UK nations September 2015: First Top 10 for the Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson UK September 2015. Picture courtest Hyundai Tucson already ranks #8 in Northern Ireland in September.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models for each nation by clicking on the title *

After the overall UK Top 10, thanks to SMMT and as is the tradition on BSCB we can now share with you the Top 10 best-sellers for each UK nation for September. Detailing each nation shows that once again England is the engine of UK growth at +9% equaling the national growth rate this month, whereas all other nations show weaker gains: Northern Ireland is at +5% (and now back into positive territory year-to-date), Scotland at +4% and Wales at +3%.  September being one of the two strongest months of the year and by very far, the leaders in each nation are logically identical to the year-to-date standings, namely the Ford Fiesta in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and the Vauxhall Corsa in Scotland where the Fiesta ranks #2.

The Ford Focus ranks #2 in Enland and the Corsa #2 in Wales but the surprise comes from the VW Polo up to a shiny 2nd place in Northern Ireland where the Golf ranks #3. The Polo justifies its #5 national September ranking by a 4th place in both Scotland and Wales and a 6th place in England. Excellent performances also from the Renault Clio #3 in Scotland and #6 in Northern Ireland, Seat Ibiza #5 in Northern Ireland, Renault Captur #9 in Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Dacia Sandero #10 in Scotland. Note the Vauxhall Mokka misses out on an English Top 10 whereas it ranks #9 in the UK overall, lifted by solid results in Scotland (#8) and Wales (#7). Last but not least, along with starting up with a bang in Germany the Hyundai Tucson debuts at an impressive 8th place in Northern Ireland in September.

Full September 2015 Top 10 models for each nation below.


Norway September 2015: BMW i3 hits best-ever #7

BMW i3 Norway September 2015. Picture courtesy of autozeitung.deThe BMW i3 is at its highest in the world in Norway.

* See the Top 33 All-brands and Top 100 models by clicking on the title *

The Norwegian new car market is up an energetic 7% year-on-year in September to 12.421 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total up 4% to 111.811 units. Volkswagen remain the most popular manufacturer but its 14.2% September market share is 3.6 percentage points below its 2015 year-to-date level, Toyota ranks 2nd at 12.3% vs. 11.3% so far this year and Nissan rounds up the podium at 7.9% thanks to sales up a splendid 39% year-on-year. Notice also BMW up 16% to #5, Mazda up 15% to #6 vs. #10 year-to-date, Mercedes up 35%, Hyundai up 42% and Renault up 102%.

Mercedes GLC Norway September 2015The Mercedes GLC lands directly inside the Norwegian Top 40.

The VW Golf continues to dominate the Norwegian models ranking with 8.9% share and 52% of its customers this month going for the e-Golf electric version. The Toyota Auris ranks #2 while the Nissan Leaf sees its sales shoot up 34% year-on-year to 492 units for a third position overall. The BMW i3 for its part is up a mammoth 79% to hit a world record 7th place, the Mazda CX-3 is up 9 spots on August to #11, the Hyundai Tucson up 35 to #13 and the Suzuki Vitara down 4 to a still very impressive #14. Further down, the Tesla Model S is down 13 ranks to #26 and falls from #2 to #4 year-to-date, the Mercedes GLC lands directly at #39, the Honda HR-V appears at #62, the Subaru Levorg at #66 and the Mercedes GLE at #95.

Previous month: Norway August 2015: Suzuki Vitara breaks into Top 10

One year ago: Norway September 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander back up to #5

Full September 2014 Top 33 All-brands and Top 100 models below.


U.S. North to South 2015: Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

1. Ford F-350 Prudhoe BayFord F-350 in Prudhoe Bay, AK

After starting in Barrow, the northernmost settlement in the United States, our second stop takes us 200 miles (320 km) south east to Prudhoe Bay, again on the Arctic Ocean. As I detailed in the opening report, there are no roads linking Barrow to Prudhoe Bay, only barge transport during the summer (the barge season had already ended by the time I visited) and ice roads when the ice layer on lakes is thick enough to drive, generally only in March.

