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Latvia: Dartz Prombron Black Shark to be produced at 10 units

October 23rd, 2014 1 comment

DartZ Prombron Black SharkDartz Prombron Black Shark

Think you are looking at one of those vehicles used by the South African police or in Northern Ireland a few years ago, or even an anti-terrorist weapon used on some delicate regions in the world? Not so. This is one of the most exclusive private vehicles on sale at the moment, and as I am conscious of mainly focusing on the highest selling nameplates around the globe here at BSCB, I have prepared this little interlude in the world of super-exclusive tanks of wheels. Introducing the Dartz Prombron Black Shark.

Dartz Introduction featuting founder Leonard Yakelowich

Dartz Motorz Company, a Latvian car manufacturer founded by crazy man Leonard Yankelowich that specialises in high performance armoured vehicles. I have to confess (shock! horror!) I was not familiar with this brand before today, and always get fascinated when discovering new automotive players with such an extravagant yet unique story to tell. Yankelowich says his cars are based on 3 (non-lethal) bullets: Russian Imperial opulence in the interior, Soviet military power in armouring and German engineering perfection as a platform. All there is to know about the brand can be found on the tidy little documentary above, entirely shot in the city I grew up in: Cannes, France. It features the Prombron Red Diamond and details its specs, including an… interesting fuel ‘economy’ of 25 to 30L per 100km or 6 to 10 mpg… How I missed that enormous Red Diamond driving around on the Croisette Boulevard I will never know.

Dartz Prombron Aladeen Edition

2012 Dart Prombron Aladeen Edition

The video above also mentions the Dartz ‘Gold Bullet Wheel Edition’ Prombron, complete with gold bullet-adorned wheels, three free bottles of the world’s most expensive vodka RussoBaltique and, wait for it… each vehicle shipped with a complimentary gun (!?). Want more bizarre? The original Kombat model was going to be available  in upholstered leather that was made from the foreskin of whale penises… before Dartz backed off after receiving flak.The Kombat line of Prombron vehicles has appeared in a number of movies over the years, such as Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator, for which Dartz smartly released an Aladeed edition (above), Die Hard 5 and The November Man.

CGI promo animation for the Dartz Prombron Black Shark

Dartz has been on the news in the past week because it just unveiled the new Prombron Black Shark, based on the Mercedes Benz GL 63/65 AMG platform. Traditionally the Prombron family of SUVs  can be equipped with various levels of armor protection ranging up to ballistic level B7 (using the Soviet Capsule technology), specifically designed to withstand attacks from rocket propelled grenades and land mines. Two available engines: a V8 5.5 L with at least 585 horsepower or a V12 6.0 L with up to 1.500 horsepower. Standard colour options are limited to black, gold, gray, white or camouflage but buyers can also request custom jobs. One of the build slots for the Black Shark has already been claimed, with the owner requesting a Tiffany Blue exterior with Swarovski crystal embedded in the hood and tailgate.

Dartz Prombron. Picture courtesy of hispotion.com

But wait there are more features. Lightless driving (like a paratrooper) is possible, and if you happen to be on the road and in spontaneous need of an international flight (who doesn’t?), you can book a private jet from any major airport directly from the car with BlackJet. The body is made from bullet resistant Kevlar-titanium, to prevent the use of magnetic mines, and also available with military tech like a road analyzer, distance explosive detector and signal jammer. The door handles disappear into the body and have an “anti-paparazzi shock-device.” as well as fingerprint and retina scanner for opening the car. Most buyers won’t be driving the car themselves, so it comes equipped with a “driver vigilance telemetric control system, capable of constant monitoring of the driver’s psycho-physiological condition and overall awareness”. In other words making sure the driver does not fall asleep. Such complicated word for such a simple thing…

Full article below.

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Categories: Latvia, World

Latvia September 2014: Ford Focus sovereign

October 21st, 2014 No comments

Ford Focus Latvia September 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.fr2015 Ford Focus

* See the Top 75 models and Top 33 All-brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris *

New car sales in Latvia slow down their progression in September at +2% year-on-year to 1,155 registrations, the weakest year-on-year growth ratio so far in 2014. Year-to-date sales are up a very robust 20% on 2013 after 9 months at 11,072 units.  Volkswagen cements its lead in the brands ranking thanks to 210 sales and 18.2% share vs. 120 and 10.4% for Toyota, threatened this month by Skoda at 118 units and 10.2%. Helped by runout prices for the outgoing model, the Ford Focus takes the lead of the models sales charts in September with a massive 7.1% market share to be compared with 1.7% and #13 year-to-date… The Skoda Yeti is back up 4 spots on August to 2nd place at 5.5% share and reinforces its year-to-date leadership at 4% share, the VW Golf rounds up the podium at 5.3% ahead of the Nissan Qashqai at 4.2% and the Toyota RAV4 at 2.7%. Finally notice the arrival of the Citroen C4 Cactus at #75 with 4 units sold.

Previous month: Latvia August 2014: VW Caddy and Ford Focus in the lead

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

Full September 2014 Top 75 models and Top 33 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia August 2014: VW Caddy and Ford Focus in the lead

September 30th, 2014 No comments

VW Caddy Latvia August 2014VW Caddy

* See the Top 75 best-selling models and Top 30 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris! *

The Latvian new car market goes from strength to strength this year: up another very impressive 31% year-on-year in August to 1,191 registrations, the highest year-on-year gain so far in 2014. The year-to-date total now stands at 9,917 units, up 22% or 1,800 sales on the same period in 2013. Brand-wise, Volkswagen lodges a particularly strong month at 22.2% market share thanks to 264 sales, followed by Ford at the exceptional level of 7.6% vs. 2.8% year-to-date while Skoda and Peugeot rank #3 and #4 respectively like in the year-to-date ranking, kicking Toyota down to #5. The VW Caddy is the most popular vehicle in the country this month with 4.6% share (it ranks #8 so far in 2014) ahead of the Ford Focus at 4.4% (vs. #28 year-to-date), the Dacia Duster at 4.2% and the VW Jetta at 3.9%. The Skoda Yeti is down to #6 but remains in pole position year-to-date, the VW Up is up 63 ranks on July to #7, the Peugeot 5008 also up 63 to #10 and the Skoda Rapid up 37 to #13.

Previous month: Latvia July 2014: Skoda Yeti reclaims top spot, Dacia Duster #2

One year ago: Latvia August 2013: VW Caddy and Dacia Duster impress

Full August 2014 Top 75 models and Top 30 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia July 2014: Skoda Yeti reclaims top spot, Dacia Duster #2

August 19th, 2014 No comments

Skoda Yeti Latvia July 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frSkoda Yeti

* See the Top 80 models and Top 35 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris *

The Latvian new car market continues to go gangbusters at +29% year-on-year in July to 1,446 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 8,723 units, up 21% on 2013. Overtaken by the Peugeot 3008 last month, the Skoda Yeti reclaims the pole position both this month and year-to-date thanks to a very strong 93 sales and 6.4% share, adding up to 340 units and 2.9% year-to-date vs. 293 and 3.4% for the 3008 down to a paltry #11 in July. The Dacia Duster also impresses at 80 units and 5.5% in 2nd place vs. 2.6% and #7 year-to-date, lifting the French-Romanian brand up to #5 and 6.4% vs. #8 and 3.6% year-to-date. The Toyota Auris is up 10 spots on last month to round up the podium ahead of the Nissan Qashqai, VW Jetta and Golf. Up to an unbelievable third place in June, the BMW X6 is back down to a still very reasonable #25 this month with 1.4% share. Finally, notice the Porsche Macan at #82 and the Mercedes V-Class at #83.

Previous month: Latvia June 2014: Peugeot 3008 leads, BMW X6 up to #3!

One year ago: Latvia July 2013: VW Golf reclaims pole position year-to-date

Full July 2014 Top 80 models and Top 35 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia June 2014: Peugeot 3008 leads, BMW X6 up to #3!

July 18th, 2014 7 comments

BMW X6 Latvia June 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.fr2014 BMW X6

* See the Top 80 best-selling models and Top 33 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris *

The Latvian new car market is up a robust 13% year-on-year in June to 1,308 registrations, bringing the half-year total to 7,277 units, up 20% on 2013. Sales charts in Latvia are always very volatile and this month is no exception. The Peugeot 3008 is the best-selling model in the country with 4.5% and overtakes the Toyota RAV4 to grab the year-to-date pole position as well. The Dacia Duster is up 12 spots on May to a beautiful 2nd place but the big surprise of the month is the third place of the BMW X6 – yep, you read that right – reaching its highest ever ranking in any country in the world as far as figures BSCB could access are concerned.

The X6 accounts for almost 70% of all BMW sales this month and there is a simple explanation for this surge: BMW offered 25% discount for the previous gen (not the one pictured above) back in March and in June we are seeing the deliveries to consumers of orders taken at that time. Still, third place! Jesus. The Kia Sportage, Citroen C4, Toyota Verso and Skoda Fabia also shine while the Porsche Macan (#65) and Tesla (2 units) appear in the Latvian ranking for the first time.

Previous month: Latvia May 2014: VW Golf and Skoda Yeti on top

One year ago: Latvia June 2013: Ford S-Max snaps up top spot

Full June 2014 Top 80 models and Top 33 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia May 2014: VW Golf and Skoda Yeti on top

June 14th, 2014 No comments

Skoda Yeti Latvia May 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frSkoda Yeti

* See the Top 70 best-selling models and Top 33 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris *

New car sales in Latvia are up a very healthy 13% year-on-year in May to 1,289 registrations, which brings the year-to-date total to 5,969 units, up 21% on 2013. With a small market comes a volatile models ranking and this month is no exception, apart from the VW Golf holding onto the pole position for the 2nd month running thanks to 49 sales and 3.8%, and now #5 year-to-date vs. #1 over the Full Year 2013. The Skoda Yeti is up 2 spots on April to #2 at 43 units and 3.3%, followed by the VW Passat and Nissan Qashqai, both down one notch. The VW Jetta is up to #8 vs. #16 year-to-date, the Ford Fiesta up to #10 vs. #51 and the Peugeot 208 up to #11 vs. #34 while the Toyota RAV4, leader so far in 2014, is down to #12.

Previous month: Latvia April 2014: VW Golf and Passat shoot up to top 2 spots

One year ago: Latvia May 2013: Peugeot 3008 back in control

Full May 2014 Top 70 models and Top 33 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia April 2014: VW Golf and Passat shoot up to top 2 spots

May 21st, 2014 No comments

VW Passat Latvia April 2014The VW Passat is up to #2 in Latvia this month.

* See the Top 80 best-selling models and Top 34 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris *

New car sales in Latvia are up a massive 24% year-on-year both in April at 1,229 registrations and year-to-date at 4,680 units, a great start of the year indeed for this market. Volkswagen confirms it is the favourite carmaker in the country with 17.8% share ahead of Toyota (14.8%) and Skoda (9.8%) and manages to place two models in the Top 2 spots this month: the Golf is up 10 ranks on March to #1 and the Passat is up 17 to #2. The Nissan Qashqai is down one spot to round up the podium while the Skoda Yeti remains 4th. The year-to-date ranking is completely different however, with the Toyota RAV4 still in the lead ahead of the Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Octavia.

Previous month: Latvia March 2014: Peugeot 3008 and Nissan Qashqai on top

One year ago: Latvia April 2013: Peugeot Bipper lands top spot

Full April 2014 Top 80 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia March 2014: Peugeot 3008 and Nissan Qashqai on top

April 29th, 2014 2 comments

Peugeot 3008 Latvia March 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frPeugeot 3008

* See the Top 80 models and Top 36 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris *

Another very encouraging month for new car sales in Latvia: up 25% year-on-year to 1,230 registrations, which brings the First Quarter result to 3,451 units, up 24% on 2013. Brand-wise, Volkswagen reclaims the throne it held over the Full Year 2013 thanks to a very strong month at 257 sales and 20.9% share, also earning it back the 2014 year-to-date top spot at 560 units and 16.2%. Toyota, Renault, Peugeot and Skoda follow. In the models ranking, the Peugeot 3008 takes the lead thanks to 74 sales and 6% share ahead of the Nissan Qashqai and VW Caddy at 4.1% both. The Skoda Yeti is up 14 spots on February to #4 and the VW Transporter up 55 to #5. The Toyota RAV4, down 9 ranks to #10, remains in pole position year-to-date.

Previous month: Latvia February 2014: Toyota RAV4 and Renault Scénic dominate

One year ago: Latvia March 2013: Peugeot 3008 confirms supremacy

Full March 2014 Top 80 models and Top 36 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia February 2014: Toyota RAV4 and Renault Scénic dominate

March 18th, 2014 No comments

Toyota RAV4 Latvia February 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frToyota RAV4

* See the Top 70 models and Top 34 brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Peteris *

New car sales in Latvia continue on their exceptional run, up another 19% year-on-year in February to 1,064 registrations (including LCVs), which brings the year-to-date total to 2,221 sales, up 23% on 2013. #5 over the Full Year 2013 and #2 in January, the Toyota RAV4 takes the lead of the models sales charts both in February thanks to 70 sales and 6.6% share and year-to-date at 119 units and 5.4%, given last month’s leader the Fiat 500 tumbles down to just 2 sales in February… The Renault Scénic for its part is up from outside the Top 50 in January to #2 this month with 69 units and 6.5% while the Kia Cee’d is up 8 spots to round up the podium at 44 sales and 4.1%. Notice also the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado up a further 3 ranks to #7, the VW Caddy up 10 to #8 and the VW Jetta up 34 to #45.

Previous month: Latvia January 2014: Fiat 500 and Toyota RAV4 on top

One year ago: Latvia February 2013: Peugeot places 3008 and 5008 equal #1

Full February 2014 Top 70 models and Top 34 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Latvia

Latvia: 1970-2013 Historical info now available!

February 26th, 2014 No comments

Toyota Avensis Latvia 2009The Toyota Avensis was #1 in Latvia in 2009.

Historical info going back to five decades ago is now available for Latvia on BSCB! For the 1970-1991 period, the data is for USSR which Latvia belonged to then, and Lada models reigned supreme. We have specific data for Latvia since 2006 and it is clear that Russian models are not in fashion anymore, with the Skoda Octavia holding the pole position for 3 consecutive years up until 2008, before passing the relay to the Toyota Avensis in 2009 and the VW Golf since 2010. It’s a roller coaster of emotions for the Latvian new car market, dropping by as much as 90% between 2007 (32,500 sales) and 2009 when only 3,745 new vehicles were registered, before slowly getting back up to 12,811 units in 2013.

Latvia Historical Data:

USSR 1970-1979: Lada 2101-3 conquers the Soviet roads

USSR 1980-1986: Lada 2106 and Moskvich 2140 likely leaders

USSR 1987: Lada 2106 and Moskvich 2140 fight it off

USSR 1988: Lada 2106 leads, Samara on podium

USSR 1989-1991: VAZ (Lada) and Izh most popular brands

Latvia 2006-2008: Skoda Octavia reigns

Latvia 2009: Toyota Avensis leads, 4 Toyotas in Top 4 of devastated market

Latvia 2010: VW Golf and Peugeot Partner on top

Latvia 2011: Volkswagen monopolises podium, Nissan Juke #4

Latvia 2012: VW Golf and Skoda Yeti in the lead

Latvia 2013: VW Golf and Ford Focus on top

Categories: Latvia