Finland June 2017: Skoda Octavia leads, Toyota Auris up to #2

The Toyota Auris ranks #2 in Finland in June.

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

The Finnish new car market edges up 0.6% in June to 10.651 units, yet the year-to-date total remains in negative territory at -1.7% to 65.598 deliveries. The Top three best-selling carmakers frankly beat the market: Toyota soars 14% to 13.5% share ahead of Volkswagen up 8% to 13.3% and Skoda up 25% to 11.1%, one full percentage point above its YTD level. Below Ford in difficulty at -6%, Volvo (+44%) and Mercedes (+23%) impress. Further down, Hyundai (+16%), Suzuki (+32%), Mini (+36%), Land Rover (+36%) and Tesla (+208%) shine. In contrast, Renault (-12%), Nissan (-14%), Opel (-17%), Seat (-17%), Mitsubishi (-27%), Dacia (-28%), Subaru (-29%), Peugeot (-36%), Citroen (-55%) and Honda (-72%) are in great difficulty. The Skoda Octavia (+10%) remains the most popular nameplate in Finland, with the Toyota Auris (+21%) bypassing the VW Golf (-6%) and Nissan Qashqai (-5%) to rank 2nd this month. The VW Polo shoots up 77% to #5, the Volvo V90 is down one spot to #9, the Kia Rio is up 12% to #13, the Toyota C-HR is stable at a splendid 14th place, the Mercedes E-Class is up 66% to #15, the BMW 5 Series up 29% to #16 and the Audi A3 up 45% to #22.

Previous month: Finland May 2017: Volvo up 48% in market up 4.8%

One year ago: Finland June 2016: Opel Astra, Skoda Superb impress in market up 20%

Full June 2017 Top 30 brands and models ranking tables below.

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Poland June 2017: Renault Clio, Fiat Tipo and Volvo XC60 shine

The Volvo XC60 is inside the Polish Top 20 in June. 

* See the Top 15 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Polish new car market is up 7.2% year-on-year in June to 47.290 registrations, leading to year-to-date tally up 15.1% to 276.699 units including LCVs. Market leader Skoda almost doubles the market growth at +13% to 12.3% share vs. 11.6% year-to-date, distancing Volkswagen (-5%) and Toyota (+2%). Renault surges 24% to #4 vs. #6 so far this year, Dacia is up 12%, Fiat up 26%, Mercedes up 10%, Nissan up 30% and Peugeot up 15%. Model-wise, the Skoda Octavia surges 28% to remain in pole position ahead of the Skoda Fabia (+7%) and Opel Astra (-9%). The Renault Clio more than doubles its sales year-on-year (+109%) to leap up to 4th place from #10 last month, distancing the VW Golf (+6%) and Nissan Qashqai (+15%). The Fiat Tipo enjoys its second ever month inside the Top 10 (#10), the Volvo XC60 is up 62% to #20, the Renault Captur up 61% to #22, the Toyota Corolla up 70% to #24, the Skoda Kodiaq up 5 spots to a best-ever #32 and the Suzuki Baleno breaks int the Polish Top 50 at #45.

Previous month: Poland May 2017: Fiat Tipo breaks into Top 10 for the firs time

One year ago: Poland June 2016: Opel Astra teases Skoda Octavia for #1

Full June 2017 Top 15 brands and Top 50 brands ranking tables below.

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China June 2017: Focus on the All-new models

The much-awaited WEY VV7 makes its first appearance in the Chinese charts in June. 

Today we pay special attention to the new locally-produced launches in China so you stay aware of the latest development in the fastest-evolving car market in the world. In June, the Chinese market is back into positive territory and fittingly, the number of new launches goes from just three last month to eight. If you thought Chinese carmakers had exhausted their SUV opportunities now that they hold almost 60% of the segment, think again. This month, all new launches are Chinese and five of them are SUVs!

1. Leopaard CS9: 3.334 sales

Changfeng Leopaard has waited over two years to add a smaller sibling to the very successful CS10 that put the brand on the map. The brand is on a roll, with the CS10 posting its three largest monthly volumes in the past five months, and the CS9 already starts with the highest volume of all newcomers this month. Double that and Leopaard will be happy with the launch. At 4.315m long and priced from 76.800 to 116.800 yuan (US$11.300-17.300), the CS9 enters an extremely crowded marketplace and competes with the likes of the Haval H2, Soueast DX3, Changan CS35 and BAIC Senova X55.

It is powered by a 1.5L 122 hp Mitsubishi engine coupled with a five-speed manual or a CVT, with a 150hp 1.5T scheduled also. But the main attraction of the CS9 is its 12 inch touch screen, the biggest in its segment, that gives the cockpit an air of Tesla. Given the momentum the Leopaard brand is enjoying at the moment and its roots as sturdy Mitsubishi Pajero rebadges, the CS9 will – as it was the case for the CS10 – enjoy a widespread success across the nation, whether it be in the cities or the countryside. If it doesn’t cannibalise the CS10 (89.800-146.800 yuan), the CS9 could hit an even higher mark. We fix the success bar at 6.000 monthly units.

Bar for success: 6.000 monthly sales

2. JAC Refine S7: 3.203 sales

Adding to the S2mini, the S2, S3 and S5, JAC launches the Refine S7 SUV this month. If we described below Leopaard being on an upward trend, the complete opposite is true for JAC, down a harsh 40% year-on-year over the First Half of 2017. The brand is therefore in need of new models fast, but this S7 might be a little too big to generate the volumes that could reverse the downward spiral the brand has fallen into. The S7 is logically the largest SUV launched so far by JAC but this won’t last long as there are even larger ones in the works. Working for it, the Refine S7 sports a spectacular front design and a very original interior.

