Photo Report: Driving a Toyota Hilux on K’gari Fraser Island, Australia

Toyota Hilux on K’Gari Fraser Island

As of 2015, the Toyota Hilux was the best-selling vehicle in an estimated 42 countries in the world, by far the most crowned nameplate on the planet. Stay tuned for an update article coming soon featuring H1 2017 sales. In 2016, the Hilux became the first commercial vehicle to top the Australian annual sales charts, and it is in the lead again so far in 2017. It was high time for BSCB to test-drive this worldwide best-seller, and Toyota Australia kindly loaned us a Hilux Double Cab TD SR5 4×4 2.8L for one week. We decided to take it to spectacular Fraser Island, or K’gari in local Butchulla Aboriginal language (pronounced “Gurri”) which means paradise. But first to find a name for our Hilux. The last loaner we had was a Haval H9 we nicknamed Ivanhoe, so this one needs to start in J. The search quickly narrowed down to Joey, meaning a baby kangaroo, apt for this agile and shining new Hilux.

It all started in Sydney…Fraser Island location in AustraliaFraser Island map

We took hold of the Hilux at Toyota’s Sydney headquarters, and from here to Fraser Island it’s a 15h, 1.250km-long trip traversing countryside New South Wales and Queensland. The return voyage ended up adding 2.639 km to Joey’s odo, all done in four days. K’Gari Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world at 1.840 km2. Yep, that means there isn’t a single rock on the island! It is located 250 km north of Brisbane on the Australian east coast, has a length of 120 km (75 mi) for a width of around 24 km (15 mi). It houses over 100 freshwater lakes that are some of the cleanest in the world. Joey couldn’t resist a splash in one of the freshwater rivers running down into the ocean:

K’Gari Fraser Island has been inhabited by humans for at least 5.000 years and is the home of roughly 200 inhabitants today. It was formerly known as the Great Sandy Island in the late 18th and early 19th century and owes its current name to Eliza Fraser who created what may well be one of the first instances of what we call today “fake news”… Eliza Fraser was the wife of Captain James Fraser, master of the Stirling Castle that struck a reef north of the island in 1836. They landed with the crew on a longboat, then attempting to trek south. Eliza claimed she was captured by the Badtjala people who she wrongly accused of being cannibals. Many other survivors of the same shipwreck later disputed her claims. However, Fraser’s fictional report of her ill-treatment on the island eventually led to the massacre and dispossession of the island’s tribe. The 1976 film “Eliza Fraser” sustained the legend and was at the time the most expensive Australian film ever made.

Access to the barge to Fraser Island (Inskip Point)

As we had booked accomodation in Happy Valley, about half-way up the eastern coast of the island (see map above), we decided to enter Fraser Island from the south, taking the barge from Rainbow beach and Inskip Point. We thought it would be a small yet proper harbour with, well, a sealed street leading to it. None of this in this part of Australia! To reach the barge we first had to cross a pretty deep sand field. My co-driver David and I have no prior experience of sand driving – one of the reasons we wanted to take the Hilux here – so we had just previously lowered the pressure of our tyres slightly, thinking it would be enough with the help of the low range 4WD gear. How naive were we.

Maxtrax recovery tracks

Only a few metres and we got bogged down. After watching us for a few minutes trying to extricate ourselves and just as we were starting to think that Fraser Island would remain unreachable for this trip, two good samaritans (as only they come by in Australia) got us out of here with a pair of bright orange Maxtrax recovery tracks such as the one pictured above. A must-buy for any trip where you are planning to drive in the sand. They also had a valve that automatically lowered our tyres to 100kpa (or 15 psi). Perfect. We were now set.

It turns out, getting bogged down in Inskip Point is at the same time so frequent and so surprising that there is a Facebook Page dedicated to it! Yessir! It’s called “I got bogged at Inskip Point”, has almost 100.000 followers  and features numerous videos of cars getting… well, bogged down. We are now part of an exclusive club!

Joey and the barge to Fraser Island in Inskip Point
Joey on the barge towards Hook Point on Fraser Island

We are the only vehicle on the southern barge to Fraser, with a German backpacker giving us our ticket. Payment is by credit card with the captain perched atop a steep ladder and our National Park entrance fee is only available to purchase online. Thankfully the beaches on Fraser have very good wifi access (!). Upon landing on Hook Point is the real test of our sand driving and the lowered pressure are working a treat: it’s like we’re flying above the sand… Off we go on the exactly named 75 mile Beach. The entire eastern coast of the island is indeed a “beach track” open to vehicles. Only 4WDs are allowed on the island however.

Dingos on Fraser Island

Fraser Island invariably triggers one reaction among Australians: “don’t feed the dingos!” Dingos are a type of free-ranging dogs native to Australia. They are the largest terrestrial predator in Australia and have a prominent role in Aboriginal culture. Dingoes of Fraser Island, estimated to be around 180 to 220, are considered some of the last remaining pure dingoes in the country. As a result and to prevent cross-breeding, dogs are now allowed on the island. Since the 2001 killing of a boy by several dingoes on the island, strict measures have been taken regimenting human interaction with the animals (see card above). You can be heavily fined for feeding dingoes or even leaving food and rubbish out which may attract them.

