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Full Year 2013 Reports: 101 markets now available!

March 31st, 2014 7 comments

Toyota Corolla World 2013Will the Toyota Corolla top the worldwide models sales charts in 2013? Answer shortly…

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!

World updates:

World Full Year 2013: Now with Top 20 biggest manufacturers!

World Full Year 2013 – The 20 biggest cars markets: China, Indonesia, Australia and Argentina beat records

Big 3 worldwide markets:

China Full Year 2013: Wuling Hongguang and VW Lavida on top

USA Full Year 2013: Ford F-Series at best since 2006 in market up 8%

Europe Full Year 2013: VW Golf leads, Renault Clio on podium for first time in 7 years

Europe Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 353 best-selling models!

All markets in alphabetical order:

Algeria Full Year 2013: Dacia Logan #1 for first time, Peugeot 301 lands at world-best #2

Angola Full Year 2013: Hyundai i10 most popular

Argentina Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Classic #1, Renault Clio Mio on podium in record year

Australia Full Year 2013: Toyota Corolla finally tops record market

Austria Full Year 2013: VW Golf, Polo & Tiguan on top, Hyundai #2 brand

Bahrain Full Year 2013: Toyota Prado dislodges Land Cruiser

Belarus Full Year 2013: VW Polo new best-seller, 2 Renaults on podium

Belgium (brands) Full Year 2013: Volkswagen resists Renault assault

Belgium (models) Full Year 2013: VW Golf and Renault Scenic on top

Belgium (lease cars) Full Year 2013: BMW 3 Series in pole position

Bolivia Full Year 2013: Chinese carmakers hold world-best 26% share!

Bosnia & Herzegovina Full Year 2013: Skoda Octavia king

Brazil Full Year 2013: VW Gol distant leader, Chevrolet Onix edges Hyundai HB20 out by 13 units

Brunei Full Year 2013: Toyota and Kia on top again

Bulgaria Full Year 2013: Dacia Dokker surprise leader

Canada Full Year 2013: Ford F-Series breaks all-time record in strongest market in 10 years

Chile Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Sail confirms top spot

China Full Year 2013: Wuling Hongguang and VW Lavida on top

Colombia Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Sail takes the lead

Croatia Full Year 2013: VW Golf new leader

Czech Republic Full Year 2013: Skoda Octavia leads, Skoda Rapid lands at #3

Denmark Full Year 2013: VW Up confirms supremacy in record-breaking year

Ecuador Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Sail leads, Kia Rio Stylus lands

Egypt Full Year 2013: Geely Emgrand 7 jumps onto podium!

England (UK) Full Year 2013: Ford Fiesta leads, BMW 1 Series up to #8

Estonia Full Year 2013: Honda CR-V snaps up top spot

Europe Full Year 2013: VW Golf leads, Renault Clio on podium for first time in 7 years

Finland Full Year 2013: VW Golf back in charge

France Full Year 2013: Renault Clio IV new leader, Captur and 2008 superstars

France LCV Full Year 2013: Renault Kangoo and Master on top

Germany Full Year 2013: Golf marks 38 years at #1, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia reach new heights

Germany Private Sales Full Year 2013: VW monopolises podium, Mercedes A-Class up 67%

Greece Full Year 2013: Toyota Yaris reclaims lead

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Full Year 2013: Toyota Hilux down, Corolla and Prado up

Hong Kong (China) Full Year 2013: Toyota Hiace dominates

Hungary Full Year 2013: Skoda Octavia reclaims top spot

Iceland Full Year 2013: Skoda Octavia back in pole position

India Full Year 2013: Maruti Alto #1, Swift, DZire and Wagon R break records

Indonesia Full Year 2013: Toyota Avanza tops new record market

Ireland Full Year 2013: VW Golf best-seller for the first time!

