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Brazil July 2015: Jeep Renegade teases Honda HR-V for #1 SUV

August 5th, 2015 3 comments

Jeep Renegade Brazil July 2015The Jeep Renegade is now among Brazil’s 20 most popular vehicles.

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Bad news again coming from Brazil: with sales down 22% to 219.410 units in July and down 20% year-to-date to 1.489.243, we are headed towards a replay of the 1998 recession that saw the market plunge 21%. Shaky economic situation, depressed consumer confidence, rising interest rates and deep cuts to subsidies and the workforce in the automotive industry are shaping 2015 to be one of the worst years in Brazil in the past two decades. The Top 3 manufacturers continue to freefall faster than the market: Fiat (-35%), Volkswagen (-36%) and Chevrolet (-39%) still top the sales charts but lose more market share each month.

Honda HR-V Brazil July 2015. Picture courtesy carros.uol.com.brThe HR-V lifts Honda sales up 12% in Brazil in a market down 22%.

Inside the Top 10, the only brands to stay afloat with positive results are Ford (+3%), Honda (+12%) and Jeep breaking another record at 4.242 sales and 1.9% share at #10. Toyota (-7%) overtakes Renault (-12%) to rank 6th. The premium Germans seem to evolve in a different planet altogether: Mercedes is up 88%, Audi up 54% and BMW up 33%. The Chinese are about to get a new leader again: JAC only has one sale (!) less than Chery year-to-date at 3.390 vs. 3.391.

Mercedes C Class Brazil July 2015. Picture courtesy blogauto.com.brMercedes sales in Brazil are up a whopping 88% year-on-year in July.

Model-wise, we witness a similar fragmentation as in the brands ranking with the Fiat Palio (-29%) and Chevrolet Onix (-23%) dominating but losing market share while the Hyundai HB20 (-12%) resists better in third place. The Ford Ka confirms its total success in 4th place with 9.281 sales and the Renault Sandero is boosted up 26% by the new model but the VW Gol (-50%) and Fiat Uno (-36%) continue to implode. Outside the Top 10, it’s a local SUV battle: the Honda HR-V is down 3 spots on June to a still splendid #15 with 4.429 sales but is now threatened in its SUV supremacy by the Jeep Renegade, also assembled in Brazil and breaking into the domestic Top 20 for the first time at #17 and 4.028 units. The Renault Duster (#22) and Ford Ecosport (#25) are all but distant memories…

JAC T6 Brazil July 2015. Picture courtesy quatrorodas.abril.com.brThe JAC S5 is renamed T6 in Brazil.

Further down, the Peugeot 2008 (#61) and Mercedes GLA (#66) continue to shine and confirm the trend towards more up-market crossovers is here to stay in Brazil. Although Chinese nameplates have made themselves more sparse in the monthly Brazilian Top 100 (only two this month), there is new kid on the block: while the Lifan X60 stays on top at #91 despite sales down 39% to 228 units, the JAC T6 breaks into the Top 100 for the first time at #96 with 195 deliveries, already and by far the brand’s best-seller in Brazil. The Chery QQ (#103), Tiggo (#113), Lifan Foison (#125) and Lifan 530 (#126) follow.

Previous post: Brazil 1st Half 2015: Fiat Palio #1, models ranking turned upside down

Previous month: Brazil June 2015: Fiat Palio #1, Jeep Renegade approaches Top 20

One year ago: Brazil July 2014: Fiat Palio #1 again, Chevrolet Onix at VW Gol level

Full July 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 120 models below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil 1st Half 2015: Fiat Palio #1, models ranking turned upside down

July 6th, 2015 No comments

Ford Ka Brazil June 2015. Picture courtesy carroecarros.com.brThe new model sees Ford Ka sales rocket up 14-fold year-on-year in Brazil.

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

Things are definitely taking the wrong turn in Brazil: one year ago, the new car market was disturbed by the Soccer World Cup at -7%, this year the fall has aggravated to -20% and 1.269.853 registrations. Intense fragmentation is happening before our eyes in Brazil, with the Top 3 manufacturers all losing even more ground than the market albeit staying in the same order: Fiat (-31%), Chevrolet (-27%) and Volkswagen (-29%) all lose roughly 2 percentage of market share each in the space of a year. Reversely, Ford (-6%) goes from 9.1% a year ago to 10.6%, Hyundai (-8%) overtakes Renault (-19%) to graduate to 5th place and goes from 6.9% to 7.9% share, but the best is yet to come…

Honda HR-V Brazil May 2015. Picture courtesy shopcar.com.brThe locally-produced HR-V lifts Honda up 19% so far in 2015.

Toyota gains 3% to see its share fly from 5.4% to 6.8% and Honda surges 19% to rocket up from 3.9% to 5.8% – mainly thanks to the all-new HR-V, locally produced and already the best-selling SUV in the country in May and June, #23 in H1 2015 only 274 units below the Ford Ecosport. Outside the Top 10 brands, if Citroen (-46%) and Peugeot (-43%) implode, Mercedes is up a stunning 35%, Jeep is up 4-fold to #15 (#11 in May and June) thanks to the arrival of the Renegade – the first Jeep produced in Brazil – landing at #48 over the period, Audi is up 27% and BMW up 2%.

Chevrolet Onix Hyundai HB20 Brazil June 2015The Chevrolet Onix and Hyundai HB20 both fit within Brazil’s Top 4.

One year ago, the Fiat Palio made a splash by ranking #1 in the Brazilian monthly sales charts for the first time in 7 years. How things have changed since… After ending 19 consecutive years of VW Gol reign and topping the annual ranking for the very first time in 2014, the Palio is now solidly installed in its throne despite sales down 24%, and the entire models ranking is turned upside down. The Chevrolet Onix is up two spots to #2, the Hyundai HB20 up 3 to #4, the Ford Ka is boosted by the new model up 14-fold and 71 spots to a best-ever 5th place, the VW Gol – shock, horror! – loses more than half its sales in one year to stumble from #1 and 5.9% share to #6 and 3.5%.

Peugeot 2008 Brazil June 2015. Picture courtesy carros.uol.com.brThe Peugeot 2008 is one of six all-new nameplates inside the Brazilian Top 100.

Further down, the Toyota Corolla is up 4 ranks and 27% to #13, the VW Up is up 6 and 21% to #14 and the Honda Fit is up 16% to #17. There are six all-new nameplates inside the Top 100 over the First Half of 2015 in Brazil, led by the Ford Ka Sedan landing directly at #21 with 17.941 sales, ahead of the Honda HR-V at #23 (but peaking at #12 both in May and June), the Jeep Renegade at #48 (#22 in June), Fiat Weekend at #51, Mercedes GLA at #82 and Peugeot 2008 at #83.

Previous post: Brazil June 2015: Fiat Palio #1, Jeep Renegade approaches Top 20

Q1 2015 update: Brazil 1st Quarter 2015: Once-in-a-decade market shifts occurring

Full Year 2014 update: Brazil Full Year 2014: Fiat Palio ends 19 years of VW Gol reign

One year ago: Brazil June 2014: Fiat Palio tops charts for the first time in 7 years

Full H1 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 150 models below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil June 2015: Fiat Palio #1, Jeep Renegade approaches Top 20

July 4th, 2015 No comments

Jeep Renegade Brazil May 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comThe Jeep Renegade is up to #22 in Brazil this month.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 120 models by clicking on the title *

No sign of recovery for the Brazilian new car market: down another 18% year-on-year in June to 204.627 registrations and down 20% year-to-date to 1.269.853. Despite falling 28% on June 2014, Fiat remains the most popular manufacturer in Brazil with 36.678 sales and 17.9% share while Volkswagen (-34%) outpaces Chevrolet (-37%) to rank 2nd in June. Ford (-7%) and Hyundai (-6%) gain market share as does Renault (-12%), however Toyota (+5%) and most impressively Honda (+31%) are the heroes in the Top 10 and the only manufacturers to gain ground year-on-year. Jeep ranks #11 with sales up more than 10-fold year-on-year thanks to the arrival of the locally-produced Renegade, Mercedes is up 87% to #14, Audi up 29% to #16 and BMW up 24% to #17.

Honda HR-V Brazil June 2015Honda HR-V

The Fiat Palio is the best-selling nameplate in Brazil for the 11th time in the past 13 months despite falling faster than the market at -25% to 10.582 units and 5.2%, while the Hyundai HB20 stays at a record-breaking 2nd place for the 2nd month in a row thanks to sales down just 4% to 9.165. The Chevrolet Onix is back up one spot on May to #3, the Fiat Strada up two to #4 and the VW Gol remains at #5 with sales down a horrendous 45% year-on-year. The Renault Sandero is up to #8, Toyota Corolla up to a brilliant #9 ranking, the Honda HR-V confirms its blockbuster status at #12 and 5.229 sales and the Jeep Renegade is up a further 5 spots to approach the Top 20 at #22 and 3.059 units.

Previous month: Brazil May 2015: Ford Ka on podium, Honda HR-V superstar

One year ago: Brazil June 2014: Fiat Palio tops charts for the first time in 7 years

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil May 2015: Ford Ka on podium, Honda HR-V superstar

June 5th, 2015 2 comments

Ford Ka Brazil May 2015. Picture courtesy uol.com.brNever had the Ford Ka nameplate managed to rank that high in Brazil.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 120 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Brazil take another harsh beating in May, down 26% year-on-year to 204.978 registrations, pulling the year-to-date total down 20% to 1.065.252 units. As it has been the case for the best part of the last year, the Top 3 manufacturers in Brazil fare even worse than the market, with Fiat (-35%), Chevrolet (-37%) and Volkswagen (-40%) accelerating their demise. This is the result of years of neglect and much hungrier manufacturers commending a smaller market share starting to really have an impact: Ford (-4% thanks to the Ka), Hyundai (-14% thanks to the HB20) and Toyota (-11% thanks to the Corolla) markedly improve their market share in the country. Premium German manufacturers buck the trend: Mercedes is up a spectacular 40%, Audi up 4% and Mercedes up 2%. Further to this, two carmakers make history this month in Brazil.

Honda HR-V Brazil May 2015. Picture courtesy shopcar.com.brThe Honda HR-V is the best-selling vehicle outright in Rio de Janeiro.

For Honda, we are witnessing a much more momentous evolution since the Japanese manufacturer started producing the HR-V baby SUV locally a couple of months ago. In a market down 26%, Honda sales are up 22% to 13.033 units, going from 3.9% share a year ago to 6.4% today, now at throwing distance from Renault (7%) and Toyota (7.2%) for the 6th place overall. All this thanks to the HR-V: for its 2nd full month of sales it ranks #12 overall with 4.997 deliveries vs. 2.824 for the Ford Ecosport and 2.516 for the Renault Duster, two vehicles held responsible for the start of the SUV craze in Brazil. Even more impressive: the HR-V reportedly is the best-selling vehicle outright in Rio de Janeiro! (Source: Autoblog Argentina).

Jeep Renegade Brazil May 2015Jeep Renegade

The second manufacturer to make history is American four-wheeler specialist Jeep. And as it has been the case in the whole of Europe so far this year, it all comes back to one new model: the Renegade. The first Jeep to be manufactured in Brazil (in Goiana, Pernambuco), the Renegade was responsible for Jeep entering the Top 20 brands in Brazil for the first time in its history last month (#17 with 814 units0). This time Jeep is one spot away from crashing the Top 10! Thanks to 2.794 Renegades finding a new home (placing it at #27 in the models ranking), the American manufacturer shoots up to #11 brand overall in-between Mitsubishi and Citroen…

Hyundai HB20 Brazil May 2015. Picture courtesy carplace.uol.com.brHyundai HB20 – Never had a Korean nameplate ranked that high in Brazil (#2).

Over on the models rankings, the Fiat Palio is crowned for the 10th time in the past 12 months despite sales down 30% year-on-year to 10.469 units. The Hyundai HB20 is up one spot on April to reach its best-ever ranking at #2 with 8.848 sales (-9%) and the Ford Ka (8.348) does exactly the same, jumping onto the podium for the first time in the nameplate’s 18 year-career – its previous best being #5 last November and in December 2008. The Chevrolet Onix (-30%) drops two ranks to #4 ahead of the VW Gol (-47%) and Fiat Strada (-42%) while the Toyota Corolla remains inside the Top 10 thanks to the new model.

Previous month: Brazil April 2015: Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade take off

One year ago: Brazil May 2014: Renault Sandero up to best-ever 6th place

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil April 2015: Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade take off

May 8th, 2015 No comments

Honda HR-V Brazil April 2015. Picture courtesy uol.com.brThe Honda HR-V is already the best-selling SUV in Brazil.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 140 models by clicking on the title *

The Brazilian new car market is back onto slippery slopes: down a very harsh 24% year-on-year in April to 211.603 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 860.262 units, down a depressing 18% on 2014. As it has been the case most months in recent times, the Top 3 manufacturers fall faster than the market, accelerating its fragmentation: Fiat is down 37% to 17.9% share, Chevrolet is down 32% to 16.1% and Volkswagen down 34% to 14.7%. Ford and Hyundai both lose 12% while Toyota overtakes Renault to take 6th spot thanks to sales down just 5% on April 2014. Honda, although remaining at #8, is actually up by 22%, with other gainers in the Top 20 including Audi (+75%), Mercedes (+44%), Jeep landing inside the Top 20 for the first time at #17 and Lifan back to #20.

Jeep Renegade Brazil April 2015. Picture courtesy uol.com.brJeep Renegade

The Fiat Palio reclaims the top spot it held (just) in 2014 and so far in 2015 despite sales crumbling down 43% on April 2014 to 8,841 units. However less than 100 units separate the #1 from the #3 this month, with the Chevrolet Onix remaining #2 at 8,783 deliveries and the Hyundai HB20 down just 10% to 8,753 sales. Never before had a Hyundai nameplate been so close to the overall pole position in Brazil… #1 in March, the Fiat Strada drops to #4 this month above the Fiat Uno while the Ford Ka overtakes the VW Gol (-56%) to hit #6. Notice also the Toyota Corolla up 3% thanks to the new generation to break into the Top 10 at #10.

Hyundai HB20 Brazil April 2015. Picture courtesy of CarPlaceNever before had the Hyundai HB20 been so close to being #1 in Brazil.

Traditionally very unique, the Brazilian car market is showing traits this month that very clearly link it to current worldwide trends, namely the baby SUV craze. The Honda HR-V, manufactured in Campana Argentina, is up 20 spots on March to land in 13th position with 4,957 sales and 2.3% share, instantly making it the brand’s best-seller in Brazil but also the best-selling SUV in the country! The Honda HR-V has been a runaway success in Asia so far (#4 in Japan#5 in Indonesia and #7 in Thailand), this month marks the start of a very promising career in South America. Similarly, up until now successful in Europe which was its only market to-date (#10 in Italy), the Jeep Renegade, manufactured in Goiana (Pernambuco), shoots up to #66 with 575 units and is the sole responsible for Jeep’s landing in the Top 20 marques in Brazil.

Previous post: Brazil 1st Quarter 2015: Once-in-a-decade market shifts occurring

Previous month: Brazil March 2015: Fiat Strada and Chevrolet Onix on top

One year ago: Brazil April 2014: Chevrolet Onix strong again

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil 1st Quarter 2015: Once-in-a-decade market shifts occurring

May 2nd, 2015 No comments

Chevrolet Onix Brazil March 2015Now within throwing distance of the overall #1 spot in Brazil: the Chevrolet Onix.

* See the Top 140 best-selling models and Top 20 brands by clicking on the title *

The Brazilian new car market is undergoing a severe correction in 2015, down 16% over the first quarter to 648,677 deliveries. The brands ranking is relatively stable but behaviours vary widely: the Top 3 carmakers all underperform a market already in freefall, adding up to a 52.9% share vs. for Fiat (-28%), Chevrolet (-18%) and Volkswagen (-22%) all see their market share thaw, adding up to 52.9% vs. 57.8% a year ago. Ford gains 1.3 point share to 10.4%, Hyundai almost 1 point to 7.5% while Toyota and Honda both gain 1.2 point to 6.3% and 5.1% respectively. Mercedes registers the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 20 at +14% to bypass BMW and become the #1 luxury brand in the market. This somewhat tranquil brands ranking is the tree that hides the forest.

VW Gol Brazil March 2015. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brDefunct: the VW Gol.

Even though it is down drastically in volume terms, the Brazilian market has suddently matured in the past 12 months. New anti-pollution laws put in place in January 2014 have triggered snowballing changes in the market, first forcing the end of a few dated best-sellers then pushing consumers upmarket. The days of overpriced, indecently profitable pieces of junk sold as new cars to a Brazilian consumer with its hands tied are over. True competition and value for money are starting to show their ugly head in Brazil – scary.

Fiat Palio Fire Way Brazil March 2015. Picture courtesy of carros.uol.com.brNew king: the Fiat Palio (Fire Way model pictured).

Examples: the Chevrolet Onix (up 4 spots on a year ago to #2 overall) and Hyundai HB20 (up 5 ranks to #4) are miles ahead of what Volkswagen and Fiat have been offering for decades (rehashes of basic designs and basic cars), and were engineered in Brazil for Brazilian consumers. Historic leaders are paying a dear price for their complacency. Just a year ago, all market analysts – included myself – genuinely thought the VW Gol would be untouchable as Brazil’s best-seller for many more years to come. It had held the top spot for 27 of the previous 28 years and the monthly pole position for that entire time bar a handful of months. Yet the unthinkable happened in 2014 and the Fiat Palio edged past the Gol for the title of best-selling car in Brazil. What we are witnessing so far in 2015 is even more unthinkable: the Gol has literally fallen apart, down 54% to 8th position, the nameplate’s lowest ever intermediate ranking in Brazil.

Ford Ka Brazil March 2015Pushing Ford past 10% market share: the Ka.

The Fox is now VW’s best-seller at #5, while Ford has hit the jackpot with the Ka, landing in 7th place above the Gol, even though it has awfully cannibalized the Fiesta Hatch (-60% to #18). Namplates in shape in 2015 include the Chevrolet Prisma (+13%), VW Up (+193%), Toyota Corolla (+65%), Honda Fit (+64%), Hyundai HB20S (+11%) and Nissan March (+64%). The Ford Ka sedan is most popular all-new nameplate at a brilliant #25, followed by the Fiat Weekend (#49) and Honda HR-V (#56). The Lifan X60 is by far the best-selling Chinese nameplate in Brazil at #83, lifting the brand into the overall Top 20 for the first time.

Full Q1 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 140 models vs. Full Q1 2014 figures below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil March 2015: Fiat Strada and Chevrolet Onix on top

April 11th, 2015 No comments

Chevrolet Onix Brazil March 2015. Picture courtesy autopolis.com.brFor the first time, the Chevrolet Onix is the best-selling passenger car in Brazil.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 140 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Brazil show clear signs of progress in March: down just 1% year-on-year to 225,981 registrations, which brings the first quarter total to 648,677 units, down 16% on 2014. For once Fiat performs the worst among top manufacturers: down 25% to 40,593 deliveries and 18% share, with Chevrolet (16.4% share) and Volkswagen (15.4%) both down 8%. Reversely, among the rest of the Top 10 brands, Hyundai is up 11%, Ford up 18%, Renault up 22%, Nissan up 37%, Honda up 39% and Toyota up 45% in a very impressive string of strong year-on-year gains. The 3 premium Germans also very frankly outperform the market: Mercedes is up 65%, Audi up 59% and BMW up 14%.

Fiat Strada Brazil March 2015The Fiat Strada is the best-selling nameplate in Brazil for the 2nd time ever.

The models ranking offers its lot of surprises this month: for only the second time ever after March 2014, the Fiat Strada is the best-selling vehicle in the country despite sales down a harsh 24% year-on-year to 9,946. In second place we however witness an even more significant event: the Chevrolet Onix tops all passenger cars for the first time, here too despite a serious year-on-year drop of 22% to 9,548 units. This means the Onix outsells the Fiat Palio (down 28% to 9,232) for the very first time, but also the Hyundai HB20 (up 9% to 9,100 sales), the Fiat Uno (down 16% to 8,671) and the VW Gol (down 33% to 8,351).

