China April 2017: Market marks a pause at -3.7%

The 510 is now Baojun’s best-seller and the country’s third best-selling SUV. 

* See the Top 74 brands and Top 413 models by clicking on the title *

The increase of the purchase tax on small cars initiated at the start of the year has finally caught up with the Chinese light vehicle market, down 3.7% year-on-year in April to 1.72 million units according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The purchase tax on vehicles of 1.6L or less was raised from 5% to 7.5% on January 1 and will be back to 10% in 2018. Sales of such vehicles are down 10% to 1.14 million this month. The year-to-date tally remains in positive territory however at +2.5% to 7.67 million light vehicles. As it has become the routine over the past couple of years, SUV sales go against the grain at +12% to 691.497 units whereas MPVs are down a harsh 19% to 139.685 and passenger cars are down 8% to 836.683. This month the market is the theatre of some unusually harsh year-on-year drops for some brands and models as we will detail below, indicating a strong readjustment of the market.

The Tiguan L helps the Volkswagen Group to #1 in China this month.

Group-wise, according to figures released by manufacturers themselves (retail figures including imports), the Volkswagen Group remains the largest carmaker in the country with sales up 1.5% to 299.700 units. The Volkswagen brand is up 4.3% but Audi is down 6.9% and Skoda down 12%. Note wholesales of locally-made vehicles show a different picture with VW down 5%. Year-to-date sales for the Group are in negative at -4.8% to 1.19 million units. Its archenemy General Motors is down 1.9% to 272.770 units, with Buick down 15%, Chevrolet down 10%, Wuling down 16% but Cadillac up 98% and Baojun up 58%. Here too wholesales of locally-made vehicles show different evolutions, with Buick in positive notably.

BMW is the best-selling luxury carmaker in China for the first time.

One of the main events of the month is the leadership of the BMW Group among luxury carmakers for the first time in Chinese history. Retail sales including imports of BMW and Mini vehicles are up 39% to 48.869 units, edging past Mercedes up 35% to 47.627 and Audi down 6.9% to 46.166. This occurrence wouldn’t have been possible without the troubles Audi is currently encountering in China. The brand is now pulling out of an agreement with its Chinese dealers that it would not open a second distribution network with its partner SAIC until it sells 900.000 annual units in China. This means Audi resumes its standoff with Chinese dealers that have refused ordering new cars as a protest against the SAIC network plans, and sales of the brand will be affected for a few more months at least. Note looking at wholesales of locally-made vehicles, Audi is still ahead this month with BMW 2nd and Mercedes 3rd as detailed in the ranking table below the jump.

Honda sales are up 29% year-on-year this month. 

Japanese carmakers show a stark contrast with surrounding market conditions this month. Honda Motor is the April hero, posting a 29% year-on-year surge to 109.518 units, just as the XR-V crossover is up 23%, the Accord up 24% and the Civic up 184%. Toyota Motor is up 7.2% to 108.300 and Nissan Motor up 9.5% to 105.324, helped by Infiniti deliveries up 105% to 3.415. All three carmakers may have taken advantage of a sales transfer from Hyundai Motor still suffering from a diplomatic row between China and South Korea over the North Korean missile crisis. Hyundai is down 64% this month and Kia down 69%. Year-to-date, Nissan Motor remains in a tight lead with 419.671 sales (+6.3%) ahead of Honda Motor at 414.814 (+20%) and Toyota Motor at 404.400 (+3.1%). Keep in mind these totals include Infiniti, Acura and Lexus. On a separate note, after a painful first quarter, Ford Motor Co. rebounds in April at +11% to 93.967 sales.

The Boyue helps Geely sales up 88% in April. 

Among Chinese carmakers, Geely is the standout performer of the month with deliveries surging 88% thanks to the exceptional performance of its four most recent launches: the Geely Boyue beating its monthly volume record again at 21.263 and now the country 5th best-selling SUV – 11th overall, the Vision SUV (9.634), Emgrand GS (9.119) and Emgrand GL (9.073). After years of record-beating months, SUV carmaker Haval is down 7% this month just as its best-seller the H6 marks a pause at -17% and despite the H2 bouncing up 57% thanks to the new H2S model. But the most surprising evolution comes from Changan losing half its sales year-on-year and dropping from #2 to #10 in the brands ranking. GAC Trumpchi (+49%), Roewe (+155%), MG (+109%) and Leopaard (+51%) go forward, but two manufacturers that have built their recent success on shameless copycats now hit a wall: Zotye is down 58% this month and Landwind down 80%.

The ZS is already MG’s best-seller in China for its second month in market. 

Over in the models ranking, the top three best-sellers fit within 400 sales and all post double-digit declines: the VW Lavida/Gran Lavida is down 12% ahead of the Haval H6 (-17%) and Wuling Hongguang (-10%). The Hongguang remains the year-to-date leader ahead of the Lavida and H6. This trio is followed this month by the Buick Excelle up an excellent 39% to 32.962 sales and distancing the Nissan Sylphy (+1%) and GAC Trumpchi GS4. But once again the performance of the month goes to the new Baojun 510, beating its volume record to 21.987 and earning a 9th place overall and 3rd place in the SUV ranking. The 510 is now Baojun’s best-seller above the 730, 560 and 310 but it confirms this comes at a cannibalising price as the brand’s other SUV, the 560, is down another 60% this month. Let’s single out three additional high performing SUVs: the VW Tiguan up 14% to #10, the GAC Trumpchi GS8 remaining above 10.000 units for the second straight month and the MG ZS surging to 9.768 units for its second month in market, by far the brand’s best-seller already.

Previous month: China March 2017: Baojun wins 510 bet in market up 1.7%

One year ago: China April 2016: Haval H6 first SUV to lead the overall ranking

Full April 2017 Top 74 brands and Top 413 models below. (imports excluded)

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China February-March 2016: Focus on the all-new models

Baojun 510

We are catching up on two months at once with a laser focus on the all-new locally produced models hitting the Chinese market. A total of 18 new nameplates made their first appearance in the Chinese sales charts over the past couple of months.

1. Baojun 510: February 8.086 sales, March 18.016 sales

Unveiled last November at the Guangzhou Auto Show, the 510 is Baojun’s second incursion in the crossover segment after the immensely successful 560, but this time the design is daring, especially for a low-cost Chinese offer. It worked. As we have already detailed in the China March 2017 update, the 510 is already a blockbuster with 18.016 sales for its second month in market. However this has come with a price: the cannibalisation of the 560, freefalling 64% at the same time the 510 is extending its wings. As for all Baojun nameplates, the 510 price range stands at a cutthroat 59.800-75.800 yuan (US$ 8.700-11.000) which means it doesn’t overlap with the 560, priced from 76.800 to 89.800 yuan ($11.200-13.050). The 510 comes with a petrol 1.5L litre engine with a 6 speed manual or automatic gearbox. The success of the 510 so far is a sign that Chinese buyers are ready to purchase more daring designs by their homegrown carmakers. Keeping things in perspective though: at 18.016 sales in March, the 510 remains way below the 560’s personal best of 42.077 units reached back in March 2016.

Bar for success: 20.000 monthly sales

2. Roewe i6: March 7.015 sales

After the tremendous success of the RX5 crossover (personal best at 24.778 units), Roewe continues to climb back up the Chinese brands sales ladder thanks to this new i6 sedan replacing both the 550 and 750. The 4.67m-long i6 is equipped with a 1.5L turbo engine, and is priced from 89.800 to 143.800 yuan (US$ 13.000-20.900). An electric variant called ei6 will also be launched. The i stands for internet, innovation and intelligence. It has traditionally been harder for local manufacturers to be successful in the sedan segment, with the most successful being the cheaper Geely Emgrand EC7 (69.800-100.800 yuan), Changan Eado (73.900-94.900 yuan) and Chery Arrizo 5 (60.000 to 80.000 yuan). The task is therefore arduous for the i6 which is a clear stab at the best-selling VW Lavida both in terms of design and price: the Lavida is priced at 112.900-166.900 yuan and comes with a 1.4L turbo or 1.6L.

Bar for success: 10.000 sales

3. FAW Besturn X40: March 4.905 sales

Finally the FAW sub-brand Besturn is getting its compact SUV, the X40, which hits the bullseye of what Chinese customers are waiting for: from its first month of sales the X40 is the best-selling, selling ten times more than the next best-seller! The Besturn X40 is based on the Senya R7 launched in 2016 but proposes a slightly more aggressive design that gives off a little air of Mazda. Powered by a 1.6L engine mated with a five speed manual or six speed auto, the X40 is priced from 69.800 to 103.800 yuan (US$10.100-15.100) which is almost exactly the same as the Senya R7, whose personal best is 7.967 sales last September. FAW Besturn would be happy with the same for its X40.

Bar for success: 7.500 sales

4. Toyota Yaris L Sedan: March 4.317 sales

After launching the hatchback variant back in November 2013, Toyota finally kick starts the career of the sedan variant of the Yaris L, manufactured by the Guangzhou-Toyota joint-venture. The sedan gets the same engines as the hatchback: a 1.3 and 1.5L, and is priced between 75.000 and 110.00 yuan (US$10.900-16.000).

Bar for success: 7.500 monthly sales

5. MG ZS: March 4.264 sales

The new ZS crossover is built on the same platform as the MG GS and Roewe RX5. At 4.31m long, the ZS is entering the compact SUV segment which is arguably one of the most crowded at the moment.  The ZS has replaced the GS as the hippest MG around and as a result is the brand’s best-seller as early as for its first month of sales. The ZS comes with a choice between a 1.5L paired with a 5MT or 4AT and a 1.0T mated with a 6AT. It is priced between 73.800 and 115.800 yuan (US$10.700-16.800).

Bar for success: 8.500 monthly sales

6. Toyota Vios FS: March 3.467 sales

Introduced at the Guangzhou Auto Show last November, the Toyota Vios FS is the hatchback variant of the Chinese Vios, completing the entry-level offering of the FAW-Toyota joint-venture – it is the equivalent of the Yaris L by Guangzhou-Toyota. There is a choice of two engines: a 1.3 or 1.5, mated to a five-speed manual or CVT. The Vios FS is priced between 60.000 and 105.000 yuan (US$8.700-15.200).

Bar for success: 6.500 monthly sales

 

7. Honda UR-V: March 2.444 sales

This new UR-V is the same car as the Avancier launched late last year, but made by the other Honda joint-venture, Dongfeng-Honda – while the Avancier is made by Guangzhou-Honda. This situation already happened with the Guangzhou-Honda Vezel and the Dongfeng-Honda XR-V. Priced between 246.800 and 329.800 yuan (US$35.800-47.900), the UR-V comes with a choice between 1.5T and 2.0 engines.

Bar for success: 7.500 monthly sales

8. BMW 1 Series: February 887 sales, March 2.145 sales

China gets a country-specific 1 Series sedan as this format is favoured over hatchbacks here. At this stage there are no plans for exports to other countries. It is priced from 204.800 to 332.000 yuan ($29.700-48.200).

Bar for success: 7.500 monthly sales

9. JMC Yusheng S330: March 1.804 sales

This month JMC has decided to split the sales of its Yusheng SUV into S350 and S330, marking the appearance of the latter in the ranking even though it launched back in September 2016. Looking rather bland, the S330 is powered by a 1.5T engine matched with a six-speed manual or automatic. It is priced between 100.000 and 130.000 yuan (US$14.500-18.900).

Bar for success: 4.500 monthly sales

10. Zotye Damai X7: February 2.564 sales, March 1.722 sales

Announced for October, the Zotye Damai X7 finally hits the Chinese sales charts. After the Audi Q5 (Zotye T600), VW Tiguan (Damai X5), Audi Q3 (SR7) and Porsche Macan (SR8), this time Zotye clones the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept, making it the first time a concept car is cloned into a production car by a Chinese carmaker. At 4,74m long, the X7 is powered by a choice of two turbo engines: a 1.5L and a 1.8L and priced from 78.800 to 153.800 yuan (US$11.400-22.300).

Bar for success: 6.500 monthly sales

11. Acura CDX: March 1.055 sales

The CDX is the first Acura to be produced in China, and at this stage it is a China-only model. This 4.50m long compact crossover is made by GAC-Acura, a branch of GAC-Honda, in Zengcheng, Guangzhou. It shares the styling of the 2017 MDX and was unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2016. Powered with a 1.5T engine mated with an 8-speed DCT, the CDX proposes both FWD and 4WD variants. Honda has chosen a steep pricing for the CDX: from 229.800  to 309.800 yuan or US$ 33.400 to 45.000, which will make it harder to reach high volumes.

Bar for success: 5.000 monthly sales

Dongfeng Fengxing CM7

Yema T80Changan Linmax. Picture autohome.com.cn

Notice also the Dongfeng Fengxing CM7 landing in February with 462 sales and improving to 1.006 in March, the Yema T80 with 347 March sales, the Jinbei F50 landing in March with 610 sales, the Changan Linmax landing in February with a tiny 28 sales and improving slightly to 60 in March, the Bisu T5 appearing in March with 17 units and the Hawtai xEV260, the EV variant of the Shengdafei, selling its first 7 units in March.

Turkey April 2017: Fiat Egea reclaims lead off Renault Mégane

The Fiat Egea is back to #1 in Turkey, but just.

* See the Top 42 All-brands and Top 243 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Turkish new light vehicle market is down 10.5% year-on-year in April to 75.988 units including light commercials, pulling the year-to-date total down 8.4% to 232.078. Market leaders Renault (-18%) and Volkswagen (-14%) both fare worse than the market but keep the lead ahead of Fiat (-3%), Ford (+1%), Hyundai (-0.1%) and Dacia (+3%) all improving their market share year-on-year. Audi (-22%), Seat (-26%), Toyota (-40%) and BMW (-62%) are the worst hit this month just as Peugeot (+30%), Suzuki (+36%) and Honda (+102%) are among the rare manufacturers lodging a double-digit year-on-year gain in April.

In the models ranking, the Fiat Egea (+5%) reclaims the top spot for just four units above the Ford Courier (+25%) whereas the Renault Mégane (+910%) retreats to third place. Thanks to a fantastic start of the year by the all-new sedan variant, the Mégane holds onto the year-to-date pole position with 10.703 units vs. 9.664 for the Egea. The Renault Clio (-3%) and Opel Astra (-10%) round up the Top 5 ahead of the Fiat Doblo (+11%) and Hyundai i20 Troy (+9%). The Honda Civic is boosted up 190% by the new model to #14 overall, ranking 7th year-to-date, the Dacia Duster is up 23%, the Peugeot 301 up 31% and the VW Jetta up 44%. Among recent launches, the Toyota C-HR is up to #31 vs. #36 year-to-date, the Kia Cerato up to #48 vs. #56 and the Renault Talisman up to #69 vs. #81.

Previous post: Turkey February 2017: Sedan variant lifts Renault Mégane to top spot

One year ago: Turkey April 2016: Fiat Egea teases Renault Fluence for pole position

Full April 2017 Top 42 All-brands and Top 243 All-models below.

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Europe March 2017: Ford Fiesta ends VW Golf reign

The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling vehicle in Europe for the first time in 7 years.

* See the Top 54 brands and Top 346 models by clicking on the title *

With a bit of delay we can share with you today complete and final March data for Europe 28 countries – excluding Russia and Turkey. It’s a record month in the region with sales up 10.4% to 1.918.140 units, the highest March tally ever recorded, making Europe the second largest region in the world behind just China but above the U.S. The year-to-date total is now up 7.7% to 4.219.911 units. Although all the largest markets recorded healthy increases, this month’s result is heavily skewed by the all-time record month posted in the UK at 562.337 units. The most drastic impact the strength of the UK has this month is the European pole position of its best-seller the Ford Fiesta, thus ending an impressive streak of seven years of monthly wins by the VW Golf: the last time it did not rank #1 in Europe was in March 2010 when the Ford Fiesta also led the way. This month the Fiesta dominates with sales up 12.5% to 47.610 whereas the VW Golf plunges 18.1% to 46.119.

