Beijing Auto Show 2016: BSCB interviewed by Le Parisien / Aujourd’hui-en-France

Le Parisien Beijing Auto Show 2016My interview in French newspaper Le Parisien / Aujourd’hui-en-France

This week I am in Beijing for the much anticipated Beijing Auto Show 2016. As it was the case for Shanghai last year and Beijing two years ago, I will publish a complete coverage of the Show including BSCB’s now traditional ranking of the most impressive Chinese carmakers. I will also pop in an exclusive interview with Renault’s Head of Design Laurens Van den Acker.  But first things first: thanks to Alexandra Legendre from L’Automobile Magazine who kindly recommended me, on the first media day I was interviewed by French newspaper Le Parisien / Aujourd’hui-en-France on the perspectives in China of Renault in particular and French carmakers in general. Three questions taken from this interview – in French – are above.

Unfortunately a few mistakes were made in transcribing my views – the joys of being mis-quoted! So for you French-speaking readers: foreign manufacturers must engage in a joint-venture with Chinese carmakers to produce locally or realistically hope at selling large volumes in China, it’s not a pre-requisite to point-blank sell in China as the article seems to indicate. Secondly, the all-new Koleos isn’t the only new model Renault is launching, there is also the Kadjar, covered in our latest “Focus on the All-new models” section. Finally, the Chinese government does not have a strategy of waiting for their local carmakers to reach 60% of the Chinese market to launch in Europe – this is a mixup with me mentioning Chinese brands have reached 60% of the local SUV market.

Stay tuned for the full Beijing Auto Show 2016 coverage!

Czech Republic March 2016: Skoda monopolises Top Five

Skoda Octavia Czech Republic March 2016Local carmaker Skoda is up 21% at home so far in 2016.

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and Top 245 All-models by clicking on the title *

Third monthly record in a row for the Czech new car market: March volumes are up a further 8% year-on-year to 22.799 units, an all-time high for the month. Year-to-date, Czech sales are up 12% to a record 59.598 units over Q1. Local carmaker Skoda does the heavy lifting in its home market, improving by 15% in March to 7.637 sales and 33.5% share and by a very impressive 21% year-to-date to 20.446 and 34.3%. Volkswagen holds onto its 2nd place despite sales worryingly down 20% in March and 15% YTD. Hyundai (-6%), Ford (-3%) and Dacia (+5%) follow with Kia (+23%) catching up. However when only taking into account “real” registrations (i.e. removing re-exports), Hyundai ranks 2nd, Dacia 4th and Seat steps out of the Top 10.

Model-wise, the Skoda Octavia (11% share) and Fabia (9.5%) remain at insurmountable levels, and this moth the entire Top 5 is 100% Skoda with the Rapid (4.5%), Superb (4.4%) and Yeti (2.8%) in tow. The VW Golf is the best-selling foreigner above the Hyundai i30 and ix20. The Nissan Qashqai jumps 21 spots on February to #10, the Kia Sportage holds onto a solid #15 and the Hyundai Tucson stays inside the Top 20 at #19.

Previous post: Czech Republic January-February 2016: Top 4 best-sellers 100% Skoda

One year ago: Czech Republic March 2015: Skoda Fabia up again in all-time record month

Full March 2016 Top 10 brands and Top 245 All-models below.


Israel March 2016: Hyundai Tucson leaps to 2nd place overall

The Hyundai Tucson sells 4.105 units in 3 months in Israel

* See the Top 43 All-brands and Top 265 All-models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to a partnership with we can update you today on models data for the Israeli new car market, now a quarterly occurrence. But first to the brands ranking: in a market up 16% year-on-year in March (28.537) and up 13% year-to-date (90.607), Hyundai cements its newfound leadership thanks to sales up a whopping 42% this month to 4.423 units. Sister brand Kia (+1%) follows at 3.306 with Toyota (+10%) rounding up the podium at 3.153. Outstanding performance of Skoda in 4th place (+61%), with Mazda (+24%), Peugeot (+214%), Volkswagen (+93%), Ford (+273%), Mercedes (+58%), Audi (+50%) and Dacia (+61%) also performing very strongly.

Looking into the models ranking, we discover the main reason behind Hyundai’s access to the brands pole position: the all-new Tucson is an instant blockbuster here, as it has been the case in a growing number of markets. At 4.105 units in just three months, it outsells all nameplates in the country bar one: the Kia Picanto (4.693), and manages to overtake a perennial best-seller, the Toyota Corolla (3.697). The Kia Sportage, also boosted by a new generation, is up 55% to 4th place. Notice also the Mitsubishi Outlander (+48%), Skoda Rapid (+54%), Suzuki SX4 (+73%) and Skoda Fabia (+391%) delivering spectacular gains.

Previous month: Israel February 2016: Hyundai leads again but Kia catches up

One year ago: Israel March 2015: Kia #1, places Picanto two units below Corolla

Full March 2016 Top 43 All-brands and Top 265 All-models below.


Taiwan March 2016: Toyota Corolla leads, CMC Veryca on podium

CMC Veryca Taiwan October 2015. Picture courtesy Veryca

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and Top 65 models by clicking on the title *

Taiwan is back on BSCB after a two-month hiatus. March volumes are up 11% year-on-year to 37.589 units, however the year-to-date total is down 0.2% to 106.627 registrations. Toyota remains master in command with 26.6% share in March (+13%) and 28.2% year-to-date (+2%), followed by Mitsubishi/CMC (+25%) and Nissan/Infiniti (+6%). Honda (+17%) and Mercedes (+13%) shine while Mazda (-12%) and Ford (-23%) struggle. Model-wise, the Toyota Corolla is out of reach as usual with 10.4% share so far this year, distancing the Toyota Yaris (+3%), Wish (+10%) and RAV4 (-13%). The local mini truck, the CMC Veryca, shoots up to third place overall in March with 1.396 units and gains 32% year-to-date at 3.527 in 5th position overall. Notice also the Nissan X-Trail at #8, the Lexus RX at #20 and Mercedes GLC at #35.

Previous post: Taiwan Full Year 2015: Toyota monopolises Top 4, Mazda3 shoots up

One year ago (Jan): Taiwan January 2015: Luxgen U6 Turbo and Mazda3 shine

One year ago (Feb): Taiwan February 2015: Lexus NX breaks into Top 10

One year ago (Mar): Taiwan March 2015: CMC Veryca and Delica push up

Full January, February & March 2016 Top 10 brands and Top 65 models below.


Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) First Quarter 2016: Hilux #1, Peugeot 301 up

Peugeot 301 Ivory Coast March 2016. Picture courtesy autoevolution.comThe Peugeot 301 is the best-selling passenger car in Côte d’Ivoire so far in 2016.

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to a partnership with CE Auto newsletter, it is now the turn of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to be covered on BSCB with Q1 2016 data. Over the period, 2.357 new vehicles found a new home and Toyota is still master in command with close to 20% market share above Hyundai (13.2%) while Renault overtakes Mitsubishi to land on the podium at 11.3% and Peugeot is up 3 spots on its FY2015 ranking at #7. In the models ranking, the Toyota Hilux reigns supreme like in 2015 with over 10% share, but the rest of the Top Ten is completely reshuffled: the Renault Duster climbs two spots to 2nd place overall with 5.6% share above the Mazda BT-50 while the Mitsubishi L200 does two ranks to #4 and the Toyota RAV4 gains two to #5. There are no less than four new entries in the Q1 2016 Top 10: the Peugeot 301 delivers the most spectacular leap to #6, ahead of the Great Wall Wingle at #7, the Hyundai Tucson landing directly at #8 and the Peugeot 4008 at #9.

Previous post: Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Full Year 2015: Podium 100% pickup

Full Q1 2016 Top 10 brands and models below.


Kenya First Quarter 2016: Eight pickups in Top 10

Mahindra Bolero Pickup Kenya March 2016The Mahindra Bolero breaks into the Kenyan Light Vehicle Top 10. 

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to a partnership with CE Auto newsletter, we can share with you today exclusive Q1 data for Kenya. A total of 3.671 new vehicles found a buyer in Kenya over the First Quarter of 2016 – note this figure includes medium and heavy trucks which are the main reason why Isuzu continues to dominate the local market with over 30% share so far in 2016. Mitsubishi (19%) overtakes Toyota (17.3%) for 2nd place, with Tata (4.4%) and Nissan (4.1%) rounding up the Top 5 far below. Removing medium and heavy trucks from the models ranking, the Toyota Hilux reigns supreme with 9% share ahead of the Isuzu KB and Toyota Land Cruiser 70, replicating the FY2015 podium. In fact, with the Nissan NP300, Ford Ranger, Mahindra Bolero, Mitsubishi L200 and Mazda BT-50 we have eight pickups inside the Top 10. The best-selling passenger car is the Mitsubishi Lancer.

Previous post: Kenya Full Year 2015: Toyota Hilux edges past Land Cruiser 70

Full Q1 2016 Top 10 brands and Light vehicle models Ranking Tables below.


Greece March 2016: Nissan triumphs with the Micra

Nissan Micra Greece March 2016. Picture courtesy of largus.frNissan Micra

* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 160 All-models by clicking on the title *

The first quarter of 2016 isn’t one to remember for Greek new car sales: March volumes down 3% to 6.316 units pull the 2016 total sales down 11% so far at 15.326 registrations. Nissan becomes the most popular carmaker in the country year-to-date thanks to an exceptionally strong March score at 1.245 sales and 19.7% share, up 74% on March 2015 partly due to the Micra shooting up to pole position with sales more than doubling year-on-year at 737 and 11.7% share. The Micra now ranks #2 year-to-date with 887 units (+41%) vs. 964 (-22%) for the perennial leader, the Toyota Yaris. Volkswagen (-11%), Toyota (-15%), Opel (+7%) and Peugeot (+3%) follow in the brands ranking while Fiat (+60%), BMW (+43%) and Mercedes (+37%) shine. Model-wise, other great performers include the Nissan Qashqai up 39% to #4, the Suzuki Celerio up 252% to #7, the Fiat 500 up 132% to #9 and the BMW X1 up 198% to #13.

Previous post: Greece January-February 2016: BMW X1 in Top 10, market down 16%

One year ago: Greece March 2015: Nissan Micra threatens Toyota Yaris for #1

Full March 2016 Top 35 All-brands and Top 160 All-models below.


Bulgaria March 2016: Nissan Qashqai leads market up 7%

Nissan Qashqai Bulgaria March 2016. Nissan Qashqai is #1 in Bulgaria in March.

* See the Top 30 All-brands and Top 165 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Bulgarian new car market is up 7% year-on-year both in March to an estimated 2.871 registrations and year-to-date at 6.944 units. This month French carmaker Renault (+30%) overtakes its low-cost branch Dacia (-18%) but the latter stays well in control of Bulgarian year-to-date sales at 890 units and 12.8% (+16%) vs. 788 and 11.3% (+5%) for Renault. Nissan performs exceptionally well so far this year with sales up 61% in March and 52% year-to-date, placing the Qashqai atop the models charts above the Dacia Dokker – still by far the YTD leader though with 6.3% share. Audi (+39%), Volvo (+43%), Seat (+58%), Suzuki (+173%) and Fiat (+240%) also shine while in the models ranking the Ford Fiesta (#5), Renault Master (#8), Kangoo (#9) and Peugeot Partner (#10) perform particularly well in March.

Previous month: Bulgaria February 2016: Dacia Dokker sovereign, Toyota Hilux #5

One year ago: Bulgaria March 2015: Dacia Dokker leads, Lada Niva in Top 10

Full March 2016 Top 30 All-brands and Top 165 All-models below.


Portugal March 2016: Renault Clio and Mégane on top

Renault Megane IV Portugal March 2016. Picture courtesy largus.frThe Renault Mégane ranks 2nd overall in Portugal in March.

* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 225 All-models by clicking on the title *

The recovery is getting clearer and clearer with each month in Portugal: new car sales are up 32% year-on-year in March to 26.459 and 26% year-to-date at 58.428. In the lead, Renault (+45%) and Peugeot (+49%) grow even faster than the market, outpacing Volkswagen (+14%), Mercedes (+34%) and BMW (+30%). Fiat (+50%), Kia (+90%), Volvo (+51%), Skoda (+70%), Mazda (+197%), Land Rover (+162%) and Jaguar (+610%) also shine. In the models ranking, the Renault Clio follows the market to cement a clear leadership at 4.9% share so far this year. It is followed in March by the Renault Mégane (+61%), Peugeot 308 (+105%) and Renault Captur (+54%), making the Top 4 100% French. The Mercedes A-Class (+53%) is brilliantly back inside the Top 10 at #9, the Peugeot 2008 is up 96% to #12, the BMW 2 Series up 112% to #16, Nissan Juke up 99% to #19 and the Kia Rio up 110% to #31.

Previous post: Portugal January-February 2016: Renault Captur shines, market up 22%

One year ago: Portugal March 2015: Nissan Qashqai and Opel Corsa push up

Full March 2016 Top 35 All-brands and Top 225 All-models below.


Hong Kong (China) March 2016: Porsche resists in down market

Porsche Macan Hong Kong March 2016. Picture courtesy xinhuanet.comPorsche Macan

* See the Top 30 All-brands and Top 45 models by clicking on the title *

Hong Kong sales data has been a little disrupted this year with just 2.518 registrations in March (-54%) and 6.671 year-to-date (-55%) with manufacturers such as Audi and Volkswagen not reporting sales over the period. Toyota holds the fort both in March (40.2% share) and year-to-date (33.8%) with Mercedes (14.3%), BMW (11.7%), Porsche (6.2%) and Lexus (3.9%) in tow. The Porsche Macan holds 4.6% of the market so far this year but the lead more than ever belongs to the Toyota Hiace with 13.8% share including 20.7% in March. A dozen manufacturers have only reported overall sales and not model detail so far in 2016, but the situation should return to normal over the next few days.

Previous post: Hong Kong (China) Full Year 2015: Hiace #1, Crown and Alphard shoot up

One year ago: Hong Kong (China) March 2015: Toyota Noah and Audi A3 threaten Toyota Hiace for #1

Full March 2016 Top 30 All-brands and Top XX models below.