2. GMC Sierra Prudhoe Bay OversizeGMC Sierra in Prudhoe Bay, AK

Therefore, the only option right now is to travel by plane, which explains why there are no less than three flights per day connecting Barrow to Prudhoe Bay (two during the week) even outside summer, all operated by Alaska Airlines. Flight time: 35 minutes.

3. Prudhoe Bay AirportPrudhoe Bay/Deadhorse airport

To be more exact, I flew to Deadhorse, located 10 miles inland from actual Prudhoe Bay. I arrived on a cloudy, snowy day for a four-hour stopover and the sky and ground were uniformly white. In fact, it snows in Prudhoe Bay more often than not — about three-quarters of the time. Even if we are located south of Barrow, the climate here is even harsher because of its geographic situation at a crossroads between the Ocean on the north side and a mountain corridor to the south. Prudhoe Bay also gets one of the longest nights in the country. There are a total of 54 days between November 24 and January 18 when the sun doesn’t rise. Inversely, it also sees one of the longest daylights: 63 sun-filled days between May 20 and July 22.

4. Prudhoe Bay 5Prudhoe Bay AK

The mean annual temperature in Prudhoe Bay is 12° F (−11° C), with the warmest month, July, not exceeding a daily average temperature of 46° F (8° C). In the coldest days (rather, continuous nights) of winter, temperatures below −40° F/C are to be expected.

11. Prudhoe Bay 1Prudhoe Bay AK

Let’s shiver for a minute: The highest recorded temperature in Prudhoe Bay is 83° F (28° C) on June 21, 1991, while the lowest is −62° F (−52° C) on January 27, 1989. That’s lower than in Barrow. Where it gets really tricky is when you start calculating wind chill. Prudhoe Bay, due to its location’s heavy winds, recording an official wind chill low at a horrifying −102° F (−74° C) on January 28, 1989, when the air temperature of −54° F (−48° C) combined with wind speed of 36 mph (57 km/h).

7. Prudhoe Bay 3Prudhoe Bay oil fields

These beyond extreme conditions are suitable for only the hardiest wildlife. Prudhoe Bay is home to large herds of caribou and, if you’re lucky, you may spot Arctic foxes, grizzly bears and polar bears. Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky. If it’s so harsh, why would humans want to live in such a forsaken environment? One word: Oil.

5. Prudhoe Bay 2Typical Prudhoe Bay prefabricated module

The permanent population of Deadhorse ranges between 25 and 50 residents. However, no household was considered permanently occupied during the 2010 Census. At any given time, up to 3,000 transient workers are based here to support the surrounding Prudhoe Bay oil field, the largest in the United States, as well as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) that transports oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez in south central Alaska. The airport, lodging and general store servicing the oil field are all located in Deadhorse, with facilities almost exclusively consisting of pre-fabricated modules shipped here via barge or air cargo. The drilling happens in Prudhoe Bay itself.

8. Ford F-350 Prudhoe Bay 2Ford F-350 in Prudhoe Bay AK

Something very interesting happened during my short stay here. When you put a bunch of strangers together in such an inhospitable environment, they will look out for each other. It only takes 10 minutes to walk a loop from the airport and explore all of Deadhorse, but in that time three trucks stopped to enquire whether I needed a ride anywhere and if I was alright. Everyone driving past waves to you with the biggest smile they can muster.

6. Prudhoe Bay HotelPrudhoe Bay Hotel

Get inside the Prudhoe Bay hotel and customers and employees alike are fighting for the title of friendliest person in town. The hotel has a cafeteria where all food is included in the lodging price but also accepts outside diners, charging a mere $6 for a full lunch-worth of food and free drinks refillable at will. The hotel itself is rather unique, consisting of pre-fab units put together to form a very large structure criss-crossed by endless corridors, all on ground level.

9. Ford F-250 Prudhoe Bay 3Ford F-250 in Prudhoe Bay AK

As I was there toward the end of September, there weren’t many workers staying in the hotel as the high season here is winter. The only time the surface is hard enough to support heavy equipment is when temperatures drop low enough to strengthen the permafrost. That’s when full-time drilling occurs.