JAC Refine S7 interior. Picture autohome.com.cn

At 4.80m long, coming in 5- or 7-seat options and priced from 97.800 to 173.800 yuan (US$ 14.450 – 25.700), the Refine S7 competes with blockbusters such as the Haval H6 – the overall SUV segment leader, the Geely Boyue, Roewe RX5 and Changan CS75. This should lift the hopes for Refine S7 volumes pretty high, however JAC’s specialty until now has been with much smaller vehicles such as the tremendously successful – until this year- Refine S3. It remains to be seen whether the brand can extend this success to larger vehicles. The engines are reasonably powerful: a 174hp 1.5T and a 190hp 2.0T, both coupled with a six-speed manual or DCT, repackaging the engine lineup of the Refine A60 sedan.

Bar for success: 7.500 monthly sales

3. WEY VV7: 3.166 sales

It’s finally here. Last November at the Guangzhou Auto Show, Great Wall Motors revealed WEY, its new premium SUV brand positioned above Haval. Its ambitions were to compete with Lexus, Infiniti, Lincoln and Volvo, however this first offering sets the bar a lot lower as we’ll see further down. But first a bit of trivia. The WEY brand name unabashedly refers to Wei Jianjun, the founder of Great Wall Motors. It also refers to the State of Wei, an ancient Chinese state during the Warring States period (475-221 BC) which led to the Qin state’s victory as the first unified Chinese empire known as the Qin dynasty. Great Wall’s headquarters are located in Baoding in the Hebei Province which was once part of the State of Wei. Great Wall is using the old Wade Giles Romanisation system that spells Wei, Wey and Baoding, Paoting – hence that word also appearing on the logo which represents the flagpole in front of the local government house of Baoding City.

Very small touchscreen for a “premium” brand

The much-awaited first WEY nameplate is the VV7. It comes in basic (VV7c) and sporty (VV7s) versions, with prices ranging from 167.800 to 188.800 yuan (US$24.800-27.900). This is where the WEY brand starts to feel a lot less premium than its ambitions. This price range positions it right into Haval H7 territory (149.800-193.800 yuan), below the H8 (188.800 start) and the H9 (209.800 start). Among Chinese competitors it goes against the GAC Trumpchi GS8 (163.800-259.800) admittedly much larger, the Borgward BX5 (149.800-216.800) and the Qoros 5 (139.900-194.900). Local publication Autohome.com.cm pits it against the much cheaper Zotye T700 (106.800-155.800) as a valid alternative in terms of sophistication… As for foreign competitors in price, they range from the Nissan Qashqai (139.800-189.800), Kia Sportage (144.800-189.800), Peugeot 3008 (140.700-207.700), Mitsubishi Outlander (159.800-223.800), Honda CR-V (169.800-259.800) and Toyota RAV4 (179.800-269.800). Hardly premium brands although a fight with the mainstream foreigners may be all Great Wall was after after all. For comparison, the similar-sized SUVs by brands listed by WEY as its competitors are for the Infiniti QX30 249.800-389.800, the Lincoln MKC 298.800-458.800 and the Lexus NX 318.000-599.000.

At 4.749m long, the VV7 is built on an extended version of the new Haval H6 plaform, itself an updated variant of an old platform that underpinned the previous generation H6. In terms of engine, the VV7 utilises the same 230hp 2.0T as the H7/H7L. So the last advantage the VV7 has over the “bread and butter” Haval brand is its looks, but they are dangerously similar to the new H6. A lot of confusion, that WEY is decided to dissipate by selling WEY models in a completely separate dealer network. The big question will be to what extend WEY will cannibalise the existing Haval range. In June, only the H6 (35.171) and H2 (11.098) were above the VV7 (3.166), while the H7 (-41%), H5 (-32%), H8 (+72%) and H9 (+18%) fell way behind. It’s therefore a pretty solid start for a new brand, but Haval will want to reach higher targets.

Bar for success: 7.000 monthly sales

4. SWM X3: 1.676 sales

SWM launched its very first nameplate, the X7 SUV, back in September 2016 and has since found almost 55.000 new homes, a very solid success for a completely new brand. SWM is hoping to replicate this success with the smaller X3 SUV, looking like a cross with an MPV and a more modern Dongfeng somehow, pointing its bonnet in the cheap 7-seater SUV segment. Priced from 59.900 to 82.900 yuan (US$8,850 – 12.250), it competes with the likes of the Bisu T5, Changan CX70, Beijing Huansu S3, Lifan Myway and Dongfeng SX6. We could also add the Baojun 730 which, although an MPV, has variants that mimic SUVs the same way this X3 does. The X7 culminated at 7.168 units last December and the X3 will be the perfect test to see whether the brand can expand exponentially, launching more successful models one after the other. Given the scores of the Changan CX70 (pb 15.225) and the BAIC Huansu S3 (pb 20.868), this segment’s potential has clearly not been exhausted and hasn’t been invaded by dozens of offers either. Conservatively, we will put the X3 bar for success at roughly 60% of the X7’s personal best.

Bar for success: 4.500 monthly sales

5. Dongfeng Junfeng ER30: 1.000 sales

Dongfeng has launched a new EV brand, Junfeng, which local publications can’t seem to agree whether full-blown brand or a sub-brand, a subtle distinction as always in China. Launched at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2017, the ER30 is based on the very slow selling Venucia R30, itself based on the 2010 Nissan March. The Junfeng logo is a reworked Donfeng badge with a blue dot in the middle (in China blue means green). The ER30 appears elevated in the manner of a crossover. It is powered by a 80hp electric motor for a 115 km/h top speed. Autonomy is 250km. The ER30 is built in cooperation with SKIO with the ER30 listed under the skio.cn website as well as the diandong.com website. Confusing? Welcome to China!

