This article is the portal to all Full Year 2013 Reports, you can find below all updates already live. This list will be updated as new Reports get published. Enjoy!
Big 3 worldwide markets:
All markets in alphabetical order:
This article is the portal to all Full Year 2013 Reports, you can find below all updates already live. This list will be updated as new Reports get published. Enjoy!
Big 3 worldwide markets:
All markets in alphabetical order:
Lately there has been a lot of talk, speculation, and actual structural changes within both French car manufacturers, Renault and PSA Peugeot-Citroen, with notably Carlos Tavares switching from one manufacturer to the other over the past year. Being French this is close to my heart and I thought it would be timely to take stock and evaluate what lies in the future for these two French manufacturers, based on a few points of comparison. Over the past years, both manufacturers have suffered from the European car market’s weakness, but even there they seem to be slowly turning around notably thanks to the arrival of the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. Alliances, low-cost models, strength in different markets… Which is best placed for survival and long-term profitability?
1. European sales
With two established brands, Peugeot and Citroen, PSA is above the Renault Group in Europe. The Peugeot brand alone even passed the Renault brand last month. Over the Full Year 2013, PSA held 11% of the European market thanks to 1.34 million sales, 741,939 for Peugeot and 603,080 for Citroen. Renault for its part holds 8.85% of the market thanks to 1.09 million units sold: 803,166 for Renault and 290,078 for Dacia, by far the fastest growing major brand on the continent last year at +22%. And here is where the long-term trends show we may be on the verge of a change in leadership somewhere in the next few years…
PSA went from 15% share in 2003 to 13% in 2007 to 11% this year. Renault went from 10.6% in 2003 to 8.6% in 2007 to 8.85% in 2013, managing to stabilise its share recently thanks to the growing success of Dacia (0% in 2003 to 2.3% in 2013). The launch of the Peugeot 2008, new generation 308 and Renault Captur in 2013, all candidates for a European Top 10 ranking in 2014, will potentially reinforce both brands, but Dacia’s progression seems unstoppable, especially on the back of a very successful launch in the UK last year.
2. Success outside of Europe
France is still both manufacturers’ biggest market. For the first time in the history of the carmaker, over 50% of Renault’s sales now occur outside of Europe, to be compared with 42% for PSA. China, the biggest car market in the world, will pass France to become PSA’s #1 market in 2014 after its sales in the country gained 26% in 2013 to 546,200 units. Renault will only start manufacturing cars in China, the key to strong sales there, later this year after its joint-venture with local carmaker Dongfeng got approved last December, which means we won’t see a significant impact on Renault’s sales in China before 2015-2016. If PSA has a clear advantage in China, Renault dominates its French rival in all other major developing markets.
The Renault Duster was the third best-selling vehicle in Russia last month.
In Brazil, with two brands, PSA sells 40% less than Renault with one brand and less models. Renault makes a profit there, Peugeot doesn’t. In Russia, Renault sells 3 times as many vehicles as PSA, almost exclusively (85%) the Duster, Logan and Sandero sold under the Renault brand, meaning it is very profitable there while Peugeot loses money. Renault’s takeover of Avtovaz/Lada, finalised this year, means it will control almost 25% of the Russian market in 2014, just above 650,000 units. Finally in India, Renault has made enormous progress over the past year, solely due to the success of the Duster there, while PSA has cancelled its project of selling there because of a lack of cash.
3. International alliances
Following a failed takover of US manufacturer AMC in the eighties, and of Volvo in the nineties, Renault forged a strong alliance with Nissan in 1999, of which it currently owns 43.4%. With Carlos Ghosn at the helm of both brands, the Renault-Nissan alliance has been a rare example of a truly successful international cooperation in the car manufacturing industry. Owner at 100 of Romanian carmaker Dacia and at 80% of Korean Samsung, Renault is now taking over Avtovaz/Lada, ensuring it a very strong presence in Russia (see above).
Lately, Renault-Nissan started a new cooperation with Mitsubishi which means a Renault model – the replacement for the Latitude, produced in South Korea – will hit US shores for the first time since 1987, albeit sold as a Mitsubishi. Finally Renault’s Chinese joint-venture with Dongfeng was approved last December. Yep, this is where it gets a little embroiled: Dongfeng currently has manufacturing joint-ventures in China with both PSA (since 1992), Nissan (since 2003) and Renault (since 2013).
A lot of brands and alliances involved, but Carlos Ghosn has kept a clear focus on high potential markets. Renault has long been criticised for ‘giving up’ the US and not being present in China. However, once again according to Carlos Ghosn, this is compensated by Nissan’s strength in both markets: Nissan sells almost twice as many cars in the US as it does in Japan and has become the best-selling Japanese carmaker in China only 10 years after launching there, here too selling more than in Japan already. Point taken Carlos. Hopefully Renault can reach the same level by 2024.
Peugeot launched in 13 Asian countries over the past 18 months (here Mongolia)
PSA traditionally preferred one-off technical cooperations without alliances (with Fiat, Renault, Toyota, BMW, Ford…). Philippe Varin, who is about to be replaced at the head of the Group by Carlos Tavares, tried to negotiate ‘true’ alliances which have failed so far: first with Mitsubishi, then more spectacularly with General Motors which took a 7% stake in 2012 and forced Peugeot to stop assembling cars in Iran, costing it precious revenue over the past couple of years. We will have to wait until 2016 to see real economies of scale for the Peugeot-General Motors alliance, when the two partners are scheduled to produce 700,000 annual vehicles together, saving $1.2 billion a year split between Opel and PSA from 2018 onwards.
Finally last week, 12 years after launching a manufacturing joint-venture with Chinese automaker Dongfeng to produce cars locally, PSA unveiled a $4 billion capital increase in which Dongfeng and the French state will each get a 14% stake. The founding Peugeot family’s holding will fall to 14% from its current 25% stake and 38% of voting rights, short of the 33% required to veto decisions. This reinforced alliance has left some experts skeptical, as vastly divergent interests between PSA, Dongfeng and the French state could create more instability for the carmaker.
However this is a very welcome cash injection for PSA that will enable it to pursue aggressive development plans in Asia where the brand has launched in no less than 13 countries over the past 18 months, as I described in my recent article about Peugeot’s Mongolian operations. PSA also has a joint-venture with Changan since 2012 to produce up-scale DS models locally, which we will analyse in more detail in the “Luxury segment” section of this feature article.
4. Low cost cars
This is potentially where the two French manufacturers’ strategies differ the most at the moment. A total precursor in this domain, Renault launched the low cost Dacia Logan in 2004, originally for emerging markets only but eventually for Western Europe as well. Fast-forward 10 years and Renault has produced over 5 million units of its low cost range, including one million in 2013 alone, in every corner of the globe. Standardisation and simplification are pushed to the extreme, with significantly lower manufacturing costs resulting in a very impressive 10% profit margin for the Duster for example, even though it is sold at a dirt cheap price. Renault has also used its low-cost learnings to relaunch Datsun as Nissan’s entry range.
PSA has not launched any low-cost models yet. The Peugeot 301 and Citroen C-Elysée are produced in Spain for Eastern European and African markets and in Wuhan for the Chinese market, and PSA insists they are not low-cost. The 301 has been met with outstanding success in Northern Africa last year: #2 in Algeria, #5 in Tunisia and #10 in Morocco with worldwide sales for the couple hitting 100,000 in 2013 and a predicted 250,000 for 2014. Profit-wise, a PSA internal source confessed to La Tribune that “margins are virtually inexistent, we aren’t even sure we will ever make a profit on these models”. Which may not matter too much in the first place. With the 301, Peugeot is regaining a foot in Africa, a continent it had abandoned (to my bafflement) but where it still benefits from an extremely strong brand image. And a continent with a huge, untapped growth potential.
