* See the Top 20 biggest car markets in the world in 2013 by clicking on the title! *
To put a little perspective on all the Full Year 2013 data I have been publishing on BSCB over the past month, it is now time for our traditional ‘world Top 20 markets’ summary. The main event in the ranking this year is China becoming the first ever country to purchase over 20 million vehicles in one year, passing that mark on December 1 to finish 2013 at 21.98 million units. That’s a huge 14% improvement on 2012 in spite of all the car purchase restrictions now in place in all the main cities in the country, which put the 30 million units predicted for 2020 well on target.
The second big worldwide car market trend this year is the ‘panting’ of the 3 behemoths once called emerging markets: Brazil experiences its first year-on-year decline in a decade, down 2% to 3.58 million units, Russia is down 5% to 2.78 million and India is down a surprising 7% to 2.47 million. Most big European markets are also a little sad: Germany is down 4%, France down 6% to its lowest in 15 years and Italy down 7%.
Reversely and continuing a trend observed in 2012, all main saturated Anglo-Saxon markets are going gangbusters, clearly proving they are not quite saturated just yet: the US is up 8% to 15.6 million sales, its highest level in 7 years, the UK is up an astounding 11% in a depressed European context to 2.26 million units, Canada is up 4% to 1.74 million and Australia is up 3% to deliver a second consecutive all-time record year at 1.14 million sales.
Thailand was the superstar in 2012 when it gained 81% to reach 1.44 million units, but it paid the price this year: down 6% to 1.35 million but still #12 market in the world. Two additional countries reach all-time high levels in 2013: Indonesia lodges a 4th consecutive record year, going from 486,088 sales in 2009 to 1.23 million this year, and Argentina is the fastest growing market in the Top 20 along with China, up 14% to a best-ever 955,023 units. The demise of Iran (-28%) means Spain is back within the Top 20 at #20.
The new generation RAV4 helped Toyota keeps its worldwide crown in 2013.
* See the Full article by clicking on the title! *
This is the first of many Full Year 2013 Reports for world sales. We start small with the Top 3 automotive groups in the world, and as data becomes available over the course of the next weeks/months, I will update you with a more complete brands ranking as well as an exclusive models ranking. According to Bloomberg, Toyota Motor Corporation (including subsidiaries Hino Motors and Daihatsu) have seen its worldwide sales gain 2.4% year-on-year in 2013 to 9,98 million units, placing the group at #1 in the world ahead of General Motors (9.71 million units) and Volkswagen (9.7 million). Toyota predicts a 3.4% increase for its worldwide sales in 2014 to reach 10.32 million units. So once again a great result for the Japanese manufacturer, however its advance over the #2 has thawed significantly compared to last year: from 500,000 units to just 270,000. Volkswagen for its part is up a splendid 5% on 2012 – keeping in mind its worldwide figures include Scania and MAN, and is still on target to become #1 in the world by 2018…
With a new year come new interrogations about how the car sales world will evolve, and as is the tradition on BestSellingCarsBlog I have selected 50 questions for 2014, let’s meet here in 365 days to find out how these turned out. What are your questions for 2014? Let us all know by commenting on here. So here goes:
1. Will both the Chinese and US car market continue to grow fast? Which one will be the fastest and will China still be on track to hit 30 millions sales by 2020?
2. Best-selling car in the world: Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus?
3. Will the DS brand be a success in China?
4. Which manufacturer will top worldwide sales? Will it still be Toyota? Can General Motors or Volkswagen grow faster?
5. Will the Datsun Go and Go+ succeed?
6. Will Qoros manage solid sales both at home in China and in Europe?
7. Will Tesla continue to grow or was 2013 a one-off performance?
8. Can either the Peugeot 2008 or Renault Captur break into the monthly European Top 10?
9. Will we still witness the ‘low cost or premium’ trend in European car sales?
10. Will Saab really revive? Will Opel survive? Will another car manufacturer disappear from the US? worldwide?
11. Will any pick-up truck manage to threaten the Ford F-Series in the US? Chevrolet Silverado? Toyota Tundra?
12. Can any passenger car come close to the Toyota Camry in the US? Will Ford’s high expectations for the Fusion materialise?
13. Can Renault stabilise Lada sales at home in Russia?
14. Can the new generation Nissan Qashqai push the nameplate into the monthly European Top 5?
15. Can the Skoda Octavia go higher than #5 in Europe? The BMW 3 Series higher than #4 and the Audi A3 higher than #6?
Will the Renault Captur break into the European monthly Top 10 in 2014?
16. Will there be any newcomers inside the European Top 10 in 2014 apart from potentially the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008?
