USA December 2014: BMW 3 breaks record again, market up 11%

Chevrolet Colorado USA December 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comChevrolet sales are up 20% in December, with the Colorado back inside the Top 100.

* See the Top 275 All-models, Top 40 brands & 15 groups by clicking on the title *

An improving economy, fuel prices at 6 year-lows and very advantageous year-end deals: all conditions were reunited for US car buyers to flock to dealerships in December. And they did, propelling new light vehicle December sales up 11% year-on-year to 1.507.928 and lifting the 2014 figure up 6% to 16.5 million deliveries. Looking at automotive groups, General Motors (+19%), Toyota (+13%), FCA (+20%) and Hyundai-Kia (+14%) all lodge double-digit year-on-year growth while Ford (+1%) Honda (+1%) and Nissan (+7%) lose market share.

BMW M3 USA December 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comBMW M3: the 3/4 Series smashes its monthly US volume record in December.

Brand-wise, Chevrolet is up a stellar 20% to take a definitive advantage over Toyota (+13%) in the final 2014 ranking, Jeep is faithful to month after month of explosive growth at +19%, GMC is up 23%, Subaru up 24% and Ram up 35%. And that’s just the Top 10… Further down, notice Kia up 36%, Lexus up 15%, Chrysler up 53%, Buick up 32% and Alfa Romeo already climbing one spot up the ladder, overtaking Rolls-Royce to rank #38 with 67 units sold.

1. Ram 2500 Long Horn Fort WorthThe Ram Pickup is at its best since July 2005, with the 1500 variant up 44%.

While the Ford F-Series is waiting out its transition period to the new aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 (-0.3% on December 2013), the Chevrolet Silverado (up 36% to 57,837 sales) and the GMC Sierra (up 31% to 23,436 both deliver their best monthly results since August 2007, meaning GM’s full-size pickup line outsells the Ford F-Series for the 5th month running at 81,273 sales vs. 74,355. In other great pickup news, the Ram Pickup hits its best monthly score since July 2005 at 44,222 sales, up 32%, thus securing the #3 spot overall in 2014. The Honda CR-V is virtually immobile vs. last month, tying its best-ever monthly ranking at #4 overall, outselling all passenger cars in the market for the second month running (and ever) and lodging the nameplate’s 5th best-ever monthly tally at 32,369.

Nissan Altima USA December 2014The Nissan Altima is the #1 passenger car in the US in December, outselling the Toyota Camry.

The Nissan Altima (+30%) is the best-selling passenger car in the country for only the third time ever after March 2013 and February 2014 at #5 above the Toyota Camry (+6%) and Honda Accord (-2%). The Toyota Corolla is up a beautiful 34% YOY at #8 and the Chrysler 200 hits its 2nd best-ever monthly volume at 16,229 units (+187%) thanks to the 2015 model. But the most impressive performance of all is the works of the BMW 3/4 Series smashing the all-time record it hit exactly one year ago in December 2013: up 16% to 19,464 sales in 15th position.

Ford Transit USA December 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comFirst ever 4-digit sales month for the Ford Transit in the US.

Further down in the ranking, the Jeep Cherokee lodges a third consecutive month inside the Top 20, the Ford Transit finally breaks its ties now that the E-Series it replaces has been discontinued: up 107% and 33 spots on November to break into the Top 50 for the first time and pass the 10,000 monthly-unit milestone at #45 and 10,030 sales. The Ford Mustang is up 66% to #49, the BMW X5 up 212% to #75, the Lexus NX up to #123 with 2,905 units for its first full month of sales and the Chevrolet Trax lands at #199. In the medium-size pickup revived segment, the Chevrolet Colorado is up 71% on last month to 4,037 units at #99 while the GMC Canyon is up 80% to 1,533 sales at #167. If the Toyota Tacoma is still a fair bit ahead (#31 at 14,284 sales), the Nissan Frontier (#75 – 6,060 units) is now a locked-down target for the Colorado.