Bar for success: 2.500 monthly sales

6. Chana Oushang A800: 549 sales

The only new MPV to enter the Chinese sales charts this month, the Chana Oushang A800 is hoping to build on the tremendous success of the Chana Oushang which sold 170.511 units since its launch in December 2015 but has fallen below 6.000 units over the past three months. While the Oushang was priced between 56.900 and 70.900 yuan (US$8.400-10.500), the A800 starts where the Oushang ends: from 69.900 to 119.900 (US$10.300-17.700). The A800 is 4.81m long and is powered by a choice of 125hp 1.6 and 154hp 1.5T. In fact, the A800 is a redesigned Changan Linmax, launched last February, same size, using the same platform and engine. The Linmax has peaked so far at 5.232 (last May) while the Oushang has a personal best of 16.070 in January 2017. Autohome.com.cn sees it compete with the cheaper Baojun 730, the Dongfeng SX6 and the Baojun 310W (for wagon)… In this context, the bar for success has been placed in line with the Linmax rather than the Oushang.

Bar for success: 5.000 monthly sales

7. GAC Trumpchi GS7: 50 sales

An instant blockbuster with just under 60.000 sales in 8 months and a pb of 10.032 last March, the GAC Trumpchi GS8 7-seater has redefined success in the large Chinese SUV segment, and has stabilised at a very high level. 8 months after its introduction, GAC Trumpshi launches the identically-designed but smaller GS7 5-seater. Priced from 155.800 to 229.800 yuan (US$23.000-33.950), only marginally lower than the GS8 (163.800-259.800), Autohome.com.cn has it compete against the Haval H7 (149.800-193.800), Roewe RX5 (99.800-186.800), Zotye SR9 (108.800-169.800) and the Haval H9 (209.800-272.800).

GAC Trumpchi GS7 and GS8 comparison.

A frequent stake currently triggered by the multitude of SUV launches by Chinese brands is cannibalisation. Will the GS7 kill the GS8 the same way the edgy Baojun 510 annihilated the dated 560? It’s unlikely as their design are virtually identical. This will be a good test of popularity for 5-seater SUVs vs. 7-seater. With the relaxation of the 1-child policy in China, 7-seaters are becoming the norm, so this GS7 may fall short. The GS7 shares the same engines as the GS8: a 201hp 2.0T coupled with a six-speed auto. The GS7 is a 4WD called i4WD.

Bar for success: 6.500 monthly sales

Also new this month: BAIC changed the way it reports EV sales, now featuring EU-Series, EV-Series and EX-Series, and Hawtai launched the EV160 small electric hatch.

France First Half 2017: Market lifted up 3% by tactical sales

The Renault Clio remains the most popular nameplate in France so far in 2017. 

* See the Top 40 best-selling brands, Top 280 models and Top 10 private sales brands and models by clicking on the title *

The French new passenger car market is up 3% year-on-year or 32.852 units over the First Half of 2017 to 1.135.281 registrations. Although private sales have shown some unusual dynamism in May and June, they only gain 0.2% or 953 units over the period to 529.747 to position themselves at a historically low level of 46.6% market share. The overwhelming majority of the sales increase so far this year is due to tactical sales – self-registrations, demo sales and short-term rentals (+24.463 sales) and company sales (+6.663).

The Peugeot 2008 climbs onto the French podium over the First Half 2017. 

Renault is up 0.4% to drop 0.5 points of market share to 20.3%, reversely Peugeot is up 6% to gain 0.5pp to 17.5%. Citroen evolves almost like the market at +2% to drop slightly at 10.1% share, while Volkswagen declines 5% to 6.4%. Dacia (+4%), Ford (+9%) and Toyota (+17%, the most dynamic in the Top 10) all beat the market, distancing Opel (+3%) and Nissan (+2%) with Fiat (+11%) delivering the 2nd biggest gain inside the Top 10 thanks to the new Tipo (#31). Audi remains the #1 premium brand in France but gains just 0.1%, with Mercedes catching up at +12%, overtaking BMW (-2%). Kia (+11%), Seat (+20%), Suzuki (+38%), Alfa Romeo (+38%) and Tesla (+56%) are among the biggest gainers in France so far this year.

The Peugeot 3008 II, Citroen C3 III and Renault Scenic IV all land inside the Top 10.

Model-wise, the Renault Clio (+4%) accentuates its advantage over the Peugeot 208 (+1%) to 0.9pp, but Peugeot places three nameplates in the Top 4 with the 2008 up 4% to #3 and the 308 down 14% to #4. Awaiting its facelift, the Renault Captur is down 10% to #5. We have no less than three all-new nameplates inside the 2017 French Top 10: the Peugeot 3008 II is the success of the year, landing directly at #6 and peaking at #4 in January and June. It’s a tremendous success for Peugeot with 70.000 orders since launch. Peugeot is hoping to replicate its success with the larger 5008, already inside the Top 20 in June. Citroen places the new generation C3 in 7th place and should be aiming at #3 by the time the year ends – a difficult task. Finally the Renault Scénic IV arrives at #10, less than 2.000 units below the Megane IV already down 25% in June.

The Dacia Sandero is 6.000 units above any other nameplate in the private sales charts.  

