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Russia March 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander breaks into Top 10

April 9th, 2014 No comments

Mitsubishi Outlander Russia March 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Mitsubishi Outlander is now among Russia’s Top 10 most popular vehicles.

* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Has the Russian new car market finally reached a plateau? In March, after losing ground for 11 of the last 12 months, new car sales are down just 0.4% year-on-year to 243,335 registrations. This brings the First Quarter total to 602,523 units, down 2% on 2013. In the models ranking, the Lada Granta remains the most popular by far but continues to evolve a notch lower than last year at -10% and 12,958 sales. The Hyundai Solaris is up 2% but for the first time threatened by the Kia Rio which smashes its volume and market share records this month at 9,728 sales and 4% share (previous bests: 8,632 and 3.5% last September).

Kia Rio Russia March 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Kia Rio breaks its volume and share records in Russia this month.

The Lada Kalina continues to creep back up now that the new generation is established, up 21% this month at #4 and passing the Renault Duster. But the hero of the month is without a doubt the Mitsubishi Outlander: it breaks into the Russian Top 10 for the first time in the nameplate’s history, shooting up to 9th place thanks to 4,584 sales and 1.9%, up 78% year-on-year and now #20 year-to-date (+42%). Not far below is the new generation Skoda Octavia, up 8 spots on February to a best-ever 11th place at a record 3,951 units. Finally, notice the Nissan Almera down 6 ranks to #14 and the Toyota Corolla up 44% on March 2013.

Previous month: Russia February 2014: Renault Duster and Nissan Almera impress

One year ago: Russia March 2013: Market down for the first time in 3 years

Full March 2014 Top 25 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Russia

Europe February 2014: Discover the Top 343 All-models!

April 8th, 2014 7 comments

Citroen C4 Picasso Europe February 2014. Picture courtesy of largus,frAt +75% the Citroen C4 Picasso delivers the biggest year-on-year gain in the Top 50 this month.

* See the Top 343 All-models & Top 58 brands by clicking on the title! *

After exploring the Top 10 models and Top 30 brands for February, a couple of weeks of wait and we now have access to All-models and All-brands rankings! I give you the Top 50 models for now, all data will follow shortly. We discover that the Audi A3 misses out on a Top 10 ranking for just 500 sales, but thanks to sales up 43% year-on-year it remains #9 year-to-date, the Toyota Yaris stays solid at #12 (+15%), the Opel Astra is back up 8 spots on January to a less dismal 14th rank, the Renault Captur up two to #17 and the Dacia Sandero down 5 but up 72% on February 2013 to #18.

Peugeot 2008 Europe February 2014. Picture courtesy of autobild.deFirst appearance in the European Top 20 for the Peugeot 2008 this month.

PSA Peugeot-Citroen shines this month: the Peugeot 2008 is up one rank on January to break into the European Top 20 for the very first time at #20 with 10,302 sales, the Peugeot 308 – recently elected European Car of the Year 2013 – is up 26% year-on-year to #21 at 10,124 units vs. #35 over the Full Year 2013 and the Citroen C4 Picasso delivers the biggest year-on-year gain in the Top 50, up 75% to #22 with 10,028 sales vs. #46 over FY2013. Notice also the Dacia Duster at #25 vs. #43 in 2013, the Seat Leon up 61% year-on-year to pass its little sister the Ibiza at #31 vs. #33 and the Hyundai i10 up 43% to #50 vs. #65 in 2013.

Dacia Logan MCV Europe March 2014Dacia Logan European sales are up 249% year-on-year thanks to the new MCV.

Beyond the Top 50, the Nissan Note is up 159% to #58 thanks to the new model, the Dacia Logan up 249% to #76 thanks to the new MCV, the Suzuki Alto up 88% to #81, Mazda3 up 86% to #90 and the BMW X5 up 137% to #112. As far as recent launches are concerned, the Mercedes CLA ranks #102, the BMW 4 Series #119, BMW i3 #174, Tesla Model S #180, Maserati Ghibli #214, BMW 2 Series #226, Mercedes GLA #230 and the Porsche Macan lands at #258.

Previous post (models): Europe February 2014: Skoda Octavia up 39%, Fiat Panda in Top 10

Previous post (brands): Europe February 2014: Renault and Peugeot on podium

Previous month: Europe January 2014: Now with Top 334 All-models and All-brands!

One year ago: Europe February 2013: Nissan Qashqai in Top 5 for the first time

Full February 2014 Top 343 All-models and Top 58 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Europe

Greece March 2014: Nissan holds 17% share in market up 31%

April 8th, 2014 No comments

Nissan Micra Greece March 2014Nissan holds 17% of the Greek market in March vs. 10% year-to-date and 5.9% in 2013.

* See the Top 80 best-selling models and Top 30 brands by clicking on the title! *

Heart-warming figures coming out of Greece this month: the new car market is up year-on-year for the 5th consecutive time at a very pleasing +31% to 5,866 registrations, bringing the First Quarter total to 16,607 units, up 17% on 2013. It’s huge month for Nissan in Greece: the Japanese carmaker holds a mammoth 17% market share in March vs. 10% year-to-date and just 5.9% in 2013, and places the Micra in pole position of the models ranking by far at 581 sales and 9.9%. In fact, the Micra alone sold more than all manufacturers bar one: Volskswagen, and as much as Toyota as a whole (582 units)…

Nissan Note Greece March 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frNissan places the Note at #5 this month.

Nissan also manages to push the Note up to 5th place thanks to 269 units and 4.6% share, up from #15 last month and #91 in 2013… The VW Polo also shine in 2nd place with 6% share (4.2% year-to-date), kicking traditional leaders  the Toyota Yaris and Opel Corsa to #3 and #4 respectively. Finally, notice the Fiat 500 up 12 spots on last month to #8, the Suzuki Alto up 30 to #9, BMW 1 Series up 13 to #13, Volvo V40 up 3 to #15, Suzuki SX4 up 14 to #24 and the Audi Q3 up 10 to #30.

Previous month: Greece February 2014: Suzuki Swift knocks on Top 5′s door

One year ago: Greece March 2013: Fiat Panda takes the lead

Full March 2014 Top 80 models and Top 30 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Greece

Mexico March 2014: Chevrolet Spark up to 4th place

April 8th, 2014 3 comments

Chevrolet Spark Mexico March 2014. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frChevrolet Spark (French model shown)

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 30 brands by clicking on the title! *

New car sales in Mexico are back into positive territory in March at +3.5% year-on-year to 85,682 registrations, which brings the year-to-date total to 251,124 units, up 2% on 2013. The brands ranking is desperately stable: the Top 8 best-sellers are unchanged vs. February and year-to-date, with Nissan still way ahead of the pack at 22,060 sales and 25.7% share. Chevrolet (18.5%) and Volkswagen (15.1%) follow while Renault is up 25% on March 2013, BMW up 62%, Mitsubishi up 64% and Lincoln up 54%. Model-wise, the Chevrolet Aveo stays on top with 5.078 sales and 5.9% ahead of the Nissan Tsuru at 4,088 units and the Nissan Versa at 3,942 sales. In spite of sales down 10% year-on-year, the Chevrolet Spark is up to 4th place with 3.4% share, while the Honda CR-V is back inside the Top 10 at #7, up 38% on March 2013. Notice also the VW Vento already down 5 spots to #9.

Previous month: Mexico February 2014: VW Vento up to #4

One year ago: Mexico March 2013: VW Clasico and Chevrolet Spark shine

Full March 2014 Top 10 models and Top 30 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Mexico

New Zealand March 2014: Ford Ranger #1, now above Hilux YTD

April 8th, 2014 1 comment

Ford Ranger New Zealand March 2014The Ford Ranger is above the Toyota Hilux so far in 2014.

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 60 brands by clicking on the title! *

New Zealand continues to perform at levels not seen in decades: March 2014 is the best since 1994 at 11,238 registrations, up 18% year-on-year and bringing the First Quarter total to 30,824 units, up 15% on 2013. Commercial vehicles are up 20% in March and 19% year-to-date. In the brands ranking, Toyota (16%), Ford (10.7%) and Holden (8.5%) reign supreme as usual, but Mitsubishi is catching up, up 3 spots on February to #4 and 7.8% share, passing Hyundai, Mazda and Nissan.

Mitsubishi Outlander New Zealand March 2014The Mitsubishi Outlander is up to #7 this month in New Zealand.

Model-wise, the Ford Ranger becomes the most popular vehicle in the country this month and for the 5th time in the last 12 months thanks to 550 sales and 4.9% and for the first time ever, it is now ahead of its archenemy the Toyota Hilux in a New Zealand year-to-date ranking at 1,175 units (#2) vs. 1,126 (#3) with the Toyota Corolla keeping the lead so far in 2014 at 1,441 sales. Notice also the Suzuki Swift back up two spots on February to #4, the Holden Commodore up one to #6, the Mitsubishi Outlander up 15 to #7, Mazda3 up 3 to #8 and Hyundai i30 up 10 to #14.

Previous month: New Zealand February 2014: Toyota Hilux in charge, Holden Captiva #4

One year ago: New Zealand March 2013: Toyota Corolla still the one

Full March 2014 Top 25 models and Top 60 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: New Zealand

World March 2014: Audi (also) breaks single-month sales record

April 8th, 2014 1 comment

Audi R8 World March 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comAudi, like Mercedes, is at record worldwide levels in March.

* See the Full article by clicking on the title! *

Only a couple of days after Mercedes announced it broke its monthly worldwide sales record, Audi announced it did exactly the same! March worldwide volume for the German premium carmakers is up a stunning 15% year-on-year to 170,450 registrations, obliterating its previous singe-month record of 150,300 units reached back in September 2013 by more than 20,000 units!

But wait there’s more: exactly as Mercedes did, Audi also posted all-time record worldwide First Quarter sales at 412,850 vehicles, up 12% year-on-year and the first time in the company’s history it sells over 400,000 units in the first 3 months of a year. As a reminder Mercedes sold 374,276 units in the same period (+15%). Audi said its year-on-year sales have risen for 51 consecutive months now. These are historical times indeed for premium German brands. BMW will announce March sales later this week, is a third record in the cards?

Not surprisingly, the new A3 sedan played a big role in Audi’s March record, with worldwide sales of the nameplate up 53% on March 2013 to 28,750 units including the hatchback sedan. Interestingly, the not so young Q7 SUV also did wonders at +39% while the A8 was up a whopping 49%.

Audi sales increased 7% year-on-year in Europe in March to 88,750 units, and if we look at figures country by country China is by far the brand’s strongest market with 47,636 sales (+37%) followed by the UK at 28,068 (+13%) and Germany at 27,226 (+10%). The US for its part is up 8% to 14,246 sales.

Previous post: World March 2014: Mercedes breaks single-month sales record


Full article below.

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Categories: World

Ukraine (brands) March 2014: Geely leader YTD in market @ -51%

April 8th, 2014 No comments

Geely Emgrand 8 Ukraine March 2014. Picture courtesy of autocentre.uaGeely Emgrand 8

* See the Top 30 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! *

The Crimea situation has had a clear impact on new car sales in Ukraine: down a horrendous 51% year-on-year in March to just 10,938 registrations which brings the First Quarter total to 38,016 units, down 14% on 2013. If ZAZ reclaims the brands top spot this month for just 12 units at 1,441 sales and 13.2% share, Geely is still by far the most popular carmaker in the country in the year-to-date ranking with 5,026 sales vs. 3,381 after selling more than double any other manufacturer in February (2,094 units). Toyota is back up 3 spots on last month to #3, Hyundai ranks 4th but is down 77% year-on-year and Volkswagen rounds up the Top 5 at -64%. Notice also Bodgan up 127% (!) to #9, Daewoo up 56% to #13 and Subaru up 42% to #16.

One year ago: Ukraine March 2013: Hyundai Accent and Geely CK in command

Full March 2014 Top 30 brands Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Ukraine

Media Post: 5 ways to overcome road rage

April 8th, 2014 No comments

Road rage

Let’s play a game of jeopardy.