Previous post: USA 11 months 2014: Discover the Top 279 All-models

Previous month: USA November 2014: Best November score since 2001

One year ago: USA December 2013: BMW 3 Series breaks all-time record

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Kazakhstan November 2014: Kia Rio and Uz-Daewoo Nexia shine

Uz-Daewoo Nexia Kazakhstan November 2014Uz-Daewoo Nexia

* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

With a little delay we now have access to November Kazakhstan data courtesy of, and things are getting a turn for the worse here with sales down a harsh 19% year-on-year to 13,673 units, impacted by grey Russian imports as I described in last month’s article. The year-to-date total is now up just 0.3% at 150,561 deliveries and should fall into negative by the time Full Year 2014 results are through, whereas it was up a gigantic 71% a year ago. The Lada Priora keeps the lead despite a 38% drop followed by the Lada Granta (+5%) while the Kia Rio replicates its fantastic Russian performance in Kazakhstan by more than doubling its sales year-on-year to 790 units in third place. The Uz-Daewoo Nexia imported from neighbouring Uzbekistan is back in business and lodges a second consecutive month inside the Top 5 vs. #10 year-to-date, the VW Polo is up 99%, the Lada Kalina up 93% and the Chevrolet Cobalt smoothes out somewhat but still shines at #15.

Previous month: Kazakhstan October 2014: Grey Russian imports trigger 13% loss

One year ago: Kazakhstan November 2013: Skoda Rapid in Top 10

Full November 2014 Top 25 models Ranking Table below.

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Egypt November 2014: Renault Logan steps up

Renault Logan Egypt September 2014. Picture courtesy of Logan

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The Egyptian new vehicle market continues to catch up on the backlog of missed sales it accumulated last year when the country was troubled by political unrest. Sales are up 59% year-on-year in November to 27,921 units, bringing the year-to-date total to 264,581 units, up a very dynamic 51% on 2013. The Top 5 best-selling models are identical to the year-to-date ranking: the Hyundai Verna is on top followed by the Chevrolet TFR Single Cab, Nissan new Sunny, Geely Emgrand 7 and Chevrolet Lanos. The Renault Logan sedan gains a further two spots on October to land at #6 thanks to 755 sales, the Toyota Hiace is up 6 to #8, the Kia Sportage remains solid at #11 vs. #18 YTD and the Hyundai Grand i10 continues its progression at #26 and 1.1% share. Notice also the arrival of the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross at #79.

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Uruguay November 2014: Suzuki takes the lead

Suzuki Swift Uruguay November 2014. Picture courtesy of larevueautomobile.comSuzuki topples Chevrolet to become Uruguay’s most popular manufacturer this month.

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New car sales in Uruguay are down a steep 25% year-on-year in November to just 4,095 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 47,208 units, down 8% on 2013. The harsh declines of the past two months don’t reflect the real situation of the market though but a strike in the government office that has disrupted the reporting of sales.

Suzuki ano de locos

Suzuki takes advantage of discounts related to the celebration of the 35th anniversary of its presence in the country to take the lead of the manufacturers ranking with 566 sales and 13.8% market share, to be compared to the 8.9% it holds year-to-date (#4). Chevrolet (11.7%) is knocked down to second place while Volkswagen resists at #3 and 10.1% share. Renault is up two spots on October to #4 and Fiat down 4 to #6.

FAW N5 Uruguay November 2014. Picture courtesy of sysmaya.netFAW is the 10th best-selling brand in Uruguay in November.

Uruguay is one of the countries in the world where Chinese manufacturers have managed to win the most significant market share, #2 to only Bolivia. In November the Chinese hold 21.1% of the Uruguayan market vs. 21.3% year-to-date and 3 of them find their way inside the Top 10: Chery is up two ranks to #7 and 5.6% share, BYD is up one to #9 and 3.1% and FAW up 10 to #10 and 3%. Notice also Geely at #13, Great Wall at #17, Dongfeng at #20, Chana at #21, Lifan at #22 and JAC at #25. In total, 24 of the 55 brands having sold at least one vehicle in Uruguay so far in 2014 are Chinese.

