New Caledonia (France) April 2017: Ford Fiesta tops stable market

The new generation Ford Fiesta hasn’t yet arrived in New Caledonia. 

* See the Top 32 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in New Caledonia, a French overseas archipelago located north-east of Australia, drastically slow down their growth in April at +0.9% to 587 registrations. This is to be compared with a 59% surge in January, +15% in February and +21% in March and leads to a robust 23% year-to-date gain to 2.841 registrations. Ford remains by far the most popular manufacturer at 15.7% share, placing the Fiesta(+90%) and Ranger (+15%) atop the models ranking this month. Dacia and Toyota come equal 2nd with 50 sales each, distancing Renault, Citroen and Peugeot. New Caledonian light vehicle buyers aren’t loyal to French marques indeed. Leader year-to-date, the Dacia Duster is up just 3% year-on-year and knocked down to third place ahead of the Toyota Hilux (+56%), Peugeot 208 (+11%), Isuzu D-Max (+64%) and Mazda BT-50 (+150%). The Hyundai Creta is down four spots to #9.

Previous month: New Caledonia (France) March 2017: Duster leads, Citroen C3 up to #3

Full April 2017 Top 32 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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Norway April 2017: Toyota C-HR, Volvo V90 and Skoda Kodiaq impress

The Toyota C-HR remains third in Norway. Picture 

* See the Top 40 All-brands and Top 214 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Norwegian new car market tumbles down 19.7% year-on-year in April to 11.339 units, pulling the year-to-date total into negative territory at -3.2% to 49.580. Volkswagen reclaims the brands pole position off Toyota despite a harsh 35% drop to 1.974, with Toyota (-8%) and BMW (-3%) posting more reasonable declines. Volvo (+31%) and Mercedes (+15%) are the best performing brands inside the Top 10 and the only ones in positive. Beyond, notice Hyundai (+47%), Porsche (+2%) and Alfa Romeo up 700% on a tiny base thanks to the arrival of the Stelvio (#102).

The Skoda Kodiaq leaps up to #14 in Norway this month. 

Model-wise, the VW Golf remains distant leader even though it crashes 42% to 996 deliveries, distancing the BMW i3 up a fantastic 92% to 426 units and the Toyota C-HR in third position for the second month running. The Volvo V90 leaps up 10 spots to 5th place overall, with the Toyota RAV4 (+17%), VW Tiguan (+693%) and Mercedes GLC (+137%) the most dynamic near the top. Among other recent launches, the Skoda Kodiaq is up 35 ranks on March to #14 and we welcome the Opel Ampera-e in 106th place.

Previous month: Norway March 2017: Toyota C-HR up to #3, Tesla Model X up to #4

One year ago: Norway April 2016: PHEV variants boost Passat and Outlander up

Full April 2017 Top 40 All-brands and Top 214 All-models below.

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South Korea March-April 2017: Hyundai Grandeur dominates

The Hyundai Grandeur has now been the best-seller at home for 5 straight months.

* See the Top 6 local brands and Top 55 local models by clicking on the title *

Sales of local models in South Korea drop 2% in March to 145.903 and 5% in April to 132.675, leading to a year-to-date tally slipping into negative territory at -0.2% to 504.399 units. Hyundai is stable over the period at +0.3% gain and -0.1% in April while both Kia (-6% and -10%) and GM Korea (-12% and -16%) struggle. Renault Samsung (+3% and +2%) is the best-performing brand, back above Ssangyong (+2% and -9%).

The Hyundai Grandeur frankly dominates the models ranking thanks to 13.358 sales in March and 12.549 in April, the only nameplate in the country to manage a five-digit sales figure. In March, the Hyundai Porter, Sonata and Avante follow while in April the Sonata and Porter swap rankings. Below, the Kia Carnival gains 7% in March and 15% in April, the Kia Bongo is up 5% in March and 16% in April while the Ssangyong Tivoli is up 13% in March but down 7% in April. Biggest gainers also include the Chevrolet Malibu (+360% in March, +188% in April), Cruze (+76% in March, +78% in April) and Trax (+102% in March, +33% in April) as well as the Samsung QM3 aka Renault Captur (+60% in March) and the Hyundai Ioniq (+40% in April).

Previous post: South Korea February 2017: Hyundai Grandeur cements leadership

One year ago (March): South Korea January-March 2016: Genesis EQ900 and Samsung SM6 hit bullseye

One year ago (April): South Korea April 2016: Kia Niro almost in Top 20

Full March and April 2017 Top 6 local brands and Top 55 local models below.