Honda HR-V Brazil March 2015. Picture courtesy carros.uol.com.brThe Honda HR-V lands directly at #33 this month.

A string of recently (re)launched nameplates display explosive growth this month in Brazil: the Ford Ka cements its new Top 10 blockbuster status thanks to its new generation with an excellent 7th place at 8,151 sales, the Renault Sandero is up 32% to #8, Toyota Corolla up 110% to #12, Hyundai HB20S up 41% to #14, VW Up up 40% to #15 and Honda Fit up 80% to #16. The Ford Ka sedan is up 8 ranks on February to a best-ever #21 with 3,475 sales and the Honda HR-V lands directly at an outstanding #33 with 2,382 sales and 1.1% share for its first full month in market. Pick-up trucks are on fire too: the VW Saveiro is up 44% to #10 and the VW Amarok up 23% to #43. Finally, there are only two Chinese nameplate inside the Top 100 this month: the Lifan X60 at #88 and the Chery Celer at #98.

Previous month: Brazil February 2015: VW Up in Top 10, threatens Golf

One year ago: Brazil March 2014: VW Gol passed by Fiat Strada and Palio, threatened by Onix!

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil February 2015: VW Up in Top 10, threatens Gol

March 5th, 2015 No comments

VW Up Brazil February 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriverbrasil.uol.com.brThe VW Up finishes the month just 374 sales below the Gol…

* See the Top 140 best-selling models and Top 20 brands by clicking on the title *

The situation worsens for new car sales in Brazil, now down an abysmal 28% year-on-year in February to just 178,822 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 422,717 units, down 23% on 2014. This month Fiat fares even worse than the market at -38% but keeps the lead at a round 20% share above Volkswagen at 17.3% (-27%), Chevrolet at 15.7% (-37%), Ford at 10.5% (-10%) and Hyundai at 7.3% (-22%). Thanks to sales down just 4%, Toyota overtakes Renault (-30%) for 6th place overall while Honda (+9%), Mercedes (+9%) and Lifan (+31%) are the only manufacturers in the Top 20 to gain ground year-on-year.

Lifan 530 Brazil February 2015Lifan is the biggest gainer in the Top 20 at +31% this month.

The Fiat Palio is the best-selling nameplate in Brazil for the 8th time in the past 9 months despite falling faster than the market at -31% to 9,205 sales and is followed by the Fiat Strada down 35% to 8,735 deliveries. The plot thickens at Volkswagen and a momentous hierarchy reshuffle is occurring before our eyes within the German manufacturer’s range.

VW Gol Up Brazil February 2015. Picture courtesy revistaautoesporte.comLeadership challenge – The Fox and Up are killing the Gol in Brazil.

The Fox/Crossfox stands out as the brand’s best-seller so far in 2015, hitting a shiny 3rd spot in February (-21%), its highest ranking since August 2012. Reversely the Gol is stuck at #8 for the 2nd month in a row – the nameplate’s lowest monthly ranking in Brazil in 32 years, whereas the Up celebrates one year in market by breaking into the Top 10 for the first time at #9, only 374 units below the Gol. Year-to-date, the Fox is #4, the Gol #8 and the Up #10. To be followed…

Honda Fit Brazil February 2015. Picture courtesy fotosecarros.com.brHonda Fit sales are up 72% year-on-year in Brazil.

Other interesting developments in the Brazilian models ranking include the Chevrolet Onix falling back down to #4 only 388 sales above its archenemy the Hyundai HB20, the Ford Ka up one spot on January to #6, the Honda Fit up 72% on February 2014 to #13, the Toyota Corolla up 46% to #14, Honda City up 40% to #20, and the Audi A3 Sedan up 14 ranks on last month to #69. In the Chinese aisle, only the Lifan X60 (#79) and Chery QQ (#95) manage to crack the February Top 100, however the Lifan 530 (#115) and Foison (#116) could soon join them.

Previous month: Brazil January 2015: Fiat Palio and Chevrolet Onix fight for pole position, VW Gol down to lowest ranking in 32 years

One year ago: Brazil February 2014: Fiat Strada up to record 2nd place!

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil January 2015: Fiat Palio and Chevy Onix fight for pole position, VW Gol down to lowest ranking in 32 years

February 6th, 2015 No comments

Chevrolet Onix Brazil January 2015The Chevrolet Onix has now outsold the VW Gol during 4 of the past 5 months.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 130 models by clicking on the title *

After gaining 5% year-on-year in December, new car sales in Brazil are back into ugly, negative territory in January at -19% to just 243,904 registrations. Fresh off celebrating its first ever annual win in the models ranking, the Fiat Palio tops the January 2014 sales charts thanks to 14,432 sales, with the Chevrolet Onix hot on its tracks at 13,462 deliveries. Now cleansing from December sales artificially boosted by heavy discounts in a bid to keep its annual crown, the VW Gol plummets down to a devastating 8th place, the nameplate’s lowest monthly Brazilian ranking in 32 years…

Audi A3 Brazil January 2015. Picture courtesy carplace.uol.com.brAudi sales are up 21% in a market down 19%…

Brand-wise, Fiat slips down 21% but remains on top with 49,675 sales and 20.4% market share (vs. 20.7% at home in Italy), Chevrolet resists well at -13% to 46,879 units and 19.2%, almost two percentage points above its FY2014 level, while Volkswagen sinks down 29% to 39,462 sales and 16.2% share. Ford is down 15% to crack the 10% share mark, Hyundai is down just 4%, Toyota down 3%, Honda down 8% and Nissan down 5%. Citroen (-43%) and Peugeot (-44%) are the worst-off in the Top 20, and in the premium race, BMW takes the advantage over Mercedes thanks to sales down just 4% to 1,295 vs. -15% and 1,185 but Audi could well set everyone straight by the time 2015 comes to an end: it is up an incredible 21% to 1,087 sales this month.

Previous post: Brazil Full Year 2014: Fiat Palio ends 19 years of VW Gol reign

Previous month: Brazil December 2014: VW Gol back to #1… too late

One year ago: Brazil January 2014: Facelift boosts Chevrolet Agile to #17

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil Full Year 2014: Fiat Palio ends 19 years of VW Gol reign

January 10th, 2015 No comments

Fiat Palio Way Brazil 2014. Picture courtesy of imguol.comFiat Palio Way

* See the Top 15 best-selling brands and Top 200 models by clicking on the title *

After a decade of uninterrupted growth taking the Brazilian new light vehicle market from 1.35 million units in 2003 to 3.65 million in 2012, 2014 marks the 2nd consecutive year of recession with sales down a harsh 7% to 3,328,716. Social unrest in the lead up to the Soccer World Cup and presidential elections have destabilised the market for most of the year, however 2015 looks brighter with December sales up 5%. Fiat stays atop the brands ranking with 21% share, for the first time holding a larger market share in Brazil than at home in Italy (20.7%) – a very impressive feat indeed. Chevrolet leapfrogs Volkswagen thanks to sales less affected by the recession (-11% vs. -14%). Hyundai and Toyota both gain 11% and one percentage point to 7.1% and 5.9% respectively, but the award of ‘most improved’ brand goes without contest to Audi: up a flamboyant 87% year-on-year to a record 12,486 sales. Mercedes (+18%) and BMW (+7%) also fare very well while Chery (+18%) passes JAC (-47%) to reclaim the title of most popular Chinese brand in Brazil.

Fiat Palio VW Gol Brazil 2014. Picture courtesy of autobild.com.mxThe Fiat Palio beats the VW Gol in Brazil for the first time since launch in 1997.

In 1997 Fiat launched the Palio with the sole aim of dislodging the VW Gol from its Brazilian pole position, and had failed to do so up until this year. New environmental laws in place early in the year meant Volkswagen had to discontinue the previous generation bare bones Gol whereas Fiat managed to keep the Palio Way, now the cheapest new car on the Brazilian market. This was fatal to Gol sales and Volkswagen inexplicably waited until November to launch the Gol Special to compete with the Palio Way. Too little too late and thanks to 6 consecutive months in pole position and sales up 4% in a shaky market, the Palio finally edges the VW Gol off and claims the title of best-selling car in Brazil in 2014. The finish line was extremely close though: just 385 units at 183,741 vs. 183,356 for the Gol (-28%). The Palio ends an incredible 19 straight years of VW Gol reign: the last time the Gol did not rank #1 in Brazil was exactly 20 years ago in 1994 when in a strikingly similar occurrence the Fiat Uno beat it by just 486 units.