17. Will Italy bottom out or fall further into recession?
18. Can the European new car market grow again?
19. Will Brazil, India and Russia get back into positive territory?
20. Can Renault become Argentina’s best-selling brand in the long term?
FAW VW Carely EV
21. Which major markets will be the fastest growing?
22. Will any new low-cost brand be launched worldwide?
23. Will Honda drop the Ciimo and Linian low-cost brands in China? Will GM’s Baojun and Nissan’s Venucia continue to grow? How will FAW VW’s Carely fare?
24. Can the 301 re-establish Peugeot in Africa in the long-term?
25. Will the VW Up! range expand as well as its sales?
For the first time in history, more than 20 million new vehicles were sold annual in a single country…
On this last day of the year, I thought it would be appropriate to pick my Top 10 highlights for 2013 in terms of worldwide sales. Do you agree? Do you have more highlights? Please let us all know by commenting on this article.
1. China becomes first country above 20 million sales
As of end November, 19.9 million new light vehicles had found a buyer in China, a 12% increase over 2012 and a new record. This also means that the 20 million unit-mark was passed in the first days of December, making China the first country in the history of automobile to clock over 20 million new car sales in a single year. It is predicted China will cross another milestone, the 30 million sales one, by 2020… The significant trend in the Chinese passenger car market in 2013 is the return to grace of local models: the Wuling Hongguang, newly moved out of the LCV category, leads the overall ranking at end November, while the Haval (ex-Great Wall) H6 reached a record 7th place in July and the Emgrand EC7 double-dipped in the Top 10…
The US are back to their old habits: buying pick-up trucks in droves.
2. US market back to pre-recession levels
2013 is the year the US market returned to its pre-recession levels and habits: buying over 15 million new light vehicles annually including heaps of pick-up trucks. In May, with 71,604 sales the Ford F-Series crossed the 70,000 monthly units milestone for the first time since March 2007, hitting its best May figure since 2005 and its best month overall in almost 7 years, since August 2006 when it sold 76,804 units… In June, the SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Sales Rate), a key barometer of long-term sales trends, surged to just under 16 million, compared to 14.4 million a year ago, officially bringing the industry back to its late 2007 level. Finally in October, for the first time since February 2006, the top 3 most popular vehicles in the USA are all XXL pick-up trucks. The Ford F-Series leads,followed by the Chevrolet Silverado and the RAM 1500/3500. In the same vein, the Ford F-Series had already beaten the all-time annual sales record in Canada by end October at 106,861 sales.
The Tesla Model S incredibly topped the Norwegian models ranking in September.
3. Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf superstars in Norway
Norway was the theatre of a couple of amazing sales events in 2013. In September, the Model S did what no electric car ever managed before in the world: finish a month in pole position in any country. Selling an incredible 616 units for a 5.1% market share vs. 561 and 4.6% for the VW Golf, the Model S is the first model to beat the VW Golf in a Norwegian monthly ranking so far in 2013. With notoriety comes criticism and Tesla has had to endure the repercussions of a couple of its models setting fire after an accident, which didn’t prevent it to place the Model S back up to a huge 2nd spot in Norway in November! The other big winner in Norway is the Nissan Leaf: it topped the sales charts in October thanks to 716 units for a splendid 5.6% market share!
A big tick of approval for the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 in 2013.
4. Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 revive French manufacturers
The minis Toyota Agya and Daihatsu Ayla twins were launched ‘under the radar’ in September in Indonesia as Toyota’s answer to a new government law. In a country obsessed by low cost MPV, it was a daring move indeed. The Low Cost Green Car (LCGC) regulation exempts from the luxury tax models made up from at least 60% domestic components, priced between Rp 50-85 million with a maximum displacement of 1,200cc and fuel efficiency of at least 20 km/l. Only two months after their first appearance in the Indonesian sales charts, in November the Toyota Agya is up to an incredible 2nd place with 6,591 sales and 5.9% share, up 2 ranks and over one percentage point on its October score. Its twin the Daihatsu Ayla is up one spot to #4 with 5,095 sales and 4.6%, its best so far as well. This means the two locally produced models already account for over 10% of the Indonesian new car market, only two months after launch! 2014 scores will be fascinating to follow indeed.
2014 Nissan Qashqai. The new model should improve the nameplate’s sales further in 2014.
Launched in late 2012, the Hyundai HB20 reached a record 4th place in Brazil in February thanks to 10,179 sales, the first time a Korean model manages to sell over 10,000 monthly units win Brazil and the first Korean model to ever rank within the Brazilian monthly Top 5. The HB20 broke its monthly volume and share records one more time in March to 12,537 units and 5.6% share. Unveiled at the same time, the Chevrolet Onix reaches a very similar sales level over 2013.
1. Will Chery crack Europe with the Qoros GQ3? Not yet. In fact the launch of the brand has taken a bit of time this year: Qoros’ first model ended up being called the Qoros 3 and only launched in China on November 21, with the first European dealership opening in Bratislava, Slovakia in December. A second model will be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2014. Read a fascinating article about the Qoros brand from the Advertising Age here.
