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Once again I ask: what better way to finish one month and start a new one than going through our traditional World Roundup? I don’t think there is any! Before we start, don’t forget to catch the latest Photo Report in my Trans-Siberian series here. As usual, let’s begin by an overview of the main worldwide markets: one one hand the two largest markets in the world are in a totally euphoric state: the USA is up 17% and China up 10%. On the other hand, usually booming markets are down: Brazil at a dramatic -23% and Russia at -10%. In Europe, after July gave us a bit of hope with a 5% year-on-year increase on the continent, in August new car sales are back to hell: –18% in Spain, -11% in France to the lowest monthly result in 37 years (!), -7% in Italy to the worst August score in 51 years (!!) and -7% in Germany but, as usual, +11% in the UK…
Now let me introduce the Top 5 worldwide highlights of this month of August.
1. The Audi A3 hits a record 2nd place in Germany (previous best #4) at a best-ever 2.8% share in the nameplate’s 17 year history. This and solid performances throughout Europe earn it a record 6th spot Europe-wide (previous best: #9 last April), which places it at #2 in its segment behind only the VW Golf and above the Ford Focus and Opel Astra, both outside the Top 10 in August. Moritz Drechsel from Audi Germany gave me a few explanations for this performance at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
2. Illustrating the long-term European trend towards premium models, the BMW 3 Series also smashes its European ranking record this month at #4, the 1 Series hits its highest ranking and potentially highest ever market share in the UK at #6 and 2.9% and the 5 Series simply leads the models ranking in Ireland, nothing less, and ranks #8 in Portugal.
3. Confirming that in 2013, unless you are a premium or a low-cost brand in Europe, chances are you are in trouble, the Dacia Sandero is the best-selling model in Spain for only the 2nd time ever after last January, it is on the French podium for the 2nd consecutive time and third time ever, up to #9 in the German private sales ranking and hits a best-ever #12 in Italy. But wait there’s more: at home in Romania the Logan is up to its strongest market share in almost 3 years at a mammoth 29.2% (the new generation must have helped), the Dokker up to a huge 14.6% share in neighbouring Bulgaria, by far its best worldwide performance to-date and the Duster is already #4 in Ireland only 6 months after the brand launched there.
4. The Tesla Model S delivers its first Top 20 ranking in the world in Norway where it lands at #15 with 1.6% share, pushing Tesla up to #17 brand, above manufacturers like Honda, Citroen, Suzuki and Renault! The Model S even reportedly topped the Norwegian models ranking outright during the first week of September! In other electric news, the Chevrolet Volt brilliantly breaks into the Top 20 in the Netherlands at #18 this month.
5. This is a group accolade to salute the performance of Japanese brands in the US market, nothing short of indecent: Lexus is up 23% on August 2012, Toyota and Nissan both up 24%, Mazda up 26%, Honda up 29% and Subaru up 45% to pass 40,000 monthly units for the first time in history… If we focus on Honda in particular, it places 3 models inside the overall US Top 6! Both the Civic and Accord hit their strongest monthly volume in 4 years at 39,458 and 38,559 sales respectively, while the CR-V is up to a all-time high of 34,654 units.
For its part Toyota has an excellent month not only in the States but worldwide, with a few of its important 2013 new launches making nice waves. Thanks to the new station wagon the Toyota Auris takes the lead in Finland for the first time since November 2010 and does so for the first time ever in Poland. The new generation Corolla boosts the nameplate to #1 and 10.1% share in Israel and #5 in Turkey, I have also started spotting it in Russia so we should witness the new gen effect there soon too. The previous gen, now in run-out mode, takes the lead in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (July figures), while the the RAV4 hits an all-time high ranking for the nameplate in Australia at #9 and the Vios breaks a new monthly sales record in the Philippines.
But there were many more worldwide events than these 5 highlights, discover them by clicking on ‘Read more’ below.
See the Full article featuring 30 more countries by clicking on ‘Read more’ below.
Here is the full last 6 months’ worth of World roundups:
See the Full article below.