Fiat Strada Uruguay June 2014The Fiat Strada topped the overall sales charts for the first time in March.

In fact, this is only the 2nd time in the past 28 years and the 4th time in the past 30 years that the VW Gol isn’t the most popular vehicle in Brazil: it also ranked #1 from 1987 to 1993, with the Chevrolet Monza #1 in 1985 and 1986. Demonstrating the extraordinary inertia in Brazilian car buyers’ purchase patterns, the Palio is only the 6th nameplate to hold the best-seller title in the past 60 years after the VW Fusca (19541980), Fiat 147 (19811983), Chevrolet Monza (1984-1986), Fiat Uno (1994) and VW Gol, making Fiat the only manufacturer to have placed 3 different nameplates in the annual Brazilian top spot.

The third place illustrates a recent trend in Brazil: similarly to what has happened in the past couple of decades in the USA and in the past 10 years in Australia and South Africa, pickup trucks are not confined to commercial use anymore and are becoming lifestyle vehicles, a valid alternative to SUVs. The Fiat Strada leads the segment with sales up a mind-boggling 25% on 2013 to a record 155,130 units and 4.6% share vs. 3.5% and #7 in 2013. The Strada even led the overall models ranking for the first time in the nameplate’s history in March – the first time a pickup was #1 in Brazil and broke its monthly volume record in September at 14,225 units.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil October 2014. Picture courtesy of autossegredos.com.brThe Chevrolet Onix outsold the VW Gol for 3 straight months this year.

The Chevrolet Onix is equally impressive in 4th place with sales up 23% to 150,829 units. It improved steadily all throughout the year and managed to outsell the VW Gol for 3 consecutive months between September and November, breaking its monthly volume record twice to bring it to 17,951 in December. If the Palio had to wait 18 years to access the annual #1 spot, the Onix may only need a couple of years and starts 2015 as a strong pretender to the throne. The Hyundai HB20 plateaued in 2014 (-2%) but gains 3 spots to rank #6.

VW Kombi Last Edition Brazil February 2014In 2014 the VW Kombi ended a production run that was uninterrupted since 1950.

Outside the Top 10, notice the remarkable progressions of the Chevrolet Prisma (+44%), Hyundai HB20S (+69%), Renault Logan (+102%), Ford Ka (+67%), Nissan Sentra (+111%) and Chevrolet Tracker (+493%), all either boosted by a new generation or in their first full year in market. The VW Up is without contest the most successful newcomer at #16 and 59,000 sales, undoubtedly giving nightmares to the Gol, followed by the Fiat Weekend (a renaming of the Palio Weekend) at #72, the Ford Ka Sedan at #75 and the Audi A3 Sedan at #106. The Lifan X60 is up 135% to become the only Chinese model in the Top 100 and we say goodbye to the VW Kombi (-83% to #90) whose production ended after 64 years of service.

Chevrolet Montana Brazil 2014The Chevrolet Montana is a hit with fleet buyers.

I can also share with you for the first time exclusive fleet and private sales models ranking for 2014, keeping in mind in Brazil fleet sales include sales to companies and public organisations. The Fiat Strada is king here with 106,525 units sold, with the VW Saveiro ranking #4, the VW Voyage up to #6, Chevrolet Montana up to #7 vs. #22 overall, Renault Duster up to #8 (vs. #21) and Chevrolet S10 at #10 vs. #19. The Fiat Palio dominates the private sales ranking with a 75% PS ratio and 137,712 units ahead of the Chevrolet Onix at 130,500 and the Hyundai HB20 at 102,000.

Previous post: Brazil December 2014: VW Gol back to #1… too late

Previous year: Brazil Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Onix edges Hyundai HB20 out

Two years ago: Brazil 2012: VW Gol celebrates 25 years at #1, Fiat Palio on podium

Full Year 2014 Top 15 brands and Top 200 models vs. Full 2013 figures below.

Exclusive: Top 15 fleet and Top 10 private sales models below.

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Categories: Brazil