2. Will the Hyundai HB20 or Chevrolet Onix threaten the VW Gol’s supremacy in Brazil? Neither have managed to threaten the Gol’s supremacy, however they are both great successes, peaking at #4 with 12,537 sales and 5.6% and #5 and 4.2% respectively towards the start of the year.
3. Which Passenger Car will top the Chinese year-end ranking? This was totally unpredictable, as the Wuling Hongguang moved classifications from LCV to Passenger Car during the year and is currently leading the Chinese sales charts after 11 months in 2013.
4. Will General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai or any other major manufacturer announce the creation of a low-cost brand outside China? Will Nissan unveil a low-cost Datsun range as planned? The answers to the first question are no, and to the second question yes, with Nissan reviving the Datsun brand as planned in 2013 by unveiling two models: the Go supermini and the Go+ mini MPV, both due to hit dealerships in 2014.
5. Will the new BYD F3 and Chery QQ make 2013 the year of the renaissance for local models in China? I believe we can potentially call 2013 the year of the renaissance for local passenger cars in China indeed, however not due to the two models mentioned above, but to the Wuling Hongguang, Haval H6 and Emgrand EC7.
The Wuling Rongguang took the lead of Passenger Cars sales in China in 2013.
6. Will Kaili, Volkswagen’s low-cost Chinese brand, finally be launched? If so will it be more successful than GM’s Baojun? Nissan’s Venucia? Honda’s Linian? Ciimo? No, Kaili did not launch its first model in the Chinese market in 2013.
7. Will the Mokka and Adam help Opel towards recovery? Sadly not.
8. Will a BMW or Mercedes break into the UK year-end Top 5 for the first time? No, however both the BMW 1 Series and 3 Series delivered outstanding results in the UK this year: the 1 Series smashed its monthly volume record to 10,084 units in September while the 3 Series hit 8,309 sales, its best volume in over 5 years during the same month.
The Renault Duster was #3 in Russia in November.
9. Will the Renault Duster break into the monthly Top 5 in Russia? India? While it did not reach these levels in India, the Duster broke into the Russian Top 5 as early as December 2012 and even climbed onto the podium in November 2013 at #3!
10. Will the Dacia Dokker dominate the French LCV market, the biggest in Europe? No, and far from it, ranking only 32nd after 11 months.
11. Will the Nissan Altima or Honda Civic threaten the Toyota Camry for the Passenger Car crown in the US? Nope, if anything the Honda Accord was the closest to “threaten” the Toyota Camry.
12. Will the new generation Chevy Silverado threaten the Ford F-Series in the US? Nope.
13. Will the Ford Focus pass the Toyota Corolla to become the world’s best selling car at year-end? There is still a question mark around this question, and we will have to wait until February/March for the final worldwide figures to know for sure.
14. Will Great Wall succeed in the UK? Will it launch in another major European market? Great Wall has been a little discreet so far in the UK market and has not launched yet in any other major European market.
The Renault Clio IV beats the Peugeot 208 in France.
15. Which of the Peugeot 208 or Renault Clio IV will finish the year #1 in France? Will they top another European country or will their success be restricted to their home country? Check out my forecast for the 2013 France models ranking here. The Renault Clio IV will be the best-seller in France in 2013 and is also #1 in Portugal.
16. Will the VW Golf be threatened by anyone in Europe? Clio? 208? Fiesta? How many countries will it dominate? The VW Golf had a very smooth year atop the European sales charts, but it is too early to know exactly how many countries it ranked #1 over the Full Year 2013. One thing is certain: a lot!
17. Will Italy, Greece, Portugal, Croatia and Spain fall further into recession? For Italy and Croatia unfortunately yes, however Greece, Portugal and Spain all seem to have turned the corner.
18. Will Europe stagnate or decline? As of end of November, decline.
19. Will Peugeot/Citroen survive? Will Opel survive? Will Honda merge with another carmaker? Yes, yes and no. 2014 might be a different story though…
Last month’s big worldwide headline was the Tesla Model S ranking #1 in Norway, in October Norway is once again under the spotlight given it is another electric car that tops its sales charts for the very first time in the world! The Nissan Leaf sells 716 units for a splendid 5.6% market share! The Leaf is now up to #4 year-to-date there at 3,755 units and 3.2% share. Meanwhile the Tesla Model S is back to earth (meaning outside the Top 20) with 98 sales and 0.8%. Having two different electric cars topping the sales charts of one market over two consecutive months is something that has never happened before in the history of automobile. Are we finally on the eve of a new era? In other great news for Nissan, the Juke hits a record 7th place in the UK and the Qashqai tops the Northern Ireland sales charts.
XXL Pick-up trucks are back en vogue in the US.
