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Brazil September 2014: VW Gol down to #4, Ford Ka up to #12

October 6th, 2014 No comments

Ford Ka Brazil September 2014. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brFord Ka

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

It’s definitive. 2014 will remain a key year of change for the Brazilian new car market. Long-established trends are shifting fast and rippling through the entire market to affect each manufacturer present in the country in very different ways. It all started with new anti-pollution laws put in place at the start of the year that forced the end of VW Kombi, Fiat Uno Mille and Gol Power production among others. Social unrest in the lead to the Soccer World Cup and presidential elections as well as delicate economic times have also played a part in destabilising the Brazilian new car market still down 4% year-on-year in September to 282.519 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total down a harsh 9% at 2.404.032 units.

Hyundai HB20 Brazil September 2014. Picture courtesy of CarPlaceHyundai sales are up 21% year-on-year, mainly thanks to the locally-produced HB20 range.

In the brands ranking, this month the Top 4 all lose ground, albeit at various degrees. Fiat slows down slightly more than the market at -6% to 21% share, Chevrolet slightly less at -2% to 17.6% while Volkswagen tumbles down 17% to 16.5% and is now about to be passed by Chevrolet year-to-date for the 2nd spot overall. Ford is not doing much better at -12% in spite of the arrival of the new Ka. The next 4 manufacturers all gain ground, and this has been consistent most of this year long: secondary carmakers catching up with the traditional leaders. Renault is up just 1% but this lifts the brand a notch above its year-to-date share at 7.4% and above Hyundai, up an impressive 21%, Toyota up 18% and Honda up 22% thanks to the Fit, note also Mitsubishi up 24% in 10th position.

Audi A3 sedan Brazil September 2014. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brAudi sales are up 78% year-to-date in Brazil

Another significant trend in Brazil in 2014 is the strength of premium German brands.  Mercedes delivers the highest year-on-year gain in the Top 15 at +29% to 1,264 sales, in fact only topped in the Top 20 by Audi up an astounding 64% to 1,068 units, not as impressive as it 78% increase year-to-date however. On top of Chery (+7%) and JAC imploding at -46% and after a brief passage of Hafei (#19 in December 2012) we now have a 4th Chinese manufacturer cracking the Brazilian brands Top 20:Lifan landing at #20 with 455 sales thanks to just two models: the X60 SUV and Foison mini pickup.

VW Gol Brazil 1987The last time the VW Gol was away from the Brazilian top spot for that long, it looked like this.

But the models ranking is the one that has been surprising us month after month his year and it just continues in September. Thanks to sales up 23% year-on-year, the Fiat Palio manages to stay in pole position for the 4th straight month and this for the first time since the nameplate originally launched in 1996. This also means the VW Gol has not been #1 for 4 months in a row (that was easy). This has in fact never happened before as far as I have continuous monthly data which is May 1988. So potentially we are looking at 1986 or even 1985 when the Chevrolet Monza led the way to find a similar situation. Historical times, indeed. If the Gol’s year-to-date pole position looked pretty safe from the Palio up until last month, it’s a different story now. The Palio gained 3.324 units on the Gol in September alone to bring its year-to-date deficit to just 5,964 erasable by mid-December at the current rate.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil September 2014. Picture courtesy of revistaautoesporteThe Chevrolet Onix outsells the VW Gol for the first time ever in September.

In second place the Fiat Strada simply delivers its highest ever monthly volume at 14.225 units (+27%), beating the 13.459 it clocked up last February. The Chevrolet Onix is up 44% on September 2013 to round up the podium for the third time in the past 4 months but most importantly the Onix outsells the Gol for the first time ever at 13,483 units vs. 12,583, down a horrendous 43%. A very symbolic win for General Motors as the Onix was designed and engineered to compete with the Gol full-frontal. The Hyundai HB20 is back up one spot to #5 whereas the Fiat Siena (-25%) and Uno (-40%) are in freefall. Excellent month for the Chevrolet Prisma up 55% to #9 and the VW Saveiro up 14% to #10. The new generation Ford Ka explodes onto the scene for its first full month of sales, up 75 ranks on August to #12 with 7,093 sales. One of the culprits for the Gol’s current misfortune can be found at #14: now exceptionally stable inside the Top 16 (seven straight months), the VW Up sells 6,272 units.

