Austria February 2017: VW Golf leads, Skoda Fabia & Fiat Tipo shine

The Skoda Fabia is up 3-fold year-on-year in Austria to #4 overall. 

* See the Top 40 All-brands and Top 280 All-models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Austria are up frankly in February at +12.5% year-on-year to 25.311 registrations, lifting the year-to-date total up 11% to 51.663. Market leader Volkswagen roughly follows the market at +14% but #2 Skoda is well ahead at +62%, followed by Opel (+17%), Ford (+5%) and Hyundai (+45%). Mercedes (+21%), Fiat (+24%), Mitsubishi (+38%), Dacia (+47%), Toyota (+57%) and Suzuki (+76%) are among the other carmakers outpacing the market within the Top 20. Among smaller brands, Alfa Romeo (+60%), Bentley (+100%), Tesla (+135%) and Maserati (+167%) make themselves noticed.

The Fiat Tipo breaks into the Austrian Top 20 for the first time. Picture 

In the models ranking, the VW Golf continues to get a welcome boost at 38% to 5.7% share while the Skoda Octavia (+6%) reclaims the 2nd spot it held over the FY2016 off the VW Tiguan (+56%) just as the facelifted model enters Austrian dealerships. The Skoda Fabia (+203%) is the biggest gainer in the Top 75, with the Hyundai i20 (+79%), Skoda Superb (+36%) and Hyundai i30 (+166%) also shining inside the Top 20. Among newcomers, the Seat Ateca is back down 6 spots on a historical Top 10 ranking last month to #16 but the Fiat Tipo is up 11 to a record #19.

Previous month: Austria January 2017: Seat Ateca breaks into Top 10

One year ago: Austria February 2016: Volkswagen Group places 8 models in Top 9

Full February 2017 Top 40 All-brands and Top 280 All-models below.

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Argentina February 2017: VW Gol back in charge, market up 20%

The VW Gol is the best-selling vehicle in Argentina in February.

* See the Top 40 All-brands and Top 195 models by clicking on the title *

After a 63% surge in January, Argentinean new car sales are up by a more modest but still very robust 20% in February to 57.205 units, lifting the year-to-date total up a very vigorous 44% to 150.150 units. Volkswagen remains the most popular carmaker, beating the market with a 22% gain to 10.168 units and 17.8%. The German manufacturer distances Chevrolet at 13.5% (-7%) with Renault posting a strong 38% year-on-year improvement to land in third place like in January with 12.8% share. Ford (+13%), Toyota (+18%) and Peugeot (+28%) follow. Further down, notice Kia (+113%), Volvo (+255%), BMW (+470%), Jeep (+510%) and Hyundai (+528%) whole Lifan remains in 23rd place, the 2nd best-selling Chinese marque in Argentina this month below Chery (#14).

Model-wise, the VW Gol snaps the pole position for the first time since last August, extending a stretch f February top spots that goes back to 2015. The Gol gains 28%, distancing the Hilux (+36%), Renault Sandero (+249% now that the Clio Mio is well and truly discontinued) and Toyota Etios (+35%), making the entire Top 4 frankly above market growth. The Chevrolet Onix (+57%), VW Suran (+142%), Peugeot 208 (+50%), Chevrolet Prisma (+64%) and Renault Kangoo (+107%) also take off, all within the Top 10. Among recent launches, the Renault Duster Oroch (#27), Fiat Mobi (#30) and Toro (#34) dominate but remain a fair way from the top and clearly below the rankings they are reaching in neighbouring Brazil.


Previous month: Argentina January 2017: Renault Sandero leads passenger cars for the first time

One year ago: Argentina February 2016: Volkswagen and Gol Trend back in charge

Full February 2017 Top 40 All-brands and Top 195 All-models below.

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New Caledonia (France) February 2017: Hilux lifts Toyota to #1, Creta #3

The Toyota Hilux is the best-selling vehicle in New Caledonia in February. 

* See the Top 30 All-brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *

New light vehicle sales in New Caledonia, a French Overseas archipelago located north-east of Australia, continue to surge in this start of 2017 with February up 15% year-on-year after a January score up 59%, leading to year-to-date volumes up 36% to 1.464. #2 in January, Dacia reclaims the year-to-date top spot off Ford for just one sale at 162 vs. 161, but the hero of the month is Toyota up 129% on February 2016 and 9 spots on last month to lead the brands charts with 13.3% share. Hyundai (+100%) and Mazda (+725%) also impress inside the Top 10 while Mini (+25%), Volkswagen (+37%) and Isuzu (+50%) also shine further down. Model-wise, the Toyota Hilux justifies the brand’s leadership by snapping the top spot thanks to sales up 181% year-on-year to 45, distancing the Dacia Duster (38) while the Hyundai Creta is up to a stunning third place with 30 units sold this month. The Mazda BT-50 (#6), Nissan Qashqai (#8) and Toyota RAV4 (#9) also have a stellar month.

Previous month: New Caledonia (France) January 2017: Ford and Dacia head to head

One year ago: New Caledonia (France) January-February 2016: Fiesta surprise leader

Full February 2017 Top 30 All-brands and Top 20 models below.

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Pakistan January-February 2017: Civic catches up on Corolla and Mehran

The Honda Civic sells an estimated 4.548 units over the first two months of 2017.

* See the Top 3 Pakistan-made brands and Top 12 models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to PAMA we have access to sales of locally-produced models in Pakistan for the January-February period. The market continues to evolve a step below a year ago in January with sales down 4% year-on-year to 20.884 but catches up on lost time in February at +24% to 19.686 units, making for a year-to-date tally up 9% to 40.570 deliveries. Over the period, Suzuki remains the overwhelming leader in Pakistan with 53.8% share but trails the market at +2% while Toyota is up an even shyer 1% to 30.6% share. The engine of growth in Pakistan so far this year is Honda, up 50% on the same period in 2016 to 7.754 and 15.7%, with the Civic estimated to sell 4.548 units over the period (+192%) for a third place overall and 11.2% share. The Toyota Corolla (-6%) and Suzuki Mehran (-5%) hold onto the top two ranks in the models ranking.

Previous post: Pakistan Full Year 2016: Toyota tops market down 10%

One year ago: Pakistan January-February 2016: Suzuki Mehran back to #2

Full January-February 2017 Top 3 Pakistan-made brands and Top 12 models below.

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Singapore February 2017: Honda keeps momentum at +53%

Honda remains the best-selling marque in Singapore in February. 

* See the Top 35 All-brands by clicking on the title *

New light vehicle sales in Singapore continue their onward march with another 7% uptick in February to 6.159 deliveries, with the year-to-date tally also up 7% to 13.698 units. Honda keeps the pressure on with sales surging 53% year-on-year for a frank pole position at 1.504 units way above Toyota at 1.124 (-3%). Mazda (+50%), Mercedes (+36%) and Mitsubishi (+159%) all post spectacular gains inside the Top 10 whereas BMW (-31%), Nissan (-37%) and Hyundai (-55%) struggle. Further down, notice Land Rover (+100%), Ford (+116%) and Opel (+620%).

Previous month: Singapore January 2017: Honda #1, BMW up 100% to 4th place

One year ago: Singapore February 2016: Toyota leads market up 98%

Full February 2017 Top 35 All-brands below.

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Media post: The Dodge Ram Truck History

Ram 2500

Don’t you love that Ram logo on Dodge Ram trucks? It really stands fro toughness and it’s a perfect choice for the sturdy and dependable Ram truck. It’s so tough and such a pleasure to drive that it won the coveted Motor Trend Magazine’s Truck of the Year Award five times! That Ram Tough truck has always been on the top of truck buyers’ lists throughout the years.

The Ram pickup has been on people’s minds since 1981. Of course, back then, it was known as the Dodge Ram Pickup. When that first generation of Ram trucks came out the Ram logo and the ram hood ornament was introduced also. Boy, was that popular! Yes, I mean the truck and the hood ornament, both very cool items. Anyway, Dodge had manufactured trucks before the Ram pickup was born so they used the same signifiers such as “D” “B” or “Ram” for the two-wheel drive versions and the “W” or “Power Ram” for the four-wheel drive models.

To make it easier for truck enthusiasts to instantly know what they were looking at, Dodge used the same numbering system that Ford used. That is, 150 was for the half-ton model, 250 meant it was a three-quarter ton version and 350 was simply a one-ton truck. that made it simple and quick and apparently truck owners loved that kind of talk.

The first gen Ram truck was a big success and it was redesigned in 1994 to give it more of a big-rig look and feel. The designers and engineers were right on the money with that look and feel because the second generation Ram truck kicked some…dirt up in the air and tripled the sales of the first generation truck from the previous year. Everyone should be so lucky! Guess what…Sales doubled again in the next two years.

The third generation of 2002 increased sales and popularity again and the fourth gen trucks, which came out in 2009 blew everyone away with all the innovations and practical renovations it had. Mussleman’s Dodge has plenty of 2017 Dodge Ram trucks and they are just waiting to go for a test drive. Come down and see what new innovations this year’s Ram has to offer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Media post: The Fiat History explained


Fiat, anyone? Why not, everyone else is. Yes, the Fiat car brand is enormously popular, that’s for sure! Everywhere you look nowadays, you see a Fiat buzzing by. Those small cars started appearing on our highways just a few years ago after the Fiat Group, the largest Italian carmaker, purchased a big share of the United States car builder, Chrysler.

That purchase brought Fiat back into the States after being absent for almost a quarter of a century. That’s right Fiat had a presence in this country a long time ago. They actually came over here before many of the American car brands we know today ever started building cars. Fiat set up a manufacturing plant in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1908 and built and sold their cars, the Fiat 60 HP and the Fiat 16-20 HP until 1917, when they closed up shop and moved back to Italy.

Fiat came back to the U.S. in the 1950s and introduced the Fiat 500 and several other models. They did okay, but the company felt that they should have done better, sales wise, that is, and went back to Italy once again to re-think and re-tool their cars for the world market. Apparently, they did a great job because the Fiat 500 along with other models have done incredibly well in scores of countries including the United States.

The Fiat 500, in fact, has become one of the most popular small cars on the market today. It is fantastically celebrated and definitely has the “cool” factor. It is a terrific fuel saver and gets between 24 and 31 miles per gallon in the city and 32 and 38 mpg on the highway. It has a very user-friendly infotainment center, more than comfortable interior, responsive handling and braking and it is simply a cool car to drive around town.

This beautifully designed subcompact car has a distinctive and ultra recognizable appearance and seats four passengers comfortably. Driving the Fiat 500 is not only a pleasure but it’s fun. The little people mover gets you through the day’s chores and is easily maneuverable in the tightest of spots. Parking is a breeze as well as keeping up with the flow of traffic. You can test drive one of these great little cars at Alfa Romeo Fiat of Larchmont today!

Media post: Lexus History – the new premium

1989 Lexus LS 

When Toyota decided to build a new premium sedan they code-named it F-1. Designing a brand new car from scratch is a pretty big thing, so a secret code name is a must. Well, all that secret measuring and engineering and drawing board stuff began in 1983, and after six years of exhausting creative labor, the Lexus LS was born. That luxury car was an immediate hit with consumers and after the initial vehicle came out, Toyota produced the sedan, convertible, SUV and Coupé models, which also were mega hits around the world.

The Lexus was conceived as a luxury vehicle by Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda. He had the very bright idea to build the world’s best car. Since his company already manufactured some of the best cars in the world he felt that Toyota should also be competing against Mercedes Benz and other legendary luxury carmakers. Of course, while the Lexus was being carved out in clay and the designers were in the middle of creating more head, leg and arm room in the context of one of the most comfortable cars ever made, the question came up as to how to market this new elegant automobile.

That question was answered quickly with the help of Toyota’s advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. They came up with the name Lexus by going through a number of beautiful sounding (and meaning) names and whittled them all down to a combination of “luxury” and “elegance,” which somehow came out to Lexus. Of course, that name fit the car to a tee and the advertising team ran with it.

We could say the rest is history but we wanted to share a little about what it really takes to design and manufacture a brand new automobile from just an idea from the chairman of the corporation. As we said, it took six years from concept to launch, but it also took the work of 24 engineering teams, 60 designers, 1,400 engineers, 220 support workers (we’re still trying to figure out exactly what they did), 2,300 technicians to build 450 prototypes of the Lexus. All this creativity cost Toyota over $1 billion. That is, in case you forgot how much a billion really is, 1,000 million dollars, which is a lot of money.

Was it worth it, you might ask? Well, the popularity of the Lexus brand has only increased each year since it came out and you can see why when you take a Lexus for a test drive at Atlantic Lexus of 110.

Media post: To Fiat or not to Fiat?

Fiat 500 detail 

To Fiat or not to Fiat, that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to drive a big gas-guzzling car or to take aim at a sea of troubles and avoid the heartache that big cars bring – is a thought devoutly to be wished. Yes, that is a quote from shakespeare’s play “Fiat, The One and Only Fiat.” The manuscript was discovered in Turin, Italy not too long ago and has since been widely read and performed. Apparently, the bard did plagiarize a few Italian playwrights in the sixteenth century and changed the names to protect the innocent – or at least that’s what we think.

Had he written about Fiat, he would most likely have made this beautiful little subcompact car his starring vehicle, no pun unintended. Fiat should be the star of every play, in our humble estimation, for it is the car of the future and most certainly, the car of the present. It’s small, but comfortable. It’s dependably, yet attractive. It’s cunning, but agile in tight spots.

Fiat has been around longer than most United States carmakers have. Fiat actually set up a manufacturing plant in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1908 and produced some very cool cars up until 1917 when the company packed up and moved back to Italy. (Apparently, The United States and Italy were at war but let us say this here and now: Fiat had absolutely nothing to do with that unpleasantness at all! There, we said and we feel better.

The 1950s brought Fiat back to the states and the Fiat 500 was introduced to the American car buyer. They did okay but for some reason they didn’t do as well as expected – we thing that America just wasn’t into small cars yet and Fiat was way ahead of its time. After going back to Italy to re-tool, re-design and re-engineer the Fiat – that cool little car just got a lot cooler. So, Fiat came back, showed off its new look and design and sales went through the roof. They are still going through the roof today because the United States is finally ready for what Fiat has to offer: beauty, agility, gas economy and the perfect size and price – all in an Italian sub-compact car. Ciao Fiat! Ciao America! Take a test drive at Fiat USA of Larchmont.

Media post: The Dodge brothers

Dodge Brothers delivery trucks in Salt Lake City, 1920. Picture courtesy Wikipedia

Hey, whatever happened to the Dodge brothers? Well, the Dodge brothers have been gone for almost a hundred years but their cars and Ram tough trucks are still around. Horace and John Dodge were at the right place at the right time to get into the burgeoning car industry. They opened up a machine shop in Detroit in 1900 and called it the Dodge Brothers Company. They manufactured automobile components and distributed them to car companies, the main ones being the Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the Ford Motor Company.

They were highly successful in the car parts business but they always wanted to build their own car, which they did in 1914. They actually competed with their former client, Henry Ford, with their Model 30 automobile. They went up purposely against Ford’s incredibly popular Model T, only the Dodge brothers marketed their car as a higher quality vehicle than Fords car, which put them on the naughty list at the Ford plant.

They didn’t care much because Ford ended up buying their Ford stock back for about $25 million, which put them in a very happy and lucrative position in the auto industry. Their Dodge Model 30 had a lot of innovative elements to it that made sales sky rocket to number two in the nation – right behind Mr. Ford’s car numbers. They and Mr. Ford had not seen eye to eye for years and John Dodge was quoted as saying: “Someday, people who own a Ford are going to want an automobile.”

Consumers loved Dodge cars and they relished the quality that was heaped on each vehicle. Dodge got a big boost when Lt. George Patton (yes, that George Patton), was in Mexico chasing Pancho Villa. Patton was involved in a gun fight with several of Villa’s officers and when it was all over and the smoked cleared, Patton had the dead bodies of the Mexicans tied to the hoods of the Dodge Model 30 cars and drove them to his headquarters. The photographs were not very flattering to Villa’s men but they boosted sales of the Dodge Model 30.

The Dodge brothers both died in 1920 during the worldwide influenza outbreak. Their valuable company was sold initially to an investment firm and then it ended up (fortunately) in the hands of Walter Chrysler. And the rest is history. You can see the 2017 Dodge models at Locklear’s.