World September 2012 Roundup: Ford Focus shines in China
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With most September data now in, it’s time for our much anticipated monthly rendezvous: the World roundup, now in its 7th instalment. Last month the Subaru XV made the headlines by toppling the VW Golf in Switzerland. In September, the Focus is on China, Russia and the Skoda Octavia...
The biggest worldwide car sales event this month is undoubtably the impact the diplomatic tensions between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands had on the Chinese models ranking. All Japanese carmakers lost a lot of ground this month with Toyota (-49%) hit the hardest, and potentially for the first time since soon after Japanese models arrived in China, there was no Nippon in the Top 25. The Ford Focus is the best-selling model in China for the 2nd month running and the third time in the last 4 months. With 33,587 sales in September it even becomes only the 4th passenger car ever to sell more than 30,000 units in a single month in China with the Chevrolet Sail, VW Passat and the BYD F3.
8 months after its sales kick started in Russia last January, the Lada Granta takes the lead of the Russian models ranking with a record 14,050 sales and 5.4% share. Lada has now sold 80,965 Grantas and should finish the year at around 120,000 which is above the 100,000 units the manufacturer planned for at the start of the year, so a good start for AvtoVaz.
The third model under the spotlight this month is the Skoda Octavia, flamboyantly taking the lead in Switzerland thanks to 725 sales for a 3.4% market share vs. 565 and 2.7% for the VW Golf, beaten for the 2nd consecutive month after the Subaru XV led in August. The Octavia also leads in Czech Republic and Iceland and celebrates its 43rd consecutive month in pole position in Poland (since March 2009!). It also breaks into the German monthly Top 10 for the first time since I have access to monthly German rankings in 2002, selling 4,649 units for a 1.9% market share at #9.
The Nissan Qashqai continues to evolve at stratospheric heights 3 years after the launch of its facelifted version and less than a year before its replacement: it is #2 in Spain and in Poland where it beats its ranking and market share record this month at 3%, and also beats its ranking record in France at #13. In Finland, the Qashqai ranks #1 for the third month in a row, beating its monthly market share record in the country at 6.5%. This means it now leads the Finnish 2012 year-to-date models ranking, making Finland the only country in the world where the Qashqai is #1 year-to-date… Overall it ranks #9 in Europe this month.
The VW Up! has taken control of the Dutch market with no less than 1,892 sales and a record 5.9% share, after ranking #2 in July and #3 in August. The Netherlands is therefore the the third (and largest) country in the world to crown the Up! after Denmark (in March, June, August and September) and Croatia (in June). The Up! is also up to a record #6 in Greece and a record #23 in Italy.
The Peugeot 208 continues its progression, however its sales are lower than expected which has led Peugeot to lower its 2012 prediction from 175,000 down to 140,000. The 208 is #1 in France and in Portugal (August figures), #2 in Croatia, #5 in the Netherlands, #7 in Italy, #9 in Greece and #10 in the UK where it breaks into the Top 10 for the first time in September. Overall it ranks #5 in Europe. In other news for Peugeot, sales of 4008 have also been disappointing so far, with its world-best performance a #30 spot this month in Norway.
As far as Renault is concerned, the all-new Renault Clio 4 is already #10 in France but this is a little artificial as only due to 3,000 pre-sales. Renault can’t produce Indian Dusters fast enough: it sells 4,211 for only its third month of sales there, breaking into the Top 20 for the first time at #20 and 2% share. In Russia, the Duster is up 4 spots on August to fall short of breaking into the Top 10 for the first time for just… 8 sales! It also ranks #20 in Venezuela. Renault also launched the Scala in India which is in fact a rebadged Nissan Sunny sedan.
Extremely successful launch for the 2nd generation Nissan Note in Japan, selling 18,355 units in September – that’s more than the previous generation’s sales in the last 5 months combined and an all-time volume record for the Note nameplate, originally launched in the country in January 2005. Other good news for Nissan is the 5th place of the Patrol in Kuwait (August figures).
The European car market is now frankly in recession, down 11% year-on-year in September, and for only the 2nd time ever and in the last 6 months with last March, the Toyota Yaris manages to rank within the Top 10 at #10, up an astounding 69% year-on-year to 17,933 sales. In Sweden the Volvo V40 takes off, up a fantastic 17 ranks on August to land in 6th position. German premium brands continue to perform very solidly in a challenging European context:
Mercedes delivers its strongest ever market share in the UK at 4.6%, its third biggest monthly volume ever after March 2006 and 2007 and its highest UK September ever at 16,569 units. The C-Class is up to a record 6th place with a record 7,948 sales and 2.2% share, bettering the #7 rank it reached last July. The B-Class ranks on the German podium for the very first time in the nameplate’s 7 year-career at #3 with 5,801 sales and 2.3%. This is the B-Class’ 2nd best market share ever in Germany after the 2.4% it reached last month and equal with July 2012. Finally, the E-Class dominates the Hong Kong models ranking with over 5% share of the market.
Read the rest of the World September 2012 Roundup by clicking on ‘Read more’ below!
(including more highlights from China, the US, Singapore, Luxembourg, Ireland, Spain, Indonesia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Denmark, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Australia, Norway, India, Japan, Kuwait, South Korea, Italy, Russia, Pakistan, Algeria and Iran)
Previous World Roundups: