* See the Top 1102 best-selling models in the world by clicking on the title! *
Many thanks to Austin Rutherford for helping to compile this data.
No this is not a typo and yes it took a while but here it is: the most complete worldwide models ranking you will ever find, finally published on BSCB. This year there is actually more than 1000 models accounted for: 1102 exactly, that’s a whopping 174 more than in 2012.
It’s a very dynamic world ranking on top: the slowest moving is the Ford Focus in second place, up 7% to 1,113,607 sales. The Toyota Corolla keeps its crown thanks to sales up 10% to 1,247,404. Note this figure includes the Auris, sold as Corolla in some parts of the world, but don’t include the Japanese Corolla, nowadays a very different model. Another way to look at it is to only take into account vehicles actually named Corolla (a nameplates ranking), and at this game it is still ahead of the Focus at 1,201,238 sales (more info on the Corolla-Focus battle here)
The Hyundai Elantra is up a shiny 15% and remains on the third step of the podium at 951,293 units, while the Ford F-Series is even more impressive in 4th place: up two spots and 17% on 2012 to 919,671 sales, all this in this generation’s last full year… The Toyota Camry is stable at #5, the VW Golf up 3 ranks to #6, the Chevrolet Cruze and VW Passat immobile at #7 and #8 respectively and the Nissan Versa/Tiida down a harsh 6 spots to #10.
Missing out on a Top 10 ranking for only 1,400 sales, the Honda CR-V is up a splendid 16% and 6 ranks to #11, the VW Jetta/Bora is up 17% to #15 thanks to China, the Suzuki Swift/DZire up 14% to #19 thanks to India and the Honda Accord up 19% to #20. The biggest gainers in the Top 50 include the Kia K3 up 61% to #21, the Nissan Sentra and Wuling Hongguang both up 73% to #22 and #25 respectively, the Ford Fusion/Mondeo up 74% to #32, VW Lavida up 69% to #43 and Hyundai Santa Fe up 54% to #47.
Among newcomers atop the ranking, let’s salute the Buick Encore/Opel Mokka/Chevy Trax up to #79, the Subaru Forester up 70 spots to #97, Ford Ecosport up 241% to #105, Mercedes A Class up 128% to #131, Hyundai HB20 up 615% to #141, Dodge Dart/Fiat Viaggio up 259% to #155, Chevrolet Onix up 619% to #176 and the Honda N-One up 498% to #209.
As far as Chinese models are concerned, below the Wuling Hongguang (#25), Sunshine (#35), Rongguang (#50) and Foton Forland (#54), the Emgrand EC7 (+48%) and Haval H6 (+76%) both break into the worldwide Top 100 best-selling models for the first time while the BYD F3 (+25%) stops just 2,100 units short off it at #101.
On June 1, PSAPeugeot Citroen appointed the first ever CEO for the premium DS brand: Yves Bonnefont, PSA’s former director of group strategy. DS is already a stand-alone brand in China and set to become the same in Europe as well, tasking Bonnefont with elevating it from a tiny-but-successful division of Citroen to a global powerhouse, while further boosting profitability. An interview of Bonnefont by Automotive News Europe provides a few fascinating facts about the global strategy for DS. Extracts below.
At the moment, DS’s only European stand-alone dealership is the DS World in Paris, and it is set to remain this way. There are 3 formats for the DS line at Citroen dealerships in Europe. First the DS Zone, just a black floor with some special lighting (85% of current European dealerships). Then the DS Salon, with 3 or 4 models displayed on a dedicated floor space, a DS salesman and DS signs outside the dealership. Finally the DS Store with dedicated entrances and a wall separating DS and Citroen models. DS’s # 1 objective in Europe is to develop the 2nd level, DS Salons, as Bonnefont believes they offer a good DS experience and can be rolled out relatively quickly. There are currently 12 DS Salons in Europe but there will be 40 by the end of 2014.
Interestingly, Bonnefont is not looking at the world by countries but by cities. He says: “We have found that a lot of the growth in the premium market is happening in a relatively limited number of cities around the world: there are about 500 cities in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States that will account for the vast majority of growth in the premium market. Our strategy is to develop a first wave of dedicated DS dealerships in 200 of those cities to drastically increase the visibility of DS.”
Which begs the question of launching the DS brand in the United States. Bonnefont declares: “We have no plans currently to go into the US, but it is difficult to be a premium brand without being present in that market. It would be crazy to say no forever to the US.”
