Archive for the ‘World’ Category

World: BMW’s global premium crown now threatened

August 19th, 2014 7 comments

Mercedes BMW Audi picture courtesy of is under attack from Audi and Mercedes, with all 3 manufacturers breaking records.

Worldwide results are in for the first 7 months of the year for German premium brands and according to Automotive News it looks like BMW’s crown is starting to be in danger from Audi and Mercedes. But let’s get one thing cleared up first. All 3 manufacturers are hitting all-time volume highs so far in 2014! An incredible group performance indeed. BMW has been the global premium car sales leader since overtaking Mercedes in 2005. Audi has ranked second since 2011. Both Audi and Mercedes have said they want to take the top spot by the end of the decade… A fascinating battle indeed.

Over the period BMW brand sales gained 10% year-on-year to 1.03 million units, the first time BMW has passed the million mark this early in the year and a pretty impressive performance if you ask me, helped by the launch of the 2 Series, 4 Series, i3 and X4. But the issue is: both Audi and Mercedes are doing even better. At #2 Audi grew by 11% to 1.01 million units, (also the very first time the brand sells over 1 million units globally in just 7 months) helped by a 52% yoy increase for the A3 last month to 22,450 units due to the arrival of the sedan variant. At the same time Mercedes rose 13% to 920,000 units, thanks mainly to the success of the new C-Class and its new compact range: the  A-Class, CLA and GLA.

Mercedes Benz; C-Klasse T-Modell Fahrvorstellung, Frankfurt/Deidesheim, C-250 Brillintblau met. AvantgardeGlobal Mercedes brand sales are up a splendid 13% so far in 2014.

Because the three competitors are now so close to each other in overall sales, the growth percentage differences were reflected in actual volumes too: BMW sold about 77,000 more units in the seven months this year than last year, but Audi sold about 101,000 more and Mercedes about 104,000 more. Of course, the overall picture is more complex and the 3 premium Germans experience very diverse fortunes in key global markets. Audi is the market leader in both Europe and China, while BMW is the best-seller in the United States.

Audi A3 World July 2014. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frAudi A3 Sedan


China has been the big growth market for all three premium German manufacturers in recent years. Here Audi remains the clear leader, with 316,945 units sold in the first seven months — an increase of about 46,000 units equal to 17% growth. Second place BMW grew in volume terms by a similar amount, about 45,000 units, representing a 22% rise, lifting its seven-month sales there to 245,558. Mercedes showed the most dramatic growth in China over the period with a 34% gain, but it is coming from well behind and that increase equated to about 40,000 additional units, bring its 7 months total to 156,843. However this explosive growth may slow since the manufacturer was found guilty of price fixing for after-sales services.


In Europe, Audi sold 474,000 units in the first 7 months this year, up 7% on last year. Mercedes ranks 2nd with a 30,000 increase in units sold to 411,178, but up 8% because it is working off a lower initial base. Against these two, however, BMW lost ground. It sold a total of 396,066 units in Europe, an increase of 6%, or of about 22,000 units, over the same period last year.

BMW 3 Series World 2014BMW 3 Series (US model shown)

United States

In the United States, BMW has the top spot. In the first 7 months it sold 183,791 vehicles, up about 19,300 units or 12% on the same period last year. Mercedes was the country’s No. 2-ranked premium brand with a volume of 178,816, up about 13,200 units or 8% on the same period last year. From a much lower base, Audi’s U.S. sales of 98,965 units represented growth of 13%, but the increase in actual units sold was about 11,000. Audi ranks 4th among premium brands in the U.S. market behind No. 3 Lexus.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer World 2014Will the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer decide the global premium crown for 2014?

Who will win in 2014?

If Mercedes still seems one notch below its two competitors even though it is gaining more ground so far this year, the battle is totally open between BMW and Audi for the year-end global premium crown. Only 20,000 sales separate the two brands after 7 months vs. 26,500 one year ago, however this difference grew to 80,000 at the advantage of BMW at the end of 2013. The A3 sedan is only starting to climb up the sales charts both in the United States and China so I predict Audi to remain extremely close to BMW all through 2014. The arrival of the 2 Series Active Tourer towards the end of the year in Europe could be the decider.

My prediction for the Full Year 2014 is: 1. BMW (1.83 million units, +10%), 2. Audi (1.79 million, +13%), 3. Mercedes (1.65 million, +13%)

Categories: World

World 6 months 2014: Volkswagen catches up on Toyota

August 3rd, 2014 2 comments

VW Jetta Toyota Prius World 2014. Picture courtesy of autoguide.comCan Volkswagen overtake Toyota to become the world’s biggest manufacturer in 2014?

* See the Full article by clicking on the title! *

Volkswagen Group is closing in on Toyota as the global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China  while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality, Automotive News said this week. Toyota, worldwide leader both in 2012 and 2013, gains 4% over the first half of 2014 to reach a record 5.097 million vehicle sales, however Volkswagen is closing the gap with the Japanese manufacturer: the German automaker is up 6% to 5.066 million units. As a reminder, Toyota includes the Toyota brand, Lexus, Scion, Daihatsu and Hino while the Volkswagen group’s brands include Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Scania, Seat and Skoda. In third position, General Motors, which Toyota overtook two years ago, said it sold 4.92 million vehicles in January-June.