GPS on the beach40 km/h speed limit sign along the 75 mile Beach

The 75 mile Beach is in effect a sort of sand highway, so much so that speed limit signs have been installed on the side of the beach! As far as I was concerned this was a first for me. It’s rather simple: where freshwater rivulets or rivers cross the beach towards the ocean creating creases, the speed limit goes down to 40 km/h. Otherwise it’s 80 km/h. Seems like a pretty high speed for driving on the sand but, as we’ll explain further down, high(ish) speed on sand isn’t actually a bad thing, rather much needed help. Another peculiarity of the 75 mile Beach “highway” is that the southern part of it towards Hook Point which is where the barge lands isn’t passable at high tide. To add fun to the game, the tides actually vary greatly from day to day, so we ended up being glued to the Fraser Island tide webpage for a good part of our stay on the island and opted to drive when the tide was going down rather than up, “just in case”…

Air Fraser Island plane. Picture wikipedia

One of the other “dangers” of driving on this part of the island is that it also serves as a landing strip for Air Fraser Island planes – these are not seaplanes – which offer touristic overviews of the Island. During my first trip to the island back in 2003, one of these planes landed just next to us and it was a mighty unforgettable sight. We did not have that luck this time but did see a couple of planes take off further along the beach. So in a word, when driving on the 75 mile Beach, you have to pay attention above more so than right or left…

Joey posing next to the shipwreck of the S.S. Maheno

An iconic sight of Fraser Island is the shipwreck of the S.S. Maheno, also located along the east coast of the island. It became beached in 1935 while being towed to Osaka to be broken up. But it doesn’t stop there… During the Second World War, the S.S. Maheno wreck served as target bombing practice for the Royal Australian Air Force. Today, almost three and a half storeys are buried under the sand. Speaking of which, now onto sand driving…

Sand driving on the way back to the bargeOne of Fraser Island inland sand tracks. And yes this is a two-way track! 

Driving on sand turned out to be much easier than expected once our tyre pressure was significantly lowered. That is, if you follow one simple rule: don’t drive slow! Completely counter-intuitive, driving kind of fast on sand is key to avoid getting bogged down. This explains why the speed limit is as high as 80 km/h on some parts of the 75 Mile Beach. On average, driving at around 40 km/h constantly will do the trick. To me, it felt like driving on semi-solid mud, to my co-driver David who also flies planes, the way the car follows the sand tracks and ruts more than obeying your steering reminded him of how a plane feels in windy conditions. A scary part though was driving on one of the inland sand tracks that didn’t allow space for more than one vehicle even though it was a two-way track!

Here’s Joey driving through the last bit of sand we had for him, after arriving back to Inskip Point, before a (very quick) review of the vehicle below. This time we didn’t get bogged in Iskip Point! Too bad for their Facebook Page…

A happy crew!

Sand driving ability: this is why we came to Fraser Island and we weren’t disappointed, once a few basics were applied on our side. Nothing can stop the Hilux outside the beaten tracks and this test drive proved it again.

Interior comfort is top notch, the pickup feels robust to drive yet is very manoeuvrable.

2.8L TD Engine has all the grunt that is needed for this type of trip, be it on sand or on asphalt.

Commands are all very intuitive apart from one (see below)…

Fuel consumption is correct given the size of the vehicle

The main and surprising source of grunts was the GPS: disconcerting at best, frustrating at worst, it’s convoluted to operate, and thus dangerous because requiring complete attention on the screen. Names of hotels cannot be picked up unless you are “near”, the GPS continues to calculate the route once arrived at destination… The list goes on.

A pet hate of mine: for this type of price (AU$ 59.459 driveaway), you’d expect not just the driver seat to be electric but the passenger one as well. It is manual. Feels a tad cheap.

It’s good bye for now Joey!

USA Full Year 2016: Exclusive State by State rankings now available

The Ford F-150 wins 31 out of 51 U.S. States in 2016.

* See the Top 10 best-selling vehicles for each U.S. State by clicking on the title *

For the third year in a row and thanks to JATO Dynamics we can share with you today separate rankings for the Top 10 best-selling vehicles for each U.S. State over the Full Year 2016. This data is exclusive to BSCB, you won’t find it anywhere else. This year the methodology is slightly different: not only the Ford F-Series is split into F-150, F-250 Super Duty, F-350 Super Duty and F-350 Super Duty Chassis Cab, but all its competitors as well, finally creating an even playing field: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500HD and up, Ram 1500, 2500 and up, and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and up. This actually has a drastic impact on the State rankings as we’ll see further down. The market push towards light trucks is once again confirmed: a truck is #1 in 45 States out of 51 vs. 43 in 2015 and 39 in 2014, with cars winning just 6 States vs. 8 in 2015 and 12 in 2014.

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 wins four U.S. States in 2016. 