Brazil Top 5 segments – January to September 2014:

Segment YTD 14 /13 /12 YTD12 ms 14 ms 12
Hatch pequenos 508,928 -8% 11% 458,143 21% 17%
Veiculos de entrada 479,957 -20% -34% 722,508 20% 27%
Sedans pequenos 352,896 -5% 11% 317,676 15% 12%
Suv 216,707 6% 12% 194,009 9% 7%
Pickups pequenas 197,411 5% 10% 179,908 8% 7%

Looking in a little more detail at the Top 5 most successful segments in the market, the picture is even clearer. ‘Entry vehicles’ (VW Gol, Up, Fiat Palio and Uno) accounted for 27% of the market only two years ago but are now down to just 20%. This is the only large segment to lose market share over the period, all the others gaining ground. Small hatches (Ford Fiesta, Hyundai HB20, Chevrolet Onix) go from 17% to 21%, indicating a slight premiumisation (or de-lowcostisation) of the Brazilian market, consumers upgrading from entry to small. Small sedans (Fiat Siena, Chevy Prisma, Hyundai HB20S) go from 12 to 15% share, SUV volumes are up 12% and go from 7 to 9% share while small pickups are up from 7 to 8% share.

Previous month: Brazil August 2014: Fiat Palio delivers an 18-year career first

One year ago: Brazil September 2013: Fiat Siena continues to impress

Full September 2014 Top 150 models and Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil August 2014: Fiat Palio delivers an 18-year career first

September 8th, 2014 1 comment

Renault Sandero Brazil August 2014. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brThe new Renault Sandero has finally landed in Brazil.

* See the Top 150 best-selling models and Top 15 brands by clicking on the title! *

The Brazilian new car market is falling deeper and deeper into recession with a very tough 17% year-on-year drop in August to 259,152 registrations. This means the year-to-date total now stands at 2,121,543 units, 10% or 223,000 sales less than at the same time last year… Difficult times indeed. In the brands ranking, below Fiat far ahead at 21.5% share, Volkswagen takes advantage of a particularly weak month for Chevrolet (-34% to 15% share) to now rank #2 year-to-date at 375,925 units vs. 368,168 for the American manufacturer. Renault is back above Hyundai but the Korean carmaker keeps the 5th spot year-to-date at 148,901 sales vs. 147,249. Notice also Toyota up a great 10% to 6.4% share vs. 5.6% ytd.

Fiat Palio Brazil 1996The Fiat Palio does this month what it never had since its original 1996 launch…

Model-wise, we witness a career-first for the Fiat Palio: for the first time since the nameplate’s original launch back in 1996, it manages to hold the Brazilian monthly pole position for 3 consecutive months thanks to 14,305 sales and 5.5% share. It is the 7th time the Palio ranks first in Brazil after November 97September 06, October 06August 07June and July 2014. However its advantage over the traditional #1, the VW Gol, thaws from 1,642 units last month to just 105 in August. It looks like there won’t be a 4th month at the top in a row for the Fiat nameplate after all… The Fiat Strada jumps back onto the podium with a very strong 12,850 sales and 5% share, up 10% year-on-year, while the Fiat Uno is creeping back up the ladder at #4, kicking the Chevrolet Onix and Hyundai HB20 to #5 and #6 respectively.

Honda Fit Brazil August 2014. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brHonda Fit

Now that the new generation has finally hit Brazilian shores, the Renault Sandero is up 5 ranks on July to reclaim its spot inside the Top 10, the VW Saveiro lodges another very solid month at #11 (+10%) as does the Toyota Corolla lifted by the new generation and up 47% to #14. The VW Up maintains itself inside the Top 15 for the 4th consecutive month at #15 and the Honda Fit takes off at +67% on August 2013 to #16 thanks to the new model.