They honk their horns or flash their high beams when sitting in traffic. They will speed past, changing lanes with no signal, weaving dangerously across multiple lanes. Some will speed up and block you from merging lanes while others may roar up behind you as if trying to intimidate you. Some might even give you the finger, scream out the window or pull over to fight with you!

Answer – How do discourteous drivers behave on the road?

A recent study conducted by Australian car insurance provider GIO, found that eight out of 10 motorists from the State of New South Wales have been on the receiving end of driver discourtesy or, in some case, ‘road rage’ over the past 12 months. Experiences included drivers not acknowledging others for letting you merge, playing loud music with the windows down and driving slowly in the right-hand lane.  Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and accidents that can result in damage to vehicles and injuries, with subsequent filing of insurance claims. What is amazing is that some people who are ordinarily even-tempered have admitted that when they put the key in the ignition they have a tendency to lose control of their emotions behind the wheel.

According to Dr Helen Cameron from the School of Psychology at Australia’s University of South Australia, “tension and driving are a dangerous combination”. Road rage triggers include preexisting stresses, such as being in a rush, traffic congestion and facing frequent road works, and even the feeling of your personal space being invaded by others. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure; there are solutions to curb road rage and here are some suggestions:

Focus on your own driving and stay safe: Concentrate on your own driving. Others might suffer from road rad and it’s safer to not get involved.

Practice stress breathing: This is a great stress relief exercise that everyone can perform very easily. Take a deep breath, hold for three seconds and then deeply exhale. Repeat the cycle as many times as necessary to normalise your blood pressure and pulse rates.

Leave 15 minutes earlier than usual: Avoid the anxiety and impatience that comes with rushing and the thought of possibly being late. Leave earlier to give yourself plenty of time to drive to your destination, safely and more relaxed.

Enjoy your music: Listening to music that makes you happy or has a calming effect can have a major influence on the way that you behave on the road. According to researchers from the Ben-Gurian University of the Negev in Israel, the number of driver mistakes dropped by a fifth when the drivers listened to the specifically composed soothing music mix.

Avoid confrontation with other angry drivers If you become a victim of another driver’s road rage, don’t be tempted to reciprocate. According to GIO spokesman Stephen Bell, one in four NSW drivers admit to swearing or gesturing rudely at another driver, but what starts out as a seemingly harmless action can escalate and lead to something far more dangerous such as a physical confrontation. Focus on your own driving to avoid helping the situation to escalate.

Next time you’re on the road, just remember that you can’t control other drivers, only your reactions to them.

This article is presented by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

Categories: Uncategorized

Strategy: Understanding the Indian car market

April 7th, 2014 11 comments

Datsun Go India March 2014. Picture courtesy of What Car? IndiaThe Datsun Go starts at US$5,340. Only in India is such low pricing possible at the moment.

Staying in India for a couple of days has enabled me to get a much better understanding of the Indian new car market and its dynamics which have very unique characteristics. In fact, not only is India very different from any other new car market in the world, but its logic pre-empts that of many future developing markets, at the centre of which most of Africa. With the main notion to remember being ‘bottom-up innovation’ to achieve even lower selling prices, understanding India is essential in today’s worldwide automotive scene.

1. Why India matters

Ever wondered why so many India-exclusive new cars were unveiled at the Delhi Auto Show in February compared to the relative small size of its new car market (2.5 million units in 2013 vs. 20.9 million for China)? That’s because on top of the enormous growth potential, making and selling cars in India requires a very different set of skills. And the manufacturers that are getting good at it are taking a decisive advantage into succeeding in tomorrow’s developing markets, because they will know how to make cars so cheap they can sell at a profit even in Africa – which is, believe it or not, the new China (a much more detailed analysis of this last point will be published soon).

To be successful in India, cars need a price tag so much lower than in most other markets, that new thinking is needed. An Indian trademarked way of innovating that is adapted to local conditions, constraints and revenue levels. The ‘old ‘way of creating low-cost was to engineer down from more sophisticated products by cutting cost through tried-and-tested platforms and economies of scale. The new way is to engineer up from scratch a product that is game-changingly cheaper with a mix of bare bones elements and latest tech features. Example: the $100 laptop. This process has been dubbed ‘frugal engineering‘ (achieving more with fewer resources) by Carlos Ghosn, or ‘bottom-up innovation’.

Datsun Go What Car March 2014bNo radio and CD player in the Datsun Go

2. Bottom-up innovation at play

Indian manufacturer Tata was the first to bring bottom-up innovation to the car industry with the Nano, ‘the cheapest car in the world’ at US$1,700 when unveiled in 2009. The Nano turned a lot of carmaking conventions on their heads. It uses a modular design that theoretically enables a knowledgeable mechanic to assemble the car in a suitable workshop. It also includes numerous lighter components, from simple door handles and bulbs to the transmission and engine parts, enabling a more energy efficient engine. The Nano is one of the shortest four-passenger cars on the market, yet it allows for ample interior space. The fact that the Nano didn’t succeed doesn’t question this trend, as we’ll see below.

These ‘ultra-low cost’ cars can end up being more user-friendly, if sophisticated. One case in point that stroke me: the new Datsun Go does not have a radio or CD player (even optional), only an aux-in port and USB charging point, which means you can only listen to music stored on a portable device. On one hand I can hear you say “no radio? blasphemy!” After all, even Tata kept it optional on the Nano. On the other hand, most cars manufactured over 5 years ago don’t have these functionalities (even premium ones!), making listening to your favourite music without burning it on a CD impossible. See what I mean? All in all, for the target market, the Go driving experience as far as music is concerned is potentially more user-friendly for a fraction of the cost.

But just how low are car prices in India?

Renault Duster India March 2014What Car India says the Renault Duster ‘doesn’t feel premium enough’ for the price. Wait what?

3. Low cost is premium is low cost

Car prices are on a drastically different scale in India:  they are not just a little cheaper, but in a different ball game altogether.

This strategy analysis continues below.

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Categories: India

Germany March 2014: Mercedes C-Class up 31% to #4

April 6th, 2014 1 comment

Mercedes C Class Germany March 2014The arrival of the new model boosts the Mercedes C-Class up to 4th place.

* See the Top 293 best-selling models and Top 50 brands by clicking on the title! *

New car sales in Germany satisfy this month at +5% to 296,408 registrations, bringing the First Quarter total to 711,753 units, up 6% on 2013. Brand-wise, below Volkswagen unassailable at 19.8% share, Mercedes reclaims the #2 spot it held over the Full Year 2013 and year-to-date in 2014 off Audi thanks to 26,456 sales and 8.9% vs. 24,435 and 8.2% for Audi while BMW remains 4th at 23,724 units and 8%. Skoda is creeping up closer to Ford at #7 with 17,735 sales and 6% vs. 19,742 and 6.7%, Renault is strong at 3.9% share, as are Hyundai at 3.4% and Nissan at 3%.

Seat Leon Germany March 2014The Seat Leon breaks its monthly ranking record in Germany this month.

Volkswagen monopolises the models podium for the 5th consecutive month with the Golf in the lead at 6.9% share (-7%) ahead of the Passat at 2.3% (+7%) and the Tiguan at 2.2% (+12), equalling the best-ever ranking in the country it reached last month for the first time. But the big event in the Top 10 is the arrival of the Mercedes C-Class in 4th place, up 6 spots on February and 31% year-on-year to 6,424 units and 2.2% share, missing out on a podium ranking for only 62 sales, thanks to the new models now spreading across Mercedes dealerships all over the country. Its archenemy the BMW 3 Series suffers: down 17% to #6 this month.

Mercedes GLA Germany March 2014. Picture courtesy of autobild.deInstant success: the Mercedes GLA ranks #63 for its first full month of sales.

Mercedes V Class Germany March 2014. Picture courtesy of autobild.deFirst appearance in the German ranking for the new Mercedes V-Class at #225.

The analysis continues below.

Previous month: Germany February 2014: VW monopolises Top 4 for 2nd time in 77 year-history

One year ago: Germany March 2013: Skoda Octavia hits highest ever ranking

Full March 2014 analysis, Top 293 models and Top 50 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Germany