Previous month: Uruguay October 2014: Chevrolet and Fiat back on top

One year ago: Uruguay Full Year 2013: One in four new cars is Chinese!

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Canada November 2014: All-time record year now certain

Honda CR-V USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comFirst incursion of the Honda CR-V on the Canadian podium.

* See the Top 34 best-selling brands and Top 250 models by clicking on the title *

It’s (nearly) official: never before had Canadian consumers purchased as many light vehicles as in 2014: November sales are the highest in the history of Canada, up 4% year-on-year to 138,886 deliveries, bringing the 11 month-result to a record breaking 1.720.429 units. By the time this week comes to an end, 2014 Canadian sales will have passed the all-time record of 1.745 million sales established in 2013. The Fiat Chrysler Group is in the lead again with 15.1% share above Ford at 14.4%, however Ford keeps the YTD pole position for now with a slim 807 unit-advantage. General Motors settles for third in both rankings while Toyota Motor remains #4 above Honda and Hyundai-Kia. Nissan Motor is up 21% and Daimler AG up 26%. Brand-wise, Ford (+2%) and Toyota (-4%) lead but under perform while Chevrolet (+9%), Nissan (+22%), Ram (+21%), Jeep (+44%), Audi (+30%), Acura (+23%) and Chrysler (+41%) impress.

Jeep Cherokee Canada September 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comJeep is the fastest growing brand in the Top 25 at +44% in November

In the models ranking, the Top 3 best-sellers frankly outperform the market: the Ford F-Series is up 18% YOY to 9,278 sales despite the transition to the 2015 F-150, the Ram Pickup is up 19% to 6,859 units and the Honda CR-V is up 11 spots on October and a whopping 56% YOY to land at a best-ever third place thanks to 4,461 sales. Further down, notice the Chevrolet Silverado up 30% at #9, the Nissan Rogue up a round 100% to #15, the Jeep Cherokee up 65% to #16, Honda Fit up 138% to #18, Jeep Wrangler up 59% to #19, VW Golf up 87% to #26, Chrysler 200 up 127% to #30 and the Nissan Micra up 5 ranks on October to #36. Among recent new launches, the Audi Q3 is up 13 spots to #86, the Mercedes GLA up 5 to #112 and the Ford Transit up 57 to #127. Finally, just as the Dodge Dart beats its U.S. ranking record, it sinks 83% YOY to a paltry #118 in Canada with just 231 sales.

Previous month: Canada October 2014: Chrysler and Jeep shine… again

One year ago: Canada November 2013: New generation pushes Mazda3 up to #5

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USA 11 months 2014: Discover the Top 279 best-selling models

Ram 1500 USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Ram Pickup is now just 1,421 sales (0.35%) off the Toyota Camry and a YTD podium ranking…

* See the Top 279 models, Top 40 brands and Top 15 groups by clicking on the title *

As is the tradition on BSCB, after detailed November results, we now zoom in on the year-to-date sales charts to extract longer-term trends. Overall the US new light vehicle market is up 6% so far in 2014 to 15.02 million units and with just one month to go. 2014 will be the strongest sales year in the country since 2007, sanctioning 5 consecutive years of sales increase, a winning stretch we had only seen happen once in the past 80 years: from from 1996 to 2000. The record is 8 straight years of growth from 1909 to 1917. The groups ranking is pretty much cemented for the year with General Motors holding the top spot with 2.66 million sales (+4%) ahead of Ford Motor at 2.25 million (-1%) and Toyota Motor at 2.16 million (+6%) while Fiat Chrysler is up 16% to 1.9 million. The top of the brands ranking is not as certain: below Ford at 1.99 million, Chevrolet should remain #2 by the time 2014 comes to an end but its advantage over Toyota has thawed to 15,492 units from 17,786 last month.