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Brazil April 2017: Chevrolet up, VW and Fiat down in market down 3.2%

The Fiat Mobi breaks into the Brazilian Top 10 for the first time in April… 

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 150 models by clicking on the title *

After returning to positive territory in March for the first time in over two years, the Brazilian new car market is back to negative in April at -3.2% to 152.383 units, pulling the year-to-date total down 1.7% to 612.167. Market leader Chevrolet goes against the grain at +3% to 17.5% share, mainly thanks to another exceptional month by the Onix up by an outstanding 20% this month. Volkswagen tumbles down 12% but overtakes Fiat down a harsh 24% to just 12.2% share vs. 13.2% so far this year. Inside the Top 10, Honda (+2%) and Toyota (+4%) post small gains while Ford (+16%), Nissan (+18%) and most impressively Jeep (+62%) are the most dynamic. The American manufacturer benefits from a brilliant score by the Compass which breaks into the Top 10 for the first time at #8, also becoming the country’s best-selling SUV above the Honda HR-V (#10).

…as does the Jeep Compass. 

Model-wise, below the Chevrolet Onix the Hyundai HB20 remains in 2nd place but drops 18%, distancing the Ford Ka and Renault Sandero both up 26%. For the first time, the Fiat Mobi – celebrating one year in market – is the brand’s best-seller, also breaking into the overall Top 10 for the first time at #9. However it fails to compensate for the losses occurred by the Uno (-11%), Toro (-12%), Siena (-36%), Strada (-42%) and Palio (-57%)… For its fourth month in market, the Hyundai Creta climbs another five spots to hit #14, above the Jeep Renegade and getting closer to the HR-V. Launched last month, the Honda WR-V gains 22 spots to land inside the Top 30.

Previous month: Brazil March 2017: First year-on-year gain in over 2 years at +6.1%

One year ago: Brazil April 2016: Fiat Toro 2nd best-selling pickup, Mobi in Top 40

Full April 2017 Top 20 brands and Top 150 models below.

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Germany April 2017: VW, Mercedes, Audi struggle in market down 8%

The VW Arteon makes its first appearance in the German sales charts.

* See the Top 48 brands and Top 322 models by clicking on the title *

Handicapped by less selling days than last year, German new car sales are down 8% in April to 290.697 units but the year-to-date total is still in positive territory at +2.5% and 1.135.381. The Top 8 marques all lose ground vs. April 2016, led by Volkswagen (-12%), Mercedes (-10%) and Audi (-10%) while Ford takes advantage from a slimmer 7% decline to overtake BMW and Opel, both down 14%. Skoda (-9%) and Renault (-4%) complete the Top 8 with Fiat the only Top 10 brand to gain ground year-on-year at +25%. Further down, Toyota (+12%), Dacia (+21%), Jeep (+22%), Land Rover (+23%), Suzuki (+43%), Tesla (+129%) and Alfa Romeo (+153%) are among the most dynamic.

In the models ranking, below the VW Golf down a harsh 15%, the Mercedes C-Class jumps 3 spots on March to land in 2nd position overall with deliveries up 2%. The VW Tiguan continues to benefit from the launch of the new generation with sales up 40% to #3. Volkswagen also places the Passat (-31%) and Polo (-18%) inside the Top 5 and despite deep drops. The hero of the month is the Fiat Ducato up 15% to a stunning 10th place: these are camper-van sales in preparation for the summer season. Among recent launches, the Audi Q2 is down 6 spots on last month to #39, the Seat Ateca is down 3 to #62 and the Toyota C-HR up 7 to #69. Finally, this month we welcome the VW Arteon – replacing the VW CC – in the German sales charts at #209.

Previous month: Germany March 2017: Opel, Renault up, largest Q1 volume this decade

One year ago: Germany April 2016: Market up 8%, Volkswagen up 3%

Full April 2017 Top 48 brands and Top 322 models below.

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India April 2017: Maruti, Swift and Baleno all beat volume records

The Maruti Swift smashes its Indian volume record in April.

* See the Top 22 All-brands and Top 90 models by clicking on the title *

The Indian new car market is going from strength to strength this year with April wholesale volumes up another 15% year-on-year to 277.148, lifting the year-to-date tally to 1.076.818, up 12% on the same period in 2016. Market leader Maruti Suzuki once again manages to cross the 50% market share milestone at 52% thanks to sales up a stunning 23% year-on-year to 144.081, a new all-time monthly record for the brand, beating the 137.277 hit last September. Maruti’s market share record remains 52.2% from last November. Hyundai trails the market growth at +6% in 2nd place with Mahindra freefalling 16% at #3. Honda (+38%), Toyota (+52%) and Tata (+22%) all post brilliant gains but Renault loses steam at -23% now that the Kwid (-19%) is old news. Volkswagen (+21%), Datsun (+71%) and Skoda (+50%) also shine but Fiat (-40%) tumbles down.

Big surprise atop the Indian models ranking this month: taking the overall lead, the Maruti Swift is up 52% on April 2016 to smash its volume record to 23.802 from 19.669 in January 2015. Note the new generation Swift hasn’t arrived yet in India whereas bookings for the facelifted Swift DZire sedan variant are now open. The Maruti Alto follows with an equally impressive 36% gain while the Maruti Baleno is up 83% to a second consecutive volume record at 17.530. The Maruti Wagon R delivers its 2nd highest ever volume at 16.348 (+7%) just below its record of 16.645 from last September and the Hyundai Elite i20 does exactly the same at 12.668 below the 12.812 units hit in March 2015.

Finally, in a month of records the Maruti Vitara Brezza (+36%) improves its personal best to 10.653 sales, remaining the country’s best-selling SUV just above the Hyundai Creta (9.213). Among recent launches, the Maruti Ignis slides down 3% on last month but remains inside the Top 20, the Tata Tigor improves 21% on it inaugural month and the Honda WR-V is down 15% but strong at #26, Honda’s second best-seller below the City.

Previous month: India March 2017: Maruti Baleno shoots up to #2 in market up 12%

One year ago: India April 2016: Leader Alto down 23%, hit by Kwid?

Full April 2017 Top 22 All-brands and Top 90 models below.

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Italy March-April 2017: Fiat Tipo steps up

The Fiat Tipo ranks #2 in March and #3 in April. 

* March: See the Top 45 brands and Top 180 models by clicking on the title *

* April: See the Top 45 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

In March, Italian new car sales are up 18% year-on-year to 226.163 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 12% to 582.465. The three top-selling brands outpace the market growth: Fiat is up 20% to 22.3% share, Ford also gains 20% to 7.5% and Renault is up 36% to 7.3%. The entire Top 10 posts double-digit gains with Opel (+26%), Citroen (+25%) and Toyota (+24%) the most dynamic. Further down, notice Nissan (+27%), Jeep (+27%), Alfa Romeo (+46%), Skoda (+48%), Suzuki (+56%) and Jaguar (+81%).

Model-wise, the big event this month is the frank 2nd position of the Fiat Tipo now that all formats are in cruising sales mode with a stunning 259% year-on-year gain, earning a 4th place in the year-to-date ranking whereas it ranked 8th a month ago. The Tipo station wagon is by far the best-seller in its segment at 2.434 units, selling over double the amount of the #2, the Renault Megane. The Fiat Panda (+10%) is basically undisturbed in pole position, the Land Ypsilon follows the market at +17% in third place and the Fiat 500 climbs to 4th overall despite a 10% drop. Among recent launches, notice the Alfa Romeo Stelvio up 35 spots on February to #103 and the Land Rover Discovery reappearing at #137 with the new generation of the nameplate kicking in.

The Citroen C3 ranks 7th in Italy in April. Picture 

In April, sales contract by 4.6% to 160.359 units, meaning the year-to-date tally is now up by 8% at 743.321. Market leader Fiat follows the market at -6% to 21% share while Renault (+14%) and Volkswagen (-12%) overtake Ford (-4%) to rank 2nd and 3rd respectively. Citroen (+10%) is the only double-digit gainer inside the Top 10. Beyond, Alfa Romeo (+47%) benefits from the gearing up of the Stelvio stopping just short of a Top 60 ranking this month, and Maserati (+105%) does so thanks to the Levante.

In the models ranking, the Fiat Panda stumbles 15% but remains by far in pole position, selling more than double the amount of the Lancia Ypsilon, back to #2 despite a 16% drop. The Fiat Tipo shines once again in third place with sales up 80% year-on-year and now also ranks third year-to-date above the Renault Clio and Fiat 500, down to #5 despite a dynamic 19% improvement this month. The Citroen C3 is boosted up 74% by the new generation, the Dacia Sandero is up 37% to #15, the VW Tiguan up 221% to #18, the Ford Kuga up 68% to #25 and the Peugeot 3008 up 413% to #27, all thanks to facelifts or new generations. Among recent launches, the Toyota C-HR has stabilised towards the end of the Top 40 (#37 this month) while the Audi Q2 is up 8 spots on March to #45.

Previous post: Italy February 2017: Market up 6.2%, Suzuki Ignis breaks into Top 50

One year ago (March): Italy March 2016: Recovery continues with volumes up 17%

One year ago (April): Italy April 2016: Fiat Tipo up to #13 in market up 12%

Full March Top 45 brands and Top 180 models below.

Full April Top 45 brands and Top 50 models below.