Ford Ka Brazil August 2014. Picture courtesy of car.blog.br2015 Ford Ka

Further down the sales charts, the newly renamed Fiat Weekend (aka Palio Weekend) breaks into the Top 50 for the first time at #48 with 1,245 sales while the Chery QQ snatches back the best-selling Chinese car title away from the Lifan X60 thanks to sales up 9% at #86 vs. +33% and #96 for the X60. The Chery Celer (#102 and +90%), Chery Tiggo (#107 and -1%) and JAC J3 (#111 and -61%). Finally, after many months of wait, the Ford Ka starts climbing the ladder again thanks to the new model now in dealerships: up 68 spots on July to #88 but the road will be long: sales are still down 78% year-on-year in August… We will also soon welcome for the first time a Ford Ka sedan in the Brazilian ranking…

Previous month: Brazil July 2014: Fiat Palio #1 again, Chevrolet Onix at VW Gol level

One year ago: Brazil August 2013: Fiat Siena shines in market down 23%

Full August 2014 Top 150 models and Top 15 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil July 2014: Fiat Palio #1 again, Chevrolet Onix at Gol level

August 4th, 2014 2 comments

Chevy Onix Brazil July 2014. Picture courtesy of Carrosdoalvaro.blogspot.comThe Chevrolet Onix breaks its monthly volume record this month in Brazil.

* See the Top 160 best-selling models and Top 20 brands by clicking on the title! *

No sign of recovery for the Brazilian new car market: down another very disappointing 14% year-on-year in July to 279,815 registrations, which brings the year-to-date total to 1,862,418 units, down 8% on 2013. Brand-wise, Fiat maintains a comfortable lead with 58,783 sales and 21% share (-12%) while Chevrolet overtakes Volkswagen to rank #2 in spite of sales down 19% year-on-year to 50,197 and 17.9% vs. 17.5 (-14%) for VW. The big event in the ranking is Hyundai leaving Renault behind in 5th place at 21,476 sales and a record 7.7% share, up 16% and two full percentage points year-on-year, enabling the Korean carmaker to break into the 2014 Top 5 for the first time at 7% share vs. 6.9% for Renault. Toyota is up 7%, Land Rover up 1% and Audi up 14% while Chery is the most popular Chinese manufacturer, above JAC for the first time in 3 years at #18 overall.

Hyundai HB20 Brazil July 2014. Picture courtesy of CarplaceBest month so far in 2014 for the Hyundai HB20.

After staying immobile for the best part of the past decade, the Brazilian models ranking continues its abrupt and drastic transformation this month. In June the Fiat Palio managed to top the sales charts for the first time in 7 years, and it stays there in July, thanks to 15,989 sales and 5.7%! This is only the 6th time ever the Palio is the best-seller in Brazil! Previous times were in November 97September 06, October 06August 07 and June 14 and only the 2nd time it ranks first two months in a row… In fact the Palio even widens the gap with the VW Gol (from 913 units to 1,642), which can now itself feel the Chevrolet Onix breathe on its neck. General Motors seems to finally have cracked the Brazilian equation indeed: squarely aimed at competing against the Gol, the Onix breaks its monthly volume record in July to a fantastic 14,015 units and 5% share, up 37% on July 2013 while the Gol is down a harsh 35%.

VW Up Brazil July 2014. Picture courtesy of bestcars.uol.com.brThe VW Up reaches its best-ever ranking so far in Brazil this month.

If the year-to-date rankings will be hard to move so far into the year (1. Gol 2. Palio 3. Strada 4. Onix), 2015 could well be the year Chevrolet finally places a model in pole position, for the first time in 30 years – since the Chevrolet Monza topped the charts in 1986. But wait there are more interesting news in Brazil this month: the Hyundai HB20 is up one spot on June to #5 with 10,857 sales, its first time above 10,000 monthly units in 2014 and best ranking since April 2013. Notice also the Chevrolet Prisma up 39% to #9, the VW Saveiro up 3 ranks on June to #10, the VW Up… up to a best-ever #13 and the Toyota Corolla up 38% to #14 thanks to the new model.

