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Russia April 2015: Datsun fades in market down 41%

May 14th, 2015 No comments

Nissan Terrano Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruFirst Top 25 ranking in Russia for the Nissan Terrano, a Renault Duster rebadge.

* See the Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

The Russian market is stuck in hell: -41.5% year-on-year in April to 132.456 registrations, the lowest April score in over a decade, even below April 2009 in the midst of the global recession. Year-to-date figures are now down 38% on 2014 to 516.135 deliveries, however local organisation AEB rather optimistically foresees a “flattening of the negative trend in the coming months.” Once again local manufacturer Lada fares slightly better than the market at -37% in April and -29% year-to-date, resulting in an improved 17.3% market share. Koreans Kia down 22% to 10.5% share and Hyundai down 14% to 10.3% are the real winners in these troubled times, cementing their spots on the podium and keeping Renault (-41%), Toyota (-54%), Nissan (-47%) and Volkswagen (-44%) at a comfortable distance.

Datsun on-DO Russia October 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruPeaking out: Datsun.

Hero of the past 6 months, recently relaunched low-cost brand Datsun shows worrying signs of peaking out this month: down to #16 overall with 2.508 sales and 1.9% share, its lowest volume since October which was its first full month in market and lowest share since December. The Datsun on-DO, after cracking the Top 10 in December (#10) and January (#7) is now down to #21 with 1.622 sales and 1.2% share, its weakest performance since October. Is the honeymoon between Datsun and Russian car buyers coming to an end? The brand’s April scores still make for an impressive performance taken in isolation in the current depressed Russian context, but the signs of eroded sales frenzy are undeniable.

Honda CR-V Russia April 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruNo splash: Honda sales are down 84% year-on-year in Russia this month.

Still running against the tide are luxury brands in Russia: Mercedes is down just 9% at #11, Lexus is up 5% at #17 with 2.200 registrations whereas it ranked #27 over the Full Year 2014 and Porsche is up 12% to 537 sales and #27 (#39 in 2014). Also, SUV specialist UAZ benefits from the current SUV craze and sees its sales decline by just 3% at #12 with the Patriot progressing further to #20 in the models ranking. At the other end of the scale, Chevrolet, soon to be dismantled in Russia, is down 64% but back up to #8 overall thanks to the Niva, Opel which will be discontinued here at the end of 2015 is down 59%, Citroen down 70%, Chery down 72%, Suzuki down 75%, Peugeot down 76%, Subaru down 79% and Honda down 84%.

Skoda Rapid Russia April 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruBrand’s best-seller: the Skoda Rapid.

The Lada Granta (-21%) maintains itself at a very high market share (7.8%) as do the Hyundai Solaris down just 8% to 6.8% and the Kia Rio down 13% to 5.9%. Despite sales down 40%, the Renault Duster climbs back to #4 and #1 SUV in Russia, also leaping up to #5 in 2015. The VW Polo (-38%) is back up 5 ranks to #5, the Chevrolet Niva up 8 to #9, the Toyota Camry is down just 23% at #12 while the Skoda Rapid celebrates one year in Russia by hitting its best ranking so far at #13. The tail end of the Top 25 is once again crowded with SUVs: the Kia Sportage (#16), Toyota RAV4 (#17), Hyundai ix35 (#18), UAZ Patriot (#20), Mazda CX-5 (#22) and the Nissan Terrano earning its first Top 25 ranking at #24 with 1.272 sales and 1% share.

Previous post: Russia 1st Quarter 2015: Datsun oblivious to devastated market

Previous month: Russia March 2015: Only SUV sales resist in market down 43%

One year ago: Russia April 2014: Nissan Almera breaks records again

Full April 2015 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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Categories: Russia

Russia 1st Quarter 2015: Datsun oblivious to devastated market

May 2nd, 2015 No comments

Datsun on-DO Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Datsun on-DO is an instant blockbuster in troubled Russia.

* See the Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

Catastrophic results for the Russian new car market, crumbling down over the effects of galloping inflation triggered by economic sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis. Despite scrappage schemes implemented by the government, first quarter sales are in freefall: down 36% from 602.523 units a year ago to just 383.691 this year. Lada takes advantage of the situation somewhat, declining ‘only’ 25% to 68.544 deliveries which bumps its market share almost 3 points to 17.9% compared to 15.2% over the same period in 2014. Renault and Nissan (both down 41%) step aside to give way to Korean Hyundai (-4%) and Kia (-15%) up to #2 and #3 respectively.

Hyundai Solaris Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Solaris helps Hyundai up to #2 brand overall so far in 2015.

The manufacturers hardest hit by the crisis literally implode: Honda (-87%), Opel, Peugeot (-80%), Citroen, Chery (-78%), Suzuki (-75%), Chevrolet (-72%), Ford (-71%) and a couple of other Chinese carmakers like Geely (-62%) and Great Wall (-67%) are only but a shadow of themselves. The situation is so serious that General Motors has decided to abandon local production and pull the Opel brand out of Russia altogether, and most of Chevrolet models sold here. Ford is the notable exception, confirming it will endeavour to withstand the Russian storm 4 new launches for the year, starting with the all-new Mondeo last month.

Mercedes C-Class Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruMercedes is now among the Top 10 best-selling brands in Russia.