If during the two previous years the Chevrolet Silverado dominated the count of winning States, this year due to the new methodology splitting each pickup variant – justified as these are actually very different vehicles – the runaway leader is the Ford F-150, winning a whopping 31 out of 51 States. Its largest volume once again comes from Texas where it sells 85.077 units, followed by California (38.371), Florida (37.893) and Michigan (31.065). Down from 19 in 2015 when all Silverado variants were combined, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 wins just four States in 2016, still making it the 2nd best-performing nameplate. These States are Indiana, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire but its largest volumes come from different States altogether: Texas (52.774), Michigan (34.941), California (29.720) and New York (21.569). The Silverado also ranks #2 in 15 States, 14 of which to the F-150.

No State win for the Ram 1500 in 2016, only two 2nd places in Idaho and Montana.

Interestingly, on top of its four State wins, the Silverado 1500 also outsells the Ford F-150 in four additional States: Michigan, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. All-in-all, in the duel between the 2 overall best-sellers on the U.S. market, the F-150 outsells the Silverado 1500 in 43 States vs. just 8 wins for the Silverado 1500. The third best-selling vehicle in the U.S., the Ram Pickup, goes from 7 State wins in 2015 to none this year once its variants are split. The Ram 1500 ranks #2 in Idaho (1.997 sales) and Montana (1.941) and #3 in Texas (41.017), Arkansas (8.496), Utah (2.562) and Nebraska (3.321). For its part the GMC Sierra 1500 ranks #2 in Arizona (5.501) and Vermont (1.695).

Most Overall State Wins by year. Note Silverado, Ram and Sierra not split up by variant in 2014 and 2015:

2016 2015 2014
Model Overall State Wins Overall State Wins Overall State Wins
Ford F-150 31 8 12
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4 19 15
Toyota RAV4 3 2 0
Honda Civic 2 1 0
Toyota Corolla 2 1 1
Subaru Outback 2 0 0
Nissan Rogue 2 0 0
Toyota Camry 1 3 6
Honda CR-V 1 3 3
Ford Transit 1 1 0
Toyota Tacoma 1 1 1
Ford Escape 1 0 1
Ram Pickup  0 7 5
Nissan Altima  0 2 1
GMC Sierra  0 1 1
Honda Accord  0 1 3
Subaru Forester  0 1 1
Ford Fusion  0 0 0
Chevrolet Cruze  0 0 0
Hyundai Elantra  0 0 1

The Nissan Rogue wins New York and Connecticut in 2016. 

The Toyota RAV4 is next in line in terms of State wins at 3: Massachusetts (15.585), Rhode Island (1.922) and Vermont (1.703) whereas it only won two in 2015. The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla both gain one State win to make it 2 in 2016. The Civic wins both the largest volume State:  California with 82.944 sales (+3%), and the smallest: the District of Columbia with just 685 sales. The Toyota Corolla remains master in command in Florida, the third largest U.S. State below Texas with 51.140 units sold there (-2%), and also wins Nevada (3.682).

The Subaru Outback wins Washington and Oregon. The Toyota Tacoma once again wins Hawaii (not pictured here!) The Ford Escape wins Michigan.

Among the nameplates winning two States in 2016, we also have two newcomers: the Nissan Rogue goes from #5 to #1 in the country’s fifth largest State: New York, where it sells 33.334 units, also winning in Connecticut (6.440). The Subaru Outback for its part is victorious is “Subaru territory”: Washington State (8.352) and Oregon (5.421). Five nameplates win one State each: The Honda CR-V, down from 3 wins in 2015, in New Jersey (17.011), the Toyota Camry also down from 3 wins in 2015 in Maryland (9.116), the Ford Transit repeats its rental-induced win in Arkansas (13.538) and the Toyota Tacoma prolongs a decade-long domination in Hawaii (5.853). The Ford Escape for its part had no win in 2015 but is the favourite model in the 4th largest State, Michigan, thanks to 35.991 sales there.

The Ram 2500 manages to rank #2 in two States in 2016. See our test drive here

Now looking into the detail of these full-size heavy-duty pickup variants, to see which States are the most fond of them. The Ram 2500 is the most performant at this little game, managing an outstanding 2nd place both in Utah (3.988) and Wyoming (706), each time outselling the Ram 1500. It also ranks #5 in Montana (1.127), #8 in Idaho (1.088), #9 in South Dakota (533) and Alaska (453). The Ford F-250 Super Duty reaches a high of #5 in Oklahoma (3.046), Wyoming (534), also ranking #7 in Texas (27.945), #8 in New Mexico (1.127) and #10 in Louisiana (4.106). The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD also hits a high of #5 in North Dakota (762), #6 in Iowa (2.669), #7 in Montana (1.031) and #8 in Wyoming (470). The Ford F-350 Super Duty is #6 in Montana (1.085), #7 in Wyoming (470), #10 in Idaho (1.050) and South Dakota (521) while the Ram 3500 ranks #9 in Wyoming (447). Wyoming has no less than 5 heavy duty full-size pickups in its Top 9 in 2016, on top of the F-150, Ram 1500 and Silverado 1500…

Previous year: USA Full Year 2015: Exclusive State by State rankings now available

Two years ago: USA Full Year 2014: Exclusive state by state rankings now available

Full Year 2016 Top 10 vehicles for each U.S. State vs. Full Year 2015 figures below.

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China June 2017: Exclusive imported models data now available

Lincoln sells almost as many Continental in China as it does in the U.S. 

* See the Top 110 best-selling imported models in China by clicking on the title *

Correction: Hybrid sales are now added to totals, making the Lexus ES the #1 import.

After a 1.5 year-hiatus, very rare imported models data for China is now available for the month of June 2017. BSCB is working on bringing you both Full Year 2016 and H1 2017 data in the briefest delays, so stay tuned for more info. Chinese imports sales data is a very secretive part of the worldwide market representing over one million annual units (1.007.088 over the Full Year 2015). As it was the case for the Full Year 2015 data, no media outside of China has reported on these figures yet, and BSCB is the first to do so, in line with our pledge to improve coverage of the Chinese market.

The BMW X5 is the 2nd most popular import in China. Picture

In June, the Top 100 best-selling imported models in China total 88.830 units which would indicate a total imports around 93.000 units for the month, confirming imports in 2017 will remain well above the one million mark despite the number of mass manufacturers not producing locally reducing each year: Renault, Acura, Land Rover, Jeep and Jaguar being some of the latest ones to inaugurate local production over the past couple of years. Comparing the June 2017 data to the FY2015 is a little far-fetched but this is all the comparison set we have for now.

The Porsche Macan is the 6th best-selling import in China in June. 

The Lexus ES (#4 in 2015) becomes the most popular import in the country, bettering its U.S. sales score and edging out the BMW X5, #1 in 2015 while in third place we have the Mercedes GLE which was only launched in late 2015. The BMW X3, Lexus RX, Porsche Macan and Cayenne round up the Top 7. In fact, the 14 best-selling imported models in China in June are all from premium brands with notably the BMW 7 Series at #9, Lexus NX at #10, Range Rover Sport at #11 and Mercedes S-Class at #12. The Toyota Land Cruiser (#15) and Nissan Patrol (#16) are the first “non-premium” models although they could both be considered premium given their price. The Subaru Forester could then nab that title at #17 overall. Subaru and Lexus are the last two large manufacturers not producing locally in China.

The Tesla Model X ranks inside the 20 best-selling imports in China in June. Picture

The most successful newcomer since the last sales data we had in FY2015 is, surprisingly, the Tesla Model X landing directly at #18 (the Model S is much lower at #33). The Jaguar F-Pace is the only other new intruder close to the Top 30, ranking at #31. Lincoln is showing it is making its mark on the Chinese market: on top of the MKC at #20 (#45 in 2015), the MKX at #29 (#118 in 2015) and the MKZ at #37 (#77 in 2015), the all-new Continental lurks at an outstanding 34th place, selling almost as much as it did in the U.S. during the same month… Notice also the Alfa Romeo Giulia (#65), Kia Niro (#93) and Maserati Levante (#102) on top of a couple of Mercedes SUVs yet to be produced locally.

The Ford F-150 has officially landed in China. 

Last but not least, this June 2017 ranking is bringing to life the new trend by U.S. manufacturers to try and leverage  the love of large American pickup trucks I witnessed in every single rural city in the country (See Chinese Photo Reports in the Special China tab, the 2016 Photo Reports are here). Instead of counting on private importers that priced the pickups out of most Chinese customers’ means, Ford, Ram and Toyota are now officially importing them into China. And this ranking proves it, with the F-150 landing at #73 in June, the Ram Pickup at #94 and the Toyota Tundra at #99.

Stay tuned for more imported sales data for China coming shortly.

Previous post: China Full Year 2015: Exclusive imported models ranking now available

Full June 2017 Top 110 imported models Ranking Table below.

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First Half 2017: Complete Data for selected markets

The Toyota C-HR lands in third place among passenger cars at home in Japan. 

Below you will find the links to the First Half 2017 Special Reports:

World First Half 2017: Renault-Nissan becomes world’s largest carmaker

China First Half 2017: Market slows down growth from +9.2% to +1.6%

USA First Half 2017: Rogue, CR-V and RAV4 outsell Altima, Civic and Camry in crossover push

Europe First Half 2017: Best result in a decade but growth slows to 4.2%

Japan First Half 2017: Toyota C-HR storms into third place, Prius #1

Germany First Half 2017: Mercedes up, Volkswagen down but trusts Top 4

India First Half 2017: Top Five is 100% Maruti in record market up 8%

UK First Half 2017: Mercedes shines, places C-Class and A-Class in Top 10

UK First Half 2017: Now available with Top 150 models ranking (BSCB Exclusive)

Italy First Half 2017: Fiat Tipo lands in third place, teases Lancia Ypsilon for #2

France First Half 2017: Market lifted up 3% by tactical sales

Brazil First Half 2017: Sales rebound, Jeep Compass leads new SUV charge

Russia First Half 2017: First positive result in five year

Russia First Half 2017: Now available with All-models ranking (BSCB Exclusive)

– – –

Special Middle East section (in alphabetical order):

Bahrain First Half 2017: Land Cruiser and Prado top market down 34%

Iraq First Half 2017: Kia Frontier doubles sales to hold 32.9% of market

Jordan First Half 2017: Hyundai and Kia both climb above Toyota

Kuwait First Half 2017: Toyota Prado #1, Kia up 15%, market down 11%

Lebanon First Half 2017: Prado and Land Cruiser on top, Datsun shines

Oman First Half 2017: Nissan advances 123% in market down 8%

Qatar First Half 2017: Nissan Patrol and Navara shine in market down 22%

Saudi Arabia First Half 2017: Camry leads, Renault Koleos smashes in

Syria First Half 2017: Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage on top

United Arab Emirates First Half 2017: Nissan Patrol cements top spot

Yemen First Half 2017: Toyota holds 78.3% share in recovering market

* Full Year 2016 Reports * 105 markets available

Wuling Hongguang S1 China 2016The Wuling Hongguang posts a 4th straight year at #1 in the world’s largest car market: China. 