Israel Full Year 2013: Kia Picanto leads ranking for the first time

Italy Full Year 2013: Fiat Panda leads, Fiat 500L lands at #5, Top 5 All-Italian for 1st time in 30 years

Japan Full Year 2013: Toyota Aqua celebrates first year in pole position

Japan Kei cars Full Year 2013: Honda N-BOX takes control

Japan Imports Full Year 2013: VW Golf #1, BMW 3 Series up 69% to 2nd place

Kazakhstan Full Year 2013: Lada Priora tops world’s fastest-growing market

Kenya Full Year 2013: Toyota and Mitsubishi dominate

Kuwait Full Year 2013: Toyota Prado leads, up to record 10.3% market share

Latvia Full Year 2013: VW Golf and Ford Focus on top

Lithuania Full Year 2013: Fiat 500 remains best-seller, or is it?

Luxembourg Full Year 2013: 3 premium Germans in Top 10

FYR of Macedonia Full Year 2013: VW Golf and Ford Fiesta win

Malawi Full Year 2013: Toyota Hilux official leader with 22% share

Malaysia Full Year 2013: Perodua tops, Nissan and Honda jump

Mexico Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Aveo and VW Clasico on top

Moldova Full Year 2013: Dacia Logan and Duster on top

Monaco (brands) Full Year 2013: Audi and Mercedes reign supreme

Monaco (models) Full Year 2013: Audi A4 passes Mini to rank #1

Morocco Full Year 2013: Dacia Logan, Dokker and Sandero in Top 4

Mozambique Full Year 2013: Only 13% of imported cars are new

Netherlands Full Year 2013: VW Up snaps up biggest market so far

Netherlands (lease cars) Full Year 2013: Renault Megane Estate #1

New Caledonia (France) Full Year 2013: Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux dominate

New Zealand Full Year 2013: Toyota Corolla marks 6 years at #1 in strongest market since 1984

Nigeria Full Year 2013: Toyota at 37% share, Kia up 27%, Chinese hold 12% of market

Northern Ireland (UK) Full Year 2013: Ford Fiesta leads, VW Golf on podium

Norway Full Year 2013: VW Golf leads, Nissan Leaf on podium in eventful year

Oman Full Year 2013: Toyota Land Cruiser PU/HT at world-best #2

Pakistan Full Year 2013: Suzuki Mehran catches up to Toyota Corolla

Paraguay Full Year 2013: Toyota Hilux and Kia Rio dominate

Peru Full Year 2013: New gen pushes Toyota Yaris above Hilux

Philippines Full Year 2013: Toyota and Mitsubishi top record market

Poland Full Year 2013: Skoda Fabia edges past Octavia for the first time in 5 years

Portugal Full Year 2013: Renault Clio takes the lead for the first time in 5 years

Puerto Rico (USA) Full Year 2013: Toyota Corolla takes the lead

Qatar Full Year 2013: Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX shine

Reunion (France) Full Year 2013: Peugeot most popular

Romania Full Year 2013: Dacia Logan and Duster dominate

Russia Full Year 2013: Lada Granta celebrates first year at #1

San Marino Full Year 2013: Audi edges past Volkswagen to rank #1

Saudi Arabia Full Year 2013: Toyota Corolla catches up on Hilux

Scotland (UK) Full Year 2013: Close call for the Vauxhall Corsa

Serbia Full Year 2013: Locally produced Fiat 500L grabs top spot

Singapore Full Year 2013: Mercedes leads for the first time

Slovakia Full Year 2013: Podium 100% Skoda

Slovenia Full Year 2013: Renault Clio up 36%, Kia Cee’d on podium

South Africa Full Year 2013: Toyota Hilux takes the lead, Etios up to #4

South Korea Full Year 2013: Hyundai Avante’s slim win over Kia Morning

Spain Full Year 2013: Seat Ibiza marks 10 years in the lead

Sweden Full Year 2013: Volvo V70 #1 again, V40 lands at #5, still lukewarm

Switzerland Full Year 2013: VW Golf leads, BMW 3 Series up 53% to #4

Taiwan Full Year 2013: Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V storm into Top 5

Thailand (Pick-ups) Full Year 2013: Toyota Hilux #1, Ford Ranger up 43%

Turkey Full Year 2013: Fiat Linea #1 again, Renault Symbol up 70% to #2

Tunisia Full Year 2013: Renault Symbol #1, Peugeot 301 lands at #5

Uganda Full Year 2013: Toyota reigns supreme at 45% share

UK Full Year 2013: Ford Fiesta marks 10 years at #1, BMW places two models in Top 10 for 1st time

Ukraine Full Year 2013: ZAZ Sens new leader, Geely CK up to #3

Ukraine (brands) Full Year 2013: Hyundai #1, Geely up 36% to #3

United Arab Emirates Full Year 2013: Toyota Prado edges Hilux out

Uruguay (brands) Full Year 2013: One in 4 new cars is Chinese!

Uruguay Full Year 2013: Now with Top 10 best-selling models

USA Full Year 2013: Ford F-Series at best since 2006 in market up 8%

Venezuela Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Aveo and Mitsubishi Lancer on top

Vietnam Full Year 2013: Toyota monopolises Top 5, Fortuner holds onto top spot

Wales (UK) Full Year 2013: Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Alto over-perform

Categories: Featured Category, World

Strategy: What future for French manufacturers?

February 28th, 2014 10 comments

Dongfeng Fengshan H30 Cross. Picture courtesy of hbsocar.comDongfeng Fengshan H30 Cross. PSA could use Dongfeng’s Fengshan brand as its low-cost option.

* Check out Part 2 of this Special Report on French manufacturers here *

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?

PSA Renault Top 15 worldwide marketsPSA and Renault’s Top 15 worldwide markets (click to enlarge) Source: L’Argus

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…

Renault Captur. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Renault Captur is about to become one of Europe’s 10 best-selling cars.

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.

Renault Duster. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe 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.

Carlos GhosnCarlos Ghosn

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).

Nissan Maxima USA. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comUS Nissan Maxima. Renault compensates its current absence in the USA by the strength of Nissan.

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 4008 Mongolia LaunchPeugeot 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.

Peugeot 2008 China 2014The Dongfeng-PSA joint-venture will produce the 2008 in China later this year.

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.

Dacia Logan II. Picture courtesy of largus.frDacia Logan II

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.

Peugeot 301 Spain production. Picture courtesy of betterparts.orgThe Peugeot 301 is currently produced in Spain and China.

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.

Check out Part 2 of this Special Report on French manufacturers here *

Sources: La Tribune, Autonews (1), Autonews (2), L’Argus.

Categories: Featured Category, World

Strategy: Will the European new car market ever grow again?

August 28th, 2013 14 comments

Carfree Paris. Picture courtesy of menly.frCar-free Paris, France.

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?

Car scrappage in ItalyMore cars were scrapped than bought in Italy in 2012 for the first time since World War II…

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.

Tramway Angers France. Picture courtesy of angersloiretourisme2.comCould the newly revitalised tramway kill the car in France?

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.

EurostarEuropean cities are well connected, sometimes making the train a faster option than the plane.

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.

Velib' Paris. Picture courtesy of dailyphotostreamVelib’ system in Paris, France. 58% of Parisian households do not own a car.

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!)

Tramway Tours France. Picture courtesy of agglo-tours.frThe all-new tramway in Tours, France was inaugurated on 31 August 2013.

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.

Tallinn Free Public Transport. Picture courtesy of directmatin.frTallinn in Estonia is the first EU capital to give its residents free public transport.

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!

Sources: www.insee.fr, ladepeche.fr, La Croix, www.transbus.org, Ville Rail & Transports 16 July 2013

Categories: Europe, Featured Category

Strategy: How the Chinese are setting themselves up for success

May 28th, 2013 7 comments

Fennec fox. Picture courtesy of Fransisco Mingorance:National Geographic Traveler Photo ContestLike this fennec fox, Chinese carmakers have been walking against the wind in Africa. And it’s worked.

* This is Part 1 of 5 in my series on Chinese carmakers abroad See also Part 2 (Latin America)Part 3 (Eastern Europe)Part 4 (Asia) and Part 5 (Mature markets) *

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.

Speranza A516 EgyptSperanza A516 in Cairo, Egypt

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…

Golden Dragon Haice Egypt 2012The Golden Dragon Haice was the best-selling Chinese model in Egypt in 2012.

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…

Holland Car Abay V2Holland Car assembles the Abay (aka Lifan 520) in Ethiopia.

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.

Foton Slip SUP Kenya 2012The Foton SUP is assembled in Kenya since 2011.

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…

Geely Emgrand EC8 Kuwait. Picture courtesy of qabaq.comGeely Emgrand EC8 in Kuwait

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.

JAC Tojoy MadagascarJAC was the #2 most popular brand in Madagascar at the end of 2012.

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.

ZX Auto GrandTiger Libya 2011aZhongXing/ZX Auto GrandTiger in Libyan Civil War outfit

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!

Historical Data now available for 70 markets!

May 26th, 2013 No comments

The Renault 4CV was #1 in France from 1949 to 1955

You need to become a BestSellingCarsBlog Member to access detailed Historical data tables.

Best Selling Cars Blog now covers detailed Historical data for 70 markets. Highlights are Germany for each year since 1946France for each year since 1949the UK for each year since 1965Brazil 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.

Algeria since 2004

Argentina since 1965

Australia since 1948

Austria since 1977

Belarus since 1970

Belgium since 1989

Bosnia & Herzegovina since 2008

Brazil since 1954

The VW Beetle was #1 in Brazil from 1954 to 1980

Bulgaria since 2005

Canada since 1984

Chile since 2004

China since 1980

Colombia since 2002

Croatia since 2003

Cyprus since 2005

Czechoslovakia 1969-1993

Czech Republic since 1993

Denmark since 1992

Ecuador since 2006

Egypt since 2005

Estonia since 1970

Europe since 1972

Europe (Central & Eastern) since 2002

The Moskvitsh Elite was #6 in Finland in 1971

Finland since 1971

France since 1949

Germany since 1946

Greece since 1932

Hong Kong (China) since 2010

Hungary since 1998

Iceland since 2001

The Hindustan Ambassador is likely to have been #1 in India from 1950 to 1984

India since 1950

Indonesia since 1976

Ireland since 1974

Iran since 1967

Israel since 2005

Italy since 1956

Japan since 1969

Latvia since 1970

Lithuania since 1970

Luxembourg since 2001

Malaysia since 2000

The Ford Model T was #1 in the US (and the world) potentially from 1910 to 1926

Mexico since 2003

Morocco since 2004

Netherlands since 1982

New Zealand since 2000

Norway since 1956

Pakistan since 1995

Peru since 2005

Philippines since 1995

Poland since 1992

Portugal since 1989

Romania since 1969

The Lada 2101-3 was #1 car in USSR in the seventies

Russia/USSR since 1970

Saudi Arabia since 2005

Singapore since 2006

Slovakia since 1993

Slovenia since 2003

South Africa since 1973

South Korea since 1997

Spain since 1973 

Sweden since 1950

Switzerland since 1970

Taiwan since 2005

Thailand since 2004

Turkey since 1993

The Austin Mini ranked within the UK Top 10 up until 1981

UK since 1965

USA since 1908

Venezuela since 2002

Vietnam since 2003

World since 1960

Categories: Featured Category, World

Who am I and how to contact me (watch me on video!)

June 25th, 2012 61 comments


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 matt@bestsellingcarsblog.com

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 matt@bestsellingcarsblog.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.

Categories: Featured Category