Brand-wise, Volkswagen trails market growth at +2.3% to 183.406 units, as does Opel/Vauxhall in 4th place at +3.3%. On the other hand, Ford (+15.9%), Renault (+14.9%) and Mercedes (+16.9%) outpace the market, the latter confirming its #1 premium ranking ahead of BMW (+8.5%) and Audi (+5%). Further down towards the end of the Top 10 and beyond, Fiat (+16.4%), Nissan (+16.6%) and Toyota (+20.2%) also shine. Among smaller brands, Volvo (+20.2%), Land Rover (+21.7%), Suzuki (+22.1%), Mini (+26.7%), Alfa Romeo (+49%), Jaguar (+73.5%), Maserati (+85%), Tesla (+101.3%), Infiniti (+104.8%) and Aston Martin (+109.3%) make themselves noticed.

Back to the models ranking, where below the Fiesta and Golf both the VW Polo (+18.9%) and Renault Clio (+11.9%) beat the market to round up the Top 4 ahead of the Opel Corsa (+4.8%) and Nissan Qashqai (+15.9%). The Ford Focus (+8.7%) leaps from #16 to #7 thanks to the strength of the UK market, the Opel Astra is up 13.3% to #8 and the Renault Captur is back inside the Top 10 at #10 thanks to sales up 11.4%. New generations boost sales of the VW Tiguan up 76.3% to #11, the Citroen C3 up 62% to #13, the Renault Megane up 62.7% to #20, Mercedes E-Class up 43.4% to #34 and Peugeot 3008 up 126.6% to #34. The Fiat Tipo is up 331% to #36, and the Nissan Micra up 58.1% to #42. Among recent launches, the Toyota C-HR is down 13 spots on last month to #45, the Audi Q2 up two to #62, the Seat Ateca down 11 to #70 and the Ford Ka+ up 8 to #92. This month we welcome the Alfa Romeo Stelvio in the European ranking at #214.

Previous post: Europe February 2017: Discover the Top 340 models and Top 56 brands

Previous month: Europe February 2017: Fiat Panda and Citroen C3 shine, market up 1.2%

One year ago (preliminary): Europe March 2016: Opel Astra and Fiat 500 shine in Top 10

One year ago (final): Europe March 2016: Discover the Top 335 models and All-brands

Full March 2017 Top 54 brands and Top 346 models below.

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Russia April 2017: Market confirms rebound at +6.9%

The Kia Rio is up a whopping 30% year-on-year in April.

* See the Top 52 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

After delivering the largest year-on-year gain in four and a half years last month, the Russian new car market confirms it is now on the mend with another year-on-year improvement in April at +6.9% to 129.476 units. The year-to-date tally is now up 2.6% to 451.945 units. Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, still call this a fragile recovery though. Market leader Lada follows the market at +7% to 20.3% share, only the second time in the past 12 month the Russian manufacturer manages to cross the 20% share milestone. Below, the next four carmakers all brilliantly and frankly outpace the market: Kia is up 32%, Hyundai up 12%, Renault up 19% and Volkswagen up 21%. In the Top 10, only Nissan also manages a double-digit gain, with Toyota down 12% and Skoda up 9%. BMW (+17%) and Mazda (+15%) also shine among major manufacturers.

The Lada XRAY ranks at a best-ever 8th place in April. 

In the models ranking, in the space of a few months the Kia Rio has established an implacable domination with sales surging once again at +30% to 8.942. The Rio has ranked first each and every month of 2017 so far, 7 times in the past 9 months and the 8 times in total after November 2014, August, September and October 2016. With the production of the Hyundai Solaris hatchback stopped to make room for the Creta, it is possible that the Rio benefits from a sales transfer from the Solaris. In any case, Lada sees its chances to reclaim the annual lead after losing to the Solaris in 2016 slim down: the Granta is down another 15% this month at #2 and the Vesta (+29%) is stuck in 4th place.

The new generation boosts VW Tiguan sales up 235% this month.

The Lada XRAY continues to progress: up 41% year-on-year and two spots on March to a record 8th place. Great gainers inside the Top 25 include the Lada 4×4 aka Niva (+33%), Nissan Qashqai (+34%), Kia Cee’d (+37%), Nissan X-Trail (+50%), Kia Sportage (+52%) and VW Tiguan (+235%). Finally, the Ford Focus returns inside the Top 25 for the first time in a year.

Previous month: Russia March 2017: Largest year-on-year gain in 4.5 years at +9%

One year ago: Russia April 2016: Vesta and XRAY push Lada to best share in 4.5 years

Full April 2017 Top 52 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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USA April 2017: Fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline

The Ram Pickup outsells the Chevrolet Silverado for the second straight month. 

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models by clicking on the title *

April figures confirm the U.S. market has now plateaued, with a fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline at -4.7% to 1.426.126 units, leading yo a year-to-date tally down 2.4% to 5.458.914. This is the longest negative period since the market plunged in 2009… The industry is now getting to terms with the fact that an 8th consecutive year of gains and a third record year is now highly unlikely, just as the Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Sales Rate (SAAR) reaches 16.92 million, up from 16.6 million in March but down from 17.42 million a year ago.

Confirming the slowdown is the fact that incentives are at a very high level, reaching 10.5% of sticker price on average, which is a red alert according to Auto Nation. If passenger cars continue their freefall at -11% to 557.312 units, this month light trucks are also down at -0.1% to 868.814 albeit up 3% year-to-date to 3.359.964. This is the first year-on-year decline for the light truck segment since September 2013. Pickups are down 3.5% but the SUV/crossover category continues to post impressive scores at +3.5% to 564.488, outselling passenger cars once again.

The Honda CR-V is up 13% to #4 overall in April. 

All the main carmakers post year-on-year declines this month. General Motors registers its first drop since January at -5.8% as it continues to pull out of the fleet sales segment, Ford Motor posts a fourth consecutive month of decline at -7.1%, Toyota Motor is down 4.4%, FCA down 6.6% with no sales gain since last August, Honda Motor down 7%, Nissan/Mitsubishi down 2.4% and Hyundai-Kia down 1.9%.

Brand-wise, Ford (-7.4%), Toyota (-3.5%) and Chevrolet (-10.4%) dominate ahead of Honda (-6.3%), Nissan (-2%) and Jeep (-16.5%), with Subaru (+3.9%) the first marque posting a year-on-year gain at #9 and on track for a 9th consecutive annual volume record. Ram, up 5.3%, is the only other brand to gain ground in the Top 10. Below, Volkswagen (+1.6%), Buick (+17%), Audi (+5.7%), Cadillac (+9.5%), Infiniti (+3.5%) and Volvo (+15.4%) shine, while among smaller brands, Tesla (+71%), Jaguar (+197%) and Alfa Romeo (+1047%) make themselves noticed.

Nissan Rogue sales are up 18% year-on-year in April.

In the models ranking, below the Ford F-Series ever so reliable and stable in pole position, the Ram Pickup (+5%) outsells the Chevrolet Silverado (-20%) for the second consecutive month and only the fourth time this century at 43.321 units vs. 40.154. The Silverado remains in 2nd place year-to-date though at 168.621 deliveries (-6%) vs. 162.520 (+5%). In March, average incentives reached $6.010 for the Ram vs. $5.844 for the Silverado according to Autodata. It’s another very strong SUV month with the Honda CR-V up 13% to #4 overall and the Toyota RAV4 up 5% to #5, both outselling the Toyota Camry (-8%), Honda Civic (-12%) and Toyota Corolla (-8%) just as the Nissan Rogue gains 18% in 9th place.

Outside the Top 10, the Chevrolet Cruze benefits from its facelift with sales up 51% to #13 this month and up 46% to #16 year-to-date. Among recent launches, the Chrysler Pacifica continues to step up at #37 vs. #44 year-to-date, the Buick Envision is up to #89 vs. #100 YTD, the Kia Niro up to #115 vs. #142, the Hyundai Ioniq up to #167 vs. #223 and the Chevrolet Bolt up to #169 vs. #185. Finally, we welcome the Toyota C-HR at #214 in the U.S. ranking this month.

Previous post: USA February 2017: SUVs above passenger cars again, market at -1.1%

One year ago: USA April 2016: Strong incentives and light trucks push market up 3.5%

Full April 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models below.

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Israel April 2017: Kia snaps top spot in market down 15%

Kia Sportage Israel May 2016. Picture courtesy 4x4.co.ilKia is the best-selling carmaker in Israel in April. Picture 4×4.co.il 

* See the Top 42 All-brands by clicking on the title *

Thanks to our partnership with cartube.co.il, we can share with you today April brands data for Israel, models data is now a quarterly occurrence. The overall market is down a harsh 15% year-on-year this month to 19.515 units, yet the year-to-date tally remains in positive territory at 118.182 sales, up 4% on the same period last year. Ranking #2 over the Full Year 2016 and so far in 2017, Kia becomes the best-selling carmaker in the country this month thanks to a restrained 7% drop to 2.744 deliveries, bypassing market leader and sister brand Hyundai down 20% to 2.499. Toyota (-6%) and Skoda (-14%) hold the same rankings as year-to-date whereas Suzuki climbs one spot to #5 thanks to sales actually up 6% year-on-year, but Honda is the best performing carmaker in the Top 10 with deliveries up 47% to 725 and 3.7% share at #7 vs. #14 last month and #13 year-to-date. Further down, let’s single out a handful of manufacturers in frank positive territory such as Audi (+55%), BMW (+64%), Dacia (+24%), Isuzu (+93%), Jeep (+37%), Alfa Romeo (+32%) and Cadillac (+41%).

Previous month: Israel March 2017: Hyundai Ioniq just outside Top 10

One year ago: Israel April 2016: Hyundai up 52% to cement lead in market up 30%

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Sweden April 2017: Volvo XC60 snaps top spot in market down 9%

volvo-xc60-sweden-november-2016Second monthly pole position ever for the Volvo XC60.

* See the Top 45 best-selling brands and Top 262 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Swedish new car market hits the brakes in April at -9.2% year-on-year to 30.476 registrations, yet the year-to-date tally is still up 2.6% to a robust 119.880 units. Homegrown market leader Volvo improves its share to 21.2% thanks to a smaller-than-market 5% drop, whereas Volkswagen tumbles down 14% to 13% share. Kia (-2%) jumps three spots on March to #3 overall while Mercedes (+11%), Skoda (+7%) and Peugeot (+10%) go against the grain in the Top 10 with sales increases. Further down, notice also Citroen (+4%), Mini (+9%), Honda (+33%), Tesla (+71%) and Alfa Romeo (+638%) deliveries year-on-year sales improvements.

Over in the models ranking, after a couple of months of domination by the all-new Volvo S/V90, there is a surprise in the April lead: the Volvo XC60 snaps the top spot for only the second time ever after last December thanks to sales surging 123% on April last year to 2.270. The Volvo S/V90 is knocked down to 2nd place at 1.914 while the VW Golf (-23%), Volvo S/V60 (-15%) and VW Passat (-30%) all struggle. The Fiat Ducato is up 10 spots on March and 1% year-on-year to #6 overall for the annual run of summer campervans, the VW Tiguan is up 97% to #8, the Kia Rio up 83%, the Peugeot 3008 up 467% thanks to the new model and the Mercedes C-Class up 47%. Among recent launches, the Toyota C-HR is stable at #25, the Kia Niro is up 11 spots on last month to #45 and the Skoda Kodiaq is up 40 to #50.

Previous month: Sweden February-March 2017: Volvo S/V90 takes control

One year ago: Sweden April 2016: Volvo above 20% share in record pace market

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Japan April 2017: Toyota C-HR climbs to pole position

The Toyota C-HR is the best-selling car in Japan in April. 

* See the Top 55 brands and Top 30 best-selling cars by clicking on the title *

The Japanese new light vehicle market is up by a vigorous 9.2% year-on-year in April to 354.750 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 7.7% to 1.932.499. The Top 3 best-selling marques trail the market growth with Toyota up just 1.8%, Suzuki up 6.4% and Honda up 7.1%. Daihatsu (+23.7%) and Nissan (+43.3%) on the other hand post spectacular gains, as do Subaru (+15.6%) and Mitsubishi (+34.2%) further down the Top 10, the latter recovering from year-ago scores impacted by the fuel economy scandal. Mercedes tops foreign brands but gains just 1.1%, distancing BMW (+2.9%), Volkswagen (+2.7%), Mini (+11.5%) and Audi tumbling down 18%. Finally, notice Renault (+179.7%) and Citroen (+140.5%), the most dynamic mainstream brands.

Honda Freed sales are up 289% year-on-year in April. 

The car model ranking is the theatre of a very rare event: a new nameplate in pole position. Toyota’s C-HR manages to brilliantly take the lead this month with 13.168 sales, some 33% ahead of the 2nd ranking car, the Toyota Prius, down a devastating 52%. This is the first time Toyota places an SUV in the first place at home and Japan is the 2nd country to crown the C-HR after Ireland did so for the last two months of 2016. In third place we find the Nissan Note up 67% and still in the year-to-date lead, followed by the Honda Freed up a spectacular 289% thanks to the new generation. Launched at the end of 2016, the Toyota Roomy (#8) and Tank (#11) step up this month, gaining 7 and 5 ranks on March respectively. The Suzuki Solio (+34%), Subaru Impreza (+53%), Toyota Alphard (+74%) and Mazda CX-5 (+75%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 30 just as the Daihatsu Thor makes its first appearance among the country’s 30 best-sellers at #30.

Previous month: Japan March 2017: Nissan Note reclaims top spot

One year ago: Japan April 2016: Mitsubishi scandal reshapes local auto industry

Full April 2017 Top 55 brands and Top 30 cars below.

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Mexico March 2017: Chevy Spark, Nissan Pickup top market up 17%

Chevrolet Spark Mexico 2016. Picture courtesy americanbrands.comFirst monthly win for the Chevrolet Spark in Mexico.

* See the Top 40 All-brands and Top 215 models by clicking on the title *

After two months of single-digit gains (+3% in January and +6.5% in February), a feat that had not occurred in almost three years, in March the Mexican new car market returns to the pace it got us used to in the past couple of years at +17.2% to 137.021 units. This lifts the year-to-date tally up 8.9% to a record 378.275. As it has now become the routine, March establishes a new record for the month, this is the 35th consecutive month of year-on-year gains and the 27th monthly record in a row. Brand-wise, Nissan outpaces the market at +20% ahead of Chevrolet (+15%) and Volkswagen (+6%) both trailing market growth. Toyota (+23%) Honda (+19%) and Hyundai (+29%) also shine inside the Top 10 but once again it’s Kia that makes itself noticed with a 101% year-on-year gain to 7th overall. Further down the ranking, notice Alfa Romeo (+96%), Mercedes (+75%), Acura (+61%), Fiat (+56%), Isuzu (+48%) and BMW (+39%) all posting spectacular gains.

The locally-produced Kia Rio is getting closer to a Top 10 ranking in Mexico this month.

The models ranking gets a reshuffle this month: for the first time in Mexican history the Chevrolet Spark is the best-seller in the country thanks to deliveries up 51% to 7.647, edging past the Nissan Pickup at 7.630 (+48%) and the Nissan Versa – the year-to-date leader – up just 5% to 7.571. In fact, the majority of the Top 10 best-sellers frankly outpace the market this month with the Chevrolet Aveo up 63%, the VW Vento up 27%, the Nissan March up 44%, the Nissan Sentra up 51% and the Honda CR-V up 136%. Only the VW Jetta (-10%) and Nissan Tsuru (-17%) underperform. Outside the Top 10, the Nissan Kicks is up 8 spots on last month to break its ranking record at #12, the Kia Rio is up 12 ranks on February and 170% year-on-year to #14, becoming the brand’s best-seller in Mexico thanks to the recent kickstart of local output representing 61% of its total sales for the month.

Previous month: Mexico February 2017: Kia breaks into Top 5, market up 6.5%

One year ago: Mexico April 2016: Kia impresses in 16th consecutive record month

Full March 2017 Top 40 All-brands and Top 215 models below.

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