This article is the portal to all Full Year 2016 Reports, you can find below all updates already live. This list is added in real time as more updates get published.

See the Full Year 2015 Reports for 136 markets here

See the Full Year 2014 Reports for 134 markets here

See the Full Year 2013 Reports for 108 markets here

All markets available in alphabetical order:

Algeria Full Year 2016: Import quotas bring market to standstill

Argentina Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux takes control for the first time

Australia Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux first ever “ute” to lead annual sales

Australia Full Year 2016: Exclusive State by State rankings available

Austria Full Year 2016: VW Golf celebrates 40 consecutive years at #1

Azerbaijan Full Year 2016: Lada 4×4 new leader in market down 47%

Bahrain Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser and Prado on top

Belarus Full Year 2016: VW Polo leads for 4th year, Renault Kaptur in Top 10

Belgium Full Year 2016: VW Golf back to #1, Hyundai Tucson on podium

Bosnia & Herzegovina Full Year 2016: Skoda Octavia and VW Golf on top

Botswana Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux leads, Land Cruiser Pickup up 60% to #2

Brazil Full Year 2016: Chevrolet takes control in market down 20%

Bulgaria Full Year 2016: Dacia Dokker and Nissan Qashqai dominate again

Canada Full Year 2016: Ford F-Series at peak in 4th straight record year

Chile Full Year 2016: Chevrolet Sail resumes domination, Hyundai #1 brand

China Full Year 2016: Tax cut boosts market up 14% to 28 million sales

China LCV Full Year 2016: Wuling Mini Truck leads, pickups up 11%

Colombia Full Year 2016: Renault keeps momentum, places Sandero #1

Croatia Full Year 2016: VW Golf leads, Ford Focus and Suzuki Vitara up

Cyprus Full Year 2016: VW Golf resists, Ford Focus and Hyundai Tucson shine

Czech Republic Full Year 2016: 4 Skodas in Top 4 for the first time

Denmark Full Year 2016: Peugeot 208 ends VW Up reign in record market

Ecuador Full Year 2016: Great Wall soars 11% to #5 in market down 22%

Egypt Full Year 2016: Hyundai takes control in market down 40%

England (UK) Full Year 2016: First podium for the VW Golf

Estonia Full Year 2016: Skoda Octavia reclaims top spot

Europe Full Year 2016: Volkswagen flat, Renault up in highest market in 9 years

Europe Full Year 2016: Discover the Top 385 models and Top 60 brands

Finland Full Year 2016: Skoda Octavia on top, Opel Astra up 180%

France Full Year 2016: Private sales under 50% for the first time

Germany Full Year 2016: Volkswagen down, Mercedes up, strongest market this decade

Greece Full Year 2016: Toyota Yaris #1, Nissan Micra on podium

Greenland (Denmark) Full Year 2016: Mitsubishi Outlander likely leader

Gulf Cooperation Council Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux reigns supreme

Hungary Full Year 2016: Suzuki resumes domination after 8 year-lull

Iceland Full Year 2016: Toyota Yaris resumes domination, Kia Sportage shines

India Full Year 2016: The year Renault cracked the Indian market

Indonesia Full Year 2016: Toyota Avanza leads, Calya lands at #3

Iran Full Year 2016: Saipa Pride & Peugeot 405 lead, Brilliance H330 in Top 10

Iraq Full Year 2016: Kia Frontier and Sportage outsell Toyota Hilux

Ireland Full Year 2016: Hyundai Tucson signs historic win

Israel Full Year 2016: Kia Sportage first ever crossover to lead charts

Italy Full Year 2016: 6 Italian models in Top 7 for the first time in 32 years

Japan Full Year 2016: Toyota Prius returns to #1 spot after 3 year-hiatus

Jordan Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser takes control, market down 27%

Kazakhstan Full Year 2016: Toyota takes control of market down 52%

Kenya Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux only 10 units above Isuzu KB

Kuwait Full year 2016: Toyota Prado and Camry top market down 26%

Latvia Full Year 2016: Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Octavia top market up 15%

Lebanon Full Year 2016: Toyota Prado snaps top spot

Lesotho Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux ultra-dominant, Fortuner up to #3

Liechtenstein Full Year 2016: Volkswagen AG places 10 nameplates in Top 12

Lithuania Full Year 2016: Fiat 500 ultra-dominant, 500X in Top 5

Luxembourg Full Year 2016: VW Golf leads, BMW X1 up to 4th place

Malawi Full Year 2016: Toyota at 46.7% share, Hilux and Land Cruiser lead

Malaysia Full Year 2016: Perodua hits record share in market down 13%

Malaysia Full Year 2016: Models data now available (BSCB Exclusive)