In terms of world distribution of DS sales, the brand sold 120,000 units in 2013, more than 85% of it in Europe. DS’s target is to sell 50% outside of Europe by 2016. Another interesting piece of information is the fact that 62% of current DS sales are conquest sales (coming from outside Citroen) and about 85% of them choose between buying a DS or a model from another premium brand. These are previously mainstream car customers who want to buy a premium car. The main competitors are the top German brands and certain Italian premium brands like Alfa Romeo.
The Renault 4CV was #1 in France from 1949 to 1955
Best Selling Cars Blog now covers detailed Historical data for 72 markets. For the USA I can give you for now pre-war production figures, intermittent detailed models ranking throughout the seventies and eighties, and at least a Top 10 ranking for each year from 1992 onwards without interruption. However I have now access to much more detailed US data which I will upload shortly. Same goes for France with additional data throughout the 1930s.
Harsh landing for Lancia… (1985 Lancia Delta S4 pictured)
According to Automotive News, Lancia has seen its last days outside of Italy. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will reduce the brand to just the Ypsilon that will be sold only in Italy. “Marchionne is performing Lancia’s final requiem,” said Gianluca Spina, dean of Milan Polytechnic’s business school. “It’s a rational decision for a global carmaker. The brand has no appeal outside Italy.” To end losses in Europe and boost profit globally, Marchionne is expanding the range of upscale Alfa Romeo and Maserati models and rolling out Jeep vehicles worldwide. Even with 55 billion euros ($75 billion) budgeted for investments in the five-year plan, there wasn’t money available to overhaul Lancia, which lacks name recognition outside Europe.
1964 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport
Lancia was founded in 1906 by Fiat racecar driver Vincenzo Lancia and once produced curvy roadsters such as the Aurelia Spider that appeared with Bardot in the 1956 film “And God Created Woman.” In the fifties and sixties, its luxurious coupés such as the Flaminia (picture above) and Flavia went head-to-head with Jaguar and Maserati, no less! However, after being acquired by Fiat in 1969, Lancia models veered between sporty hatchbacks like the Delta and big-box sedans such as the Thema. An attempt to renew with its glamourous past by hiring actor Richard Gere and singer Carla Bruni to promote the brand in recent years has fallen on deaf ears.
1985 Autobianchi/Lancia Y10
From 1985 to 1995, Fiat sold the small Y10 under the Autobianchi brand in Italy, France and Japan but under the Lancia brand elsewhere, contributing to a increasingly diluted brand image. Autobianchi was killed in 1989 but survived until 1995 in Italy after a 40 year history, at which point the Y10 became the Lancia Ypsilon, arguably bringing the brand down market.
2012 Lancia Flavia. Rebadging Chryslers was a bad idea indeed.
The linkup with Chrysler provided Lancia with a (slim?) chance to widen its appeal. The merger of the two brands began in 2011, when Marchionne pulled the U.S. nameplate from continental Europe in favor of Lancia, which sold re-badged versions of the Chrysler 300 sedan, 200 convertible and Voyager minivan, respectively called Thema, Flavia and Voyager. Chrysler only survived in the UK where the Delta and Ypsilon were sold under that brand. Confusing? Indeed.
2011 Lancia Ypsilon in Ventimiglia, August 2013
All in all, Lancia’s decline is the result of an inconsistent strategy that hesitated between upscale and mass-market segments over the years. Lancia sales in Europe dropped 20% in 2013 to just 75,000 units, 76% of which in Italy alone, and sales outside Europe are non-existent. By 2016, Lancia will consist of just the 12,650 euro Ypsilon subcompact as sales of the Delta will end this year and all re-badges next year. The Italian carmaker intends to invest in restyling the Ypsilon next year as the model has been one of the top sellers in Italy over the past decade.
Si a Lancia No a Marchionne Facebook page
Lancia’s demise has angered fans. More than 3,000 of the so-called Lancisti signed an online petition to save the brand, a Facebook page titled “Yes to Lancia, No to Marchionne” received almost 9,000 likes, while on Twitter “Occupy Lancia” sends messages to Fiat such as “Lancia will end Delta production: shame on you.”
The 2008 Lancia Delta never convinced, even in Italy.
Reducing a carmaker to a single vehicle line in a single country is a veiled death sentence, as even ultra-luxury brands such as Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce have multiple models. But putting Lancia on life support rather than shutting it down outright helps Fiat keep its options open until other models hit the market to fill the gap, according to Ian Fletcher, an analyst with IHS in London. “It looks like a tactical short-term move, Marchionne may wait for Alfa Romeo’s strategy to yield its first results before killing the Lancia brand.”