In this context and as is often the case in periods of deep crisis, luxury carmakers are faring the best: Porsche even posts and insolent 54% year-on-year gain at 1.095 sales thanks to the Macan, Lexus is up 19% thanks to the NX and jumps inside the Top 20 vs. #31 a year ago, Mercedes is up 9% to crack the Russian Top 10 at #9 compared to #16 last year and BMW is down just 3% to lift its market share from 1.4% to 2.2%.

Porsche Cayenne Macan Russia March 2015Porsche sales are up 54% year-on-year in Russia so far in 2015.

The big brand story in Russia over the period is however the stunning success of Nissan’s newly relaunched Datsun brand. Met with a lukewarm welcome in other parts of the world it was reintroduced (India, Indonesia and South Africa), Datsun is off to a tremendously successful start in the largest country in the world. Thanks to models tailored to this market and not sold anywhere else, Datsun is up to #12 over Q1 2015 with 9.339 sales, within throwing distance of Chevrolet (9.748) and Mitsubishi (9.793) meaning a FY2015 Top 10 ranking is absolutely feasible. The on-DO, a bardge-engineered Lada Granta, is already among Russia’s 10 most popular nameplates with 8.061 deliveries.

Lada Granta Russia March 2015The Lada Granta now accounts for 8% of Russia sales.

Speaking of which, despite being challenged by the Hyundai Solaris – #1 in January, the Lada Granta sees its market share fly up to 8% from 5.4% a year ago thanks to sales down just 5% over the period. The Hyundai Solaris (-2%) and Kia Rio (-12%) also see their market share improve drastically, resulting in a very clear consolidation atop the models charts: the Top 3 hold a 19.3% share in 2015 vs. 13.1% a year ago.

Lada 4x4 Russia March 2015Still valiant: the Lada 4×4 is up from #15 last year to #4 in 2015.

The Lada 4×4 is reborn from its ashes: tough times call for budget, sturdy SUVs, and its sales are astoundingly up 16%, jumping from #15 over Q1 2014 to #4 overall this year. This trend also applies to the UAZ Patriot, making a remarkable entrance inside the Top 25 and seeing its market share improve by 1/3. The Renault Logan benefits from the launch of the new generation and gains 6 spots year-on-year to land at #5, the Toyota Camry is up 12 ranks to #12, the Hyundai ix35 up 3 to #13 and the Skoda Rapid is the second all-new nameplate in the Top 20 with the on-DO at #17. The tail end of the Top 25 is SUV territory, with the Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Qashqai all improving their ranking year-on-year.

Previous post: Russia March 2015: Only SUV sales resist in market down 43%

Full Q1 2015 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models vs. Full Q1 2014 figures below.

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Categories: Russia

Russia March 2015: Only SUV sales resist in market down 43%

April 11th, 2015 No comments

UAZ Patriot Russia March 2015UAZ Patriot sales are up 2% on March 2014.

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 55 All-brands by clicking on the title *

The precarious state of the Russian new car market is reaching new lows in March: down 42.5% year-on-year to just 139,850 registrations, bringing the first quarter total to 383,691 units, down 36% on 2014. The  economic sanctions imposed on the country as a result of the Ukrainian crisis and a galloping inflation stuck at 17% both in February and March have combined to knock the market out of air. Faced with the prospect of losing money with each car sold in the country, a string of manufacturers are trimming their presence in Russia, some in very significant ways: Nissan (-51% in March) has suspended production in in St Petersburg plant for the entire second half of the month, Volkswagen (-57%) will do so for two weeks in May, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen (-79%) will halt the production of the Citroen C4 and Peugeot 408 from April 27 to July 7 and Mitsubishi (-68%) will stop production of the Outlander and Pajero Sport from April 27 to May 12.

Opel Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruSunset: General Motors will stop selling the Opel brand in Russia by the end of 2015.

Most significantly of all, General Motors announced it will abandon local production by the end of 2015, with the Opel brand (-78% in March) exiting Russia and Chevrolet (-74%) reducing its lineup to “iconic” U.S.-built models such as the Corvette, Camaro and Tahoe. Reversely, Ford (-73%) has reiterated its focus on Russia and just kick started the St Petersburg production of the all-new Mondeo, one of 4 new models to be launched in the country by the American manufacturer in 2015. In this nightmarish context, the top selling brands are also among the ones that resist the best, confirming a trend towards ‘back to basics’ and ‘back to trusted’ that we have observed over the past few months that the declines have deteriorated. Local fare Lada is down ‘only’ 26% to a very strong 19.6% share, Hyundai is down 15% to 9.9%, Kia down 32% to 8.7%, Toyota is up two ranks on February and down 34% year-on-year to #4.

Datsun mi-DO Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThanks to the arrival of the mi-DO, Datsun is now the #11 brand in Russia.

The list of manufacturers receiving good news in March in Russia is thin: Datsun reaches the best ranking since its reintroduction as a low-cost brand, up to #11 with 3,502 sales and 2.5% share thanks to the gearing up of the mi-DO hatchback (989 units) while the on-DO sedan is still very strong at #14 and 2,513 deliveries. Mercedes only drops 3% on March 2015, resulting in a much-improved market share of 2.9%, Lexus is up 29% to 2,521 sales and Porsche up 27% to 520. Over in the models ranking, the Lada Granta sends a strong message with sales down just 4% to 12,438 units and 8.9% share. Only the Hyundai Solaris (8,593) and Kia Rio (7,176) manage to sell more than 1/3 of the Granta figure – all other nameplates are under 3% market share this month…

Nissan X-Trail Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Nissan X-Trail (+29%) replaces the Qashqai inside the Russian Top 25 in March.