Malta Full Year 2016: Toyota Aygo and Yaris top rental-biased market

Martinique (France) Full Year 2016: Peugeot and 208 reclaim #1 spots

Mauritius Full Year 2016: Nissan topples Toyota in market up 9%

Mexico Full Year 2016: Record market pounces up 18.6% above 1.6m units

Moldova Full Year 2016: Dacia Logan resists Hyundai Tucson assault

Monaco Full Year 2016: Mercedes takes off, Porsche on podium

Morocco Full Year 2016: Dacia places entire range in Top 7 in record market

Namibia Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Isuzu KB in the lead

Netherlands Full Year 2016: VW Golf holds off Renault Clio for 50 sales

New Caledonia (France) Full Year 2016: Dacia Duster ends 7 years of Ford Ranger domination

New Zealand Full Year 2016: Ford Ranger repeats in third straight record year

Northern Ireland (UK) Full Year 2016: Hyundai Tucson and Renault Kadjar in Top 10

Norway Full Year 2016: VW Golf #1, Mitsubishi Outlander and BMW i3 shine

Oman Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux overtakes Land Cruiser Pickup to #1

Pakistan Full Year 2016: Toyota Corolla tops market down 10%

Philippines Full Year 2016: Toyota Vios leads, Fortuner shines in 7th consecutive record year

Poland Full Year 2016: Opel Astra catches up with Skoda Octavia, Fabia

Portugal Full Year 2016: Renault Clio, Peugeot 208 top market up 16%

Puerto Rico (USA) Full Year 2016: Toyota Yaris outpaces Corolla to #1

Qatar Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser towers above competition

Rep of Macedonia Full Year 2016: Dacia Duster snaps top spot

Romania Full Year 2016: Dacia Logan leads strongest market this decade

Russia Full Year 2016: Hyundai Solaris ends 45 years of Lada domination

San Marino Full Year 2016: Volkswagen and Audi add up to 30% share

Saudi Arabia Full Year 2016: First ever crown for the Hyundai Accent

Scotland (UK) Full Year 2016: Vauxhall Corsa leads, Astra up 20%

Serbia Full Year 2016: Fiat 500L leads, Opel Astra on podium

Singapore Full Year 2016: Honda takes control thanks to Vezel parallel imports

Slovakia Full Year 2016: Skoda Fabia leads, Hyundai Tucson and Suzuki Vitara shine

Slovenia Full Year 2016: Renault Clio leads, Captur in Top 5

South Africa Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux sovereign in market down 11%

South Korea Full Year 2016: Hyundai Porter first LCV to #1

Spain Full Year 2016: Renault, Seat Leon win in market pushed by rentals

Swaziland Full Year 2016: Isuzu KB reclaims pole position off Toyota Hilux

Sweden Full Year 2016: #1 car not a Volvo for the first time in 54 years

Switzerland Full Year 2016: VW Golf snatches last minute 23rd win

Syria Full Year 2016: Kia Frontier tops market down 36%

Taiwan Full Year 2016: Toyota Corolla, RAV4 and Yaris reign, CMC Veryca up

Thailand Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux snaps last minute 11th straight win

Tunisia Full Year 2016: Isuzu D-Max and Kia Rio superstars

Turkey Full Year 2016: Fiat Egea already in the lead in record market

Uganda Full Year 2016: Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi L200 on top

UK Full Year 2016: Second annual record in a row despite Brexit

UK Full Year 2016: Discover the Top 150 best-selling models (BSCB Exclusive)

Ukraine Full Year 2016: Kia Sportage takes the lead in recovering market (+41%)

United Arab Emirates Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser takes control

Uruguay Full Year 2016: Fiat takes control in market down 8%

USA Full Year 2016: Incentives lift market to second straight record

USA Full Year 2016: Exclusive State by State rankings now available

Venezuela Full Year 2016: Ford last man standing in market down 83%

Vietnam Full Year 2016: Toyota Vios leads market above 300.000 units

Wales (UK) Full Year 2016: Fiesta leads, Ford Kuga up

World Full Year 2016: Volkswagen #1, outpaces Toyota despite “dieselgate”

Yemen Full Year 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser #1, BMW X6 and X4 in Top 10

Photo Report: The cars of Malta in 50 pictures

1-land-rover-nadur-gozoLand Rover Pickup in Nadur, Gozo

Up until today, Malta was a rather secretive market on BSCB with no official sales figures and one lonely update based on Youtube videos dating back to 2010. This is no more. Sometimes car sales data has to be sourced from the very source and on-location research is the best way. There will therefore be two separate Malta updates: one detailing the overall car park of the two main islands (Malta and Gozo) forming the country, and one detailing the best-sellers so far in 2016 – exclusive info you won’t find anywhere else but on Bestsellingcarsblog. We will start with the cars of Malta in 50 Pictures. This is a selection from over 700 snaps of the most striking cars I found in Malta. Enjoy!