Lifan Foison Brazil July 2014. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brLifan Foison

Further down, we have 3 newcomers inside the Top 160 best-selling models this month in Brazil. The Fiat Palio Weekend has been renamed simply ‘Weekend’ and enters as such directly in 70th position with 667 sales, the Lifan Foison appears at #142 with 75 units and the Porsche Macan ranks #153 at 55 units. As far as Chinese models are concerned, as a group they are falling deeper and deeper down the ladder, with only two ambassadors inside the Top 100: the Lifan X60 at #86 (+44%) and the Chery QQ at #94 (-23%), up from #118 last month. The Chery Tiggo (#114), JAC J3 (#115), Chery Celer (#118), JAC J2 (#123) and JAC J3 Turin (#124) follow.

Previous month: Brazil June 2014: Fiat Palio tops charts for the first time in 7 years

One year ago: Brazil July 2013: Fiat Palio confirms #2 spot, Ford Fiesta further up

Full July 2014 Top 160 models and Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil June 2014: Fiat Palio tops charts for first time in 7 years

July 7th, 2014 5 comments

Fiat Palio Brazil June 2014Fiat Palio

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

The Soccer World Cup definitely has had a noxious effect on new car sales in Brazil so far: June sales are down a painful 17% year-on-year to 250,655 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,582,634 units, down 7% on 2013. Brand-wise, the Top 4 manufacturers all fall sharply: Fiat remains #1 but is down 20%, Volkswagen and Chevrolet follow, both at -22% and Ford is down 24%. Hyundai goes against the trend in a big way: up 19% to 19,189 sales, while Renault (-12%), Toyota (-2%), Honda (-16%) and Nissan (-2%) all outperform the market. Further down, notice Audi up an unbelievable 121% to 1,102 sales and Mercedes up 10% to 1,053 units.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil June 2014First ever podium ranking for the Chevrolet Onix in Brazil this month.

We have already had our lot of surprises this year in the models ranking, among them the Fiat Strada taking the overall lead in March, and this month is no different in Brazil: the Fiat Palio is the best-selling vehicle in the country for the first time in 7 years and only the 5th time in the past 20 years! Previous times were in November 1997September 06, October 06 and August 07… The Palio sells 14,080 units for a 5.6% market share, stable year-on-year, while the VW Gol is down a devastating 42% to 13,167 units and 5.2%. This shows two things: 1. the Palio has not suffered from its ‘budget’ previous gen being discontinued at the end of last year whereas the Gol has, 2. the Gol is being cannibalised by the Up which continues its progression at #14 with a best-ever 6,225 sales, almost 50% of the Gol sales this month (vs. 38% in May)…

Chevrolet Prisma Brazil June 2014Chevrolet Prisma

18 months after their respective launches, both the Chevrolet Onix and the Hyundai HB20 resume their ascension to the top, with both models up 13% year-on-year which corrected with the market evolution corresponds in fact to a 36% increase. The Onix even jumps onto the overall podium for the very first time in third place thanks to 10,994 sales and 4.4% share. The HB20 for its part is up to #6 at 9,528 units and 3.8%, its best ranking since April 2013. Further down, the Fiat Uno (-54%) and VW Fox (-51%) crumble down, while the Chevrolet Prisma is up 25% year-on-year and 3 ranks on May to land in 9th place, the nameplate’s best ranking in at least 4 years.

Previous month: Brazil May 2014: Renault Sandero up to best-ever 6th place

One year ago: Brazil June 2013: Chevrolet Onix and Hyundai HB20 pause

Full June 2014 Top 150 models and Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

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

June 17th, 2014 5 comments

Renault Sandero Brazil May 2014. Picture courtesy of www.auto.am4Yet to come to Brazil, the new gen Renault Sandero is already on sale in Central Europe (above).

