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Indonesia July 2014: Daihatsu Xenia on podium, Datsun Go+ #13

August 24th, 2014 3 comments

Datsun Go+ Indonesia July 2014. Courtesy otomotifThe Datsun Go+ invasion has begun…

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

It had to happen one day: new car sales in Indonesia screech to an abrupt halt in July: down a very surprising 20% year-on-year to just 89,932 registrations. The year-to-date total is still up but by a tiny 0.7% to 719,325 units. If the market repeats this downward trend in the coming months, 2014 won’t be a record year and far from it… In pole position, the Toyota Avanza slides to its lowest ever market share in the country at 12.2% and 10,948 sales, eclipsing its previous ‘worst’ of 12.4% reached last December. The Honda Mobilio pauses a bit at 6.9% (vs. 7.2% year-to-date) but confirms if need be it is now the Avanza’s toughest competitor.

Daihatsu Xenia Indonesia July 2014Daihatsu Xenia

Let’s salute an impressive surge of the Daihatsu Xenia in third place: up 6 spots on June to 5,338 sales and 5.9% share vs. 4% year-to-date and enabling it to pop from #9 directly to #5 in 2014 so far at 28,805 units. The Toyota Kijang Innova (#4) and Agya (#5) exchange spots vs. June but remain #4 and #3 respectively year-to-date. Thanks to the new model, the Honda Jazz jumps up to #10 with 2,758 sales and 3.1% but the most interesting development this month happens outside the Top 10: while we are starting to wonder whether it was a good idea to relaunch the Datsun brand in India given the Go’s disappointing sales results, in Indonesia everything is going fine thank you. The MPV variant of the Go, the Go+, undercutting the Avanza and Mobilio in price, continues to climb up the ladder: it is now #13 with 2,063 sales and 2.3% share. A Top 10 ranking for a Datsun model for the first time in decades? This could happen as early as next month in Indonesia…

Previous month: Indonesia June 2014: Honda Mobilio above 10,000 sales again

One year ago: Indonesia July 2013: Chevrolet Spin up to #13 in record month

Full July 2014 Top 20 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Indonesia

Turkey July 2014: Renault Fluence reclaims top spot

August 23rd, 2014 4 comments

Renault Fluence Turkey July 2014. Picture courtesy of syl.ruRenault Fluence

* See the Top 263 models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Yarım Debriyaj *

The Turkish new light vehicle market is not getting any better: down 16% year-on-year in July to 59,907 registrations, split into 46,602 passenger cars and 13,605 LCVs. The year-to-date total now stands at 346,768 units, down 24% on 2013. In the brands ranking, Volkswagen reigns at 15.2% share ahead of Ford (13.8%), Fiat (12%) and Renault (11.8%), the latter being down a harsh 23% year-on-year. After giving up its crown to the Fiat Linea for the past two months, the Renault Fluence reclaims the pole position it holds year-to-date thanks to 2,835 sales and adding up to 14,887 so far in 2014 vs. 14,549 for the Linea, down to #2 and 2,648 units in July. Notice also the Ford Focus sedan very solid in third position and 4.1% share vs. 2.7% year-to-date, the VW Jetta up to #4, Fiat Doblo up to #5, the Ford Fiesta up to #8 vs. #16 ytd and the Ford Courier robust at #10.

Previous month: Turkey June 2014: Ford Focus and Courier shine

One year ago: Turkey July 2013: VW Passat, Golf and Toyota Corolla in great shape

Full July 2014 Top 263 models and Top 40 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Turkey

Algeria July 2014: VW Polo and Skoda Fabia shine

August 22nd, 2014 No comments

VW Polo Algeria July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frVW Polo

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

Another very volatile month for new car sales in Algeria, in freefall this year. Renault reclaims the brands pole position off Volkswagen thanks to 3,945 sales, Peugeot remains #2 at 3,387 and VW falls to #3 at 3,363. Toyota is up two spots on June to #5, Suzuki up 4 to #6 and Skoda #8 again, Citroen breaks into the Top 10 at #10 while Dacia (#4 in June) and Kia (#6) spectacularly fall out of it.