Another very clear trend at play in Russia is the regain in interest towards SUVs: not all display good behaviour (the Renault Duster is down 58% for example), but the only non-new nameplates to lodge year-on-year gains in the Top 25 in March are all SUVs: the valiant Lada 4×4 (aka Niva) is up 6% to 5th place, the Nissan X-Trail is up 29% to #16 vs. #27 over FY2014 thanks to the new model, the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 makes a very impressive appearance at #21 thanks to sales up 9% on March 2014 and the UAZ Patriot is up 2% to #23.

Previous month: Russia February 2015: Market worsens down to -38%

One year ago: Russia March 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander breaks into Top 10

Full March 2015 Top 25 models and Top 55 All-brands below.

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Categories: Russia

Russia February 2015: Market worsens down to -38%

March 11th, 2015 No comments

Lada 4x4 Urban Russia February 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruBack to basics: the Lada 4×4 bucks the trend, up 20% year-on-year in February.

* See the Top 53 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

The Russian new car market situation is rapidly escalating to become catastrophic: -38% year-on-year in February to just 128,298 registrations which brings the year-to-date total to 243,826 units, down 32% on 2014. Russia is facing an unprecedented mix of economic sanctions due to the Ukrainian crisis, a 50% devaluation of the ruble against the dollar in the past 6 months and inflation rising from 9% in December 2014 to 17% in February 2015, with Moscow shopkeepers now repricing goods daily. Forecasts for the Russian market to drop 27% over the Full Year 2014 are now starting to appear a little optimistic. Manufacturers active in the country are starting to take drastic measures in accordance with the situation: for example Opel will idle its local factory for two months starting at the end of March.

Lada Largus Russia February 2015. Picture courtesy of zr.ruLada places 3 models inside its home Top 5 for the first time in two years.

Both the lower and the higher end of the market are benefitting from these troubled times: new car buyers are downgrading, and the wealthier end of the population is rushing to buy premium brands before prices increase further. Lastly and similarly to Western Europe, SUVs are less hit than other segments. More affordable, national manufacturer Lada is doing slightly better than the market at -24% to 23,629 sales in February. The Granta reclaims the top spot it had lost to the Hyundai Solaris in January thanks to 10,583 deliveries (-6%), the 4×4 (aka Niva) is up an impressive 20% to #4: Russian buyers are going back to basics and crown the 38 year-old vehicle as the best-selling SUV in the country this month, the Largus is back up 15 spots on January to #5 and the Priora is back up 9 to #8. This means there are 3 Ladas in the Top 5 for the first time in two years.

BMW X4 Russia February 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruBMW sales in Russia are up 57% on a year ago in February.

Korean carmakers Hyundai (-5%) and Kia (-6%), while in negative territory, frankly outperform the market in 2nd and 3rd place respectively with 10.3% and 9.8% share. The next four manufacturers implode: Nissan (-45%), Renault (-46%), Toyota (-40%) and Volkswagen (-49%) all fall faster than the market, but Skoda at #8 fares much better at -12%. Rounding up the Top 10 are two big surprises: not only are Mercedes and BMW not down year-on-year, they are significantly up: at +18% and +57% respectively despite 20% price hikes at the start of 2015. In fact Lexus (+11%) and Porsche (+119%) are the only two other manufacturers up inside the Top 40.

Datsun mi-DO Russia February 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruDatsun mi-DO

Out of the 6 brands launched in Russia over the past 12 months, once again Datsun is the only one really making a mark this month, although it is down two spots on January to #14 with 2,904 sales and 2.3% share, despite the arrival of the mi-DO hatchback (289 sales). The on-DO slips out of the Top 10, down 5 ranks to a still extremely impressive 13th place with 2,615 deliveries and 2% share. The next best-selling new coming brand is Chinese Brilliance at #40 and just 0.1% market share… Not good times to break ground in Russia at the moment, granted.

Hyundai ix35 Russia February 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruFirst Russian Top 10 ranking for the Hyundai ix35

In the models ranking, the Toyota Camry is up 3 spots on last month to reach #9, the Hyundai ix35 breaks into the Russian Top 10 for the very first time (previous best: #12 last June), and in a clear demonstration of the trend towards ever more SUVs on Russian roads, the last 5 spots of the Top 25 all belong to this segment: the Nissan Juke is up to #20 and earns a spot in the year-to-date Top 25, and is followed by the Nissan Qashqai, Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and the Kia Sorento up 171% year-on-year to 1,329 sales.

Previous month: Russia January 2015: Hyundai Solaris hits #1 in market down 24%

One year ago: Russia February 2014: Renault Duster and Nissan Almera impress

Full February 2015 Top 53 All-brands and Top 25 models Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Russia

Russia January 2015: Hyundai Solaris hits #1 in market down 24%

February 10th, 2015 No comments

Hyundai Solaris Russia January 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ru2nd shock in 3 months: the Hyundai Solaris is the best-selling car in Russia in January.

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 53 All-brands by clicking on the title *

Russian customers ‘rushed’ to purchase 2014 models in December (+2%) to avoid the inflation-induced price increase in January. Result: the Russian market is down a very painful 24% year-on-year this month to just 115,390 registrations. And we have a 2nd shock in 3 months in the models ranking: last November, the Kia Rio made history by topping the sales charts, making it the first time since 1970 that a Lada was not in the monthly pole position at home in Russia. This month it’s the turn of the Hyundai Solaris thanks to sales up 18% in a market down 24% to 8,217 units for a 7.1% market share vs. 4.6% a year ago. The Solaris came very close to achieving this very feat in the past: it was 744 units away from the top spot in December 2011 and 700 sales off last November.

Datsun on-DO Russia November 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Datsun on-DO has cannibalised the Lada Granta off the #1 spot.

That the Lada Granta is beaten once can be a freak event. Twice in three months is looking like a pattern could be shaping, helped by a two coincidental elements. Firstly, the Solaris is enjoying the benefits of its first facelift since the nameplate launched in 2010. Secondly, the Lada Granta has been significantly cannibalised by its low(er)-cost rebadge and Togliatti assembly plant colleague the Datsun on-DO. After cracking the monthly Russian Top 10 for the first time in December, the on-DO is far from plateauing and up to an even more astounding 7th place in January with 2,933 sales and a record 2.5% market share, a 32% improvement on last month. The Renault Logan, albeit in extremely good shape thanks to the new generation at #4 and 2.9%, is now at arm’s length for the on-DO, singling Russia out as the most successful Datsun relaunch in the world so far, and by a country mile.

Kia Sorento Russia January 2015First ever Russian Top 25 ranking for the Kia Sorento…

Although these two elements have played a critical role in the arrival of the Hyundai Solaris atop the Russian sales charts this month, there is a longer term trend at play: reversely to Lada whose market share has been continually sinking at home in the past decade, Hyundai and Kia have built a reputation for reliable vehicles specifically adapted to Russian conditions. This from the ground up, banking on success in the countryside rather than the Western part of the country. I could see this clearly during my 2014 Trans-Siberian trip where both the Solaris and the Rio were regularly among the Top 3 best-sellers in absolutely every corner of the country, from Tatarstan to far-East Siberia and Lake Baïkal.

Nissan Sentra Russia December 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ru… and for the Nissan Sentra.

A particularly weak month brings lots of movement in the rest of the models ranking: the Nissan Almera is back up 7 spots on December to return to the #10 ranking it held a year ago in January 2014, the Renault Sandero is down 23% but up 10 ranks on last month to #11, the Toyota Camry up 38% to #12, Hyundai ix35 up 9 spots on December to #13, the Skoda Octavia up 17 to #33, Skoda Rapid up 16 to #34 and Mitsubishi ASX down 3 to #23. The Kia Sorento up a fantastic 426% on January 2014 thanks to the new model to #21 and the Nissan Sentra up 19 spots on December to #24 both break into the Russian monthly Top 25 for the very first time.

Mercedes C-Class Russia January 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruMercedes sales are up 17% year-on-year to #10 overall.

Brand-wise, Lada at 15.2% (-26%) is now far from dominant at home with Hyundai up to 11.1% share thanks to sales up 15% and Kia up to 9.8% with deliveries up 1% year-on-year. Renault (-32%), Volkswagen (-28%) and Mitsubishi (-32%) plummet, but Skoda (+8%) and Mercedes (+17%) power through to #8 and #10 respectively. Solely thanks to the on-DO, Datsun is up to #12, selling more than marques like Mazda and Ford, and almost 3 times as much as Opel.

Previous post: Russia Full Year 2014: Now with Top 434 All-models ranking

Original FY2014 post: Russia Full Year 2014: Lada Granta survives foreign push

Previous month: Russia December 2014: Datsun on-DO breaks into Top 10

One year ago: Russia January 2014: Duster on podium, Nissan Almera #10

Full January 2015 Top 25 models and Top 53 All-brands below.

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Categories: Russia

Russia Full Year 2014: Now with Top 434 All-models ranking

January 21st, 2015 No comments

Nissan Terrano Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Nissan Terrano (a rebadged Renault Duster) found 10,843 Russian buyers in 2014.

* See the Top 434 All-models by clicking on the title *

After going through the All-brands and Top 25 models rankings, it is now time to explore the Full Year 2014 Russian models sales charts in its entirety. Firstly this new ranking now includes LCVs with the GAZ Gazelle leading them all like in 2013 despite sales down 17% to #7 overall. Logically, the best performers just outside the familiar Annual Top 25 have pointed their bonnet in the monthly Top 25 at some stage this year: the VW Jetta is up 16% to #28 (peaking at #19 in December), the Opel Mokka up 67% to #30 (#23 in September), UAZ Patriot up 10% to #33 (#13 in October), the Skoda Rapid landing directly at #35 (#16 in July), Daewoo Gentra up 126% to #36 (#20 in January) and of course the Datsun on-DO at #51 but already cracking the Top 10 in December.

Toyota Highlander Russia 2014. Picture courtesy zr.ruToyota Highlander sales are up 87% year-on-year in Russia.

A few great success stories have however gone under the radar this year and that’s the benefit of now gaining a complete view of the market. Completely unaffected by the difficult economic situation in the country, a few large SUVs deliver some excellent results for the year, keeping in mind the market is down 10% year-on-year overall: the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado is up 20% to #37, the Toyota Highlander up 87% to #46, Mitsubishi Pajero up 25% to #70, Volvo XC60 up 29% to #79, Mercedes M-Class up 15% to #87, Mercedes GL-Class up 1% to #88, Jeep Grand Cherokee up 56% to #89, Range Rover Sport up 41% to #127 and least but not least the legendary Mercedes G-Class up 35% to #210.

Lifan X60 Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Lifan X60 almost cracked the monthly Russian Top 25 in December.

But the two biggest surprises are the works of two smaller SUVs: the Nissan Terrano, a rebadged Renault Duster, launched in Russia in May and reached #33 overall in December thanks to 2,303 sales, finishing the year just outside the Top 50 at #53 with 10,842 units. The Lifan X60 for its part becomes the best-selling Chinese nameplate in Russia at #38 thanks to sales up 8% to 17,007 and surged to #26 ex-LCV in December at 2,927 units. It thus just missed a historical event as wee haven’t seen a Chinese nameplate inside the Russian Top 25 since the Chery Amulet in July 2007.

Chery Tiggo 5 Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Chery Tiggo 5 is one of 6 Chinese nameplates in the Russian Top 100 in December.

Other Chinese models shining in Russia this year include the Chery Tiggo FL is up 160% to #56, the Great Wall Wingle up 49% to #206 and the Great Wall Hover H6 up 465% to #212. A few new arrivals are promising for 2015: the Geely Emgrand X7 lands at #116 but ranked #75 in December, the Chery Tiggo 5 arrives at #179 but up to #86 in December, the Geely GC6 at #152 in the Full Year but #88 in December and the Chery Bonus 3 at #224 in 2014 but #130 in December. The rest all plunge: the Great Wall Hover H3/H5 (-36%), Lifan Smily (-36%), Chery Indis (-43%), Geely Emgrand (-46%), Lifan Solano (-57%), Chery Very (-59%), Geely MK (-64%) and Geely MK Cross (-66%)…

Nissan Sentra Russia December 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Nissan Sentra lands at #151 this year but is already up to #44 in December.

A few other good behaviours in the overall ranking to notice: the Ford Kuga up 31% to #40, Kia new Cerato up 58% to #47, Nissan Teana up 72% to #58, Mercedes Sprinter up a mammoth 170% to #61, the Audi A3 up 43% thanks to the sedan version to crack the Top 100 at #98 and the Mercedes S-Class up a gigantic 163% thanks to the new generation to #113 and 4,331 sales.

Ford Ecosport Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruA much needed addition to the Ford Russia range: the Ecosport, #62 in December.

Below the Skoda Rapid (#35), Datsun on-DO (#51) and Nissan Terrano (#53) and apart from the Chinese models mentioned above, the other successful new entrants in the Russian market in 2014 are the Suzuki new SX4 at #86, Kia new Soul at #106, Mercedes GLA at #131, Ford Ecosport at #149 but #62 in December, Nissan Sentra at #151 but up to an excellent #44 in December and the Hyundai Grand Santa Fe at #163. The Peugeot 2008 (#176), Porsche Macan (#185) and Lexus NX (#254) are surprisingly weak.

Previous post: Russia Full Year 2014: Lada Granta survives foreign push

Previous monthly post: Russia December 2014: Datsun on-DO breaks into Top 10

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

Two years ago: Russia Full Year 2012: Lada Priora #1, Granta 4,800 sales below

Full Year 2014 Top 434 All-models vs. Full 2013 figures below.

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Categories: Russia

Russia Full Year 2014: Lada Granta survives foreign push

January 16th, 2015 No comments

Kia Rio Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Kia Rio outsold the Lada Granta to rank #1 in November.

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 63 All-brands by clicking on the title *

There is now a Top 434 All-models ranking available here

Economic sanctions on the back of the Ukraine situation coupled with rising inflation have resulted in a second consecutive year in negative for the Russian new car market, down 10% in 2014 to 2,491,404 registrations and hitting its lowest level since 2010 (1.91 million units). Scrappage schemes helped stabilised the market which returned to year-on-year growth in December. 2015 may not be as gloomy as most analysts predict. Lada logically dominates the brands ranking as it has been the case in Russia since 1970, however its sales dropped faster than the market at -15% to 387,307 units, resulting in the brand’s lowest-ever annual market share at home: 15.5%. Kia (-1%) overtakes Renault (-7%) to claim the second spot overall with 195,691 units, Hyundai (-1%) remains 4th while Nissan (+11%) is up 3 spots to #5, Toyota (+5%) is up two to #6 and Mitsubishi (+2%) is up 3 to #10. Volkswagen (-18%), Opel (-20%), Chevrolet (-28%) and Ford (-38%) crash down. In the premium race, Mercedes (+11%) is now 15,000 units above BMW (-18%) and Audi (-6%).

Datsun Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruDatsun is the success story of the year in Russia.

No less than 6 new manufacturers launched in Russia in 2014 despite the depressed context. Winner by far is Datsun, relaunched as Renault-Nissan’s low-cost brand (Dacia does not exist in Russia). While it had mixed results in India, Datsun hits the bull’s eye in Russia, securing 11,414 sales in just four months and placing its sole model the on-DO inside the December Top 10. Absolute success for the brand so far. The other newcomers are far below, led by ChangAn at #45 with 1,144 sales ahead of Acura (1,106), Brilliance (955), JAC (424) and Alfa Romeo making a discreet return in Russia with just 96 units sold this year.

ChangAn CS35 Russia 2014ChangAn is the most successful Chinese launch this year in Russia.

This brings the number of Chinese manufacturers present in Russia to 12, but despite a late return to form in December, it has been a tough year for China. Lifan leads the charge once again, up 3 spots on 2013 to #21 in spite of sales down 14% to 23,619 units. Geely (-31%) follows at #28 just above Chery (-9%) while Great Wall (-25%) is distanced at #32. FAW (-55%) at #44, BAW (-28%) at #47 and Haima (+152%) at #48 lodge minuscule sales figures.

Lada Granta Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruLada Granta

In the models ranking, the Lada Granta remains the best-seller for the second year in a row, roughly following the market at -8% to 152,810 sales and 6.1% share despite the addition of a liftback variant. In a 45-year first, it was outsold by the Kia Rio in November, the first time a foreign model ranks #1 in Russia since the Lada brand was created in the late sixties. A sign of things to come? The Rio finishes the year at #3 like in 2013 with sales up 4% to 3.8% share, below the Hyundai Solaris up 1% to 4.6% share. With the Datsun on-DO being a cheaper rebadged Granta and new versions of the Solaris and Rio hitting Russian dealerships in 2015, the Granta might have a few reasons to fear for its pole position this year…

Renault Logan Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruRenault Logan sales are up 19% in 2014 in Russia.

Below the Renault Duster at #4 again, the Lada Kalina (-3%) and Largus both improve their rankings to #5 and #6, while the Renault Logan takes full advantage of its new generation to slice its 2013 ranking in two to 7th place with sales up 19%. Notice also the Nissan Almera cracking the annual Top 10 for its first full year of sales, the Skoda Octavia up 158% to #15, the Hyundai ix35 up 8 spots to #16, Mitsubishi Outlander up 5 to #22 and the Mazda CX-5 up 12 to #25. Disaster stroke for the Ford Focus crumbling down 59% and 15 ranks to a paltry #23.

Previous post: Russia December 2014: Datsun on-DO breaks into Top 10

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

Two years ago: Russia Full Year 2012: Lada Priora #1, Granta 4,800 sales below

Full Year 2014 Top 25 models and Top 63 All-brands vs. Full 2013 figures below.

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Russia December 2014: Datsun on-DO breaks into Top 10

January 16th, 2015 No comments

Datsun on-DO Russia December 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe on-DO is the first Datsun to crack the Top 10 anywhere in the world.

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 54 All-brands by clicking on the title *

A flicker of hope: just as analysts predict the Russian new car market will be down 25% in 2015 (I disagree), new registrations are up year-on-year in December and for only the second time in the past 22 months at +2% to 270,653 deliveries. However 2014 ends on a harsh -10% drop to 2.49 million units. Let’s get straight to the big event of the month: the Datsun on-DO continues its incredible run, up 27% on November to 5,104 sales and #10, earning Datsun its very first monthly Top 10 since its relaunch as a low-cost brand early in 2014. This is great news for Datsun as its other main launch in India hasn’t been met with the expected success: the GO frankly disappointed there with a personal best of #22 in April. In Indonesia, the GO+ peaked at #11 in September and October while in South Africa the GO is up to #20 so far.

Chevrolet Niva Russia December 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruChevrolet Niva

Chevrolet Niva 2015 Concept Russia December 20142015 Chevrolet Niva Concept

After being toppled by the Kia Rio in a shock move that saw a foreign model crowned in the Russian monthly sales charts for the first time since 1969, the Lada Granta reclaims its due title in November with 13,405 sales (+4%) vs. 9,502 (+8%) for the Hyundai Solaris and 9,298 (+34%) for the Kia Rio. Just below the Renault Duster (-18%), excellent performance of the Chevrolet Niva up to #5 with 6,489 sales, simply its best monthly ranking since BSCB started following monthly Russian charts in 2010. This is potentially the consequence of both the scrappage scheme in place at the moment, making the Niva even cheaper than usual, and heavy discounting in the wake of the arrival of the new generation (pictured above) in 2015.

VW Jetta Russia December 2014VW Jetta

Below, the Lada 4×4 is up an incredible 98% on December 2013 to #13 (also the result of scrappage schemes), the Mitsubishi Outlander up 49% to #15, the VW Jetta up 144% to break into the Russian Top 20 for the first time at #19, the Mitsubishi ASX up to a best-ever #20, Mazda CX-5 up 49% to #24 and the Opel Mokka up 148% to #25, the nameplate’s third ever appearance inside the Russian Top 25.

Mazda CX-5 Russia December 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruMazda CX-5 – Mazda sales are up 61% year-on-year in December.

In the brands ranking, Lada is down a further 9% year-on-year to drop to 13% share, the brand’s lowest-ever level. Reversely, the next 6 best-selling manufacturers all gain ground: Kia is up 26% to #2, Nissan up 15% to #3, Renault up 2% to #4, Toyota up 19% to #5, Hyundai up 8% to #6 and Volkswagen up 2% to #7. Chevrolet tumbles down 28% in 8th position just above Mitsubishi lodging the largest YOY increase in the Top 10 at +51% to #9. Notice also Mazda up 61% to #13, Datsun passing Mercedes to #16 and now just below Skoda (!), Subaru up 59% to #24 and Infiniti (+69%) back above Lexus (+1).