The Q3 and GLA are lifting Audi and Mercedes worldwide…
Both Mercedes and Audi continue to post record sales in April and year-to-date, partly thanks to the strength of their compact range. On Tuesday, Mercedes announced its global sales were up 14% year-on-year in April to 133,077 vehicles, buoyed by the new C and E-Class and its entire compact lineup. It is the 10th consecutive month of double-digit percentage growth worldwide, adding up to a record 507,353 vehicles in 4 months so far in 2014, up a splendid 15% on 2013.
The arrival of the GLA compact crossover helped lift the brand’s compact sales by 20% in April. Mercedes rose 10% in the USA to 25,887 sales, 38% in China to 22,438 and 10% in Europe as a whole to 62,868 including 24,430 in Germany, up 3%.
Both manufacturers also benefit from very popular compact cars.
Today Audi share its global sales for April, up 12% to 149,050 vehicles. This result was boosted by strong demand for the A3 and Q3 models. Over 4 months, Audi is at a record 561,900 units, up 12% on 2013. The A3 is up an astounding 44% worldwide to 25,766 sales now that the sedan variant has kick started in the US. The Q3 for its part is up 29% to 15,542 units.
In China, Audi is up 17% to 45,216 sales, while in Europe it is up 9% to 71,150 including 25,503 in Germany (+9%) and 12,360 in the UK (+9%). Audi sales in the US are up 19% to 15,653 units. Audi is aiming to sell 2 million cars a year globally by 2020. Last year, the company sold 1.58 million, an 8% increase on 2012.
Only commercialised in a handful of countries, the Ford F-Series is #3 worldwide in 2013.
* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *
As an appetiser for the full Top 1000 models that will be published shortly, I now give you temporary figures for the Top 10 most popular models in the world over the Full Year 2013. The data will be refined over the next couple of weeks but it already gives you a good idea of which vehicles sold the best worldwide last year. As discussed last week, the Toyota Corolla finishes in the lead ahead of the Ford Focus but the surprise comes from the F-Series pick-up truck. Although only sold in North America, the Middle-East and a handful of other countries, it totals 897,445 units for the year, up a beautiful 14% on 2012 and earning it a spot on the worldwide podium!
The Honda CR-V is by far the best-selling SUV in the world.
The F-Series kicks the Hyundai Elantra down to 4th place at 861,417 sales while the VW Golf benefits from the worldwide launch of the 7th generation to gain 10% and 4 spots to #5 at 824,629 units. The Ford Fiesta is up 3 ranks to #7 in spite of sales down 1%, while the Honda CR-V breaks into the worldwide Top 10 for potentially the very first time at #9, by far the most popular SUV in the world, and the VW Polo reappears inside the Top 10 at #10.
Rolls-Royce presented the $1.6m Phantom Pinnacle Travel Collection in Beijing this week.
* Click on title to see the Global, China and US sales of 6 luxury manufacturers! *
Global, China and US sales of luxury manufacturers are a rare find so I trust you’ll enjoy this…
According to an April 22 China Daily article, China accounted for a staggering 39% of Rolls Royce global sales in 2013. The British manufacturer, who presented the Phantom Pinnacle Travel Collection at the Beijing Auto Show – rumoured to go for at least $1.6 million, delivered a 4th consecutive year of record Global sales at 3,630 units, up 1.5% on 2013. China sales however were up 11% over the period to reach an all-time high 1,400 units, or 1 in every 2.5 Rolls-Royce sold worldwide! Rolls-Royce added 7 new dealerships in China last year, extending its coverage to 20 cities across the country.
2013 Maserati sales were up a huge 334% in China to represent 25% of the brand’s Global sales.
Whereas the overall Chinese market grew 14% in 2013, paradoxically most luxury brands lost ground due to more restrictive government measures on luxury buying. Bentley dropped 2.8% to 2,191 sales (22% of Global sales), Ferrari was at -5.5% to 554 units and Lamborghini down a harsh 16.7% to 267 sales due to a delivery shortage of Gallardos, the most popular Lamborghini model in China. Only Porsche (+19.9%) and most spectacularly Maserati, up a whopping 334% year-on-year, saw their results improved last year in China.
Chinese Lamborghini sales were down 16.7% in 2013. Temporary set-back?
This doesn’t deter Andrea Baldi, Lamborghini China head: “Super sports cars currently only hold about 0.1% of the passenger car segment in China, whereas this figure is 1 to 2% in Western countries. So the potential is there.” As for Ferrari, the Chinese decline is in line with Global sales (-5.4%) and the manufacturer’s aim to reduce sales to maintain the brand’s luxury status and increase the cars’ value. Bentley’s Chinese decline can be attributed to the Flying Spur model change: zero delivers for the first 9 months but 927 during Q4, while the Continental GT improved by 46% year-on-year. China loves luxury, and is set to become the world’s largest market in this segment as well within the next 5 years. Source: China Daily
Full Year 2013 Global, China and US sales for 6 luxury manufacturers below.
Toyota Tundra. Global Toyota sales are up 6% year-on-year so far in 2014.
Toyota announced yesterday they sold 2.583 million vehicles worldwide over the First Quarter of 2014, enabling the Group to keep the world leadership for the third Quarter in a row. General Motors comes second with 2.42 million vehicles and Volkswagen is in third position at 2.4 million units. Year-on-year, Toyota is up 6% vs. just +2% for General Motors, #1 a year ago. At this rate, all 3 carmakers could pass the 10 million units by the end of the year at this rate! Source: ibtimes.com
The new sedan enabled the Toyota Corolla to keep its worldwide crown in 2013.
As it has been the case for almost two years now, Toyota and Ford are at odds when it comes to declaring which is the best-selling car in the world. Ford quotes Polk saying the Ford Focus is #1 (as it did in 2012) with 1,097,618 units sold last year including 317,110 in Europe and 403,219 in China. Toyota for its part says the Corolla leads the way with 1.2 million units, adding up to 40,820,000 sales since the nameplate originally launched in the sixties. Who is right?
BestSellingCarsBlog has spoken, and the Toyota Corolla wins the title of best-selling car in the world for 2013, roughly confirming both manufacturers’ figures. The Corolla leads with 1,245,404 sales vs. 1,107,253 for the Ford Focus. Keep in mind these remain temporary figures and will be slightly refined in the next couple of weeks.
As usual there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat especially on Toyota’s side, and the decisions to include or not certain versions have created a lot of debate over the years on BSCB. So today and for the first time I detail the exact splits for the different models and generations that make up these worldwide sales figures, with the only unknown being the split between the last two generations of Corolla (10 and 11) which were both on sale worldwide in 2013. This way you can play with the figures and decide which car in your view should earn the world best-seller title.
Caramba, missed again. The Ford Focus is #2 in the world in 2013. Unless…
The Corolla methodology is as follows: the sales figure includes the 9th generation still sold in China, as it is slightly facelifted now but still for the most part faithful to the original model, unlike for example the Chinese Jetta not into worldwide Jetta sales as the current model is not a facelifted 2nd gene anymore but an entirely new car. In the same vein, the Japanese Corolla was not included in the Corolla total as it has departed from the original model. Estimated US Matrix sales have been deduced from the Corolla total as well, and finally Auris sales were included as this very same model is called Corolla hatchback outside of Europe.
For the Focus it’s much simpler, as the total figure includes the IIf generation still on sale in China and the hatchback and station wagon versions which retain the Focus nameplate. Based on all these numbers, Ford is still not right to claim the title of best-selling nameplate in the world. If we count the cars that actually have the Corolla nameplate printed on them (no Auris but including the Japanese Corolla) we arrive at 1,201,238 sales vs. 1,107,253. Only when deducting both the Auris and the Japanese Corolla is the Ford Focus worldwide best-seller by the skin of its teeth at 1,107,253 units vs. 1,099,574.
The first 4 Parts in this series have shown Chinese manufacturers securing the less developed markets in each region as springboards to expand further. Less developed means smaller and less sophisticated but also less regulated as far as pollution and security are concerned. These last two aspects have been the main barrier to the Chinese carmakers’ entrance in mature markets to date, and specific strategies have had to be developed to address this. This is why I am grouping all ‘mature markets’ in one article, independent of their geographic location.
Brilliance BS6. This 2007 crash test put a dent into Chinese carmakers’ plans in Western Europe.
Chinese manufacturers have learnt this the hard way back in 2007 when disastrous crash tests for the Brilliance BS6 and Landwind SUV meant these two carmakers and all other Chinese manufacturers that were seriously thinking about setting shop in these regions had to postpone their plans. 7 years later, manufacturing quality has improved and there are a few mature markets where the Chinese have started to make their mark, among them Australia, Italy and the UK. The launch of the new Qoros brand by Chery at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show is another important milestone even though European sales of the brand will remain limited.