The Dacia Sandero is up 7% but down two spots to #8 overall but dominates head-and-shoulders the private sales ranking with just under 30.000 sales (+11%), almost 6.000 units above the Peugeot 208 (-8%) while the Peugeot 2008 outsells the Renault Clio with private buyers. Looking at the private sales brands ranking, Dacia manages a very impressive third place below just Renault and Peugeot and above Citroen and Volkswagen. Back to the overall models ranking where the VW Polo (#12) remains the most popular foreigner ahead of the Toyota Yaris (#16) while the VW Tiguan (+103%) spectacularly overtakes the VW Golf (-26%). The Nissan Qashqai (+4%), Fiat 500 (+9%), Opel Corsa (+11%), Ford Fiesta (-2%) and Opel Mokka (+11%) follow. Just below, the Toyota C-HR is an instant blockbuster, landing directly at #26. The Renault Zoe breaks into the Top 30 at #28, the Mercedes GLC is up 102% to #55 and the Audi Q2 lands at #60.

The VW Tiguan outsells the Golf for the first time in France. Picture largus.fr 

Previous post: France June 2017: Peugeot 3008 up to #4, breaks market share record

One year ago: France First Half 2016: Dacia Sandero triumphs with private buyers

Full H1 2017 Top 40 brands, Top 280 models and Top 10 private sales brands and models vs. Full H1 2016 figures below.

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France June 2017: Peugeot 3008 up to #4, breaks market share record

Record market share at home for the Peugeot 3008. 

* See the Top 40 best-sellng brands and Top 275 models by clicking on the title *

For the second month in a row, the French new car market displays a non-artificial gain with private sales beating the market. Overall, new registrations in June are up 1.6% year-on-year despite one less opening day to 230.940 units. Remarkably, this is the highest June volume this decade. Private sales are up 2.3% to 105.235 units, however remaining at a very low 45.6% market share. Company sales (including long-term leases) are up 8.1% to reach 21% share vs. 19.5% a year ago. For once, tactical sales decline this month in France – these include self-registrations, demo sales and short-term rentals. At 66.763 units, they drop 1.7 percentage point of market share, going from 30.7% in June 2016 to 29% now.

The Renault Captur is back up to #3 thanks to its facelift. 

A traditional fan of tactical sales towards the end of the quarter, market leader Renault drops 7% year-on-year on a particularly high base in June 2016, hitting 22.9% market share vs. 20.3% year-to-date. Peugeot on the other hand posts a spectacular 13% year-on-year improvement, catching up on a weak performance in June 2016 as its market share (17.8%), is only marginally higher than so far in 2017. Both Citroen (-2%) and Volkswagen (-6%) lose volume despite renewed best-sellers (the C3 and Tiguan) while Dacia gains 3%. The rest of the Top 10 brands are entirely in positive territory: Ford (+6%), Toyota (+9%), Nissan (+9%), Fiat (+1%) and Mercedes surging 32% to lead the premium race above BMW (+6%) and Audi (+4%). Opel (-5%) disappoints and slips out of the Top 10. Other great performers in France in June include Skoda (+13%), Suzuki (+25%), Seat (+16%), Alfa Romeo (+73%), Porsche (+55%), Tesla (+32%) and Maserati (+23%).

The new Renault Scénic remains inside the Top 5 for the second straight month.

In the models ranking, the Renault Clio (+0.2%) maintains a very comfortable advantage – almost two percentage points of market share – over the Peugeot 208 up 9%. The Renault Captur, although down 4% year-on-year, is starting to feel the effects of its facelift: back up 6 spots on May to #3, and sees its private sales shoot up 13%. The Peugeot 3008 II leaps to a best-ever 4th place (also hit last January) and breaks its market share record at 3.8%. It is the all-out best-selling SUV at home this month. The Renault Scénic IV remains inside the Top 5 at #5, distancing the Peugeot 308 (-7%) while the Citroen C3 III is down four spots on last month to #7. The Peugeot 2008 is struggling: down 6% to #8, and the Dacia Sandero also: down 1% and losing the private sales pole position to the Renault Clio this month. Rounding out the Top 10, the Renault Mégane is worryingly down 25% year-on-year, with the Kadjar (-30%) and Twingo (-36%) also posting paltry performances.

The new Peugeot 5008 breaks into the Top 20 at home. 

Among recent launches, the new Peugeot 5008 is up 33% on the previous generation and 9 spots on May to break into the Top 20 at #19, the new generation Nissan Micra is up 26 ranks on last month to #26, the Fiat Tipo up 183% to #29, the Toyota C-HR is down 10 ranks to #36, the Ford Ka+ up 41 to #51 and the new Renault Koleos down 15 to #79. Justifying the brand’s exceptional June performance, the Mercedes GLC is up 135% year-on-year to #48, with the C-Class up 22% and the GLA up 51%. Notice also the Ford Ecosport up 48% and the Suzuki Swift up 34%. Finally, the Opel Crossland is up 41 ranks to #109.

Previous month: France May 2017: Renault Scénic IV breaks into Top 5

One year ago: France June 2016: Renault’s half-year run pulls market up 0.8%

Full June 2017 Top 40 brands, Top 275 models and Top 10 private sales below.

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Indonesia June 2017: Market down 27%, Wuling Confero S lands

The Wuling Confero S is now produced locally in Indonesia. Picture mobil123.com

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

The Indonesian new car market is down a harsh 27% year-on-year in June to 66.755, yet the year-to-date tally remains in positive territory – just – at +0.3% to 533.903 units. An interesting trivia: according to local publication theinsiderstories.com, monthly car registrations in Indonesia have averaged 54.341 units from 1999 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 115.974 in September 2013 and a record low of 1.898 in January 1999 in the midst of the economic crisis that touched the country at the time.

The Toyota Avanza continues to dominate the ranking despite a larger-than-market 45% drop, remaining below 10% share. This month the rest of the Top 10 is completely reshuffled, with some Daihatsu models selling more than their Toyota twins, a rare feat. For example, the Daihatsu Ayla (-34%) is above the Toyota Agya (-31%) and the Daihatsu Sigra above the Toyota Calya for the first time ever. Notice the Suzuki Ertiga falling slower than the market at -8% and the Honda HR-V up 74% to #9.