Mercedes C-Class USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe new C-Class should enable Mercedes to remain the #1 premium brand in 2015.

1. Mercedes now almost certain to finish 2014 as #1 premium brand.

A tight race is the one for the title of #1 premium brand in the country. Actually it was tight up until this month. After 11 months, Mercedes leads with 318,837 sales, up 7% on the same period in 2013. It has taken a definitive advantage over BMW in November (+6,091 sales), extending the gap to 20,625 units even though BMW has gained more ground YOY at +10%. BMW’s flagship (3-4 Series) is up 19% so far, but the X4 has arrived too late in the year to have a real impact. Back at Mercedes, the C-Class loss (-18%) has been more than compensated by a great-performing SUV range (M-Class +12%, GLK +13%) and the arrival of the ultra-successful compact CLA (25,000 units) and GLA (5,000 sales). Plus the S-Class doubled its sales this year. 2014 would be the 2nd consecutive year Mercedes takes the #1 premium brand spot when 2013 was the first time it ever did so. It should remain on top in 2015 as its flagship, the new generation C-Class, gears up, the GLA gains momentum and the GLE targets the BMW X6.

Cadillac CTS USA November 2013. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comCadillac will be overtaken by Audi for the first time in 2014.

As a reminder, BMW held the premium top spot in 2011 and 2012 whereas Lexus was leader for 11 consecutive years before then. Hit by Toyota’s recall issues a few years back, Lexus is climbing back the ladder from a distance, up 14% to 271,510 sales so far this year. Just below in the premium ranking, a very momentous event is taking place: thanks to sales up 15% to a record 162,773 units, Audi has overtaken Cadillac (down 6% to 154,600) for the first time in the history of automobile in the USA! This means there is no US premium brand in the Top 4 for the first time ever. The last time Cadillac topped the premium sales charts at home was in 1997.

Hyundai Genesis USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comHyundai will be threatened by Jeep in 2015…

2. Two novel brand battles

In anticipation for 2015, let’s single out two brand battles that never before occurred on US ground because one of the contestants is evolving at all-time record highs. Jeep is up 44% so far in 2014 to a record 629,074 units partly thanks to the runaway success of the all-new Cherokee. This means it is up two spots on 2013 to #7 overall, overtaking Dodge and Kia in the process. However both in October and November it also outsold Hyundai to rank #6. Jeep is too far below Hyundai year-to-date (32.137 units) to have any hope of overtaking the Korean manufacturer in the next month, but 2015 will be very open.

Subaru Outback USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of…while Subaru will be teasing Dodge and Kia.

After 36 straight months of monthly YOY gains, Subaru has earned a spot among America’s 10 favourite brands for the first time. It ranks #10 after 11 months, one spot higher than a year ago, with sales up 21% to 463,770 deliveries. During 4 of the past 5 months (July, August, October and November), Subaru also outsold the #9 in the YTD ranking, embattled American brand Dodge, down 4% so far in 2014. Same situation as above, it is too late for Subaru to pass Dodge in 2014, but longer-term trends say it will do so in 2015 and could also tease Kia to the overall 8th spot…

Toyota Camry USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comCan the 2015 model help the Toyota Camry retain the third place in 2014? I don’t believe so.

3. Who will round up the 2014 U.S. models podium?

The suspense is becoming properly unbearable. After 334 days in 2014, the Toyota Camry sold 396,988 units (+5%) while the Ram Pickup was at 395,567 (+23%), a tiny 1,421 sales (0.35%) below compared to 8,440 a month ago. The Ram outsold the Camry for the last 3 months in a row: by 8,105 units in September, 6,670 in October and 7,019 units in November. The logic would say the Ram will edge past the Camry in the last couple of weeks of the year to snatch the #3 spot. Not that simple. December is a little unpredictable as skewed by end-of -year promotions, however the Camry has just been facelifted for the 2015 model year and dealers will be reluctant to incentivise it too hard. On the other hand, record-low petrol price will favour the Ram as well as all other pickups and SUVs in the market and disadvantage passenger cars. I predict the Ram Pickup will take third place in the Full Year 2014 ranking and therefore make the 2014 U.S. models podium 100% pickup trucks (1. F-Series 2. Silverado 3. Ram) for only the second time in the past two decades (along with 2003).

Honda CR-V USA November 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Honda CR-V could deliver a last minute surge in the YTD ranking…

4. Can the Honda CR-V outsell the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Altima to rank at a record #6?

SUV and crossovers have been selling like hotcakes in the U.S. this year, and an illustration of this trend is the record 4th place of the Honda CR-V in November, the first time a crossover ever outsells all passenger cars in the country, including perennial leader the Toyota Camry. Since its mid-cycle refresh a couple of months ago, the CR-V has been going from strength to strength and breaking monthly volume records. As a result, while it ranked #10 at end-August it has since passed the Ford Fusion and its stablemate the Honda Civic up to #8 with one month left to go. And it could go further up. The CR-V stands a mere 663 units below the 7th placed Nissan Altima whereas it outsold it by… 9,544 sales in November. The gap with 6th placed Toyota Corolla is 6,723 vs. an advantage of 6,769 for the CR-V in November. All doable, but very tight indeed. I’ll take a risk and say the CR-V will outsell them both and finish the year at #6.

Previous post: USA November 2014: Best November score since 2001

Previous month: USA 10 months 2014: Discover the Top 275 best-selling models

One year ago: USA 11 months 2013: Discover the Top 278 best-selling models

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China November 2014: MPV sales up 43%, SUV up 38%

JAC Refine S3 China November 2014. Picture courtesy of JAC Refine S3 outsells all foreign SUVs in China this month.

* See the Top 343 All-local models ranking by clicking on the title *

New light vehicles sales are up 5% year-on-year in China to 1.775.300 units in November, and once again the entire market is single-handedly lifted by MPV and SUV sales. While sedans (the Chinese description for passenger cars) are down 5% to 1.074.300 units and microvans are down a horrid 32% to 85,600 sales, MPV deliveries surge 43% to 200.800 and SUV are up an equally impressive 38% to 414.600. Overall, November is the third consecutive month when the sales growth rate has fallen below 7%, confirming the market is definitely losing some momentum. Year-to-date, China’s light vehicle sales are up 9% to a record 17.639.700 units – note this total does not include commercial vehicles, trucks and buses. This rush towards the MPV and SUV segments is now very clearly visible in the models ranking and for once it would appear it has mainly benefitted Chinese manufacturers, notoriously weaker than their foreign competitors even at home.

Baojun 730 China November 2014. Picture courtesy of Baojun 730 is now above 30,000 monthly deliveries.

Starting with the MPV segment, the Wuling Hongguang still reigns supreme at home with a huge 69,808 sales, its second best monthly volume ever below the 81,153 units it managed last January. But once again the most impressive performance is coming from the Baojun 730: the low-cost MPV astoundingly breaks the 30,000 monthly sales-milestone in November at 30,089 units for its 4th month of sales, becoming the fastest vehicle to reach that level of sales in the history of automobile in China. Given the Wuling Hongguang and the Baojun 730 come from the same company (SAIC GM), we are witnessing a great example of successful segmentation as the two models are definitely not cannibalising each other.

Dongfeng Fengguang 360 China November 2014. Picture courtesy of 52che.comDongfeng Fengguang 360

All the next best-selling MPVs shine: the Chana Honor is up 52% YOY to #21 and 14,310 sales, the Dongfeng Joyear is up 65% to break its monthly volume record for the third month in a row at #25 and 13,666 units, the Dongfeng Fengguang is up 117% to reach a record monthly tally of 13,114 sales parky thanks to the introduction of the ‘360’ crossover-looking variant, and the Beijing Auto Weiwang M20 triples its sales YOY to break the 10,000 monthly unit-barrier for the first time at 11,801 sales and #40, also a ranking record for the nameplate.

Haval H6 Sport China November 2014. Picture courtesy of 1qibi.comAnother record month for the Haval H6.

Moving on to the SUV segment: one month after becoming the first-ever SUV to sell over 30,000 monthly units in China, the Haval H6 does it again this month, breaking its volume record again at 31,019 sales. Get this: it is the 13th time in the past 17 months that the H6 beats its monthly sales record! But another Chinese SUV manages to surprise even more. Launched last August, the JAC Refine S3 is up 52% and 36 spots on October to stunningly break into the overall Top 20 at #20 with 15,004 sales. This means the Refine S3 is the 2nd best-selling SUV in the country below just the Haval H6 and above all foreign nameplates, including such established blockbusters as the VW Tiguan (#26), Hyundai ix35 (#34) and Honda CR-V (#35)! This is also the first time any JAC model manages to rank within the 20 most popular at home since BSCB started following on the Chinese market monthly a decade ago: the brand is normally relatively discreet in the passenger car category, with its expertise being trucks.

Beijing Auto Huansu S3 China November 2014. Picture courtesy of chexun.netBeijing Auto Huansu S3

In a context particularly favourable to SUVs, the sky is the limit for Great Wall’s SUV-only brand Haval, selling a record 53,703 units in November. Apart from the record-breaking H6, the H2 reaches a best-ever 12,007 sales at #37 and both the H1 (#97) and H9 (#172) simultaneously hit the sales charts – which will be covered in detail in the China November 2014: Focus on the All-new models post. Another Chinese SUV making sparks this month is the Beijing Auto Huansu S3 up 28% on October to pass the 10,000 monthly units for the first time at 11,905, also delivering its very first Top 50 ranking at #37. Notice also the Chery Tiggo 3 up 164% YOY to #44, the ChangAn CS75 above 10,000 units for the 2nd consecutive month and the Zotye T600 selling a record 8,221 units.

Honda Vezel China November 2014The Honda Vezel already sells more units in China than at home in Japan.

Fortunately for the rest of the world’s automotive industry, a few foreign-branded (but locally-produced) SUVs also perform extremely well this month. Leading the charge for the first time is the Nissan X-Trail: its facelift increases sales 8-fold compared to a year ago, reaching a record #24 and 14,121 units, outselling the Qashqai by more than 2 to 1. Also, the two nameplates launched last month that rank the highest in November are two foreign SUVs. The Honda Vezel is up 702% and 153 spots to an excellent #57 and 9,697 – already not too far from the CR-V (12,256) and selling way more than in Japan this month (6,157). I predicted last month that a Top 50 ranking was well within reach for the Vezel and we are already almost there. Most importantly, the Vezel already outsells all its competitors by a comfortable margin: the Peugeot 2008 is #78 with a (record) 7,321 units, the Buick Encore is #105 and the Chevrolet Trax #131. The second best performing October-launched nameplate is the Buick Envision, up 136% and 66 ranks to #87, already inside the long-term Top 100 target I had fixed last month and instantly well above its stablemate the Encore. A real success for the American brand. Before we leave the SUV segment, let’s salute the Hyundai ix25 up a further 4 spots to #90.

Nissan Sylphy China November 2014. Picture courtesy of Nissan Sylphy delivers the highest monthly sales figure for a Japanese model in China.