10. GMC Sierra Prudhoe BayGMC Sierra

Prudhoe Bay, unlike Barrow, is connected to Alaska’s main transport artery, the Dalton Highway. From here, it reaches Fairbanks 500 miles (800 km) south, a 14- to 18-hour trip. As such, Prudhoe Bay is the unofficial northern terminus of the Pan-American Highway, although this highway isn’t continuous all the way to Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of South America.

12. Ram 5500 Prudhoe BayRam 5500

As tempting as it is, I won’t be driving down the Dalton Highway for lack of time and budget (I would have needed to ship the Ram 2500 from Seattle to here during the summer). Also, there’s another element to consider: safety. As winter approaches, road conditions deteriorate and become only passable by road trains and large trucks, as featured in the first episode of the BBC’s World’s Most Dangerous Roads. I doubt the folks at Ram would have let me drive on this road…

13. Ford F-250 Prudhoe Bay 4Ford F-250

But before we get to the rest of Alaska, let’s have a look at which cars sell best in Prudhoe Bay. As was the case for Barrow, the best-sellers here are not representative of Alaska as a whole, so we’ll cover Alaskan figures when we reach Anchorage. In the meantime, you can check out the FY 2014 best-sellers in all 50 States here.

14. Prudhoe Bay PolicePrudhoe Bay Police

Understandably given the demographic composition of the area, there were no private vehicles that I could see. The entirety of Prudhoe Bay comprises of fleet vehicles in one form or another. I also did not spot a single car. Light, medium and heavy trucks were the norm. A handful of Ford E-Series and GMC Savana vans worked a route between the Prudhoe Bay oil field and Deadhorse airport. There were also a couple of Ford Expeditions, including one owned by the local police, and two Audi Q7s acting as “luxury minivans” to transport higher-ranking oil field officials. I also spotted two now-defunct Ford Excursions — based on the Super Duty line of Ford pickups — produced from 2000 to 2005. Coincidentally, the Excursion was dubbed the Ford Valdez due to its atrocious fuel economy.

Prudhoe Bay 6

Oil drilling companies are purchasing full-size pickups by the truckload (literally) for their workers based in Prudhoe Bay, a majority of them being the Flex Fuel variant repurposed to also use natural gas when needed. Very similarly to the situation in Barrow, Alaska, Ford is king here and accounts for no less than two-thirds of the pickup population in Prudhoe Bay. The F-250, F-150 and F-350 pickups are the most frequently purchased in this order, a few F-550s can also be seen roaming the lonely pair of streets in town, and I also spotted a new generation aluminium F-150, the very first one I’ve seen on this trip.

Prudhoe Bay pickupsPrudhoe Bay is the kingdom of full-sized pickups.

Ram comes second with a healthy count of Ram 2500 pickups and even a couple of Ram 5500. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2500 pickups are markedly less popular with local companies than the previous two brands, followed closely by GMC Sierra pickups. Almost all pickup trucks feature the ubiquitous power plugs sticking out from the front grille we saw in Barrow, to which is added a front grill cover, all this to keep the battery and fluids in the engine from freezing in place at −40° F/C.

Ford F-250 Prudhoe Bay 2

I can sense your face starting to freeze just by reading this article, so without further ado we will fly off to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska for the next stop…

The Full Photo Report is below.


Germany September 2015: Podium 100% VW, Hyundai Tucson shoots up

Hyundai Tucson Germany September 2015The Hyundai Tucson is an instant blockbuster in Europe’s largest market.

