The VW T-Roc and Hyundai Kona have landed in the European sales charts.
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Final data for Europe is now available, with October deliveries up 5.7% to 1.199.602 and the year-to-date total up 3.5% to 13.134.177. The Top 13 brands are confirmed, with only two few changes happening below: Nissan (-5.2%) overtakes Kia (+11.7%) to rank #14, MG (-24.5%) passes Ferrari (-1.9%) to step up to #41. The rest of the European brands ranking is confirmed with final numbers. As far as the models ranking is concerned, final data getting very close to preliminary figures with the entire Top 50 confirmed except for one single change: the Hyundai Tucson (+2.8%) is now above the Ford Kuga (+52.7%) at #24, and the Toyota C-HR remaining the only recent launch inside the Top 50, now celebrating one year in market.
Further down, big gainers include the Mercedes GLA (+22.8%), Seat Ateca (+36.7%), Nissan Micra (+40.6%), Peugeot 5008 (+225.9%), Audi A5 (+65.6%), Suzuki Swift (+42.5%), Mini Countryman (+49.6%) and Dacia Dokker (+150.4%). Below the C-HR, the most popular new nameplates are the Opel Crossland X (#54), Skoda Kodiaq (#76), the Citroen C3 Aircross lodging its very first Top 100 finish at #95, the Opel Grandland X (#128), Kia Stonic up 71 ranks on September to #132 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio up 19 to #156. We welcome three new nameplates in the European sales charts this month: the Hyundai Kona at #155, Skoda Karoq at #192 and the VW T-Roc at #262.
Dacia is the most popular carmaker in Bulgaria in November.
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The Bulgarian new car market is up a whopping 32.8% year-on-year in November to 3.676 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 19.9% to 34.653 units, already above the 32.691 deliveries hit over the Full Year 2016. After Kia took the market by surprise and led in October, Dacia returns to the pole position it holds year-to-date thanks to sales more than doubling at +111% to 10.3% share. In fact, the entire podium posts three-digit sales improvement in November: Kia is up 140% to 9.2% and Nissan up 152% to 8.9%. Renault, leader a year ago, is down 13% to 8.9%. Notice also Mercedes up 163%, Volvo up 172% and Suzuki up 59%.
Two and a half years ago, I test drove the Tesla Model S and had one thing to say: believe the hype. This time around I want to take the Model X on a longer trip to also evaluate the burgeoning network of charging stations around Australia. Although Tesla won’t communicate sales figures for Australia, anecdotal spotting on the streets and a recall earlier this year indicate the American manufacturer has already sold north of 1.500 units in the country, a real success. Worldwide, the Tesla Model X is simply one of the top selling electric vehicles, up there with the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, BYD Qin and BAIC EC-Series. There is one Telsa store in Sydney, located in the northern suburb of St Leonards, “north of the bridge” as Sydneysiders would say.
Taking stock of the beastOur itinerary: Sydney to Byron Bay and back, covering 1.765km / 1.100miMikey posing next to the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour
The first shock comes before even taking the wheel of the car. According to the spec sheets sent by Tesla PR, this is a Model X P100D and it comes in at a demoralising AUD 278.025 (US$209.000, 177.400€), including AUD 43.612 worth of Luxury Car Tax, a local specialty. That’s double the price of the Model S I tested before and an awful lot of money indeed. The base price is AUD 203.600, to which metallic paint (AUD 1.400), 22″ Onyx Black Wheels (AUD 7.600) and Six Seat interior configuration (AUD 8.300) were added. For comparison, for this price in Australia you can get two top-spec Volvo XC90, two top-spec Toyota Land Cruiser 200, almost three base-spec Porsche Cayenne and three top-spec Jaguar F-Pace S. Ex-Luxury Tax, it costs roughly the same as a Mercedes GLS 563 AMG or a Range Rover Sport SVR and is significantly dearer than any BMW or Audi SUV, including the X6 M (AUD 197.900) and SQ7 (AUS 153.300). Which one would you choose?
Joey in his mum’s pocketMikey gets acquainted with the locals
Needless to say that for that price, I will expect top-notch quality and performance, but also some serious off-roading capabilities. Judging by the puzzled look and unmistakably paler face of the Tesla salesperson when I inquire about exactly how much off-road driving we can do with the Model X: not at all. Her response: “What do you mean by off-roading?” Hmm never mind. This is a performance car that happens to be shaped like an SUV. But first, a name for our expensive ride: after Ivanhoe the Haval H9, Joey the Toyota Hilux,Kaitlin the Peugeot 208 and Lars the Volvo V90 we need a somewhat Australian name starting in M, a male name as this is an SUV, therefore a truck which has a masculine gender in my native tongue, French. We will go with Mike, but Australianised as ‘Mikey’.
Tesla Supercharger in Heatherbrae near Newcastle
We start the trip with 3.503 km / 2.177 miles on the odo, and although the sticker on the windscreen says 542 km / 337 miles of range, we’ll never reach that figure and full charge allows us a maximum of 430 km / 286 miles. Organising a road trip with an electric car is, for now, a completely different experience than with a combustion car. The deep Australian outback and its iconic red earth is out of the equation as there aren’t enough charging stations out there. We have to stick to the coast and take the direction of Brisbane. Another option could have been joining Melbourne, but we judged that to be a lot less eventful. A rule of thumb is that you should never miss a supercharger when you reach one. With these, a full charge is achieved in 30 mins so it’s a little like a lunch stop. Except that the businesses that house the superchargers have not yet cottoned up to the opportunities and do not offer quick meal options tailored to Tesla users. Weird.
Mikey in Worimi National Park NSW
Our first stop is the Morisset Reserve, which has to be one of the only places in Australia where you can actually pet wild kangaroos (only if you have carrots to offer). Very shy in nature, the quintessential Australian animal is surprisingly tame here. A secret spot 1h30 north of Sydney I warmly recommend to all of you visiting the city, or the country for that matter. The Reserve, open to the public, is located on the grounds of one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in Australia and I came to imagine that living this heart-warming experience with the kangaroos could be therapeutic for the patients. After supercharging in Heatherbrae near Newcastle, we head towards Worimi National Park, home of the largest sand dunes in Australia. We dare not drive onto the sand so we have to do with some snaps with a sandy background (above).
Hotel charging in GraftonGrafton car landscape
The first night has to be spent at the Fitzroy Motel Inn in Grafton as this the only Destination charging station around. These are slower chargers (approx 5 hours to full charge) usually placed in the carpark of hotels, that you can only use if you are a patron of the hotel (in most cases, some are free for all). But you must call in advance to make sure the station is reserved for you as most only have one or two stations. These added elements can make or break a trip as arriving to a fully booked charging station can mean you have to delay your departure by half a day. By now the car landscape has well and truly tilted towards pickup trucks with the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger kings of the Australian countryside. Roo bars protecting against kangaroos are also common.
Mikey sitting on the easternmost point in continental Australia in Byron Bay. In Lennox Head
Eager to figure out whether the Model X can match the safety features of the Volvo XC90 and Volvo V90 CC I drove recently, I am bitterly disappointed. The press cars have the autopilot mode deactivated, which means no line assist, no emergency braking and, most irritatingly, no adaptive cruise control. Granted, it is an exceptionally smooth ride and the 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in less than 4 sec and 0 to 160 km/h (0 to 100 mph) in under 9 sec are experiences I was so eager to rekindle with and left me very satisfied indeed. Even though it doesn’t offer loads of storage options, the cockpit is a lot more practical than the Model S which was my main criticism then, with many cup holders for example. And the giant central touch screen console is so hypnotising, easy to use and stylish that it’s really hard to be mad at the Model X.
Ferry crossing in Lawrence NSWGreat Wall V-Series Pickup Ford Ranger
Also, the windscreen extends above your heads to end up atop the rear seats, creating a unique impression of space and awesome upward visibility. The Falcon Wing doors are mighty impressive but really just a gimmick in my eyes. However the negative surprises kept piling up throughout the trip. The cabin was surprisingly noisy especially on the passenger side with a constant wind noise sounding like the door was still open (when it’s well and truly closed). For large swaths of the trip – which was almost entirely done in heavily populated areas – the GPS does not recognise the Pacific Highway although new construction has been done with for almost two years. Surprising given Tesla’s “constant update” policy. And for half a day the GPS voice froze and was stuttering out of control, taking an overnight stop to rest it. I have yet to remember another car that did that to me. Also, automatic high beam needs fine tuning as it goes off abruptly and a lot of times unnecessarily, whereas the low beams are too weak, actually creating a dangerous situation when there was none.
Posing with a vintage lot near Grafton NSW
I was dumbfounded when it became apparent that windscreen wipers don’t trigger automatically with rain, a function that exists in 20 year-old entry level cars such as the Peugeot 206 for example. The user manual says this “will be available in a later software update”… This is so weird that a Tesla owner we met and chatted with at one of the supercharging stations (these locations do create a Tesla community) asked us about it. He also told us that his previous Model S did have the function. I console myself by indulging in yet another ludicrous acceleration: never, ever will I get tired of this.
Foton Tunland in Brooklyn NSWToyota Hilux in Ballina We soon reach Byron Bay and get Mikey to pose near the local lighthouse which is the easternmost point in the whole of continental Australia. Popular vehicles around here include the Nissan Navara, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Kluger, VW Amarok, Mitsubishi ASX and of course the Toyota Hilux, national best-seller in 2016 and headed towards a second consecutive year on top in 2017. But one nameplate that seemed to be everywhere during this trip is the Hyundai Tucson, up 20% to #7 in the country so far this year with its frequency on the streets fully reflecting its position in the sales charts. Finally, both the new generation Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are already well established here.
We then drive back to Sydney via a ferry crossing in Lawrence and a last night in Brooklyn NSW in the Hawkesbury River region. We return to St Leonards with 5.269 km / 3.274 miles on the odo after swallowing 1.766 km / 1.097 miles in four days. So. What is the Tesla Model X doing well, and not so well?
Ludicrous accelerations either from 0 or at any speed make overtaking a little too enjoyable. The force at which the car speeds up, flattening you against your seat, is an experience I cannot forget
Central giant touch screen console is brilliant and stylish yet does not divert your attention from driving too much as it is really easy to use
Interior sober sophistication invites luxury. More practical than the Model S
Giant windscreen gives impression of space above head
Falcon Wing doors are fun to watch but relatively impractical
Easter eggs such as the Holiday song and dance to the Wizards of Winter in the video above are unique to Tesla, entertaining a special link with its customers
Supercharging is fast (30 mins) and the 430 km range helps with range anxiety once you are accustomed to bending your trip to meet charging locations and destinations
Excellent sound system
Autopilot deactivation means we couldn’t test any safety features as it also cancels adaptive cruise control. These functions should be separated
Windscreen wipers don’t trigger with rain
GPS is lost and can’t find main arteries such as the Pacific Highway for a large part of the trip.
GPS voice froze and took an overnight stop to reset
Its extravagant price reserve the Model X to fanatics of the “concept” Tesla offers, not pragmatic buyers that will prefer it a truly luxury off-roader such as the Range Rover
Noisy cabin with wind noise on passenger side
No sunnies holder above your head
Indications on the touch screen such as the time, distance and time to destination (pretty essential) are too small and hard to find
Automatic high beam too sensitive and low beam too weak
Door opening system with a key in the shape of the car, is impractical
Range, although satisfying, is over 100 km less than announced by Tesla
Stay tuned for our next test drive: a Toyota C-HR in the Australian desert.
Nissan Motor sales are up 18.5% in November, helped by the Rogue (+35%).
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The US new light vehicle market scores only its second year-on-year gain of the year in November at +1.3% to 1.397.856 registrations, an all-time record for the month leading to a year-to-date tally down 1.5% to 15.627.307. US sales are headed towards a third consecutive year above 17 million annual units and a first year-on-year decline for the first time in eight years. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Selling Rate (SAAR) comes in at 17.55m, the third highest this year below September (18.58m) and October (18.11m). Average transaction prices also hit a new high at $35.870. Cars continue to freefall at -9.3% to 484.686 or 34.4% share, adding up to 5.814.600 (-10.3%) year-to-date while light trucks shoot up 7.9% to 916.170 or 65.6% share and up 4.6% so far this year to 9.812.707 units. Crossovers are up 11.8% to 461.027, pickup trucks up 3.6% to 230.153 and SUVs up 3.5% to 151.950. After eleven months, crossovers are up 8.7% to 4.813.659, pickups trucks up 4.7% to 2.537.435 and SUVs up 0.3% to 1.608.948.
Honda Motor gains 8.3% thanks partly to the CR-V (+25%).
General Motors is still the most successful group in the US but drops once again at -2.9% year-on-year to 245.387, with Chevrolet (-1.1%), Buick (-3%), GMC (-5.8%) and Cadillac (-12.8%) all down. In contrast, Ford Motor is up 7% to 210.205, helped by strong fleet and truck sales, with the Ford brand up 7.6% but Lincoln down 5.5%. Toyota Motor ends a five month streak of year-on-year gain with a 3% drop in November as the Toyota brand loses 2.3% and Lexus falls 6.7%. No end in sight for FCA’s negative streak: handicapped by lower fleet sales, the company posts a 15th consecutive year-on-year decline at -3.9% to 156.060. Gains at Alfa Romeo (+6161%) and Chrysler posting its first increase in 22 months at +13.7% failing to compensate falls at Jeep (-1.9%, 15th consecutive decline), Ram (-5%), Dodge (-15.3%) and Fiat (-28.2%).
Ford Motor is up 7% year-on-year this month with the Explorer up 23%.
Nissan Motor is the hero of the month with a 18.5% surge to 144.594 keeping the company in 5th place: Nissan is up 19.3% to #4 overall, Infiniti up 7.5% and Mitsubishi up 24.8%. Honda Motor also performs at +8.3% (Honda up 8.2%, Acura up 9.5%) while for Hyundai-Kia the nightmare continues at -11.7% (Hyundai -9.4% Kia -15.6% Genesis +36%). Subaru extends its streaks of year-on-year gains to 72 consecutive months or a full six years thanks to deliveries edging up 0.8% to 51.721. The Volkswagen Group is up 3% on the strength of Audi (+12.1%) just as VW drops 1.6% and Mercedes is headed towards a second consecutive year as the country’s favourite premium brand with sales up 3.6% this month above BMW (+7.1%). Among smaller brands, Land Rover (+20%), Tesla (+50%), Ferrari (+40.2%), Lamborghini (+82.9%) and Rolls Royce (+37%) impress but Mini (-10.4%), Maserati (-17.3%), Bentley (-36.2%) and Smart (-76.9%) struggle.
Subaru scores a 72nd consecutive year-on-year gain thanks to the Impreza (+96%).
Over in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series (+1%) is steady at the highest level, above 70.000 sales for the 8th time this year, followed as usual by the Chevrolet Silverado (+3%) and Ram Pickup (-0.5%). Only 600 sales below is the Nissan Rogue shooting up 35% to top all crossovers (including the new Rogue Sport). The Toyota Camry (+24%), now feeling the effects of the new generation, returns to #1 passenger car but still trails the Honda Civic year-to-date with only one month left in the year. The Honda CR-V (+25%) is back above the Toyota RAV4 (+2%) while the Ford Escape (+9%) and Explorer (+23%) also make their way into the Top 10 which only includes two passenger cars. The Honda Accord is in difficulty at -15% as is the Toyota Corolla (-28%).