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 150 best-selling models and Top 30 brands! *

For the 6th time in the past 8 months, the Brazilian new car market is down year-one-year, although in May the decline is limited to 0.7% to 277,924 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,332,017 units, down 5% on 2013. With previous generations of certain models (Uno, Gol…) not on sale anymore since January 1 due to new environmental laws, the Brazilian models sales charts is settling into a new order, with the May Top 5 identical to the 2014 year-to-date ranking. The VW Gol and Fiat Palio are neck to neck for pole position this month at 15,188 and 14,910 sales respectively, a situation we hadn’t witnessed in almost 4 years.

Fiat Palio Brazil May 2014Fiat Palio

The Fiat Strada continues to impress in third place and 4.5% share, ahead of the Chevrolet Onix now regular above 4% and the Ford Fiesta. Although the new generation still hasn’t officially launched in the country, runout prices on the current gen push the Renault Sandero to a best-ever 6th place in May in Brazil, with its previous best (#7) hit in September 2011, March and June 2012. The Hyundai HB20 stabilised a notch below the Chevrolet Onix at #7 while the Fiat Uno is surprisingly down to #10.

VW Up Brazil May 2014. Picture courtesy of car.blog.brVW Up

Beyond the Top 10, the VW Up continue to ascend the Brazilian sales charts: up a further two spots on April to a best-ever #14 with 5,744 sales and 2.1%, the Toyota Corolla remains very robust at #15 with 5,741 units thanks to the new generation, now way above the Honda Civic at #18, the Chevrolet Classic is back up 9 ranks to #20, the VW Amarok up 11 to #37 and the Nissan March up 13 to #39.

Previous month: Brazil April 2014: Chevrolet Onix strong again

One year ago: Brazil May 2013: Ford Fiesta hits highest ranking in 8 years

Full May 2014 Top 150 models and Top 30 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil April 2014: Chevrolet Onix strong again

May 16th, 2014 6 comments

Chevrolet Onix Hyundai HB20 Brazil 2013The Chevrolet Onix has taken a clear advantage on the Hyundai HB20

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 150 best-selling models and Top 20 brands! *

The Brazilian new car market is still in the red: down another 12% in April to 279,759 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total after 4 months to 1,054,123 units, down 5% on 2013. After the jungle that was March (Fiat Strada in pole position!), the models ranking is back to a little bit of normalcy, however there are very interesting mid-term trends developing… The VW Gol is back to its traditional top spot at 6.1% share or pretty much equal to its year-to-date level (6.2%) so the Up threat doesn’t seem to be one after all even though the mini VW stays #16 just under 2% share. The Fiat Palio stays #2 at 5.5% which is slightly higher than ytd (5.1%) while the Uno continues to sink at #6 and 4% (vs. #4 and 4.3% ytd), indicating that the loss of the previous gen, cheaper Uno Fire is hurting the nameplate.

Toyota Corolla Brazil April 2014The Toyota Corolla is up 10 spots on last month to #14.

The Fiat Strada is down to a still incredible third place and 4.8% share, consistent with its level year-to-date (#3 and 4.9%) while the Chevrolet Onix establishes itself in 4th position with 4.7% of the market, less impressive than the 5.4% from March but enough to pass the Ford Fiesta hatch to climb to #5 year-to-date, and over one percentage point above its archenemy the Hyundai HB20 stabilising at 3.5%. The Toyota Corolla enjoys the benefit of having a brand-new generation in dealerships: up 10 spots on March to #14 and now breathing on the Honda Civic’s neck (#13).

Audi A5 Brazil April 2014Audi sales are up 98% so far in 2014 in Brazil!

Brand-wise, Fiat evolves like the market at -13%, Chevrolet does better at -9% and Volkswagen worse at -20%. Only Hyundai (+5%), Audi (+79%) and Chery (+73%) don’t lose ground year-on-year in the Top 20! Year-to-date, both Fiat and Chevrolet are down 5% while VW sinks at -15%, Renault overtakes Hyundai at +11% vs. +9% and the German premium carmakers are on fire: BMW is up 36%, Mercedes up 8% and Audi up an astonishing 98%! Chery (+122%) is about to reclaim the title of favourite Chinese car brand in Brazil off JAC, down an abysmal 45%.