* See the Top 50 best-selling brands and Top 300 models by clicking on the title *

If the German auto industry is still reeling from the Volkswagen AG diesel scandal, new car sales in the country are up 4% year-on-year in September to 272.479 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total up 5.5% or 126.000 deliveries to 2.407.938. It is too early to read any impact of the VW crisis into sales: this month Volkswagen follows the market at +4% to 20.9% market share vs. 21.4% year-to-date and places three nameplates on the podium: the Golf (-3%), Passat (+15%) and Tiguan in runout mode (+91%). Audi is up 2% to 8% vs. 8.6% YTD with the A4 in runout mode (+34%) but the A3 struggling (-31%). Skoda is up 3% to 6.1% vs. 5.7% pushed by solid performances by the Octavia at #6 (+12%) and Fabia at #12 (+9%) and Seat outpaces the market at +8% to 3% share, identical to the brand’s 2015 level so far.

Mercedes GLC Germany September 2015The Mercedes GLC is already approaching the Top 50 at home.

Mercedes keeps the luxury crown at 8.4% of the market, placing the C-Klasse at #4 while the CLA is boosted up 135% year-on-year by the new Shooting Brake variant, the GLC is up to #57 and the GLE up to #64 – including residual sales of the GLK and M-Klasse respectively. BMW remains above Audi – albeit by just 29 units this month – with the 1 Series reclaiming the brand’s best-seller title thanks to a Top 10 ranking in September vs. #13 for the 3 Series and #14 for the 2 Series. The award of best performer of the month goes without hesitation to Hyundai with sales up a stellar 25% year-on-year. The new Tucson is an instant blockbuster in Germany, clocking up no less than 4.268 deliveries in September only (including the outgoing ix35) which is good enough for a record 15th place. The i30 is up 9 spots on August to #19 and the i10 up 16 to #35.

Mazda CX-3 Germany September 2015The Mazda CX-3 sells 1.096 units in Germany in September.

Other noticeable gainers within the main 20 brands present in Germany include (in ranking order) Ford up 10%, Nissan up 17%, Mazda up 27% thanks to the CX-3 up to #71, Peugeot up 11% thanks to the 308 up to #50 and the 2008 up to #69, and Volvo up 23% thanks to the XC60 up 50% and the XC90 up 7-fold year-on-year. Further down, let’s salute Subaru (+21%), Porsche (+33%), Lexus (+46%), Jeep (+48%), Ssangyong (+50%), Ferrari (+59%), Jaguar (+61%), Smart (+104%) and Tesla (+138%).

Previous month: Germany August 2015: BMW 2 Series shoots up to third place

One year ago: Germany September 2014: New Renault Twingo strikes a chord

Full September 2015 Top 50 brands and Top 300 models below.


Russia September 2015: Momentous shift to Korean models taking root

Hyundai Solaris Russia September 2015. Picture courtesy carscope.ruThe Hyundai Solaris is victorious in Russia for the 4th time in the past 5 months.

* See the Top 54 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

As predicted last month in the wake of another drop in the value of the Ruble, the Russian new car market returns to abysmal decline rates in September at -29% to 140.867 registrations, pulling the year-to-date total down 33% to 1.192.723 vs. 1.779.961 over the same period a year ago. Homegrown carmaker Lada falls much faster than the market once again at -41% to 21.658 sales and 15.4%, just four percentage points above shining star Kia, up a mesmerising 11% to an all-time record 11.4% market share, up from 7.4% a year ago. This means Kia is now also #2 year-to-date with a round 10% market share, edging past stablemate Hyundai, also impressive in September at -2% to 10.7% share. Within the Top 10, Volkswagen (-23%), GAZ (-15%) and most impressively Ford (-9%) gain market share year-on-year, the latter ranking at an excellent 9th place with 3.4% share vs. #14 and 2.2% so far in 2015.

Porsche Cayenne Macan Russia March 2015Russian Porsche sales are up an astounding 119% year-on-year in September.

As improbable at it may seem in such a dark context, a handful of brands manage to improve their volume year-on-year: UAZ benefits from an all-SUV lineup and is up 13%, Audi is up 2%, Geely up 30% – cementing its newfound status of #1 Chinese manufacturer in Russia, Mercedes Vans is up 54% and Porsche more than doubles its sales vs. a year ago thanks to the addition of the Macan at +119%. Datsun (#17) is off-limits as it celebrates one year of presence in the market. On the other end of the performance scale, Mitsubishi (-52%), Suzuki (-54%), Chery (-58%), Citroen (-59%), Honda, Peugeot (-62%), Subaru (-64%), Opel (-72%), Jeep (-80%), Great Wall (-83%) and Ssangyong (-91%) all implode.

Kia Rio Russia September 2015The Kia Rio is up 70% on September 2014.

In the models ranking, it’s time to draw a line in the sand and declare the implacable domination of Lada on the Russian sales charts is well and truly over after starting 45 years ago in 1970 with the Lada 2101, the carmaker’s first model. In September and for the 4th time in the past 5 months, the Hyundai Solaris is the best-selling nameplate in Russia thanks to sales up 10% year-on-year to 11.006 and 7.8% vs. 5.1% a year ago. The Kia Rio is up one spot on August to rank #2 with deliveries up an incrediuble 70% on a year ago to 10.822 and a record 7.7% share vs. just 3.2% in September last year. Both models easily outsell the Lada Granta, down a devastating 49% to 8.597 sales and 6.1% share. The Granta only owes its 2015 year-to-date pole position to scrappage scheme-boosted scores in March and June. At the current rate, the Granta should keep the lead in the Full Year, but just. 2016 will be another ballgame altogether.

Lada Granta Russia September 2015End of an era: the Lada Granta has only led Russian sales twice in the past 6 months.

This ‘Korean revolution’ was the subject of a full-blown article in Russia’s #1 car magazine/website Za Rulem, quoting BestSellingCarsBlog analysis, and it all happened in less than a year: only last November the Kia Rio was the first foreign model to rank #1 in Russia. If you are a long-term BSCB reader, the astonishing progression of the Hyundai Solaris and Kia Rio over the past five years isn’t a surprise, and definitely not a freak event. My 2013 Trans-Siberian coverage brought to light the exceptional regularity of both the Solaris and the Rio in every corner of the country, from Tatarstan to far-East Siberia and Lake Baïkal. This success was built on word-of-mouth from rural regions to the bigger towns, and is the result of meticulous dealer network expansion across the largest country in the world by both Korean manufacturers.

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Russia September 2015First Russian Top 20 ranking for the Toyota Prado.

In other model news, the VW Polo takes advantage of a solid month (-5%) to overtake the Renault Logan year-to-date and rank at a best-ever 4th place, while the Lada Largus is in a similar situation (-6%), passing its stablemate the Lada Kalina to rank #7 YTD. The Chevrolet Niva impresses at +2% and #10, the Hyundai ix35 jumps back up 27 ranks to #14 (no sign of the new Tucson yet in Russia), the UAZ Patriot shoots up 22% to a splendid 16th place, the Mazda CX-5 is up 1% to #19 and the Toyota Prado brilliantly breaks into the Russian Top 20 for the very first time thanks to deliveries up 20% to 1.797.

Previous post: Russia August 2015: Now with Top 315 All-models (BSCB exclusive)

Previous month: Russia August 2015: Hyundai Solaris outsells Lada Granta again

One year ago: Russia September 2014: Lada Granta hits best share, Datsun lands

Full September 2015 Top 54 All-brands and Top 25 models below.


Hungary September 2015: Vitara triumphs, lifts Suzuki to #1 brand

Suzuki Vitara Hungary September 2015The Suzuki Vitara single-handedly lifts the brand to #1 in Hungary.

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

The Hungarian new car market is up 12% year-on-year in September to 7.582 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total to 67.068 units, up 11% on 2014. The big event this month in Hungary is the pole position in the brands ranking of local manufacturer Suzuki. The Japanese carmaker was the most popular in its ‘European home’ each and every single year from 1997 to 2009 before falling apart in 2010 at the time of the global financial crisis. For the first time since then, Suzuki manages to rank #1 in Hungary in September with 928 sales and 12.2% market share vs. #5 and 7.5% so far in 2015. This performance is due to one model, fast becoming the default choice for Hungarian car buyers: the Vitara. Launched at the start of the year, the Vitara is the #1 car in the country for the second time in the past three months, accounting for 64% of the brand’s sales here in September. It also overtakes the Opel Astra to rank #2 year-to-date below just the Skoda Octavia, #2 this month. Notice also the Fiat Ducato up to #4, the VW Passat solid at #9 and the Ford Ranger up to #10.