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is up 51% on October. Picture caranddriver.com
Let’s also note the great performances of the Jeep Cherokee (+44%), Honda Pilot (+57%), Ford Focus (+45%), Chrysler Pacifica (+51%), Hyundai Tucson (+51%), Ford Transit (+47%), Chevrolet Impala (+54%), Subaru Impreza (+96%), Nissan Titan (+131%), VW Tiguan (+54%) and Buick Enclave (+88%). The VW Atlas (#83) leads recent launches (<12 months) with a record 5.154 sales, distancing the Toyota C-HR (#104), Chevrolet Bolt (#114) at a best-ever 2.987 deliveries, Kia Niro (#140), Range Rover Velar (#160) with a record 1.475 units, Hyundai Ioniq (#182), Alfa Romeo Giulia (#201), Tesla Model 3 (#205) and Alfa Romeo Stelvio (#207). The Kia Stinger makes its first appearance in the US sales charts at #274.
The VW Golf posts a second 20%+ year-on-year gain in a row at home.
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New car sales in Germany are up a very healthy 9.4% year-on-year in November to 302.636 registrations, lifting the year-to-date volume up 3% to 3.187.312 with only one month left in 2017. For once Volkswagen manages to almost match the market growth at +8% to 19.2% share, nearly one percentage point above its YTD level of 18.4%. Mercedes remains comfortably in 2nd place with an almost two percentage point-advantage over its followers but trail the market at +1% to 9.5% share. Audi follows in third place with a market-beating 12% gain to 7.6% ahead of Ford (+17%) remaining at #4 for the second month running. Ford is now only 109 units below Opel year-to-date. Skoda advances 12% at #7 and Seat leaps up 26% to #9. Peugeot delivers the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 30 at a magnificent +72%, due to an on-going fleet offer on the 208 (up 246% with only 6.4% private sales in Nov), with Dacia (+53%), Alfa Romeo (+43%), Mazda (+30%), Kia (+25%), Jeep (+22%), Citroen (+20%) and Smart (+20%) also impressive. Among smaller brands, Aston Martin (+122%), Tesla (+98%), Rolls Royce (+59%), Lada (+48%), Lexus (+47%) and Ssangyong (+39%) also perform extremely well.
Over in the models ranking, after 13 straight months of year-on-year declines, the VW Golf impressively posts a second consecutive month of 20%+ gains at +24% to 7.3% share, the nameplate’s largest improvement since March 2016. With the Passat up 6% and the Tiguan up 12%, Volkswagen now monopolises the YTD podium as it did in 2016. The Mercedes C-Class drops 7% but is back up three spots to #4, followed by the E-Class up 27% to #5. The Skoda Octavia is solid at #6, while the next seven best-sellers all beat the market with double-digit gains: the VW Touran (+34%_), Audi A4 (+21%), Ford Focus (+23%), Fiesta (+26%), Skoda Fabia (+14%), Seat Leon (+16%) and Mercedes GLC, scoring the largest improvement of all at +72% but out of the Top 10 for the first time since last July. The BMW 5 Series (+40%), Ford Kuga (+100%), Seat Ibiza (+46%), Opel Insignia (+86%) and Dacia Sandero (+39%) also lodge spectacular gains in November. The Opel Crossland X continues to lead recent launches, improving to #43 and followed by the Skoda Kodiaq (#45), VW T-Roc up 123 ranks to #81 and the Skoda Karoq up 48 to #86.
The Maruti Alto reclaims the Indian pole position off the DZire this month.
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After coming to a halt in October (-1%), the Indian new car market returns to double-digit year-on-year growth for the fourth time in the past five months with November sales up 13% to 274.271 units, leading to a year-to-date volume up 9% to a record 2.973.092. Maruti Suzuki is not done yet: thanks to factory sales up 14% it posts a new all-time record market share in India at a mammoth 52.6% (previous best 52.2% in November 2016). Before last July, the best Maruti Suzuki had ever done at home was to monopolise the Top 5. In November and for the third time in the past five months, the carmaker trusts the six best-selling spots… Hyundai trails the market at +10% but remains very solid at 16% share vs. 16.4% year-to-date. Tata is the performer of the month, leaping onto the brands podium thanks to sales up a stunning 35% to 6.3% share, its highest share since March 2015 and only the second time in the past five years it manages a #3 ranking along with November 2016. This is due to the success of the Tiago, up 23% to lodge its 2nd highest ever volume at 7.416 and the Nexon up 34% on October to a new record 4.163 units at #20 overall.