2-toyota-hilux-zebbug-gozoToyota Hilux in Zebug, Gozo

First about the actual experience of visiting Malta. If you are planning to visit Malta in the near future, don’t bother perhaps read these lines before you commit. Granted, the colourful balconies, Valletta, Vittorioso and the entire island of Gozo are unique and splendid. However, if you need a room and a car, you must be prepared to end up paying 3 times what you agreed to pay for, for something that will almost certainly end up being the opposite of what you paid for…

3-daihatsu-hijet-marsaxlokkDaihatsu Hijet in Marsaxlokk

For example, a rental car booked online with Goldcar for 43€ ends up costing 118€ due to a ‘mandatory’ all-excess insurance to be paid in case you don’t have a credit card – no mention of this when the company accepted my debit card details online of course. It’s a seasoned business: the cancellation fee is set at 150€ so you are plain and simply hijacked. One hour wait later, I get a Peugeot 208 that was so damaged the staff rolled their eyes at having to write down all the bumps and scratches on the sheet. The hotel room and petrol stations were a similar experience, to the point that for each € spent, I ended up having to spend 3€ for things I had not agreed to pay for – or for actually nothing at all. One day, Malta will wake up with so many consumer law suits on their hands they won’t know where to turn. If all this sounds like an appealing proposition to you, then by all means go visit Malta. End of rant! Now onto the cars.

4-kia-picanto-toyota-rush-vallettaKia Picanto and Toyota Rush in Valletta

5-toyota-vitz-vallettaToyota Vitz in Valletta

A former British colony, Malta gained its independence in 1964 and therefore is a Left Hand Traffic country, requiring Right Hand Drive (RHD) cars. The two main islands that form the country are very small, therefore cars don’t get used that much and can be kept on the road for a lot longer than in a continental location. As a result, the Maltese car park is a striking collection of RHD imports, mainly from Japan, the UK and India. As soon as I hit the airport carpark a flow of used imports from Japan invaded the landscape, king of them being the Toyota Vits (aka Yaris) with original Japanese logo on the bonnet. A lot would follow.

6-birgu-street-sceneBirgu street scene

Malta being neutral during the Cold War, there is also a very distinct Eastern European influence on the streets with many 1980s and 1990s Skodas and Ladas. Korean brands have been present for longer than most European countries, with Kia trucks dating back to the early eighties still in operation.

fordson-thames-1948-1954-vallettaFordson Thames (1948-1954) in Valletta

6-ford-escort-rabatFord Escort Estate (1968-1974) in Rabat

7-kia-truck-xaghra-gozoKia Truck in Xaghra, Gozo

8-kia-picanto-peugeot-108-maruti-gypsy-mdinaKia Picanto, Peugeot 108 and Maruti Gypsy in Mdina

The best-selling new cars will be detailed in a separate post, but mini cars are the norm with the Kia Picanto, Peugeot 108, Hyundai i10 and Citroen C1 very frequent.

9-maruti-gypsy-san-lawrenz-gozoMaruti Gypsy in San Lawrenz, Gozo

The Maruti Gypsy imported as used straight from India has melted the hearts of Maltese drivers, especially on the island of Gozo where it is used as an airy taxi under the blistering summer heat that was enveloping the island when I visited.

11-maruti-omni-birzebbugaMaruti Omni in Birzebugga

10-maruti-800-vittoriosa2 x identical Maruti 800 in Vittoriosa

The Gypsy isn’t the only Maruti popular in Malta, with the 800 so frequent still despite its age that more than one example in the same street is a common occurrence as pictured above.

12-seat-ibiza-smart-fortwo-mdinaSeat Ibiza and Smart Fortwo in Mdina

13-tata-sumo-birzebbuga2 x Tata Sumo in Birzebugga

14-tata-telcoline-marsaxlokkTata Telcoline in Marsaxlokk

Tata has also had its very successful time, with some rarities popping up regularly such as various generations of Sumo and the Telcoline with its air of Mercedes pickup.

mitsubishi-l200-victoria-gozoMitsubishi L200 in Victoria, Gozo

One staple of Malta is the older Japanese pickups streaming along every single street and unsealed road, with the Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max of absolutely all generations extremely well represented.

land-rover-birzebbugaLand Rover Pickup in Birzebuggaland-rover-nadur-gozo-pic2Land Rover Pickup in Nadur, Gozo
land-rover-mgarr-gozoLand Rover in Mgarr, Gozo

But the main emblem of Malta will have to be the valiant Land Rovers spread all across the two islands and looking almost pristine. Malta is a fascinating voyage in time where most cars have been conserved to near their original state. Just for this, it’s well worth the trouble.

15-marsaxlokk-street-sceneStreet scene in Marsaxlokk

The Full Photo Report (50 photos) continues below.

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BSCB Exclusive: Discover the Top 1400 best-selling cars in the world

Toyota Corolla China July 2015. Picture courtesy of auto.ifeng.comThe Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car in the world – 28% of its sales come from China. 