Skoda Fabia Algeria July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frSkoda Fabia appears in the Algerian Top 10 potentially for the first time.

Model-wise, the VW Polo takes the lead for the second time in 4 months thanks to a very solid 2,105 sales, but remains #3 year-to-date below the Hyundai Accent and Dacia Logan, outside the Top 10 this month. The Renault Symbol is back up 5 spots to #3, the Renault Clio IV reappears at #5 while the Skoda Fabia and Suzuki Swift hatchback both point their bonnet in the Top 10 (#8 and #9 respectively) for the first time since BSCB started following monthly sales in Algeria.

Previous month: Algeria June 2014: Dacia Logan edges past VW Polo

One year ago: Algeria July 2013: Toyota Hilux leads, Dacia Logan back up to #4

Full July 2014 Top 10 brands and models Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Algeria

Philippines July 2014: Toyota first manufacturer to ever break the 10,000 monthly unit-mark in market up 30%

August 22nd, 2014 No comments

Toyota Vios Philippines July 2014. Picture courtesy of blogspot.comThe Vios helps Toyota up 66% year-on-year this month in the Philippines.

* See the Top 25 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Myk/Forester *

The Filipino new car market continues to lodges astounding gains month after month without exception and July is up 29.5% year-on-year to a fantastic 23,741 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to a record 150,400 units, up a splendid 24% on 2013. Toyota makes history this month: the Japanese manufacturer becomes the first ever in the Philippines to sell over 10,000 units in a single month, up a huge 66% year-on-year to 10,079 sales in July and adding up to a mammoth 42.5% market share vs. 38.8% year-to-date.

Toyota cites the tremendous success of the Vios (#1) and Innova (#2) as the main engines fuelling this record. Mitsubishi takes a beating at 15.9% share vs. 19.2% ytd, followed by Hyundai and Ford while Honda delivers its first yoy gains this year in 5th place. Note Philippines car sales fugures do not include Chinese or Indian brands but local website autoindustryia announced these will be added soon. Exciting!

Previous month: Philippines 6 months 2014: Toyota and Ford outpace market up 28%

One year ago: Philippines 6 months 2013: Now with Top 140 models ranking!

Full July 2014 Top 25 brands Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Philippines

Ukraine July 2014 (brands): ZAZ and Toyota above Geely

August 22nd, 2014 3 comments

ZAZ Forza Ukraine July 2014ZAZ Forza

* See the Top 54 All-brands ranking by clicking on the title! Thanks Igor *

Due to the crisis currently affecting the country, new car sales data for Ukraine is understandably getting harder to obtain. This month unfortunately I can only share with you a brands ranking. The total market stands at 6,818 registrations, a 62% drop on July 2013, bringing the year-to-date total to 64,609 units, down 44% on 2013. Local manufacturer ZAZ is the most popular brand in Ukraine this month thanks to 654 units and 9.6%, distancing June’s leader Toyota by only 4 units.

Geely, #3 in July with 568 sales and 8.3%, keeps the lead year-to-date by far at 7,485 units and 11.6%, and should stay ahead even if it remains about 100 units off the top spot each month until the end of the year. Volkswagen lodges a very dynamic result at 7.4% share in 4th place, that’s two full percentage points above its year-to-date level, while Skoda is solid at #5 and Hyundai a little weak at #6. Notice also Kia up to #7 vs. #10 ytd, Bogdan back up 16 spots on June to #11 and Chery up 3 to #17 at 2.2% share vs. #23 and 1.2% ytd.