Previous month: Hungary August 2015: Skoda Octavia edges past Suzuki Vitara

One year ago: Hungary September 2014: Suzuki Swift and Ford Kuga shine

Full September 2015 Top 10 models and brands and 9 months Top 20 models below.


Lithuania September 2015: Fiat holds 20% market share

Fiat 500 Lithuania September 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frFiat 500

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

The Lithuanian new car market is up a beautiful 22% year-on-year in September to 1.523 sales, consecrating once again Italian manufacturer Fiat with a whopping 20% market share. Fiat distances Volkswagen (14.7%), Toyota (10.9%), Nissan (8%) and Skoda (7.5%) with BMW up to a cool 6th place overall.

Previous month: Lithuania August 2015: Volkswagen teases Fiat for #1

Previous year: Lithuania Full Year 2014: Fiat 500 shoots up to 11.2% share

Full September 2015 Top 10 brands Ranking Table below.


Italy September 2015: Fiat Panda hits 10.5% share, highest in 25 years

Fiat Panda Italy September 2015Fiat Panda sales are up 57% year-on-year at home in September.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models actuals – See title *

Note: August data has now been updated with the Top 160 models.

Another encouraging result for new car sales in Italy, up 17% year-on-year in September to 131.052 registrations, pulling the year-to-date total up 15% or almost 160.000 units on the same period a year ago to 1.201.563. Domestic king Fiat outperforms the market at +24% to 27.372 deliveries, holding on to its 2015 market share at 21%. Ford (+14%) overtakes Volkswagen (-1%) for 2nd place with Opel (+26%) solidly installed in 4th position above Peugeot (+17%), Renault (+12%) and Toyota (+15%). Mercedes shoots up 25% on September 2014 and 7 spots on August to a splendid 8th place with just under 4% market share, Audi is up 19% to #9 and BMW up 20% to #11, meaning the three German luxury brands all outperform the overall market and gain market share. Dacia (+38%), Porsche (+46%), Mazda (+60%), Smart (+131%), Jeep (+253%) and Jaguar (+261%) all take off.

Lancia Ypsilon Italy September 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Lancia Ypsilon is #2 in September.

Model-wise, the Fiat Panda is going from strength to strength, improving by a massive 58% on September last year to 13.720 sales and 10.5% share, the first time since October 2012 (10.3%) the Panda crosses the symbolic 10% market share milestone, and the nameplate’s highest share in 25 years, since 1989! This is the highest market share reached by any model in Italy since December 2007 when the Fiat Punto hit the same figure in December 2007. In terms of volume, this month is the strongest for the Panda since March 2010 (17.141). Despite sales down 13%, the Lancia Ypsilon overtakes the Fiat Punto to rank #2 in September and the Ford Fiesta (+2 spots on August) dislodges the VW Golf (-1) to become the most popular foreigner.

Fiat 500X Italy September 2015The Fiat 500X ranks at a best-ever #7 this month.

Rare occurrence, the entire Fiat 500 family is kept outside the Top 5: the 500L (-10%) is down one spot to #6, the 500X is up 8 to equal its best-ever ranking at #7 and the 500 is down 6 to a very weak #15 spot – the generation changeover affecting sales a lot more than Fiat would have wanted – and potentially one of the explanations for the exceptional strength of the Fiat Panda. Let’s also salute the strong performances of the Toyota Yaris (+33%), Opel Corsa (+47%), Opel Mokka (+33%), Citroen C3 (+36%), Renault Captur (+123%), Smart Fortwo (+85%) and Peugeot 308 (+91%).

Hyundai Tucson Italy September 2015. Picture courtesy Hyundai Tucson lands at #33.