Previous month: Brazil March 2014: VW Gol passed by Fiat Strada and Palio, threatened by Onix!

One year ago: Brazil April 2013: Hyundai HB20 all set, now HB20S lands

Full April 2014 Top 20 brands and Top 150 models Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

São Paolo / Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) 2 months 2014: Ford Fiesta and Fiat Siena lead the way

May 14th, 2014 No comments

Ford Fiesta Brazil February 2014. Picture courtesy of temusados.com.brThe Ford Fiesta is the most popular vehicle in São Paolo so far this year…

* See the Top 9 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Marcelo *

After Minas Gerais and thanks once again to Marcelo, I can share with you today a little more regional detail about Brazilian sales, fascinating as the sales charts do not match the national ones and by far, showing some very strong regional specificities. If the Minas Gerais data was for the Full Year 2013, now we fast forward to the first two months of 2014. In the São Paolo state, the Ford Fiesta is the best-seller so far this year thanks to 7,750 sales ahead of the Chevrolet Onix and VW Gol. The GDP per capita is higher in this state so the tastes in cars vary accordingly, plus the Ford brand has had a strong heritage in this state for a while.

Fiat Siena Brazil February 2014…while the Fiat Siena dominates in Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio de Janeiro, the Fiat Siena (#6 nationally over the same period) is the leader with 2,500 units sold, followed by the Renault Sandero and VW Gol. One element that explains the success of the Siena is the fact that in the Rio de Janeiro State, the tax registration is lower and almost all gasoline stations also offer natural gas, favouring budget sedans as installing a gas cylinder in a smaller hatches means you can say goodbye to luggage space.

VW Gol Brazil February 2014But the VW Gol is #1 in almost all other Brazilian states.

Other states’ ranking turn out to be a little less ‘wild’, with the VW Gol monopolising the top spot in most of them. If over the Full Year 2013 the Fiat Uno was #1 in Minas Gerais where the Italian manufacturer has its largest Brazilian factory, so far in 2014 the VW Gol is #1 there with 6,000 sales ahead of the Fiat Uno (4,590), Palio (4,100) and Siena (2,346). In Paraná as well (capital: Curitiba), the Gol leads with 3,900 sales followed by the Fiat Uno (2,900) but the Renault Sandero climbs onto the podium at 1,900 units. In Rio Grande do Sul, the Gol is once again #1 (2,000 sales) followed by the Fiesta (1,650). In Bahia it leads over the Fiat Palio with 1,700 units vs. 1,550, in Ceará the Palio manages to get a little closer at 970 sales vs. 1,000 for the Gol, in Pernambuco the Uno is this time #2 with 1,140 units vs. 1,594 for the Gol and finally in Goiás, the Gol leads again with 1,800 sales, followed by the Palio (1,000) and Siena (950).

Finally, there doesn’t seem to be any data available for Brasilia, so if any of you readers is aware of the best-selling models there please comment on this article and link to the source!

Previous post: Minas Gerais (Brazil) Full Year 2013: Fiat Uno in the lead

Full 2 months 2014 São Paolo Top 9 and Rio de Janeiro Top 3 models Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Minas Gerais (Brazil) Full Year 2013: Fiat Uno in the lead

May 11th, 2014 3 comments

Fiat Uno Minais Gerais Brazil 2013The Fiat Uno is the best-seller in the Minais Gerais province in Brazil.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Marcelo *

Thanks to Marcelo I can share with you today a unique insight into the best-sellers in one of the largest states in Brazil: Minas Gerais. Larger than metropolitan France, Minas Gerais is home to 20 million inhabitants and has Belo Horizonte for capital. And if nationally the VW Gol is the runaway leader, Minas Gerais is home to the largest Fiat factory in the country producing the Fiat Uno which logically takes the lead in the state with 50,576 sales over the Full Year 2013 vs. 38,999 for the VW Gol.