Previous month: Ukraine June 2014: ZAZ Vida and Skoda Rapid top market down 65%

One year ago: Ukraine July 2013: ZAZ Sens now leader year-to-date

Full July 2014 Top 54 All-brands Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Ukraine

Malaysia July 2014: Market up 3%

August 22nd, 2014 No comments

Proton Suprima S and Preve Malaysia October 2013Proton Preve and Suprima S

New vehicle sales in Malaysia are up 3% year-on-year in July to 60,267 registrations. According to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), this increase is due to the the festive period starting and many people deciding to get new cars to celebrate. The year-to-date total now stands at 393,409 units after 7 months, 3% ahead of the same period in 2013. Brands charts will follow shortly.

Categories: Malaysia

Strategy: Was killing Chevrolet in Europe a good idea?

August 20th, 2014 12 comments

Chevrolet Cruze crash. Picture courtesy of autoblog.comGeneral Motors crashed Chevrolet down in Europe. A good thing?

On paper yes, in practice no.

In December 2013, General Motors announced it would kill the Chevrolet brand in Europe to concentrate on ailing Opel and its UK sister brand Vauxhall. A reshuffling of priorities that made sense given Opel racked up an incredible $18 billion in losses over the past 12 years. GM cited damaging in-house competition that had eroded the profitability of both Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet in the region to justify the cull. Harsh but clean-cut, killing Chevrolet Europe is one of these decisions that is strategically sound but could potentially oversee the reality on the ground and changing consumers perceptions as a result.

Chevrolet Bel Air ImpalaChevrolet’s heritage is still present in European consumers’ minds.

Too big to kill?

Killing a brand such as Chevrolet in such a large market as Europe – 13 million new vehicles this year – is a huge deal and is not likely to happen smoothly. In troubled times, General Motors has made the decision to sacrifice the smaller of two struggling brands, but perhaps not the less healthy. By 2011 Chevrolet was selling just under 200,000 annual units on the continent through a network of 1,900 dealers, a little below Volvo and more than Mini, Honda, Suzuki or Mazda. Granted, the brand perception of Chevrolet may have morphed from badass American cars to dubious Korean imports by the time most models in the range had a Daewoo origin, but Chevrolet enjoys almost 100% awareness in Europe due to its long American heritage.

It’s not like GM killed a young, tiny brand in the bud like Nissan could be tempted to do with Infiniti in Europe if sales don’t increase dramatically in the near future. And it’s certainly not the same as killing Cadillac which had repeatedly struggled to sell more than a few thousand cars annually in Europe over the past two decades. Chevrolet is a brand that, if segmented well and properly differentiated with Opel, could definitely have kept growing on the continent. Heck, if Peugeot/Citroen PSA, in a similar precarious situation in Europe as GM, can finally decide to significantly differentiate its two brands while adding a third premium one (DS), why can’t the #3 manufacturer in the world do so?

Chevrolet Spark Europe 2014The Spark was Chevrolet’s best-seller in Europe in 2013.

Is the Opel brand really more healthy than Chevrolet?

By killing Chevrolet instead of Opel, did GM make a big mistake and cull the healthier of the two brands? The plan was that in the process, two things would happen: first most Chevrolet sales would transfer to Opel, then Opel, now GM’s only mass market brand on the continent, could return to profitability and its long lost days of teasing Volkswagen as Europe’s favourite brand. Does this mean that the health of the Opel brand is so tarnished that it needs its internal competitors shut off to prosper? It would appear so. Again on paper, it looks like the first thing happened: as Chevrolet abruptly died, losing 40,000 sales year-on-year in Europe in H1 2014, Opel gained almost as much (35,400). But there is nothing to say that these additional sales came from buyers who would have otherwise bought a Chevrolet.