In the newcomers aisle, the Hyundai Tucson shoots up 28 ranks to frankly break into the Top 50 for its first full month in market at #33 with 1.063 sales, the Opel Karl improves again: up 9 spots on August to a best-ever #35, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer remains the brand’s best-seller in Italy at #41 and the Suzuki Vitara also breaks into the Italian Top 50 for the first time at #47 with 804 deliveries.

Previous month: Italy August 2015: 2 Series Active Tourer is BMW’s best-seller

One year ago: Italy September 2014: Lancia Ypsilon up to record second place

Full September 2015 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models below.


Brazil September 2015: Chevy Onix retains crown, Renegade outsells Gol

Jeep Renegade Brazil September 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comJust what the Brazilian consumer ordered: the Jeep Renegade outsells the VW Gol in September.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 130 models by clicking on the title *

The word crisis is adequate: Brazilian new car sales are falling deeper and deeper into oblivion with September sales down an abysmal 32% year-on-year to just 192.610 registrations, meaning the year-to-date total is now down 22% on 2014 at 1.881.671 units. We have rarely seen such disparate evolutions in the Brazilian brands ranking. The “Brazil 3″ – in analogy to the Detroit 3 – continue to implode: each manufacturer sees its sales almost cut in half in the space of a year. Fiat is still leader but down 46% to 16.6% share, followed by Chevrolet (-45%) and Volkswagen (-42%). The next five carmakers all fit between 7 and 10% market share this month and are all gaining share – if not volume. Ford, helped by the success of the new Ka, is down ‘just’ 22% to hold 10.1% of Brazilian sales this month, distancing Hyundai (-22%), and Toyota (-18%). Honda is in a class of its own thanks to the locally-assembled HR-V, gaining 14% to snap at Renault’s heels with 13.808 sales and 7.2% share.

Mercedes CLA Brazil September 2015. Picture courtesy sales are up 59% year-on-year in a market down 32%…

Then we have Jeep. Initiating Brazilian manufacturing may be the brand’s best worldwide idea yet: the Renegade continues to fly off dealerships across the country as quickly as cheap feijoada, the national food. A record 5.676 found a new home this month, meaning the Renegade outsold the once uncontested Brazilian leader, the VW Gol, which sold just 5.254 units in September! The Renegade represents 97% of Jeep sales in Brazil for the month and 90% so far in 2015, lifting the brand to an all-time high 9th and 12th places respectively. The last striking 2015 trend in Brazil is the insolent health of the luxury German brands: Mercedes is up an unbelievable 59% in September to break the 2.000 monthly sales milestone for the first time in its history, while Audi is up 34% to 1.433 units. If BMW is down 18% this ,month, it is up 2% year-to-date (Mercedes +44%, Audi +40%).

Hyundai HB20 Chevrolet Onix Brazil September 2015The Chevy Onix and Hyundai HB20 dominate the Brazilian market for the first time.

The September models ranking is even more surprising… Exactly one year ago I detailed the striking new trends that rippled through the Brazilian market. At the end of 2014 the Fiat Palio achieved the unthinkable, ending 19 consecutive years of VW Gol reign. The Brazilian models charts used to be utterly predictable, but in the space of 18 months everything changed. A freefalling market has redistributed the cards: the efforts of international behemoths such as Hyundai to design and assemble locally cars dedicated to the Brazilian consumer are now paying off, while decades of laziness from manufacturers that used to hold a quasi-monopoly on sales have ended.

Toyota Corolla Brazil September 2015. Picture courtesy current generation Toyota Corolla is the most successful to-date in Brazil: up to #8.

Chevrolet is reaping the benefits of choosing to break the status quo with the Onix, the overall best-seller in Brazil for the 2nd month running despite sales down 24% to 10.212. For the first time the Onix is directly followed by the Hyundai HB20, down 10% to 8.889 sales and overtaking the Fiat Palio, down 45% to 8.761 but still #1 year-to-date at 92.087 deliveries (-28%) vs. 87.725 (-16%) for the Onix. The trend looks set to continue if we look at the past 12 months: both the Onix and HB20 have been losing significantly less ground than the Palio all through the year. Could the Palio domination, only just starting, already be coming to an end? Probably not in 2015, but 2016 will be a different story.