The other big difference with the national models charts is the fantastic 4th position of the Renault Sandero, selling 20,590 units in Minas Gerais or 20% of its Brazilian total, vs. #9 nationally. Notice also the Chevrolet Celta accessing to the Top 10 at #10 vs. #12 nationally.

Brazil 2013 post: Brazil Full Year 2013: VW Gol leads, Chevy Onix edges Hyundai HB20 out by 13 units

Full Year 2013 Top 10 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Brazil

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

April 3rd, 2014 14 comments

Fiat Strada Brazil March 2014Surprise: the Fiat Strada is the best-selling model in Brazil this month.

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

Brazilian consumer bought 228,728 light vehicles in March, a harsh 15% contraction over March 2013, bringing the market back into negative over the first Quarter of 2014 at 774,400 units (-2%). If the brands ranking remains relatively untouched with Chevrolet regaining the 2nd spot off Volkswagen, Hyundai taking its distance over Renault in 5th place and Fiat dominating as usual, the models charts experience nothing short of an atomic explosion this month. Traditionally extremely stable to the point of becoming borderline boring, Brazilian models data got a shake 18 months ago with the arrival of the Chevrolet Onix/Hyundai HB20 couple, and lately the new generations Ford Fiesta and Fiat Strada have made some way. But this is another level altogether, and for no less than 4 main reasons:

VW Gol Power Brazil March 2014The previous gen Gol was discontinued in December 2013, hurting overall Gol sales.

1. The VW Gol is not the best-seller

This may seem mundane, but it has become an extremely rare event in Brazil. In fact, in the last 20 years, only two models had managed to beat the Gol in a months ranking before today: the Fiat Palio in November 1997September 06, October 06 and August 07 and the Fiat Uno in February 2011December 2011 and March 2012. This means that the VW Gol has been #1 in Brazil for 232 of the past 240 months (note 1999-2001 monthly data isn’t available). But wait there’s more: not only is the VW Gol not the best-seller this month, but – shock, horror – it is down to #3. This has not happened in… 25 years, since November 1989 exactly when the Gol ranked below the Ford Escort and Chevrolet Monza. Why this sudden access of weakness? 2 main reasons: first, the discontinuation due to non-compliance to new environmental laws of the very successful previous generation of the model that was still on sale alongside the new one. Second, the arrival of the VW Up undermining the Gol, potentially not on size but surely on coolness, and selling 3,517 units in March (#16).

2. A commercial vehicle, the Fiat Strada, is the most popular vehicle in the country

There are two firsts in this sentence: for the first time in the history of Brazilian automobile, a commercial vehicle takes the lead of the sales charts. And for the first time in the 16 year-history of the nameplate, the Fiat Strada tops the monthly ranking. The more bizarre feat is that the Strada does not actually deliver its best-ever volume in March with 13,017 units vs. 13,459 last month. It lodges its highest ever market share though at 5.7% vs. 5.5% last month. The explanation for this pole position could simply be mathematical, as the Gol traditionally evolved in a 6.5%-9.5% share tunnel over the past few years. Its sudden fall below 6% has suddenly made the Brazilian models ranking a lot more competitive.

Fiat Uno Brazil March 2014The last Fiat to top the monthly ranking was the Uno in March 2012.

3. Two Fiats take the first two spots

To my knowledge this has simply never happened ever in Brazil! Both the Fiat Uno and Palio managed to hold the monthly top spot a few times as we have seen in 1., however they never ‘coordinated their efforts’ to deliver a 1-2 like the Strada/Palio couple achieved this month. The Uno topped the charts in the years leading to the 1996 launch of the Palio nameplate: 2 months in 1993, 4 months and leading the market overall in 1994 and 3 months in 1995, then again once the current generation launched in 2011-2012. The Palio for its part did so from 1997 onwards and then sporadically in 2006-2007. The only time Fiat could have managed a 1-2 was in January 1995 when the freshly imported Fiat Tipo surprised everyone by taking the lead of the ranking, but the Uno was #3 that month behind the Gol. So we are witnessing a new milestone passed by the Italian manufacturer in Brazil.