Opel Corsa Europe 2014GM is counting on a clumsily facelifted Corsa to revive Opel sales in Europe…

In fact the detail by model over the period shows that Opel’s gains are in fact due to two new models (the Mokka and Adam), quite independently from Chevrolet’s death. The Corsa is only up 1% on the back of massive rebates continent-wide and stronger-than-usual sales to rental companies, plus I don’t believe the new ‘generation’ is ground-breaking enough to trigger a sudden surge upwards. The Astra (-9%) is outside the Top 10 for the first time since the nameplate was launched over two decades ago. The Insignia is up 35% but that’s not coming from the Chevy Malibu, stillborn here. The Meriva (2%) and Zafira (+8%) are ok but not selling in enough numbers to lift the brand, the Agila (-8%), Antara (-51%) and Ampera (-64%!) are sinking while the Cascada (+41%) is merely a blip on the radar at just 4,200 sales continent-wide. Only the Mokka (+62%) and Adam (+28%), both launched a bit over a year ago, logically step up, but what will happen when they stabilise?

Opel Mokka Europe 2014…but this responsibility falls on the Mokka for now.

Another concerning element is the definite lack of appeal of the Opel brand with private buyers, and this is a consistent situation all over Europe. Having a large part of its sales going to rental companies or fleet impacts a brand’s resale value extremely negatively as lots of ‘young’ used cars flood a market that never had a natural demand for it in the first place. For example, at home in Germany where you would expect a minimum amount of loyalty for the brand, the Corsa and Astra are the least popular models in their segments in terms of private sale ratio (17% on average). In comparison, Chevrolet was above 40% private sale ratio across most segments before last December’s announcement…

General Motors says ”Opel showrooms will become bigger, this is a really good opportunity to strengthen the Opel brand. We will try to capture customers who were in the low-price segment of the market.” So Opel has been rid of Chevrolet to get bigger showrooms and compete with Skoda and Dacia, whereas it couldn’t make a profit even when competing with Volkswagen? More than an uninspired facelift of its best-seller Corsa will be needed to achieve that. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has said in April that the automaker could reach break-even as soon as 2015, which would be a year ahead of target. However GM lost $305 million during Q2 2014, compared with a $114 million loss a year earlier, saying most of the losses were related to the closure of Opel’s assembly plant in Bochum. A lot of mixed messages indeed.

Chevrolet closing down. Picture courtesy of Auto PlusChevrolet closing down, Opel opening up?

How is the transition going at dealership level?

This is potentially the worst sign. The brand is supposed to sell cars up until 31 December 2015, yet in the Netherlands, Europe’s 6th biggest market, not a single Chevrolet was sold in July! And only one in Latvia, 4 in Finland and 6 in Estonia. This is a particularly abrupt fall even for a brand that has announced it would close down shortly. Saab didn’t fall that fast that early. A few days ago General Motors announced that “the dealer transition from Chevy to Opel is working extremely well: 85 percent have converted to selling only Opel.” This may be the case as a European average but is actually incorrect in France.

Over the decade up until 2013, Chevrolet was the third fastest growing brand in France below just Dacia and Kia with sales up 452% between 2003 and 2013 and its standalone dealership network growing from 93 to 170. Here the sudden announcement of the death of Chevrolet in Europe has angered a large part of Chevy dealers which felt they were left with no future while having built a brand from scratch for nothing. As a result, according to French magazine Auto Plus, the relationship between the General Motors France head office and the dealers is currently at its worst and that cannot be a good sign of healthy sales in the country. 140 dealerships have reportedly already closed down, not selling a single new vehicle this very minute, and as a logical consequence no Opels either – although the magazine is unclear on this point.

Fine, we can’t buy any Chevrolets in France anymore, or close to that. How about current owners that need repairing and/or spare parts? This is where it gets worse. Officially, over 160 service centres affiliated with Chevrolet are still in operation across the country, and General Motors has vowed to maintain Chevrolet after-sales service in Europe up to 2025. In practice, Auto Plus magazine reports French Chevy owners having trouble getting spare parts under reasonable delays and, more worringly, even getting latent defects taken care of!

Chevrolet Camaro Europe 2014The Camaro & Corvette are your only hope of getting a new Chevrolet in Europe after 2015. Or are they?

But Chevrolet is not dead…

But fear not, everything will be fine because “Opel will develop a range of models targeting former Chevrolet buyers” said Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann recently. So let me get this straight. We kill Chevrolet, then start from scratch again and create a whole new range of Opel models that will undercut the current ones price-wise the same way Chevrolet undercut Opel. All this while counting on current Chevrolet owners that can’t even get their cars repaired (even though they’re supposed to until 2025) to not be angry enough to give up on either Opel or Chevrolet altogether?

The Corvette and Camaro will supposedly remain available after 2015 though. Only there won’t be anyone to sell them.

Not such a good idea after all.

Categories: Europe, STRATEGY

Spain August 2014: Barcelona Photo Snapshot

August 20th, 2014 3 comments

1. Seat Ibiza Barcelona August 2014Seat Ibiza in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

Over the past few days I had the honour of visiting Barcelona in Spain, and this is a great opportunity to share with you my impressions on the car landscape in the capital of the Catalunya region. Remember to click on any picture to see the full size version! The first striking element looking at the cars in the streets of Barcelona is the low prevalence of shining new cars. The recession the market has endured here between 2008 and 2013 is showing clearly in the composition of the car landscape. Also, a very large portion of the cars in circulation in the city are taxis which may flaw some observations a little. A lot of these taxis are new, indicating that fleet sales do play a big part in the Spanish new car market’s current recovery.

2. Seat Toledo Barcelona August 2014bSeat Toledo in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

As is often the case in mid-weight cities, taxi nameplates are very specific in Barcelona with only a few models forming the vast majority of the park. Logical: the Seat Altea, Skoda Octavia, Superb and now Rapid are very popular with taxi companies. Large boots, understandable. More interesting: the Toyota Prius is among the two or three most frequent taxis here. Even more interesting: the Seat Toledo is everywhere as a taxi. Let’s be frank, it’s a flop in the Spanish sales charts as well as all other European countries, and it seems the little amount of sales it garnered at home since launch are devoted to endure the long and tiring life of being a taxi here.

3. Seat Leon Barcelona August 2014Seat Leon in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

As far as passenger cars are concerned, the latest generations Seat Ibiza and Leon do confirm they are the two most popular vehicles in the country at the moment with a significant amount driving around in town. The new Peugeot 308 is also an instant hit in Barcelona in line with country-wide sales figures of the past few months.

4. Skoda Rapid Barcelona August 2014Skoda Rapid in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

5. Renault Twizy Barcelona August 2014bRenault Twizy in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

Barcelona is now the city in the world where I saw the most Renault Twizy! They are used as security vehicles around the main touristic attraction (as below in Park Güell), but also available to rent and I saw quite a few tourists happily driving around town, with the passenger holding onto the driver’s seat a little bit like on a motorbike…

6. Renault Twizy Barcelona August 2014aRenault Twizy in Park Güell, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

7. Peugeot 308 Barcelona August 2014Peugeot 308 in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

8. Dacia Dokker Barcelona August 2014Dacia Dokker in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

If you are a regular BSCB reader, you will know that Dacia has been met with tremendous success in Spain, with the Sandero flirting with the pole position of the models private sales charts. This gets confirmed in Barcelona, and I even saw way more Dacia Dokker than I ever did in France…

9. Seat Toledo Barcelona August 2014aSeat Toledo in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain – August 2014

10. Tata Hispano Barcelona August 2014Did you know Indian manufacturer Tata had a Spanish subsidiary called ‘Tata Hispano’? 

Categories: Spain

Europe July 2014: Nissan Qashqai hits best ranking in 16 months

August 20th, 2014 7 comments

NISSAN QASHQAINissan Qashqai

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

European new car sales mark an 11th consecutive month of year-on-year gains in July at 1,081,195 registrations, up 5.4%. The year-to-date total now stands at 7,917,269 units after 7 months, up 5.8% on the same period last year. In the models charts, the VW Golf remains sovereign, even growing twice as fast as the market at +11% to 41,914 sales, almost 20,000 units above the second best-selling car… Talk about ultra-domination… Inside the Top 5, the Ford Fiesta (+6%), Renault Clio (+12%) and Opel Corsa (+17% thanks to run out prices on the outgoing model) also outperform, as opposed to the VW Polo, down 4% in spite of its mid-life facelift.

Skoda Octavia Europe July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frSkoda Octavia

Ousted by a record-breaking Renault Captur and the ever-young Fiat 500 last month, both the Skoda Octavia (up 35% yoy to #7) and Audi A3 (up 23% to #9) reclaim their traditional spot among the Top 10 most popular models on the continent in July. Notice also the Nissan Qashqai hitting its best European ranking since March 2013 at #6 and the Peugeot 208 down a harsh 10% to #10.

Audi A3 Europe July 2014Audi is the 5th best-selling brand in Europe in July, above Peugeot and #1 premium.

In the brands ranking, the Top 4 best-sellers return to their year-to-date order this month with Volkswagen in the lead (+8%) ahead of Ford (+1%), Opel/Vauxhall (+8%) and Renault (+5%). Surprise in 5th place: Audi outsells Peugeot for the first time since last August to break into the Top 5 for only the third time in two years with 63,817 sales and 5.9% share (+8%) vs. 63,634 for the French manufacturer. The premium Germans are in great shape with Mercedes up 7% to #7 and BMW up 9% to #8. Finally, let’s salute the outstanding performance of Skoda, up 28% on July 2013 to 9th position with 51,876 units.

Previous post: Europe First Half 2014: Trusted nameplates outperform market

Previous monthly post: Europe June 2014: Discover the Top 340 best-selling models!

Previous month: Europe June 2014: Renault Captur first small SUV in Top 10 at #7

One year ago: Europe July 2013: Ford Focus at highest in almost a year

Full July 2014 Top 10 models and brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Europe

Portugal July 2014: VW Polo and Fiat Punto in command

August 20th, 2014 2 comments

VW Polo Portugal July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frVW Polo

* See the Top 210 All-models and Top 33 All-brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Antonio *

+31% in July: the Portuguese new car market is definitely in recovery mode, bringing the year-to-date total to 89,949 units or a 37% improvement over the same period last year… Similarly to Croatia which we covered yesterday, this month is heavily influenced by rental car sales, which could explain the somewhat extraordinary models ranking: the VW Polo brilliantly takes the lead for the first time since BSCB has started following the Portuguese monthly models charts (June 2013) thanks to 710 sales and 5% share vs. #3 and 3.9% year-to-date, and the Fiat Punto is up 9 spots on June to a fantastic 2nd place at 586 units and 4.1% vs. #9 and 2.4% so far in 2014. The Renault Clio remains leader year-to-date (5.6%) but drops to third place at 4% share in July. The Seat Ibiza is strong at #4 vs. #7 ytd, as are the Audi A3 at #8 vs. #14, Toyota Yaris at #12 and Seat Leon at #13.

Peugeot 108 Portugal July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frPeugeot 108

Further down, the Peugeot 108 lands directly at #34 for its very first appearance inside the Portuguese charts with 115 sales and 0.8%, the Citroen C4 Cactus is down 3 spots on June to #39, the BMW 4 Series down two to a still very impressive #41, the Mercedes V-Class lands at #103, the new generation Nissan X-Trail at #173 and the BMW i8 sells its very first two units this month in Portugal. We also welcome the Maserati brand into the Portuguese sales charts after a couple of years of absence, with one unit sold this month (a Quattroporte). In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (+61%) overtakes Renault (+38%) but remains #2 year-to-date, while Seat (+80%), Dacia (+180%) and Porsche (+105%) are on fire.

Previous month: Portugal June 2014: Mass brands reclaim market up 24%

One year ago: Portugal July 2013: Discover the Top 250 All-models ranking!

Full July 2014 Top 210 All-models and Top 33 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

Read more…

Categories: Portugal