Honda HR-V Brazil September 2015First Brazilian Top 10 ranking for the Honda HR-V.

Just below the Palio we have another 2015 success story: the Ford Ka gains two spots on August to rank #4 overall and #5 year-to-date, the Renault Sandero maintains itself at a shiny 7th place thanks to the new generation while the Toyota Corolla is up two ranks to #8, to BSCB knowledge the legendary nameplate’s highest ever position in Brazil. The Honda HR-V brilliantly breaks into the Brazilian Top 10 for the very first time in September at #10 with 5.747 sales and 3% while the Jeep Renegade stops only 71 units short of doing so at #11 and 5.676 deliveries.

Renault Oroch Brazil September 2015. Picture courtesy Oroch

As detailed above, the Renegade outsells the Gol, itself down a devastating 58% to #12, hitting for the 2nd month in a row the lowest monthly ranking of its 35 year-career (the Gol launched in Brazil in 1980) – and the first time it ranks outside the Top 10. Finally, September marks the first appearance in the Brazilian sales charts of the all-new Renault Oroch, the pick-up variant of the Duster: it lands at #87 with 273 sales.

Previous month: Brazil August 2015: Chevrolet Onix takes the lead for the first time

One year ago: Brazil September 2014: VW Gol down to #4, Ford Ka up to #12

Full September 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 130 models below.


UK September 2015: 43rd month up to all-time record September

VW Polo UK September 2015. Picture courtesy VW Polo overtakes the Vauxhall Astra to a best-ever #6 year-to-date.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title *

New car registrations in the UK continue on their unprecedented growth path: new 65-license plates traditionally make September one of the two largest months of the year for sales, but this time we are looking at an all-time record volume for the month at an outstanding 462.517 deliveries, celebrating 43 consecutive months of year-on-year gains at +9%. All channels are up with private sales at +3%, fleet at +15% and business at +11%, as well as all fuels with diesel up 4% despite the VW scandal, petrol up 12% and alternatively-fueled vehicles up 22%. The year-to-date figure crosses the 2 million milestone for the first time since 2004 at this stage of the year at 2.096.886 units, up 7% on the same period in 2014.

Mini UK September 2015. Picture courtesy Mini is back inside the 2015 Top 10.

The three leaders in the brands ranking improve slower than the market, resulting in lower market share than a year ago but also year-to-date: Ford at 11.9% (+1%), Vauxhall at 9.5% (+6%) and Volkswagen at 8.5% (+4%). Reversely, BMW shoots up 19% in 4th position, Nissan is up 26% at #5, Audi up 11% at #6, Mercedes up 18% at #7 and Toyota up 11% at #8. Peugeot (-6%), Citroen (-12%), Land Rover and Seat (-10%) are the only manufacturers to lose ground in the Top 20. Renault (+17%), Mazda (+23%), Jaguar (+53%), Dacia (+26%), Jeep (+175%) and Smart (+129%) take off.

Vauxhall Mokka UK September 2015. Picture courtesy UK Top 10 ranking in the past four months for the Vauxhall Mokka.

The Ford Fiesta remains the most popular vehicle in the UK this month despite sales down 2% to 4.9% share, distancing the Vauxhall Corsa up a splendid 25% thanks to the new model, the Ford Focus up 6% and the VW Golf up 5%. Seeing no diesel scandal effect for now, Volkswagen even places two nameplates inside the UK Top 5 for the second consecutive month with the Polo remaining at #5. The Nissan Qashqai (+48%) surges back up to #6, the Mini shoots up to #7 with 8.754 sales, earning a spot in the year-to-date Top 10 at #9, and the Vauxhall Mokka is slowly but surely elbowing its way into a long-term Top 10 presence at #9 this month, its third Top 10 ranking in the past 4 months.

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One year ago: UK September 2014: Fiat 500 hits record #6 in best September in a decade

Full September 2015 Top 10 models and Top 40 brands below.