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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 are 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

Full April 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 140 models below.

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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!

Full March 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 140 models below.

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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!

Full February 2015 Top 140 models and Top 20 brands below.

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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

Full January 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 130 models below.

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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

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

January 10th, 2015 No comments

Renault Sandero Brazil December 2014. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brThe Renault Sandero hits its highest ever monthly volume in Brazil in December.

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

For the first time since last February, new car sales in Brazil are encouragingly gaining ground year-on-year: up 5% to 353,558 registrations, however 2014 ends on a negative note at -7% to 3,328,716 units. Fiat dominates the brands ranking once again with 19% share, Volkswagen is back up to #2 at 17.3% above Chevrolet at 16.5% while Ford is up a robust 14% to cross the symbolic 10% milestone at 10.2% thanks to 35,993 deliveries. Below, Renault (+16%), Hyundai (+15%), Toyota (+26%), Honda (+17%) and Nissan (+31%) all frankly outperform the market, and premium German manufacturers all lodge spectacular gains: Audi is at +124%, Mercedes at +34% and BMW at +26%. Chinese carmaker Lifan confirms it is now a Top 20 brand in Brazil at #18 with a record 911 sales, placing the X60 SUV at a best-ever #72, the 530 at #137 and the Foison pickup at #146.

VW Gol Brazil December 2014. Picture courtesy of uol.com.brToo little too late: the VW Gol is #1 in December but not in 2014.

After a never-seen before 6 consecutive months of Fiat Palio reign, the VW Gol reclaim its rank as Brazil’s best-seller in December thanks to sales down use 3% to 24,150. However this is not enough to prevent the Fiat Palio from delivering a career-first #1 finish in 2014 (more detail in the Full Year update) as it hits 22,958 sales, its highest monthly volume since October 1997 – that’s over 17 years! Its all-time best remains 28,965 units reached in April 1997. The Chevrolet Onix astoundingly smashes the all-time volume record it established last month, lifting it by 24% to 17,951 and confirming it is a strong pretender to the overall #1 title in 2015.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil December 2014. Picture courtesy of revistaautoesporte.globo.comThe Chevrolet Onix smashes its volume record to just under 18,000 sales this month.

3 additional nameplates break their monthly sales record: the Hyundai HB20 is up 14% year-on-year to 12,921 units in 5th place, followed by the Renault Sandero up 22% to 12,911 sales at a best-ever #6 (also reached last May) and the Ford Ka is up 5-fold on its December 2013 score to 12,726 deliveries in 7th place. Notice also the VW Saveiro up 48% to #11, the Honda Fit up 90% to a record 7,703 sales and 13th place, the Toyota Corolla up 30% to #14, the Renault Logan doubling its sales year-on-year to #20 and the Ford Ka Sedan breaking into the Top 30 for the first time at #29. Further down, the Mercedes GLA250 is up to #81, the brand’s 2nd best-seller below the C180 sedan (#77) and the BMW X4 lodges its first Top 150 ranking in Brazil at #133.

Previous month: Brazil November 2014: Fiat Palio achieves the impossible

One year ago: Brazil December 2013: Ford Fiesta at highest ever #2, Fiat Siena hits record volume

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

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil November 2014: Fiat Palio achieves the impossible

December 2nd, 2014 No comments

Fiat Palio Fire Way Brazil November 2014. Picture courtesy of carros.uol.com.brFiat Palio Fire Way

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

New car sales in Brazil are slowing down their decline in November at -3% to 279,826 registrations, however the year-to-date total is still down a disappointing 8% on 2013 to 2,975,179 units. In the brands ranking, Chevrolet (-1%) is getting dangerously close to Fiat (-8%) this month at 17.5% vs. 18.9% while knocking Volkswagen down to #3 year-to-date. There is a healthy amount of manufacturers actually improving their sales YOY in November: Ford is up 6%, Hyundai up 10%, Toyota up a very impressive 24%, Honda up 1%, Nissan up 22%, Mitsubishi up 8%, Mercedes up 29% and Audi up an extravagant 99%.

Fiat Palio Go Brazil 2003Fiat launched the Palio back in 1996 to topple the VW Gol. Mission (almost) accomplished at last!

The models ranking is the theatre of a once-in-a-20 years event. Thanks to 15,399 sales in November (+11% year-on-year) vs. 12,024 for the VW Gol (-41%), the Fiat Palio lodges a 6th consecutive month at #1 and overtakes the Gol to also become #1 year-to-date for the first time in its 18 year-career. The Palio adds up to 160.784 sales after 11 months vs. 159.207 for the Gol. This is a truly historical moment for Fiat: the Italian manufacturer launched the Palio back in 1996 with the sole aim of dislodging the VW Gol from its pedestal, and they are now only one month away from achieving this in a Full Year. The last time the VW Gol did not top the annual Brazilian ranking was in 1994 (the Fiat Uno did), meaning if the Palio maintains its lead for one more month, it will break 19 consecutive years of Gol rule! In fact the Gol has been the #1 car in Brazil for 26 of the past 27 years, with the previous #1 nameplate to rank #1 before the Uno being the Chevrolet Monza in 1986

Chevrolet Onix Brazil October 2014. Picture courtesy of autossegredos.com.brThe Chevrolet Onix beats its volume and market share records this month in Brazil

Just as we recover from this momentous event, another one is happening just before our eyes: as if being beaten by the Palio for the first time wasn’t tough enough, the VW Gol also ranks below another nameplate who’s unashamedly targeting it this month. Exactly two years after its launch here, the Chevrolet Onix is up an imposing 40% YOY to break both its monthly volume and share records at 14,484 sales and 5.2%, ranking at a best-ever 2nd place overall for the 2nd straight month. The Onix thus outsells the Gol for the third month in a row, and ranks 4th year-to-date vs. #8 in 2013.

Ford Ka Brazil November 2014The Ford Ka is now among Brazil’s 5 most popular nameplates.

The third star of the month is the Ford Ka, whose new generation is lifting the nameplate to record heights: it is up more than 7-fold on the previous model last year to break into the Top 5 for the first time at #5 and 10,748 sales and 3.8% share. This is simply the Ka nameplate’s best-ever monthly ranking of its 18 year-career, only equalled once in December 2008 (#5), and only the third time it ranks within the Top 7 along with October 2009 (#7).

Lifan 530 Brazil November 2014Lifan 530

Further down, other great performers include the VW Saveiro up 54% to #8, the Renault Sandero back inside the Top 10 at #9, the Hyundai HB20S breaking its ranking record at #13 (previous best: #15 last March), the VW Up holding strong at #16, the Toyota Etios hatch up 63% to #23 thanks to the Cross variant, the Chevy Cruze sedan up 114% YOY to #26, the Ford Ka sedan up 27 spots to #37 for its 2nd month in the charts, the Lifan X60 up 16 ranks on October to lead the Chinese attack at #74, the Mercedes GLA200 already the brand’s 2nd best-seller at #91 and the Lifan 530 breaking into the Brazilian Top 150 for its 2nd month on sale at #130, helping lift the Chinese brand to a best-ever #18 overall.

Previous month: Brazil October 2014: Fiat Palio on verge of historical achievement

One year ago: Brazil November 2013: Chevrolet Prisma nearly inside Top 10

Full November 2014 Top 140 models and Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Brazil October 2014: Fiat Palio on verge of historical achievement

November 6th, 2014 No comments

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

* See the Top 150 models and Top 20 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Marcelo *

The Brazilian new light vehicle market is stuck in muddy waters this year, down another 7% year-on-year in October to 291,412 registrations, which brings the year-to-date total to 2,695,393 units, down a terse 9% on 2013. Thanks to sales down just 4% on October 2013 to 58,899 units, Fiat maintains itself above 20% share ahead of Chevrolet at 17.6% (-16%) and Volkswagen at 16.9% (-13%) with Volkswagen holding for dear life onto the #2 spot YTD, a mere 2.500 units above Chevrolet. Hyundai bucks the overall market trend at +6% and 7.3% share vs. 5.6% one year ago, Toyota is up an even more impressive 19% to 6.5% share thanks to solid performances of the Corolla (+17%), Etios hatch (+66%) and sedan (+60%), Nissan gains 6%, Audi improves by a huge 112%, Mercedes by 111% and BMW by 27%.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil October 2014. Picture courtesy of autossegredos.com.brThe Chevrolet Onix outsells the VW Gol again and ranks #2 for the first time.

The Brazilian models ranking continues its fascinating reshuffle. The trends at play are all once in a decade (or more) occurrences and they are all happening at the same time. The Fiat Palio celebrates 5 consecutive months in pole position, helped by the tremendous success of the budget previous generation, the Palio Fire and especially its Fire Way variant. The Palio nameplate sells 16,622 units for a 5.7% share, up 25% on October 2013. Before this streak started back in June, the best the Palio had done in Brazil in its 18-year career was two consecutive months at #1 and a total of 4 lonely stints in first place: in November 97September 06, October 06, and August 07. The stranglehold the VW Gol had on the Brazilian market for the past two decades seemed unbreakable. It wasn’t.

VW Gol Special Brazil October 2014Too little too late? The bare bones VW Gol Special launched this month.

And it gets more interesting: with a 4.167 sales advantage over the Gol in October, the Palio is now only 1.798 units below the Gol YTD and at this rate should overtake it by next week. This would be the first time the Palio ever leads a YTD ranking in Brazil since its launch in 1996. The Gol is down 43% and stuck at a very unfamiliar #4 spot, while Volkswagen has been surprisingly slow to replace the previous generation budget Gol G4 (the equivalent of the Palio Fire) whose production ended at the end of 2013. Only in October did VW launch the bare bones Gol Special starting at R$ 27.990 for the 2 door with manual windows and mirrors, optional power steering, washer and rear window wipers and sound system. Brace yourselves for two months of cutthroat battle fuelled by incentives to secure the coveted title of best-selling model in the country…

Ford Ka Brazil October 2014The Ford Ka is now among Brazil’s 10 most popular vehicles.

Another milestone awaits in 2nd place: the Chevrolet Onix, launched two years ago with the sole aim of teasing the seemingly unattainable Gol, has now outsold its target two months in a row. With 13,590 sales and 4.7% share, it breaks its monthly ranking record in Brazil this month and is only outsold by the Fiat Palio. The Fiat Strada for its part continues on its astounding course this year with sales up 52% on October 2013 to 13,381 units at #3. The new generation Ford Ka is clicking with Brazilian customers: it breaks into the Top 10 at #8 with sales up 536% year-on-year on the previous model, and the Ka Sedan has now landed in the ranking at #64 with 881 units. Finally, notice the Chevrolet Prisma overtaking the Fiat Siena at #10 for the sedan crown and the VW Up now at it 8th consecutive month inside the Top 15.

More data will be uploaded shortly.

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

One year ago: Brazil October 2013: Honda Civic hits highest ranking in 5 years

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

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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