2. US podium 100% pick-up for the first time in 8 years
Back in 2008-2009 the US market was hit full-frontal by recession, and the Big Three survived by the skin of their teeth. American consumers down-sized to smaller cars, and gas guzzling oversized pick-up trucks were progressively becoming fashion-backward. Over the past couple of years the American new car market has flamboyantly turned the corner, and this month the most symbolic illustration of this comeback hit: for the first time since February 2006, the top 3 most popular vehicles in the USA are all XXL pick-up trucks. The Ford F-Series leads, up 13% year-on-year to 63,803 sales, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado up 10% to 42,660 units and the RAM 1500/3500 up 18% to 29,846 sales. In the same vein, the Ford F-Series has already beaten the all-time annual sales record in Canada after just 10 months at 106,861 sales. On one side more electric and hybrid cars, and on the other more oversized work horses. The worldwide car market is indeed full of contradictions…
Honda Fit 3
3. New generation Honda Fit takes control in Japan
Thanks to the third generation of the model hitting dealerships, the Honda Fit is the best-selling car in Japan this month with 23,281 sales, up a huge 150% year-on-year. The last time the Fit topped the Japanese sales charts was in May 2011, right in the aftermath of the terrible tsunami that hit the country in March of that year. The Fit has topped the annual Japanese sales charts twice before: in 2002 (interrupting 22 consecutive years of Toyota Corolla reign!) and 2008. 2014 could be next! This performance pushes Honda to #2 brand above Nissan at 14.4% share vs. 10.1% year-to-date. BSCB reader Stephen has already noticed plenty of new gen Fit on Japanese roads during its trip there this month…
4. Skoda Octavia inside European Top 5 for the first time
* See the Full article by clicking on the title! *
Yes it’s that time of the month when we go through the highlights of the last one before diving into the new one (month, that is). First onto a bit of overview of the main markets worldwide: China jumps further away from the rest of the other markets, up a whopping 21% this month while the USA is shockingly down 4% year-on-year, Japan up a fantastic 12%, Brazil reassuringly back up 6%, Germany down 1% and India down 3%. For its part Europe as a whole is up 6%: is this the end of hell for the continent? The next few months will tell.
Let’s get straight into it: the biggest news of the month (of the year?) happened in Norway: the Model S did what no electric car ever managed before in the world: finish a month in pole position in any country. Selling an incredible 616 units for a 5.1% market share vs. 561 and 4.6% for the VW Golf, the Model S is the first model to beat the VW Golf in a Norwegian monthly ranking so far in 2013 and only the 5th car to have done so in the last 4 years after the Volvo V70, VW Passat, Toyota Avensis and Ford Focus… With notoriety comes criticism and Tesla has had to endure the repercussions of a couple of its models setting fire after an accident in the last month.
BMW 1 Series
Secondly, let’s highlight the stellar month of BMW in the UK: the 1 Series smashes its monthly volume record at 10,084 sales and 2.5% share, up 44% on its previous best of 7,001 reached last March. It ranks 6th for the 2nd month running and the third time ever, its best ranking in the UK. It is the strongest volume hit by a BMW since the 10,317 the 3 Series sold back in March 2008. BMW also delivers an outstanding month in Portugal, ranking #2 brand with 9.1% share, with Mercedes #4 at 8.3% and both manufacturers ahead of Volkswagen at #5 and 6.8%! The 3 Series is #2 and the 1 Series #6 there this month.
The number 4 worldwide highlight this month happened in India, where Hyundai has another winner with the Grand i10. It is already up to 24 spots on August to #6 best-seller this month thanks to 8,411 sales and 4.1% share for only its second appearance in the Indian ranking! The Grand i10 is manufactured in Chennai and is in fact a new generation i10 with a stretched wheelbase tailored specifically to Indian tastes. Another proof that Hyundai’s strategy of ‘acting like a local’ in most markets it operates in is paying off.
Now let me introduce the Top 5 worldwide highlights of this month of August.
1. The Audi A3 hits a record 2nd place in Germany (previous best #4) at a best-ever 2.8% share in the nameplate’s 17 year history. This and solid performances throughout Europe earn it a record 6th spot Europe-wide (previous best: #9 last April), which places it at #2 in its segment behind only the VW Golf and above the Ford Focus and Opel Astra, both outside the Top 10 in August. Moritz Drechsel from Audi Germany gave me a few explanations for this performance at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
5. This is a group accolade to salute the performance of Japanese brands in the US market, nothing short of indecent: Lexus is up 23% on August 2012, Toyota and Nissan both up 24%, Mazda up 26%, Honda up 29% and Subaru up 45% to pass 40,000 monthly units for the first time in history… If we focus on Honda in particular, it places 3 models inside the overall US Top 6! Both the Civic and Accord hit their strongest monthly volume in 4 years at 39,458 and 38,559 sales respectively, while the CR-V is up to a all-time high of 34,654 units.