Chevrolet Malibu World 2014. Picture courtesy of motor trend.comGeneral Motors ranks third overall so far in 2014.

According to Automotive News, even if Toyota manages to retain its crown for the first half, its position looks less secure for the full year. And this even though Toyota has shown impressive growth in the US whereas Volkswagen kept skidding. However the US is not the focal point of worldwide automotive sales, China and South-East Asia are. And at this game Volkswagen is doing much better than Toyota. In China, Volkswagen and GM’s largest market, Volkswagen is up 18% to more than 1.8 million sales, topping both GM’s 11% increase to 1.73 million and Toyota’s 12% gain to 0.466 million units. Volkswagen, which sold 3.27 million vehicles in China in 2013, is planning to invest $24.4 billion from now until 2018 in new plants and products there, while Toyota has put a freeze on the building of new plants until about 2016 as the company focuses on building better cars rather than chasing sales volume.

VW Passat Toyota Camry Hyundai Sonata World 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comHyundai is ahead of both Toyota and Volkswagen when it comes to profit margin.

Toyota and Volkswagen both have forecast more than 10 million deliveries for 2014 (whereas Volkswagen had originally anticipated to reach that milestone in 2018). Toyota sold 9.98 million vehicles last year to lead the industry for the second consecutive year, followed by Volkswagen’s 9.73 million and GM’s 9.71 million. Introductions of crucial revamped models by Toyota and Volkswagen will help determine which automaker finishes the year on top. But if Volkswagen could overtake Toyota to become the #1 manufacturer in the world for the first time in 2014, the Japanese carmaker is still the king of profits.


Peugeot 301 Citroen-C-Elysee World 2014First auto-division profit in 3 years for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen

The article continues below.

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Categories: World

World H1 2014: Jaguar Land Rover delivers all-time record sales

July 17th, 2014 No comments

Range-Rover-Evoque- World June 2014Range Rover Evoque

Global sales for Jaguar Land Rover are up a very robust 14% year-on-year over the First Half of 2014 to reach 240,372 vehicles, mainly due to an outstanding performance in China. Land Rover is up 14% to 196,785 units while Jaguar is up 16% to 43,587. China accounts for over 1 in 4 vehicles sold by the company globally over the period, up a whopping 48% to 62,469 over 6 months and boosted by a month of June up 60% to 11,554 units. This is all the more impressive that JLR does not manufacture cars locally in China yet (the first factory will open in the east China city of Changshu in the fourth quarter of this year) and therefore has to deal with significant import tax that make a premium product even more out of reach in this market.

Categories: World

World Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 1000 best-selling models!

July 1st, 2014 10 comments

VW XL1 World 2013. Picture courtesy of treehugger.comOne VW XL1 sold worldwide in 2013.

* 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.

Previous 2013 World updates:

World Full Year 2013: Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus #1? BestSellingCarsBlog has spoken

World Full Year 2013: Discover the #1 models in 160 countries

World Full Year 2013: Now with Top 25 best-selling brands

World Full Year 2013: Now with Top 20 biggest manufacturers

World Full Year 2013: Total sales now available for 143 countries

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

Full Year 2013 Top 1102 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: World

Strategy: Citroen’s DS premium brand targets cities, not countries

June 20th, 2014 1 comment

DS 5LS China 2014DS 5LS

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.

DS Logo

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.

Categories: STRATEGY, World

Lancia reduced to one model and banished to Italy!

May 27th, 2014 18 comments

1985 Lancia Delta S4Harsh 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 Sport1964 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 Y101985 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 Flavia2012 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.

Lancia Ypsilon Italy August 20132011 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 pageSi 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.”

Lancia Delta Italy June 2012The 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.”

Categories: Italy, World

World: Mercedes, Audi post strong gains on compact demand

May 8th, 2014 No comments

Audi Q3 Mercedes GLA World April 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe 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%. 

Mercedes A Class World April 2014Both 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.

See the Full source articles below.

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Categories: World

World Full Year 2013: Discover the Top 10 best-selling models!

April 29th, 2014 9 comments

2015 Ford F-Series World 2013Only 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!

Honda CR-V World 2013The 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.

Previous World Full Year 2013 updates:

Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus #1? BestSellingCarsBlog has spoken

Discover the #1 models in 160 countries

World Full Year 2013: Now with Top 25 best-selling brands

World Full Year 2013: Now with Top 20 biggest manufacturers

World Full Year 2013: Total sales now available for 143 countries

The 20 biggest cars markets in the world: China, Indonesia, Australia and Argentina beat records

Full Year 2013 Top 10 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: World

World 2013: One in every 2.5 Rolls Royce sold in China

April 24th, 2014 2 comments

Rolls Royce Phantom Pinnacle Travel Collection Beijing 2014. Picture courtesy of driving.caRolls-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.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte2013 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.

Lamborghini Aventador China 2013. Picture courtesy of 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.

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Categories: World

World Q1 2014: Toyota ahead of VW and GM again

April 24th, 2014 3 comments

Toyota Tundra. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comToyota 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:

Categories: World