Chevrolet Onix Hyundai HB20 Brazil 2013The Chevrolet Onix has definitely taken the advantage over the Hyundai HB20.

4. The Chevrolet Onix is only 300 sales below the VW Gol

Launched purely and solely to target the VW Gol back in October 2012, the Chevrolet Onix nearly achieved its destiny this month. Ranking 4th with 12,245 sales and 5.1% share, the Onix breaks its monthly ranking, volume and market share records all at once in March, and stops only 300 units short off the VW Gol! Keeping in mind Fiat Palio and Uno sales include two generations, this means the Onix is actually well ahead of the new Palio, new Uno, and of course the Hyundai HB20 and Toyota Etios. Why this unquestionable success? Simply that Chevrolet hit the bullseye with the Onix in terms of style, size and equipment for the price. So if not in 2014 then definitely in 2015, the Onix could be the first Chevrolet to fight for the Brazilian pole position in almost 30 years, since the Monza was Brazil’s best-seller in 1986.

Previous month: Brazil February 2014: Fiat Strada up to record 2nd place!

One year ago: Brazil March 2013: Hyundai HB20 knocks on podium’s door

Full March 2014 Top 150 models and Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil February 2014: Fiat Strada up to record second place!

March 9th, 2014 4 comments

Fiat Strada Brazil February 2014Fiat Strada

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 150 best-selling models and Top 20 brands! *

New car sales in Brazil are back in great shape, up a very healthy 11% year-on-year in February to 245,941 registrations which brings the year-to-date total to 545,692 units, up 5% on 2013. Just below the VW Gol a little weak at 14,077 sales and 5.7%, the big event this month is the 2nd place of the Fiat Strada with 13,459 sales and 5.5% share. Yes you have read well, the Strada finished the month only 618 sales off the pole position, delivering its highest ranking, volume and share in the nameplate’s 15 year-career. The Strada reached its previous best monthly volume in August 2012 at 12,981. We will find out next month whether this was just a one-off or the start of a longer-term trend that will see both the VW Gol and Fiat Uno (down to #4) decline now that the previous generations of each models aren’t on sale anymore.

VW Up Brazil February 2014VW Up

The Fiat Palio is up one spot on January to #3 and 5.4%, itself only 784 sales off the #1 spot… Excellent return to form of the Chevrolet Onix, up 4 ranks on last month to #5 with 9,561 sales and 3.9%, its best ranking and share since March 2013, while the Ford Fiesta is down 5 spots to #8 and the Hyundai HB20 down one to #9. Its sedan sibling the Hyundai HB20S hits its best ranking and share so far at #17 with 1.6%, the Renault Logan is up a further 5 ranks to #21, the Toyota Corolla up 7 to #23 and Fiat Fiorino up 20 to #31. Finally, we welcome a new entrant inside the Brazilian Top 50 this month: the VW Up! is up a massive 75 spots on January to land at #32 with 2,115 sales and 0.9% for its first full month in market.

VW Kombi Last Edition Brazil February 2014VW Kombi “Last Edition”

Now that production has definitely stopped, we bid farewell to the legendary VW Kombi, ranking outside the Brazilian Top 50 for potentially the first time since production of the model started here 64 years ago in 1950! It is down 30 spots on last month to #66 with 595 sales vs. #37 over the Full Year 2013. As far as Chinese models are concerned, the Lifan X60 leads the way at #92 followed by the JAC J2 at #95, Chery QQ at #102, JAC J3 at #104, Chery Celer at #109 and JAC J3 Turin at #112.

Previous month: Brazil January 2014: Facelift boosts Chevrolet Agile to #17

One year ago: Brazil February 2013: Hyundai HB20 confirms 4th position

Full February 2014 Top 150 models and Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil