighbourhood and with feeble wifi, it gets in the Top 5 uniquely because of the flamboyant African-American receptionist wearing fluorescent, diamond-adorned pink nails longer than her hand, lovingly checking me out with a collection of ‘baby’, ‘honey’ and other ‘luv’. I’m still blushing.

Next stop: New Orleans

Germany August 2014: Hyundai i10 best-selling ‘true’ foreigner

September 20th, 2014 2 comments

Hyundai i10 Germany August 2014. Picture courtesy of autobild.deHyundai i10

* See the Top 300 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

I give you the models ranking for now, more data and complete analysis will follow shortly.

Previous post: Germany Full Year 2013: Now with all models splits and pick-ups!

Previous month: Germany July 2014: Mercedes E-Class in Top 10

One year ago: Germany August 2013: Audi A3 up to record 2nd place

Full August 2014 Top 300 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Germany

Follow all my USA Coast to Coast 2014 Photo Reports here

September 20th, 2014 No comments

Romania August 2014: Opel Antara jumps inside Top 20

September 20th, 2014 1 comment

Opel Antara August 2014Opel Antara

* See the Top 100 best-selling models and Top 32 brands by clicking on the title! *

New car sales in Romania slow down their growth at +1% year-on-year in August to 6,410 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 46,003 units, up 26% on 2013. I give you the models ranking for now, more data and complete analysis will follow shortly. Like in July, local manufacturer Dacia monopolises the podium with the Logan (20.6% share), Duster (6.9%) and Sandero (4.1%) all slightly above their year-to-date levels. The Skoda Octavia overtakes the Ford Fiesta at #4, the Skoda Rapid holds onto an excellent 6th place and the Renault Clio is up 5 ranks to #7. Further down, notice the Opel Antara up 31 spots to #16, the Fiat 500L up 12 to #18, Peugeot 308 up 40 to #23 and Nissan Juke up 27 to #32. Finally, the BMW X4 breaks into the Romanian Top 100 for the first time at #99.

Previous month: Romania July 2014: Podium 100% Dacia

One year ago: Romania August 2013: Dacia Logan just under 30% share!

Full August 2014 Top 100 models and Top 32 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Romania

USA 8 months 2014: Discover the Top 273 best-selling models!

September 20th, 2014 No comments

Chevrolet Silverado USA August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Chevrolet Silverado is back into positive territory year-to-date.

* See the Top 273 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

I give you the ranking for now, complete analysis will follow shortly.

Previous post: USA August 2014: Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 at all-time high

Previous month: USA 7 months 2014: Discover the Top 270 All-models ranking!

One year ago: USA 8 months 2013: Discover the Top 274 All-models ranking!

Full 8 months 2014 Top 273 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: USA

South Korea July 2014: Now with All-models and All-brands!

September 20th, 2014 No comments

Mercedes E-Class South Korea July 2014The Mercedes E Class is the best-selling foreign model in South Korea this month.

* See the Top 180 best-selling models and Top 29 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Falkonz *

This is a new and very revealing monthly update on BSCB, now including imports. And even though they only represent 12.5% of overall South Korean sales, imports are up 21% year-on-year in August to 18,112 units, to be compared to 10.7% share one year ago at 14,953 sales. The Top 9 best-selling manufacturers are unchanged on June (!), meaning all local carmakers and BMW – keeping its import crown off Mercedes for just 4 lonely units at 3,353 and 2.3% market share vs. 3,349. Volkswagen is down one spot to #8 while Audi remains #9, Ford is up 4 to #10, Honda up 5 to #15 and Peugeot up 8 to #16.

Ford Explorer South Korea July 2014. Picture courtesy of 100mirror.comFord Explorer

Model-wise, there is one more foreigner inside the Top 30 compared to last month (4), with the Mercedes E-Class overtaking the BMW 5 Series to become the most popular import this month thanks to 1,714 sales and 1.2% share at #26 vs. 1,448 and #28 for the 5 Series. The Audi A6 remains in third place at 1,424 units and 1% share, meaning there are still only 3 foreign cars selling more than 1,000 units this month in South Korea! The VW Tiguan is up 9 spots on July to #30, the BMW 3 Series up 6 to #35, Infiniti Q50 up 6 to #44 and Ford Explorer up 29 to #53.

Previous SK post: South Korea August 2014: Hyundai Avante #1, Kia Sorento up

Previous All-models post: South Korea June 2014: Now with All-models and All-brands!

One year ago: South Korea July 2013: Hyundai Grandeur takes the lead year-to-date

Full July 2014 Top 29 brands Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: South Korea

Canada August 2014: Jeep, Lincoln, Porsche up in record market

September 20th, 2014 3 comments

Lincoln MKC Canada August 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comLincoln MKC – Lincoln sales are up 90% year-on-year in Canada this month.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 20 models and Top 34 brands! Click on title to see *

The Canadian new car market is setting new records almost every month this year: up a further 8% year-on-year in August to 171,744 registrations, the best August in history in the country, lifting the year-to-date total to a record-breaking 1,258,337 units. Canada overtakes France to rank #9 largest car market in the world so far in 2014 below Russia. Ford (+1%), Toyota (+7%), Honda (-3%), Hyundai (+4%) and Chevrolet (-1%) dominate the brands sales charts as they do in the same order year-to-date, but it’s below that we can witness some spectacular progressions: Nissan is up 36% to #6, Ram up 18% to #7, Jeep more than doubles its sales vs. August 2013 at +139% and 7,192 units, BMW is up 26% to #15, Mitsubishi up 49% to #18, Audi up 32% to #19, Buick up 21% to #20, Lincoln up 90% to #25 and Porsche up 66% to #27 thanks to the Macan, now the brand’s best-seller in Canada.

Hyundai Sonata Canada August 2014. Picture courtesy of caranddriver.comHyundai Sonata sales are up 120% year-on-year in Canada this month.

The Top 4 best-selling models are identical to July and year-to-date with the Ford F-Series leading the way as usual, up a massive 18% year-on-year, ahead of the Ram Pick-up (+14%), Honda Civic (+1%) and Dodge Grand Caravan, up an impressive 29%. The Ford Escape is up 22% to #5, the Toyota Corolla up 18% to #7, Toyota RAV4 up 32% to #11, Nissan Rogue up 74% to #14, Hyundai Accent up 36% to #17, Jeep Wrangler up 48% to #18, VW Golf up 56% to #23 and the Hyundai Sonata is up 120% to #25.

Previous month: Canada July 2014: VW Jetta and Nissan Rogue impress

One year ago: Canada August 2013: Honda Civic passes Dodge Ram to rank #2

Full August 2014 Top 30 models and Top 34 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Canada

South Africa August 2014: Toyota Hilux back in charge

September 20th, 2014 1 comment

Toyota-Hilux South Africa August 2014.-Picture-courtesy-of-saudishift.com_Toyota Hilux

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 100 models and Top 35 brands! Click on title to see *

The South African new car market is holding pretty well given the difficult context in which it is currently evolving (social unrest and galloping car price inflation), down just 1% year-on-year in August to 55,722 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 421,932 units, down 4% on 2013. After two months in second place below the VW Polo, the Toyota Hilux is back in charge of the South African models ranking in August thanks to 3,238 sales and 5.8% share, cementing its year-to-date pole position at 23,994 units and 5.7% vs. 21,076 and 5.1% for the VW Polo Vivo, also back to #2 this month. The VW Polo ends its historical run atop the sales charts abruptly: down 3 spots to #4 and just 4.1% share which means the Ford Ranger upgrades to a podium ranking at #3, potentially the nameplate’s best-ever ranking in the country! Notice also the locally-produced BMW 3 Series up 5 ranks on July to #10, the Ford Ecosport solid at #18, Chevrolet Aveo up 9 to #19, Ford Kuga up 5 to #21 and the BMW 1 Series up 15 to #24.

Previous month: South Africa July 2014: VW Polo confirms pole position

One year ago: South Africa August 2013: Toyota Hilux #1, Ford Ecosport lands

Full August 2014 Top 100 models and Top 35 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: South Africa