* See the Top 1382 best-selling cars in the world by clicking on the title *

Our traditional Full Year worldwide models ranking is finally here for 2015, and once again it is exclusive to BSCB. Thanks to the launch of 94 new nameplates and the addition of almost 200 Chinese commercial vehicles, the number of nameplates accounted for this year shoots up to 1.382 vs. 1.116 a year ago, so for the first time in the four years this chart has been published we can upgrade from a Top 1000 to a Top 1400 worldwide models – please bear with us while we work on making this a Top 1500 for 2016. This ranking is the result of the compilation of official sales data for 135 markets as well as manufacturers data shared by carmakers directly with BSCB. It was created with the help of Austin Rutherford. As we did for the 2014 ranking, complete notes are included in the table so it is clear what variants are included for each model, as often a car can be sold under various names and/or brands depending on the region of the world. The aim is to make it easier to gauge what really are the best-selling cars in the world in 2015.

VW Golf World 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe VW Golf leaps to #2 worldwide in 2015. 

For the 11th consecutive year, the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling vehicle in the world in 2015 with just under 1.5 million units delivered. It is the only nameplate to cross the million annual sales mark, an illustration of the insurmountable margin it has over all other nameplates sold on the planet. Even when removing Auris and Scion iM sales (sold as Corolla hatch in some markets), the Corolla adds up to 1.339.000 units, the official figure communicated by Toyota. Note that over 100.000 Japanese Corolla – now a completely different model – are accounted for separately. While it threatened the Corolla for the #1 spot both in 2012 and 2013, the Ford Focus suffers from its half-replacement by the Escort in China and is down 19% to fall to #5 overall with 828.700 sales. The VW Golf snaps the #2 worldwide spot thanks to sales up 3% to 950.200, and is followed by the Ford F-Series (921.800) and Hyundai Elantra (913.200).

Nissan X-Trail World 2015. Picture courtesy autocosmos.comThe Nissan X-Trail overtakes the Honda CR-V to become the best-selling SUV in the world. 

Below, the VW Polo (+4%), Toyota Camry (-2%), Renault Logan/Sandero (-2%) follow while the Nissan Sylphy (+13%) breaks into the worldwide Top 10 at #9 and the VW Passat rounds up the Top 10 with over 733.000 sales. One rank below, we witness a coup in the booming SUV segment: thanks to fantastic scores in China and North America, the Nissan X-Trail (aka Rogue) is up 47% to overtake the Honda CR-V and become the best-selling SUV in the world with just under 710.000 sales. The CR-V is at 695.500, ahead of the Toyota RAV4 (669.300), Ford Kuga (634.200) and Hyundai ix35/Tucson (580.600). However, Honda can console itself with the outstanding welcome reserved to the HR-V, up 4-fold on 2014 to an astounding 540.100 worldwide sales, 45% coming from China where it is sold as the Vezel and XR-V. It ranks #6 SUV and #19 overall.

Mercedes C Class World 2015. Picture courtesy aolcdn.comThe Mercedes C-Class is the best-selling luxury vehicle in the world in 2015. 

The largest market in the world, China is having a larger impact on the worldwide models ranking each year. Proof: among the Top 30 worldwide best-sellers, only 6 models sold less than 100.000 units there: the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram Pickup and Toyota Hilux (all three are unavailable in China), the Suzuki Swift, Ford Fiesta and Honda Civic. Despite sales down 13% to 660.700, the Wuling Hongguang remains the best-selling Chinese nameplate in the world but steps out of the Top 10 to #16. The Haval H6 follows at #45 and the Baojun 730 at #56. The best-selling luxury vehicle in the world is the Mercedes C-Class (+34%), overtaking the BMW 3 Series (-7%), with the BMW 5 Series (-7%) and Mercedes E-Class (-11%) in tow.

Wuling Hongguang V World 2015. Picture courtesy Wuling Hongguang V is the most popular new launch worldwide in 2015. 

There are 94 all-new nameplates making their very first appearance in this 2015 Annual Worldwide ranking. The most successful of all is the Wuling Hongguang V, launched in January 2015 and posting almost 200.000 sales for its first run. A testimony of the fact that China is just evolving in a different dimension altogether, this smashing start has been deemed lukewarm at home, given the success of previous launches from the brand. Note the Ford Escort – a nameplate resuscitated exclusively for China – misses out on the title for most successful all-new model due to a launch in late 2014 but soars to 214.363 sales for its first full year nevertheless. Most of the next most popular all-new launches worldwide come from China: the Baojun 560 (145.007), GAC Trumpchi GS4 (131.016) distance the Mazda CX-3 (85.575), Brilliance V3 (75.293) and Venucia T70 (63.195). Then, we have the Renault Kadjar (54.353), Daihatsu Wake (53.411) and Ssangyong Tivoli (50.965).

The entire Top 1382 ranking is available below the jump – click on “Read more” below.

See also:

World Full Year 2015: Toyota best-selling manufacturer as VW backs off

World Full Year 2015: Total sales data available for 145 countries

World Full Year 2015: Discover the #1 models in 178 countries

World Full Year 2015: Toyota #1 in 90 markets vs. 20 for Volkswagen

Previous year: World Full Year 2014: Discover the Top 1000 best-selling cars

Two years ago: World Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 1000 best-selling models

Three years ago: World Full Year 2012: Discover the Top 1000 best-selling models

Full Year 2015 Top 1382 worldwide best-sellers vs. Full Year 2013 and 2014 figures below.

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