Finally, and this is potentially the most interesting development and the biggest question mark so far, its new reinforced alliance with Dongfeng could potentially spark PSA’s real landing in the low cost world. Two sides of the story: first, a 4th Chinese factory is planned by the PSA-Dongfeng joint-venture, and it would be dedicated to the production of Dongfeng’s entry models, branded Fengshan. Second, there has been talk of yet another new factory dedicated to low-cost models and located this time at the periphery of Europe. It doesn’t take too much thinking to guess the logical next step: PSA using the Fengshan brand as its low-cost offering, a la “Dacia by Renault”. This would definitely be a clever outcome of the alliance with Dongfeng, as Peugeot’s ‘guarantor’ role could alleviate European consumers’ pre-conceived ideas about China-manufactured cars, as Renault did with Romanian vehicles.
As the whole industry is getting ready for the Frankfurt Auto Show, the European new car market is evolving at its lowest level in 20 years in 2013. Spain has had its weakest month of August on record, and in France we are looking at the lowest monthly sales figure in 37 years… Some insiders, including Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Ford Europe CEO Stephen Odell, don’t see a return to growth until 2016 at the very earliest, the end of the decade at worst. I will push this theory further and ask: will the Western European new car market ever grow again? Or has it reached saturation at around 12 million annual units?
There are a few signs on the continent that the car may not be the preferred mode of transport in the future, simply because other options, mainly public transport, offer a much cheaper and sometimes more convenient outlook. The first striking event that could announce this trend happened in 2012 in Italy: for the first time since the 2nd World War, there were less cars in circulation in the country than the year before. More cars were scrapped than bought. With a new car market down a further 9% in 2013, chances are this will happen again this year… In France, the tramway is making a spectacular resurgence with no less than 17 cities building a new network from scratch in the last decade – a trend I’m exploring in more detail further down.
What is your opinion? Is public transport a valid option in your city? Do you find yourself using your car less than you used to? Can you imagine a life without a car? I’m keen to hear your views so please comment on here if you want to share anything relevant to this subject. I will also update this post as I find more information on this trend in the near future.
A demographic trend is also at play in Europe, with most countries seeing their population ageing and stagnating, meaning less working people and less people in ‘real’ need of a car to commute every day. Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves, all is not doom and gloom for the European new car market and no time for car manufacturers to abandon the continent just yet! Proof: UK sales display insolent health this year, up 10% year-on-year and, most importantly, boosted by private demand, not leases or rentals. Denmark is posting record year after record year in spite of very high taxes on the price of cars. Also, saturated markets like Canada and Australia are reaching record levels in 2013. But their geography makes public transport a challenge and keep the car essential.
And this is the core of the European trend. The cities of Europe are extremely well connected, both with each other and inside out, with many transport options to choose from for each trip. For example, 58% of households living in Paris do not own a car vs. 19% nationally! A very dense metro system coupled with the recent addition of electric car- and bike-share programs (autolib’ and velib’) have made this car-free situation possible.
However the car is still used in a very large majority of trips all across Europe, and this won’t change soon… (the following is mainly based on statistics for France where my family resides – if you have detailed info for other European countries please make sure to comment on here!)
In France, since 2000 no less than 17 cities have built a tramway network for the most part from scratch! These cities are Montpellier (2000), Orleans (2001), Nancy, Caen (2002), Bordeaux (2004), Clermont-Ferrand, Mulhouse, Valenciennes (2006), Le Mans, Nice, Toulouse (2007), Reims, Angers (2011), Brest, Dijon and Le Havre (2012) and Tours, which inaugurated its new tram last 31 August. 5 more are due to receive a tramway line before 2020: Besançon, Avignon, Amiens, Lens and Toulon… A spectacular resurgence which has almost always prompted a sharp increase in the general use of public transport in these cities: in Toulouse for example, public transport, including but not limited to trams, use has increased by 35% since 2007.
More frequent public transport use means less frequent car use, right? Not so simple.