The Great Wall V-Series is the first Chinese model to break into the Australian Top 50
The main success story so far for a Chinese manufacturer in a mature market is Great Wall in Australia. You can see the full details in my article Australia: An interview with Daniel Cotterill from Great Wall and hear the experience of a very happy Great Wall customer met in Bourke last week here. Great Wall launched in Australia in 2009 and finished 2012 as #17 brand with sales up 27% to 11,006 units and 1% share, totaling over 30,000 to-date. Even though these figures seem small, they are based on only two models and as a result it is actually one of the most successful car brand launches in the country in the past decade, as the market is already completely saturated with over 50 brands present, way more than in the US which is 14 times bigger…
The Great Wall V-Series pick-up (aka Steed) is the first Chinese model to break into the Australian Top 50, finishing 2012 at #49 with 7,490 sales, up 35%, and the Great Wall Australian range has only one other model, the Hover SUV.
Even if 2013 and 2014 year-to-date figures have been disappointing, one of the key factors in Great Wall’s success in Australia has been to embrace the brand’s provenance rather than hide it. Both their slogan ‘The Great cars of China’ and strong positioning on price are unapologetic. The main element to remember here is that by focusing on a sturdy workhorse (the Steed pick-up truck), Great Wall is building itself a solid reputation of reliability under the harsh Australian climate which is at polar opposites with the likes of Hyundai when they first launched there, as evidenced by the healthy amount of repeat business the brand is already experiencing. Chery, Geely and Foton are also present in Australia but not successful at this stage.
The Riich M1 is assembled and sold in Italy as the DR1
Italy is the only mature market to assemble Chinese models. Chery cars are assembled by the DR Motor Company since 2007 in Macchia d’Isternia, North of Naples. The range is composed of the DR1 (Riich M1), DR2 (Chery Kimo) and DR5 (Chery Tiggo) however sales dropped from 2,938 in 2011 to just 710 in 2012 and 435 in 2013.
The Great Wall Hover ranked #32 in Italy in December 2011. More of a freak event though.
Great Wall also imports in Italy which became the first Western European country to welcome a Chinese model within its monthly Top 50 in December 2011 when the Great Wall Hover ranked #32. This was a freak event though as it seems Great Wall sold all their stock that month to dealerships but continued to sell to consumers all through 2012 even though official sales figures were down from 1,675 in 2011 to just 10 (!) in 2012, before going back up to a still extremely shy 235 in 2013.
The MG6 has disappointed in the UK so far.
The UK is the third mature market where the Chinese are gaining valuable experience. MG, now owned by SAIC, was reintroduced there in 2011 with the MG6 albeit with disappointing results: the model ranked only #203 with 772 sales for its first full year in 2012 and was down 82% over the first Quarter of 2013. Inspired by its Australian success, Great Wall soft-launched there in 2012 with the Steed pick-up and finished the year as #15 LCV brand with 476 sales and 0.2% share. Very small numbers still but the footprint is there.
The last element of the puzzle of Chinese carmakers in mature market is a rather puzzling one indeed. The new company Qoros is a joint-venture between Chery and Israel Corporation which was created in 2007 and has put together a European team of motoring executives and experts with extensive experience from mainstream brands to lead it. Gerd Volker Hildebrand, creator of the modern Mini design, came up with the first Qoros model, the Qoros 3, which was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show along with two concept cars announcing the future of the brand.
Qoros sales are only now starting in China – very slowly for now with just a few hundred units so far in 2014. However, far from announcing the long-dreaded large scale invasion of Europe by Chinese manufacturers, Qoros say their main target is… the Chinese market, where consumers like buying European products but don’t like diesel. As a result, no diesel motorisation is planned in any of the future models, which considerably reduces their appeal in Western Europe, and Qoros predicts that only 10% of its sales will actually be in Europe. Its price point between 16,000 and 20,000 euros place it well above the budget brands currently selling like hotcakes there, but could be an interesting test to see whether European consumers are ready to buy ‘expensive’ Chinese cars. More details on Qoros’ launch plans in Eastern and Western Europe here.
Last bit of information, all Qoros cars will be made in Changshu in China, in a new factory that will initially have a 150,000 cars/year capacity, with the possibility to extend to 450,000/year. Not a single Qoros will be made in Europe. So in other words, Qoros is a Chinese brand that wants to sell European-designed models made in China to Chinese consumers thinking they are buying a European car. Tricky.
This concludes our series about Chinese carmakers abroad. I hope you enjoyed it!