Lifan Celliya Russia December 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruLifan Cellyia – Lifan breaks all its monthly Russian records in December.

Chinese manufacturers had taken a beating this year, but in December they seem to have flamboyantly recovered, potentially helped by the scrappage schemes making their low prices even lower. Lifan is up 21% year-on-year and 9 spots on November to #18 with 3,866 sales and 1.4% share, astoundingly hitting its best-ever ranking, volume and market share this month. Chery is up 39% and 10 ranks to #21, Geely up 5 spots on last month to #23 and Brilliance is up 129% on November to a best-ever #40 and 305 sales.

Previous month: Russia November 2014: Shock: Kia Rio first foreign model #1

One year ago: Russia December 2013: Lada Kalina #3 in market back in positive

Full December 2014 Top 25 models and Top 54 All-brands below.

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Russia November 2014: Shock: Kia Rio first foreign model #1

December 9th, 2014 No comments

Kia Rio Russia November 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Kia Rio is the first foreign model in at least 45 years to top Russian sales.

* See the Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

This month the Russian new car market experiences an earth-shattering event – something that has never happened since the creation of Lada, originally VAZ (Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod), in 1966. The local brand’s first model, the Lada 2101, debuted production in 1970 and was a localised version of the Fiat 124 adapted to treacherous Russian conditions. By 1973, 660.000 annual units were produced annually and by the end of the model line’s run in 2012, 17 million would have been made. In the past 45 years, it has been unconceivable that a Lada would not top the Russian sales charts. Even a shaky transition between the 2104/7 and Granta over 5 years (2008-2013) did not dent Lada’s invincibility at home. The closest a foreigner had been to the top spot was in December 2011 when the Hyundai Solaris came 744 units short of the #1 ranking. Almost 45 years of continuous Lada domination have come to an abrupt end this month: the Kia Rio is up 54% year-on-year in a market down 1% to hit 10,834 sales and 4.7% share. It snaps the Russian crown away from the Lada Granta, down to #2 with 10,520 units and 4.6% while the Hyundai Solaris is very close behind at 10,134 sales and 4.4%.

Lada 2101 Bulgaria 1980Every month since 1970 and the Lada 2101, a Lada has been #1 in Russia. Up until today.

This is the first time the Rio sells above 10,000 units in a single month in Russia (previous best: 9,045 last April), making it only the second foreigner to cross that milestone with the Hyundai Solaris. This is not a freak event but the culmination of years of constant progression in the shadow of the Solaris. My Trans-Siberian trip last year brought to light the exceptional regularity of both the Solaris and the Rio in every corner of the country, from Tatarstan to far-East Siberia and Lake Baïkal. This success was built on word-of-mouth from the bottom up, from the rural regions to the bigger towns, and is the result of meticulous dealer network expansion across the largest country in the world by both Korean manufacturers. On the other hand, we are dealing with a 14% YOY decline for the Lada Granta, steeper than its YTD evolution (-9%). This could be due to some cannibalisation from the astoundingly successful Datsun on-DO, a low(er)-cost rebadge of the Granta manufactured at the same Togliatti plant. More on the on-DO below.

Hyundai Solaris Russia November 2014The freshly facelifted Hyundai Solaris could be the next foreigner to reach #1 in Russia…

The current period is also rather unusual in Russia as new car sales are heavily boosted by government scrappage subsidies to try and curb the sales down spiral triggered by Ukraine-related economic sanctions. On top of it, consumers are rushing to get ahead of widely anticipated new year price increases. Until now however, the scrappage subsidies had benefited Lada, but this month the Russian manufacturer is down 17% while Kia is up 19%, Renault up 8%, Hyundai up 4% and Toyota up 32%. All-in-all, Russian new car sales are down just 1% year-on-year to 229,439 registrations in November, the smallest decline since last March, yet the year-to-date total is still down a depressing 12% to 2,220,751 units.

Datsun on-DO Russia November 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruCould the Datsun on-DO be cannibalising the Lada Granta already?

The second big event in the Russian models sales charts this month and very much connected to the first one is the striking success of the Datsun on-DO. It shoots up from outside the October Top 25 directly to #11 in November with 4,011 sales and 1.7% share, only 87 units off its first Top 10 ranking in Russia. No doubt the on-DO has eroded the November sales figure of the Lada Granta as it is a cheaper rebadge of the market leader, and as such played a role in its demise from pole position. If last month the on-DO outsold both the Opel Astra and the Ford Focus, this time it overtakes such Russian blockbusters as the Lada Priora, #1 in the country in 2009 and 2012 and the legendary Lada 4×4 (aka Niva). That’s how fast the on-DO is making its way up the sales ladder and across Russian roads. It single-handedly brings Datsun to #17 brand in-between Mercedes and BMW and way above SsangYong, Suzuki, Honda or Subaru. Most importantly, the on-DO annihilates all Chinese brands, selling more than double any of them (Lifan -21%, Geely -27%, Great Wall -18%). Russia is now competing with Indonesia for the title of first country in the world where the newly relaunched low-cost Datsun places a model inside the Top 10: both the on-DO in Russia and the Go+ in Indonesia now have personal bests set at #11…

Toyota RAV4 Russia November 2014The Toyota RAV4 reaches its highest ever ranking in Russia this month.

In other news, the Renault Logan is up by a fantastic 77% on November 2013 thanks to the new model to rank #4 overall for the 2nd time this year after August, and with the Duster at #5, Renault places two models inside the Russian Top 5 this month, something local behemoth Lada did not manage… The Toyota RAV4 is up 50% YOY to climb up to #7, simply and by far the nameplate’s best-ever ranking in Russia (previous best: #10 in April 2013), the Nissan X-Trail is up 13% to #15, the Hyundai ix35 up 48% to #19, the VW Tiguan up 44% to #22. For 4 compact SUVs doing well we have 3 compact sedans really struggling in Russia at the moment: the Ford Focus (-62%), Chevrolet Cruze (-46% YTD) and Toyota Corolla (-39%). On the brands side, note the exceptional performances of Lexus (+65%), Porsche (+55%), Subaru (+35%), Jeep (+33%) and Mazda (+24%) and the nightmarish ones of Daewoo (-66%), Mini (-32%) and Ford (-26%).

Previous month: Russia October 2014: Datsun on-DO above Opel Astra and Ford Focus

One year ago: Russia November 2013: Renault Duster on podium for the first time

Full November 2014 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models Ranking Tables below.

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Russia October 2014: Datsun on-DO above Opel Astra & Ford Focus

November 13th, 2014 No comments

Datsun on-DO Russia October 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Datsun on-GO is off to a great start in Russia.

* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

After dropping 26% in August and 20% in September, the Russian new car market is down ‘only’ 10% in October to 211,365 deliveries, thanks to the combined effect of a new scrappage incentive supporting the sales of domestic models and the sharp decline of the Ruble raising the short-term demand for imported models as consumers fear prices will get steeper and are ‘rushing’ to buy. The year-to-date total is now down 13% to 1,991,312 registrations. Full analysis will follow shortly. There are two main events this month in Russia. Firstly, local manufacturer Lada, now owned by Renault-Nissan, posts its first year-on-year gain in 18 months (since February 2013) with sales up 1% to 37,788 units and 17.9% share compared to 16% in October 2013 and 16.1% YTD. The main culprits are the best-selling vehicle in the country, the Lada Granta, up a fantastic 26% to 16,807 sales and 8% share vs. 5.7% a year ago, the Lada Largus (a rebadged previous gen Dacia Logan MCV) up 14% to a best-ever 4th place, also hit last May and June, and the veteran Lada 4×4 solid at #7 and 2.4% share and back up from #14 to #11 YTD.

Lada Granta Russia October 2014The Lada Granta is up 26% year-on-year at home.

Secondly, Nissan’s low-cost brand Datsun which landed in Russia last month at #38 with 520 sales, takes off to #22 with 1,779 units sold and 0.8% share, instantly becoming and by far the most successful new manufacturer to launch in 2014 with 2,299 sales ahead of Changan (902), Acura (656) and Brilliance (517). Most significantly, in October Datsun already passes such established brands as Land Rover (1,728), Lexus (1,678), Suzuki (1,521), Honda (1,460), Subaru (1,430) or even Peugeot (1,388) or Citroen (1,311)! Also interesting is the fact that Datsun already outsells all Chinese brands present in Russia bar Lifan (2,067) which it should have no trouble passing next month at this rate. Russia is the 4th (and last) country where Datsun was reintroduced as a low-cost brand this year after India, South Africa and Indonesia, with only one model for now: the on-DO sedan, none other than a rebadged Lada Granta produced in the same AvtoVAZ Togliatti plant. 1,779 on-DO sales are only 255 units off a Top 25 October ranking and above both the Opel Astra (1,609) and Ford Focus (1,574), granted in particularly bad shape, but still an astounding performance.

UAZ Patriot Russia October 2014The UAZ Patriot shoots up to #13 in October, benefiting from scrappage schemes.

In other news, the Renault Logan gains 50% on October 2013 thanks to the new model, the Nissan Almera confirms its success with sales up 106% year-on-year at #8, the UAZ Patriot is boosted by the scrappage scheme and shoots up 112% on October 2014 to #13 with 3,428 sales vs. #31 in 2013, the Kia Sportage is up a nice 23% to #14, helping the Korean brand snatch the #2 overall manufacturer spot off Renault, the Mitsubishi Outlander is up 9% to #15, the Skoda Rapid impresses again at #18, the Toyota Camry is up 48% YOY, the Skoda Octavia up 35% and the VW Tiguan makes a comeback inside the Russian Top 25 at #23. Brand-wise, if UAZ (+75%), Lexus (+25%), SsangYong (+6%), Skoda (+5%), Mazda (+4%), Mercedes (+2%), Lada, Mitsubishi (+1%) and Toyota (+0.4%) all manage to gain ground in the Top 30, Volkswagen (-26%), Ford (-34%), BMW (-39%), Chevrolet (-37%), Citroen (-45%), Geely (-46%), Peugeot (-49%) and Daewoo (-69%) all fall dramatically.

Previous month: Russia September 2014: Lada Granta hits best share, Datsun lands

One year ago: Russia October 2013: Renault Duster & Lada Largus break records, Corolla in Top20

Full October 2014 Top 25 models and Top 55 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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