Many studies have tried to demonstrate that the appearance of a tramway network reduces the utilisation of the car in the city concerned, but the correlation is proving relatively hard to isolate. What seems to happen is the car is less used inside these cities, or at least on the routes served by the tramway network, but still used to get to the tram or public transport hub. ‘Relay’ parking lots have had to be created at the periphery of these cities to allow commuters to park their car before they jump on public transport on their daily commute. Toulouse, the 2nd city in France for relay-parking capacity, is already saturated and has launched the creation of 4,000 additional spots.
In Tallin, Estonia, public transport is now free for the city’s residents to encourage people to leave their car at home, or even better (worse for car manufacturers), not buy one in the first place. An interesting experiment that however shows the lengths needed to make commuters give up their car. What about inter-city commutes and inter-regional trips? In spite of a very dense train and plane network, the car is still king by very far. Out of 100 trips of more than 100 km in France, 75 use the car, 17 the train, 6 the plane and 2 the bus.
Yes, car manufacturers can breathe a sight of relief: Europe loves cars, and is not ready (yet) to give it up!
For the first time in the history of car manufacturing, Chinese carmakers sold 1 million cars outside of China in 2012. They are now relying more and more on export markets to boost their bottom-line, especially as conditions have worsened for local passenger cars at home over the last couple of years. However as I described in my article “China: How local brands may finally find their mojo at home“, the Chinese are learning how to sell low-cost overseas and applying these strategies at home, making themselves more competitive in the process.
In fact, while the long-dreaded Chinese ‘invasion’ of the West European and American car markets is still a long way off, Chinese manufacturers have been working extra-hard under the radar to secure less developed markets that will form the bulk of the global car sales growth over the next couple of decades.
And this is why they will win.
First case in point, Africa.
Apart from Toyota, Hyundai and a bunch of other Japanese manufacturers, no one currently has a lot of time for a continent that is still finding its way into development. Except the Chinese who started assembling cars there almost a decade ago, as part of a push to be deeply involved in the infrastructure building of the continent. So we’re not just talking cars, but roads, rail tracks, mining and much more.
Egypt was the first cab off the rank when Chery used the Cairo plant previously run by Daewoo to assemble its cars under the Egypt-exclusive Speranza brand in 2004 – apparently because the Chery brand suffered poor quality perceptions after an earlier launch there. Success: Speranza was the 4th most popular passenger car brand in Egypt between 2008 and 2011, selling more than Toyota! Successful models include the A516 (#9 from 2007 to 2009) and the Tiggo (#14 in 2011). Since 2012 however, other Chinese manufacturers have stepped up a notch in Egypt…
The Golden Dragon Haice managed to rank as high as #6 in September 2012 and finished the year as the best-selling Chinese model at #15 while the Geely Emgrand EC7 also has already peaked at #6 and 3.8% share in March 2013 less than a year after its initial launch in the country. King Long, Brilliance and JAC models have also started to appear within the monthly Top 30. As a whole,
Chinese manufacturers commanded 9% of the overall Egyptian market in 2012, which as you will see below is actually not their best share in the continent…
In Ethiopia, Lifan and JAC have cooperated with Holland Car, the country’s first car brand, to assemble models locally including the Holland Car Abay (a rebadged Lifan 520),Tekeze (JAC Tongyue) and Awash (JAC B-Class), all named after Ethiopian rivers. Since 2010 Lifan assembles cars under its own name in the country and has recently introduced the X60 SUV. No sales data for that country so it’s hard to gauge their success (not as high as Lifan would want according to somalilandpress.com) but a second example of clever re-branding to fit the local culture as a first step.
In Kenya, Foton launched its first domestically produced truck, the SUP pick-up, in June 2011 using an existing local factory, and has opened its own US$50m assembly plant in Nairobi in March 2012 with a capacity of 10,000 annual units. Chery is also thinking about a Kenyan plant, initially limited to produce 1,000 units in 2013. As a result, Chinese manufacturers now hold 20% of the Kenyan car market…
Either from these 3 assembling hubs or through straight exports from China, Chinese carmakers are organising their expansion towards other African countries. The Egyptian hub makes it more practical to export to Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Iraq notably, where the Great Wall Deer seems to be particularly successful. Another potential hub for the region could be Iran where Chery has been assembling cars since 2006, with the Fulwin 2 hitting a record #4 last month.
Ethiopia and Kenya can also be used as relays to Tanzania, Mozambique or Madagascar where JAC already has an extremely solid presence (#2 brand with over 8% share) below just Nissan in Q3 2012. Further West, Chinese carmakers now hold 20% of the Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire markets, with latest Cote d’Ivoire showing Great Wall at #10 in 2010. The logical next step in Western Africa for Chinese car makers would be assembling cars in Nigeria…
Assembling cars in Nigeria would enable them to carve up a significant market share there as well as in neighbouring Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali and Burkina Faso, all at various stages of development but destined to grow fast in the next decade and beyond. South Africa also seems to be a missing link right now, however when you realise that it is actually the only mature market on the continent, it’s easier to understand why the Chinese haven’t spent too much energy trying to crack it yet. I will spend more time talking about Chinese carmakers’ strategies in mature markets in Part 5 of this series.
Another way Chinese models have come under the spotlight in export markets has been through government agreements, notably in Libya, albeit in a totally unexpected way (you will see its impact on the Cuban car market in the next installment of this series). During the 2011 Arab Spring, Libyan rebels got their hands on a batch of 5,000 ZX Auto GrandTiger pick-ups that the government had recently received and fit their heavy artillery on them, catapulting the vehicle onto worldwide TV screens for a solid 6 months. A marketing opportunity that ZX Auto fully embraced, boasting about its reliability and featuring the Libyan civil war on giant LED screens at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show (see the full Libya article here).
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series: Latin America!
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Best Selling Cars Blog now covers detailed Historical data for 70 markets. Highlights are Germany for each year since 1946, France for each year since 1949, the UK for each year since 1965, Brazil since 1954 and Norway and Italy since 1956. Below you will find direct links for you to explore all Historical Data available for the countries listed.
The Austin Mini ranked within the UK Top 10 up until 1981
Check out my new BestSellingCarsBlog Introduction video, it goes through the main functionalities of the site and tells you a little bit about why and how I created BestSellingCarsBlog. A huge thank you to my friend David Curry and Con Filippidis for producing this video.
— There is also the ‘written’ version of the video below —
Bonjour and welcome to BestSellingCarsBlog!
I’m Matt, originally from France and now based in Sydney, Australia. Studying and analysing car sales figures around the world is something I have done meticulously for the last 25 years. I founded BestSellingCarsBlog in October 2010 in order to set up one destination that houses as much car sales data as possible, currently the tally stands at 177 countries and territories. This blog features almost all the sales data I have managed to get my hands on during my “car-data-nerd” life. If you want to share more data or need more info, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
BestSellingCarsBlog is only one part of what I do in the automotive sector, I am also available for short-term projects or ongoing consultancy, typically in the following areas:
- Radio and TV commentary
- In-depth analysis of any of the countries covered by the blog
- Industry forecasting
- Communication and sponsorship strategy
- Digital marketing strategy
Also, if you need some additional information, sales-related editorial for your website or magazine, or a point of view about the car sales situation in any specific country on the planet, you can contact me at email@example.com
Some of my past and current work aside from BestSellingCarsBlog can be seen below.
I have been writing a weekly column called ‘Best Selling Cars Around The Globe’ on the US website The Truth About Cars since February 2011. You can check out the list of all my articles here: Matt’s articles for The Truth About Cars.
In November 2012 I have started collaborating with L’Automobile Magazine, the best-selling car magazine in French language, starting with an article about the Chinese carmakers present in New Caledonia. Check out www.automobile-magazine.fr.
Starting in November 2012 as well, BestSellingCarsBlog now collaborates with Auto India, India’s oldest and best-selling car magazine, featuring sales figures in the “India’s best-sellers” section of the magazine.
I was recently interviewed by Alex Helmick from World Radio Switzerland about the evolution of the new car market there. You can listen to the September 2012 interview here and the October 2012 interview here and the January 2013 interview here.