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Media post: What is a Minivan Hybrid Exactly?

A minivan hybrid? Who would have thought? Well apparently, Chrysler not only thought about but made it happen and the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid is a one of a kind and is taking America by storm. The Pacifica Hybrid is an all new model and has replaced the discontinued Town & Country van and moved the concept of minivan right into the verdant future.

This gas-electric plug-in minivan is the first of its kind and like Chrysler products in general, it is moving the automotive industry into areas only dreamed of previously. Since minvans are usually used for short trips and errands around town, the Pacifica Hybrid is perfect for those kinds of duties. The electric range of this roomy transporter is 30 miles, which gives you plenty of latitude to drop the kids off at school, pick up groceries, go out to lunch, pick up the kids and take them to dance class and take a leisurely cruise home without using an ounce of gas.

This hybrid is easy to charge too! Depleted batteries can be charged at home or at a public charging location in about two hours when using a Level 2 (240 Volt) station. You can also charge your Pacifica at home using regular outlets but it just takes a bit longer – up to fourteen hours, which is from dinner time until you leave for work the next morning. That’s just for the electric part of the minivan. When you need to get up and go without the electric motor silently powering your trip, then the robust V6 gas engine kicks in and you’re on your way.

The gas/electric combination gives you 530 miles, which is pretty substantial and the EPA has concluded that with combined driving the Pacifica Hybrid will get 32 mpg overall which out does pretty much all other minivans on the market. Road trips are now cheaper when driving this great van and you can accommodate seven passengers comfortably in the three rows of seats. The ride is smooth and the cabin is quiet, unless, of course, it is full of little people. Over all, this minivan is the best in its class and theoretically, if you only use it around town and if you charge it regularly, you won’t ever have to waste time and money at another gas station again. Stop by Foss Motors and test drive one of these marvels of automotive engineering for your self.

Media post: Ram Continues to Improve While Others Start To Slide

We were looking at trucks the other day when it hit me: we’ve always wanted a Ram truck, so what are we doing wasting our time looking at any other brands? Well, that was a wake up call and we answered it. We went to Marlow Motor Company and walked the lot and the show room and found just what we wanted, a 2017 Ram 2500.

By the way, Marlow Motor Company has plenty of them in stock, so you can go down there and test drive one yourself. When we test drove the Ram 2500 we could hardly believe the incredibly smooth ride we got. It is a truck after all and we sort of expected to get a bumpy truck ride. The people who make that great Ram truck, however, fooled us and they made us feel like were some kind of royalty being driven in a vehicle with an ultra comfortable and very spacious interior as we floated gently and quietly on a cloud toward our destination.

We drove the Ram 2500 with the 6.4-liter V8 engine that pumps out 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. What a ride! There are other engine options such as the 5.7-liter with 383 hp and the diesel, which gives you 385 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque. Stand back with that one – it’s a powerhouse of a motor. There are two other diesels available, one provides 350 hp with 660 lb-ft of torque and the other turns out 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Any choice is a good one but some are obviously stronger than the others, so just think about what your needs are before making a decision.

After the test drive we asked how the Ram 2500 scored on safety tests. You’re going to love this! The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) awarded the 2017 Ram 2500 crew cab models four stars overall and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), the other governmental automotive safety tester, hasn’t ran any tests yet on the Ram 2500.

We came out of the showroom with a whole lot of good feelings for this legendary truck. Not only did it drive well and get high marks for safety, but the spacious interior, geared for extreme comfort and functionality, coupled with its user-friendly infotainment system sold us. The Ram 2500 looks great in our garage and it looks even better when we’re driving it out on the highway.

Hungary April 2017: Suzuki leads, Toyota, Renault shine

Suzuki sales are up 14% in April. Picture 

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

New car sales in Hungary slow down their growth pace in April at just +7.7% year-on-year to 8.681 units, leading to a year-to-date tally up 19% to 33.025 after four months. Market leader Suzuki almost double the overall growth at +14% with the Vitara (+21%) solidly installed in the models pole position and the SX4 S-Cross remaining in 4th place. Skoda (-1%), Ford (+11%) and Opel (+3%) follow but the real hero this month is Toyota up 54% in 5th place, placing the Yaris in 9th position and also without a doubt benefitting from the gearing up of the C-HR. Renault also impresses with a 30% gain to 6th place and the Clio breaking into the year-to-date Top 10 at #9 while Dacia improves by a very impressive 37% with the Duster up 24%.

Previous month: Hungary March 2017: Suzuki Vitara, Ford Kuga up in SUV month

One year ago: Hungary April 2016: Suzuki places Vitara and SX4 S-Cross in Top 5

Full April 2017 Top 10 brands and models below.

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