But the big news at the moment in Indonesia is the opening of Chinese low-cost MPV-maker Wuling’s local factory in Cikarang, West Java, inaugurated on July 11. One year ago we mentioned that the motivation for Toyota to launch the Calya-Sigra utra-low-cost MPV tandem was to preempt the arrival of Wuling. Low-cost MPVs are what Indonesian customers are most fond of so it makes total sense for Wuling to create the first Indonesian car factory for a Chinese carmaker. It has started selling the Confero S, a rebadged Hongguang S1 – the #1 vehicle in China – and will launch the 730 MPV to compete with the Kijang Innova and 310 hatch to fight the Toyota Agya/Daihatsu Ayla in 2018. We feel that all three models have great potential on the Indonesian market. The factory has an annual capacity of 120.000 units but only 8.000 Confero S are scheduled to be produced in 2017, so we may not see the nameplate crack the monthly Top 20 just yet…

Previous month: Indonesia May 2017: Toyota Kijang Innova overtakes Calya to #2

One year ago: Indonesia June-July 2016: Toyota Sienta, Cayla and Daihatsu Sigra land

Full June 2017 Top 20 models ranking table below.

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Australia June 2017: Hyundai Tucson up to #4 in all-time record month

The Hyundai Tucson posts the highest ever monthly sales for an SUV in Australia.

* Now updated with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 282 All-models – see title *

The Australian new vehicle market is up 4.4% year-on-year in June to smash the all-time record monthly result and lift it to 134.171 units according to data released by VFACTS. In other words, never in history have Australian buyers purchased that many vehicle in a single month. This result puts the year-to-date tally into positive territory at +0.2% to a record 599.552 registrations halfway through the year. Once again SUVs outsell passenger cars at 51.393 vs. 50.646 with light commercials (including pickups) up 12.2% to 28.253. Private sales amount to 68.150 and business/fleet sales to 52.039. So far in 2017, sales of 4×4 pick-ups are up 9.2%, SUVs are up 5% but passenger cars are down 6.8%.

The Toyota Hilux is the best-selling nameplate in Australia for the 4th straight month. 

No surprises atop the brands ranking, Toyota is by far in the lead, even beating the market with a 11.2% gain to 24.546 sales, missing out on its all-time monthly record of 25.624 in June 2008 by a little over 1.000 units. Mazda is up 0.4% to an all-time record monthly result of 12.501, edging past Hyundai down 0.4% to 12.251. Holden is back up to #4 but freefalls 18.5% and is threatened by Mitsubishi up 6.2% to end the month only nine units below. For the 2nd month in a row, there are no Holdens inside the Top 10 best-selling nameplates. Ford (+6.5%) is down two spots on May to #6 while Kia is the best performer in the Top 10 once again with a 30.3% surge to an all-time record 6.737 sales. Its 7th place and 5% share are also records, already hit last April. Volkswagen (+8.7%) also shines in 9th place and Honda (+2.8%) hits its best monthly volume in almost a decade.

First month above 5.000 sales for the Ford Ranger. Picture caradvice.com.au

The Toyota Hilux is the best-selling nameplate in Australia for the fourth consecutive month and the 6th time in the past 10 months thanks to deliveries up 18% to 5.461, the first time the Hilux ever crosses the monthly 5.000 unit-mark, with its previous best being 4.931 back in June 2013. The Ford Ranger also smashes its personal monthly record with sales up 24% on its previous best of 4.078 in June 2016 to lift it to 5.051, also its first time above 5.000 monthly units. The Toyota Corolla (-13%) is distanced, almost one percentage point of market share below. But the records don’t stop here: thanks to sales up whopping 153% year-on-year, the Hyundai Tucson soars to an all-time high 4th place (previous best: 5th in January 2016) and at 3.741 units its smashes the previous monthly record for an SUV which was until now detailed by the Mazda CX-5 at 2.662 last September. In fact, with this tremendous performance, the Hyundai Tucson surges just 88 units below the CX-5 year-to-date as the race to #1 SUV in Australia frankly heats up. In third place, the Toyota RAV4 is up 18% to #10 overall.

Kia sales are up 30.3% to an all-time monthly record 6.737 units. 

Previous month: Australia May 2017: Hilux vs. Ranger new iconic rivalry in record market

One year ago: Australia June 2016: Hyundai i30 tops biggest month ever

Full June 2017 Top 50 All-brands and Top 282 All-models ranking tables below.

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China First Half 2017: Market slows down growth from 9.2% to 1.6%

Baojun has a new blockbuster in its hands: the 510, but it killed the 560. 

* See the Top 82 All-brands and Top 531 All-models by clicking on the title *

One year ago, the Chinese passenger car market was up a robust 9.2% and improved further over the second half of the year. This time, the rise of the purchase tax for vehicles of 1.6L and under has stopped the market in its tracks. With a significant amount of sales pulled forward to the end of 2016, the perspectives for this start of 2017 weren’t bright. Still, the market is up – granted, by a meagre 1.6% – when we could have expected a drop. It did decline in February, April and May. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, Chinese passenger car sales total 11.253.000 units vs. 11.042.000 a year ago, and still beats a record. Sales of passenger cars of 1.6L and below are down 2.6% to 7.697.000, representing 68.4% of the passenger car market which is a 3 percentage point-drop. Commercial vehicles fare a lot better with a 17.4% year-on-year gain to 2.101.000 units. As a result, the total Chinese market is up 3.8% to a record 13.354.000 units.

The new Tiguan helped Volkswagen stay in positive in China so far in 2017.

Looking at segments in detail, SUVs continue to be the engine of the Chinese market growth but significantly reduce their gain from 42% a year ago to 17.7% this time at 4.530.200 units. All other segments are in decline, with sedans down 3% to 5.401.000 and MPVs down 16% to 1.010.600. New energy vehicles are up 14.4% to 195.000 sales with pure electric vehicles up 26.2% to 160.000 and plug-in hybrids up 19.7% to 35.000. A very interesting fact is that the market share of Chinese brands increases in the two largest passenger car segments. Overall, sales of Chinese-branded passenger cars are up 4.3% year-on-year to 4.940.000, accounting for 43.9% of the market, up 1.1 percentage point (pp). Chinese-branded sedans are up 0.8% to 1.064.000 or 19.7% of the market, up 0.8pp. The most impressive result is in the booming SUV segment where Chinese brands are up 24.4% to reach a best-ever 59.6% market share, up 3.6pp thanks to 2.700.000 units. Finally Chinese-branded MPVs are down 20.8% to 859.000 units or 85% share, down 5.4pp.

It’s a nightmarish First Half of 2017 for Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia.

We have access to limited manufacturers retail data over the period (this data differs from our data tables that are wholesales excluding imports). The Volkswagen Group confirms it is the #1 in China despite seeing its deliveries slip 1.9% to 1.826.000 units. General Motors also declines at -2.5% to 1.765.828 vehicles. Ford Motor is faring a lot worse at -7% to 537.522 units. Among Japanese carmakers, Nissan Motor keeps the crown with a 6.7% increase to 650.525 but is now threatened by Honda Motor surging 19% to 644.167 while Toyota Motor is up 5.4% to 624.000. The victims of this First Half of 2017 are without a doubt the two Korean carmakers impacted by China’s diplomatic feud with South Korea triggered by U.S. anti-missile defense deployed in the country. Both Hyundai Motor and Kia Motor tumble 47% year-on-year over the period.

BMW bypasses Audi to become the #1 premium carmaker in China, but Mercedes lurks just behind. 

The main event in the premium race is the paltry performance of Audi, #1 for decades up until this year, handicapped by a boycott of its dealers unhappy about plans for a second distribution channel for the brand. These plans have since been postponed and Audi reclaimed the #1 premium spot in June but over the First Half of the year the picture is very different: BMW manages to take a slim advantage thanks to deliveries up 18% to 293.280 units, but Mercedes is aggressively catching up at a flamboyant +35% to 292.679 units. Audi lags far behind at 254.785 sales, down 12%. It will be very difficult for the brand to reclaim the #1 spot by year end. Note that locally-made wholesales still show Audi (-9%) above Mercedes (+50%) and BMW (+30%) as the latter two significantly rely on imports. Meanwhile Volvo, owned by local manufacturer Geely, is up a fantastic 28% to 51.914 units.

The Boyue helps Geely up 87% and Chinese SUVs reach 59.6% market share. 

Now a look at the China-made wholesales brands ranking (our data table). Volkswagen continues to be ultra-dominant, following the market at +2% to 1.47m units. That’s still well over double the sales of any other brand in the country. Honda surges 26% to 650.730 units to rank #2 overall, bypassing Hyundai (-43%), Toyota (+9%), Buick (-3%) and ChangAn (-6%). In 6th place we have the performance of the year so far: Geely up 87% and 9 spots to tease Changan for the title of most popular Chinese passenger car brand, a title it should hold by year end. Geely is reaping the fruits of a completely renewed range and three new best-selling SUVs: the Boyue, Emgrand GS and Vision SUV as well as strong selling sedans such as the Emgrand EC7, Emgrand GL and Vision.

The GS4 and new GS8 (pictured) lift GAC Trumpchi sales up 51% so far in 2017.

The Nissan brand follows at #7, up 15% ahead of Baojun up two spots and 22%, compensating for the falls of the 730 MPV and 560 SUV with the arrivals of the 310 hatch and 510 SUV. Haval drastically slows its galloping progress with a timid 4% gain as its range is starting to age. Its parent company, Great Wall Motors, is up 2.3% to 460.743. Rounding out the Top 10, Ford is down 10% and 3 spots to #10. Beyond, Wuling suffers at -12% (excluding LCVs), GAC Trumpchi shoots up 51% and 6 spots to #15 thanks to the continued success of the GS4 and the thunderous arrival of the GS8. In order of ranking, Roewe (+141%), Jeep (+106%), Cadillac (+98%), Soueast (+44%), MG (+61%), Leopaard (+36%), Mitsubishi (+166%), Renault (+357%), JMC (+486%) and Zhi Dou (+445%) post some of the largest year-on-year gains in market.

Renault has already reached 63% of its annual sales target for 2017. 

But not all Chinese brands register strong improvements over the period, and some should start to seriously worry, such as Beijing Auto (BAIC, BAW) down 26%, BYD down 15%, JAC down a harsh 40%, Zotye down 25%, Haima down 29% and Brilliance down 53%. For a handful of foreigners, 2017 is shaping up as the year to forget: wholesales put Hyundai at -43% and Kia at -56%, Peugeot is down 37%, Suzuki down 34% and Citroen down an abysmal 68%, ending H1 only 2.678 sales above newcomer and fellow countryman Renault, itself already hitting 63% of its annual sales target for 2017 (59.000).

SWM is the most popular of the nine new brands that entered the Chinese market since last year. 

A testimony of the dynamism of the Chinese market, we welcome no less than nine all-new brands in the H1 2017 ranking. They are led by SWM punching above 30.000 sales just as a second model hit dealerships, followed by Cowin just under 29.000 sales with three nameplates, Hanteng at roughly 27.500 with just one model, Borgward just under 22.000 with two, Bisu above 16.000 with three, Jaguar with 8.500 XFL, Acura with 4.500 CDX, Horki at 3.700 and Great Wall’s new “premium” brand WEY just under 3.200 units – all sold in June.

The Roewe RX5 is the 2nd best-selling new nameplate over the period with over 100.000 sales.

Now onto the models ranking, where the three best-sellers all lose volume, accelerating the fragmentation of the market. Both the Wuling Hongguang and the VW Lavida drop a heavy 11% and are only separated by 5.000 sales – the Hongguang ranked #1 only in February while the Lavida ranked 1st four times – with the Haval H6 falling a more restrained – but still surprising – 6%. The heroes of the period are below: the Buick Excelle rallies up 19% to #4 and ranked #1 in June, while the GAC Trumpchi GS4, now in its third year, shows no sign of running out of puff with a 20% surge and could soon go tease the Haval H6 for the title of #1 SUV in China.

The Haval H2S helps the brand stay in positive territory so far in 2017. 

The Nissan Sylphy also shows great strength in 6th place at +23%, overtaking the Toyota Corolla (+8%). The VW Tiguan, finally helped by the new generation, has been instrumental in keeping Volkswagen in positive over the period with a 43% surge lifting it to #8 overall and #2 VW model above the perennial strong sellers Jetta (-14%), Sagitar (-17%) and Santana (-15%). At #11, the Baojun 730 is now the brand’s best-seller despite a 9% drip, as we see a complete reshuffle of its sales order: hero of H1 2016, the Baojun 560 has been completely cannibalised (-48% and down from #5 to #23) by the brand’s new, edgier SUV, the 510. The 510 is the most popular newcomer over the period, landing directly at #21 with just under 103.000 sales.

The Fengguang 580 is now Dongfeng’s best-seller at home. 

The booming SUV segment has seen a lot of changes atop its sales charts: below the H6, GS4 and Tiguan, we now find the Geely Boyue up 548% on its launch period last year to rank #13 overall. The Boyue is now the brand’s best-seller at home, surpassing the Emgrand EC7 (+9%). The Buick Envision has reached its peak at #5 SUV and #15 overall (+4%), distancing the Haval H2 (+61% thanks to the H2S variant), Changan CS75 (+10%), Baojun 510 and Roewe RX5 (100.091 sales), the 2nd best-selling newcomer over the period. Notice also the Dongfeng Fengguang 580 becoming the brand’s best-seller, the Honda Civc rallying up 269% thanks to the new model, the Baojun 310 landing at #31, the Chevrolet Cavalier at #33 and the Chery Arrizo 5 up 91% to #43 and #3 Chinese sedan below the Geely Emgrand EC7 (#16) and Geely Vision (#38).

Previous post: China June 2017: Buick Excelle in the lead, market back up

One year ago: China First Half 2016: Tax cut, SUV wave spur 8% gain to record 12.8m

Full H1 2017 Top 82 All-brands and Top 531 All-models vs. Full H1 2016 figures below.

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China June 2017: Buick Excelle in the lead, market back up

The Buick Excelle is the best-selling nameplate in China in June. 

* See the Top 76 All-brands and Top 437 All-models by clicking on the title *

China-made light vehicle sales have ended two consecutive months of year-on-year decline in June at +2.3% to 1.83 million deliveries according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. This improvement is the sole work of SUVs up 14% to 741.400 units. All other segments are stable or decline: sedans are down 4% to 883.000, MPVs up 0.4% to 163.700 and microvans down 22% to 43.700. Yet despite some success stories as we’ll see further down, stock of Chinese-branded vehicles on dealerships is up to a 71-day supply vs 57 in May. Halfway through the year, the Chinese market (imports excluded) remains in positive, but just: up a meagre 1.6% to a record 11.3 million units. The positive trend is maintained thanks to price cuts, with average transaction prices dropping 4% over the first half of 2017. Apart from SUVs, one segment is in great shape: electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, up 33% in June to 59.000 deliveries and 14% year-to-date to 195.000.

Honda XR-V sales are up 44% year-on-year. 

According to data released by manufacturers themselves – retail sales including imports, so the data differs from our data tables, General Motors is up 4.3% year-on-year to 285.191 units, with Buick up 13% to 96.913, Chevrolet up 7.2%, Baojun up 47% and Cadillac up for the 16th consecutive month at +35% to 12.886 whereas Wuling skids down 26% to 73.460. The Volkswagen Group does better with a 5.2% rise to 315.300 units, with the Volkswagen brand up 5.4% to 232.400 (up 13% to 247.882 wholesales) and Audi back into positive territory as we’ll see further down. Ford Motor soar 15% to around 100.000 units. Japanese carmakers continue to beat the market, partly benefitting from their Korean counterparts’ crisis: Nissan Motor is up 8.9% to 118.769, Honda Motor up 18% to 113.769 and Toyota Motor up 10% to 106.900. Following China’s diplomatic feud with South Korea about U.S. anti-missile defense, Hyundai (-64%) and Kia (-60%) continue to freefall.

Audi reclaims the premium leadership in China in June.

After a start of the year handicapped by a conflict with their dealers about a new distribution channel – now postponed – Audi reclaims the premium leadership, but just, as its recovery is sluggish: up 1.7% to 51.900 deliveries this month. In comparison, BMW/Mini is up 12% to 50.597 thanks to the X1 and newly-launched 1-Series sedan and Mercedes-Benz is up 28% to 50.090, citing record sales of the C-Class and strong Smart deliveries. Volvo for its part beats all the aforementioned manufacturers with a 31% surge to 10.113 units.

Geely sales are up 89% year-on-year in June. 