The Nexon helps Tata to its second podium ranking in five years.
Mahindra is knocked down to #4 despite a very satisfying 18% gain helped by the Scorpio, followed by Toyota up 13% thanks to the Innova Crysta (+35%) while Honda soars 47% thanks to the WR-V (#24) but drops two ranks on October to #6. The situation is starting to really be worrying for Renault, down another 19% as the Kwid continues to decelerate sharply (-27%) and the all-new Captur (#43) both disappoints and cannibalises the Duster (-33%)… Ford is up 13% thanks to the facelifted Ecosport (+34%), Jeep continues to progress with sales up 15% on October to a record 2.828 Compass, and Skoda shoots up 75% thanks to the Kodiaq and Octavia (+81%).
The Ford Ecosport is boosted up 34% by its facelift.
The Maruti Alto (+4%) reclaims the models pole position after three consecutive months of Maruti DZire reign, the latter up another 31% to remain above 20.000 monthly units. The Maruti Baleno advances 60% year-on-year to post its 2nd best-ever volume at 17.769 (pb 19.153 last July), snapping the third spot YTD off the Maruti Swift, while the Maruti Vitara Brezza is up a stunning 49% to also score its 2nd largest sales month at 14.458 (pb 15.243 last July). Both the Wagon R (-10%) and Swift (-9%) drop but contain the Hyundai Grand i10 (+20%), Elite i20 (+15%) and Creta (+25%) all beating the market. Notice also the Hyundai Verna up 303% thanks to a new model, the Maruti S-Cross up 70% and the Maruti Gypsy up another 447% year-on-year.
The Skoda Karoq is now the best-selling SUV at home.
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For the third time this year after April and August, the Czech new car market actually drops year-on-year albeit ever so slightly at -1% to 22.925 registrations. 2016 had only one month of decline, so it would appear new car sales in the Czech Republic a slowing down their all-guns blazing growth in 2017. A fourth consecutive annual record is however now certain, with year-to-date sales up 5.8% to 251.628 units after eleven months. Home hero Skoda beats the market with a 1% gain to 33% share vs. 31.2% year-to-date, distancing Volkswagen (-15%), Hyundai (+5%), Ford (+8%) and Renault (-5%) with the Top 5 unchanged on October. Dacia drops 1% but is up four spots on October to #6 while Kia (+16%), Peugeot (+20%) and Toyota (+41%) post the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 10. Further down, Lexus (+183%), Land Rover (+59%), Mini (+52%), Subaru (+32%), Mazda (+24%) and Honda (+21%) impress.
Over in the models ranking, the podium is consistent with October and YTD with the Skoda Octavia in the lead despite a 13% year-on-year drop, ahead of the Skoda Fabia (-5%) and Rapid (+46%). The Hyundai i30 (+6%) reclaims the title of best-selling foreigner off the VW Golf (-10%) with the Skoda Superb (-39%) stuck at #6. Below the Ford Focus shooting up 68% at #7, the all-new Skoda Karoq nudges up two spots on last month to become the country’s best-selling SUV above its big brother the Skoda Kodiaq (+122%) remaining 9th. The Hyundai Tucson soars 65% to break into the Top 10 at #10, while the Dacia Duster is up 7 ranks on October to #11. The Ford Kuga continues to gallop ahead: now up 8-fold on a year ago to #18 whereas it ranked #98 over the Full Year 2016. Notice also the Peugeot 2008 (+52%), Toyota Corolla (+83%) and Peugeot 3008 (+45%) posting solid gains. Below the Karoq, the Opel Crossland X (#39) leads recent launches (<12 months) ahead of the VW Arteon (#69), Kia Stonic (#70), Citroen C3 Aircross (#100) and Hyundai Kona (#114).
Argentina remains the Toyota Etios’ best-performig market.
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The Argentinean market continues to recover in spectacular fashion with sales up 19.9% year-on-year to 71.850, leading to a year-to-date volume up 27.3% to 852.126 registrations. Volkswagen holds onto the brands top spot, frankly beating the market at +47% to 16.1% share, distancing Chevrolet also over-performing at +23% to 14.7%. Renault on the other hand posts a 10% decline to 11.6% in this place, just above Ford (+17%) and Fiat (+37%). Mercedes (+23%), Toyota (+34%) and most strikingly Nissan (+110%) also improve their market share year-on-year. Further down the ranking, notice Jeep (+236%), Land Rover (+233%), Lifan (+149%), Subaru (+83%), Chery (+53%), Iveco (+41%), Volvo (+39%) and Alfa Romeo (+38%) among the largest gainers.
The VW Gol shoots up 144% to hold fort at 4.9% share, with the entire Top 6 best-selling nameplate gaining more ground than the market this month: the Toyota Etios is up 55% to #2, the Chevrolet Onix up 72% to #3, ahead of the Renault Sandero (+60%), Toyota Hilux (+21%) and Chevrolet Prisma (+88%). The Ford Ka (+60%) and VW Amarok (+65%) also shine inside the Top 10. Beyond, the Fiat Toro is up 71% to a best-ever #13, the Chevrolet Cruze up 139%, Fiat Mobi up 73%, Chevrolet S10 up 77% and Jeep Renegade up 209%. The Fiat Argo (#35) leads recent launches above the Nissan Kicks (#52) and Peugeot 301 (#53) while we welcome the Renault Kwid directly at #71.
The Mini Hatch is up 15% to a highest-ever third place in the UK in November.
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No sign of improvement for the UK market, plagued by uncertainties on both Brexit negotiations and diesel cars penalties. Sales register an 8th consecutive year-on-year drop in November and second consecutive double-digit decline at -11.2% to 163.541, the lowest score for the month since 2013. Year-to-date, UK registrations are now down 5% to 2.388.144, returning to the 2014 level (2.310.237). All channels decline but private sales resist better: down 5.1% to 74.065, improving their share to 45.3% vs. 42.4% a year ago whereas fleet sales are down 14.4% to 85.007 or 52% share vs. 53.9% in November 2016 and business sales implode 33.6% to 4.469. Year-to-date data shows a different picture: fleet sales beat the market at -3.9% to 1.228.967 units or 51.5% share vs. 50.8% over the same period in 2016, while private sales are down 6.3% to 1.066.951 or 44.7% share vs. 45.3% and business sales are down 5.4% to 92.226. Like it was the case for the previous few months, diesel sales single-handedly pull the market down with an abysmal 30.6% year-on-year drop in November to 61.730 units or 37.7% share vs. 48.3% in November 2016, while petrol sales are up 5% to 92.944 or 56.8% share vs. 48.1%. Alternatively fuelled vehicles continue to shoot up at +33.1% to 8.867 or 5.4% share vs. 3.6% a year ago. Year-to-date, diesel sales are down 16.1% to 1.008.267 or 42.2% share vs. 47.8%, petrol sales are up 3.1% to 1.268.641 or 53.1% share vs. 48.9% and AFV sales up 34.6% to 111.236 or 4.7% share vs. 3.3%.
Land Rover sales are up 18% at home in November.
Market leader Ford underperforms at -18% to 11.1% share, with Volkswagen resisting well at -3% to 8.6% ahead of BMW (-17%), Audi (-6%) and Mercedes once again going against the grain with a 6% year-on-year improvement to 7.4% share. Vauxhall (-35%) is stuck at a lowest-ever 6th place for the second month running – whereas it ranked on the podium every single month in 2015 and 2016 – but manages to remain #3 year-to-date. Below Nissan crumbling down 24%, Hyundai resists at -1%. Land Rover (+18%) and Mini (+20%) post brilliant scores, the only two mass market brands with double-digit year-on-year gains. The others are: MG (+79%), Maserati (+32%), Abarth (+26%), Bentley (+23%) and Alfa Romeo (+21%). At the other end of the scale, Lotus (-61%), Jeep (-53%), Fiat (-43%), Smart (-43%), DS (-39%), Renault (-38%) and Volvo (-25%) are struggling.
The BMW 1 Series is at its highest in the UK since September 2013.
In the models ranking, the Ford Fiesta manages two consecutive months in pole position for the first time since last May and despite a harsh 23% year-on-year drop whereas the VW Golf continues to deliver stellar performances with sales up 25% in 2nd place, the nameplate’s seventh consecutive month inside the UK Top 2 (a record). The Golf is comfortably headed towards becoming the first foreign nameplate since records began to rank on the UK annual podium. The performer of the month is the Mini up 15% to achieve its highest ever ranking for the new generation launched 18 years ago, also hit in December 2015. It is likely that the last time the Mini ranked higher than #3 in the UK was back in 1980, a year it ended at #4 before crumbling 53% to #10 in 1981, hit by cannibalisation from the Austin Metro. The last time a Mini was on the annual UK podium was in 1979 (#3). The Ford Focus (-2%) and Nissan Qashqai (-16%) are both knocked down one spot on October to #4 and #5 respectively. Replacing the BMW 4 Series which snapped its first ever Top 10 ranking last month, the BMW 1 Series soars to #6, its first UK Top 10 since last April and highest ranking since September 2013. It’s a good month for premium compact cars, with the Mercedes A-Class posting a third consecutive Top 10 finish at #7.
There are no Vauxhall nameplates in the UK Top 10 for the first time in at least 38 years.
Lastly on a more negative note, there are no Vauxhalls in the Top 10 models for the second month running with the Corsa (-44%) and Astra (-50%) both imploding. This occurrence, unthinkable just a few months ago, may have to do with the buyout of the brand by PSA Peugeot-Citroen. At least one Vauxhall has featured in the annual UK Top 10 without interruption since records began in 1965. It will happen again in 2017, with the Corsa at #5 YTD and the Astra at #6, paradoxically up one spot this month due to the VW Polo’s generation transition. But the lowest the best-selling Vauxhall ranked annually was #9 in 1979 (Vauxhall Cavalier – pictured above), so it’s possible (but not certain) that that year no Vauxhall managed to rank inside the Top 10 for at least one month. It’s also very possible that Vauxhall’s absence from the Top 10 in both October and November 2017 are the first time this ever happens. Only seven years ago in February 2011, Vauxhall placed no less than five nameplates in the monthly UK Top 10: Corsa #2, Astra #5, Insignia #6, Zafira #7 and Meriva #10…
Kia is the best-selling carmaker in Bulgaria in October.
* See the Top 50 All-brands ranking by clicking on the title *
Bulgaria is back on BSCB for the first time in 2017 with October sales amounting to 3.706 units and leading to a year-to-date tally up a very robust 18.6% to 30.977 registrations. We have a surprise leader in the brands ranking: Kia, who only ranked #10 over the Full Year 2016 but dominates the October charts with a whopping 11.2% share. It ranks third year-to-date with 8% of the market (+132%) beyond Dacia (11.4%) and Renault (9.4%). If this month Renault remains in second place, Skoda is up to #3 and Dacia down to #4. Toyota is up 13% year-to-date, Peugeot up 40%, Ford up 12% and Citroen up 16% but Volkswagen is down 3%. Outside the Top 10, BMW (+37%), Audi (+41%), Mercedes (+45%), Suzuki (+65%), Honda (+71%) and Volvo (+212%) make themselves noticed. Lifan (#24) becomes the most popular Chinese manufacturer in the country above local producer Great Wall (#26), but both carmakers struggle in October.
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