As always, it’s within Chinese brands that we find the most spectacular year-on-year gains, but some are starting to run out of puff. For the third month in a row, Geely is the most popular Chinese brand at home thanks to a spectacular 89% gain to just under 90.000 units. The brand benefits from very strong sales of recently-launched SUVs – the Boyue, once again beating its volume record this month, as well as the Emgrand GS and Vision SUV, with the Emgrand GL sedan also hitting the mark. ChangAn drops 1% to just under 82.000 units and Great Wall Motors worryingly drops 1.7% to 64.471 units, with its SUV brand Haval down 9% and this despite Great Wall-branded pickup deliveries up 17% to 8.055 and the arrival of its new premium brand WEY with 3.166 sales.

Although very successful, the Baojun 510 has annihilated sales of the 560.

Wholesales of Baojun are up 61% to above 60.000 units, GAC Trumpchi shoots up 52% to 43.360 with the large GS8 SUV continuing to post strong figures, Chery is up 14%, Roewe up 109% thanks to the RX5 SUV and the i6 sedan, Zotye up 31% with the new T700 its best-seller and a rare nameplate in its range that is not a clone, Soueast up 76% thanks to the DX3 SUV, Leopaard up 29% thanks to the arrival of the CS9 SUV, MG up 38% thanks to the ZS SUV, Karry up 67%, SWM up to #44 and Bisu up to #49. In contrast, Dongfeng is down 10%, Beijing Auto (BAIC, BAW) down 37%, BYD down 19%, JAC down 38%, Lifan down 12%, Venucia down 11%, Haima down 47% and Brilliance down 45%. It’s not all rosy among Chinese carmakers indeed. Among other manufacturers, notice Jeep up 66% and Renault up 160% but Peugeot down 32% and Citroen down 69%.

Still going strong: the GAC Trumpchi GS4 (+20%). 

In the models ranking, the Buick Excelle takes the lead for the first time for this generation thanks to sales up 15%. It is the first time since April 2012 that the Excelle nameplate dominates the Chinese sales charts. But this win wasn’t a blatant one as the photo-finish for the #1 position has never been so close in China: only 2.656 sales separate the #1 from the #5 ranked. At #2 despite sales down 19%, the VW Lavida makes it two sedans on top, ahead of the Haval H6 (-6%) and the Wuling Hongguang (-18%) confirming its current weakness. The Nissan Sylphy (-1%) and Toyota Corolla (+19%) follow. Below, three blockbuster SUVs shine again: the GAC Trumpchi GS4 hasn’t yet reached its full potential with deliveries up 20%, the Baojun 510 breaks another symbolic barrier – 30.000 monthly sales, annihilating the brand’s other SUV, the 560 down 69% to #101, and the VW Tiguan shoots up 79% on the previous model in June 2016.

Inside the Top 100: the VW Teramont. 

Volkswagen sees a shaking of its best-sellers: the Tiguan comes at #2 below the Lavida, with the long-running Jetta (-28%), Sagitar (-15%) and Santana (-38%) in great difficulty. In contrast, the Lamando breaks a new volume record above 19.000 units (+109%), the Magotan is up 67%, the Polo up 30%, the Bora up 45% and the Passat up 38%. Also in great shape near the top of the ranking: the Honda XR-V up 44% and the Changan CS75 up 79%. Among recent launches, the Honda Avancier (#80), VW Teramont (#87), Skoda Kodiaq (+68 to #106), Honda UR-V (+34 to #120), Zotye T700 (+242 to #136), Changan CS55 (+247 to #148), Peugeot 5008 (#155) and Bisu T5 (#164) all beat their monthly volume record.

Previous month: China May 2017: Second consecutive month of decline at -2.6%

One year ago: China June 2016: Market up 18%, next wave of Chinese SUVs arrives

Full June 2017 Top 76 All-brands and Top 437 All-models below.

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Norway June 2017: Tesla Model X shoots up to 2nd place overall

The Tesla Model X is the 2nd best-selling nameplate in Norway in June. Picture dn.no 

* See the Top 37 All-brands and Top 224 All-models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to sales up 4% in June to 14.228 units, the Norwegian new car market edges into positive territory over the First Half of 2017 at +0.3% to 77.983 registrations. This is the largest June volume in Norway since 1986 (16.064). 27.7% of total registrations this month are full-Electric cars, and when we add PHEV vehicles this share soars to 42.2%, confirming Norway is well ahead of the curve when it comes to environmentally-friendly car sales. Volkswagen remains master in command with a strong 15.6% share despite a 3% drop, followed by Toyota falling harder at -14% to 9.7% share. In contrast, Mercedes surges 34% to third place, BMW is up 28% to #4, Skoda up 30% to #5 and, most impressively, Tesla is up 3-fold to #6. Further down, notice Opel up 59%, Hyundai up 84%, Suzuki up 43% and Porsche up 28%.

Model-wise, after a difficult start of the year, the VW Golf posts its first double-digit gain of 2017 at +19% to 8.8% share, with the e-Golf representing 69% of its sales for the month and the PHEV variant 13%. The surprise of the month is the Tesla Model X up 34 spots on May to land in 2nd place overall for the second time in its one-year career, the first being in September 2016. In fact, there are many changes atop the Norwegian models ranking this month. The Renault Zoe is up 38 ranks to #3, the BMW i3 is up 8-fold on June 2016 to #4 and the Opel Ampera-e continues to progress, up 9 spots on May to break into the Top 10 for the first time at #6. Notice also the Skoda Kodiaq up to #12.

Previous month: Norway May 2017: Opel Ampera-e up to #15

One year ago: Norway June 2016: Volkswagen leads, Toyota Prius up 3-fold to #12

Full June 2017 Top 37 All-brands and Top 224 All-models below.

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