The ‘sedan’ segment (Chinese for all passenger cars that don’t qualify as SUV and MPV) may slide by 5% in November, there are a few spectacular performers keeping the sales charts well and truly alive. The VW Lavida leads them all once again, up 41% to 38,072 sales but the star of the month is the Nissan Sylphy: thanks to sales 10% to 34,480 units, it delivers its best-ever monthly result and the highest-ever sales figure for any Japanese model in China. Note this figure includes two generations of the nameplate still on sale here. The Sylphy outsells the Focus (32,650) for the first time and outsells the Lavida as well if we exclude its Gran Lavida hatchback variant (28,800). Boosted by its facelift, the Chevrolet Sail is up 7 spots on October to #7, the Hyundai Elantra Langdong is up 45% YOY to #9 and the Toyota Corolla is up 141% to break its monthly volume record for the 2nd straight month at 21,569 units.

Peugeot 408 China November 2014. Picture courtesy of new model lifts Peugeot 408 sales up 74%.

Further down, the VW Golf impresses again at +97%, the Honda Fit takes full advantage of its new generation, up 319% to a record #31 and 13,061 sales, the facelifted BYD F3 reclaims some of its past shine, up 139% YOY to #35 and 12,201 units, the Toyota Levin brilliantly maintains itself above 10,000 sales at #48, the Peugeot 408 is up 74% now that the new model is in dealerships and the Beijing Senova D50 makes its first incursion inside the Top 100 at #85 and a best-ever 6,937 sales. The Kia K4 continues to climb the ladder at #88 and a record 6,748 sales, having no negative impact on its twin the Hyundai Mistra (#32, +108%) but in essence killing the Honda Crider (-51% to #68). A good operation for the Korean manufacturer.

MG GT China November 2014. Picture courtesy of MG GT already accounts for 68% of the brand’s sales in China.

Among other October launches, let’s single out the MG GT that goes from 13 lonely units sold last month to a 2,959 for a #155 ranking. This is impressive, simply because it instantly propels the GT to best-selling MG in China by far, representing 68% of the brand’s sales in November! Whether this is a result of the GT launch or not, the MG 3 is down 75% YOY to #236, the MG 6 is down 74% to #261 and the MG 5 is down 83% to #299. An unthinkable situation in most other world markets, in China such a fast turnaround is possible as brands are still very young with very little loyalty and consumers tastes can report themselves instantly to a new model. Has the GT single-handedly revived the MG brand in China (and therefore the world)? Answer in the next few months. Still among October launches, notice also the Volvo XC60 up 296% to #159, the DS 6 up 51% to #186 and 1,971 sales – the brand’s best monthly volume (previous best: 1,739 by the DS 5LS last June), and the FAW Junpai D60 up 96 spots to #198.

Previous post: China LCV October 2014: Wuling Light Truck teases Rongguang

Previous month: China October 2014: Baojun 730 up to 6th place

One year ago: China November 2013: Nissan Sylphy delivers best month ever for a Japanese model

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Chile brands November 2014: Kia up to 2nd place

GAC Gonow range Chile November 2014. Picture courtesy of masmotor.clChinese GAC Gonow is now among Chile’s Top 30 best-selling brands.

* See the Top 58 best-selling brands by clicking on the title *

We inaugurate a new monthly update on BSCB: Chile brands. New light vehicle sales in Chile are down a harsh 29% year-on-year in November to 24,286 deliveries, bringing the year-to-date total to 303,430 units, down 11% on 2013. Chevrolet remains the most popular brand in the country this month and by far with just under 3,900 sales and 16% share vs. 13.8% year-to-date.  Kia overtakes its stablemate Hyundai in November thanks to 2,573 units and 10.6% share vs. 2,131 and 8.8% for Hyundai which however stays #2 YTD at 9.7% vs. 9.3% for Kia. Toyota, Suzuki and Nissan follow like YTD. Further down, notice Mazda up to #8 and 3.7%, Citroen up to #12 and 2.8% vs. #18 and 1.6% YTD, Mahindra up to #14 and 2.2% vs. #19 and 1.5% and Chinese manufacturer GAC Gonow shooting up to #30 vs. #47 YTD thanks to a range solely composed of commercial micro vans and pickups. Overall, Chinese brands command 9.9% of the Chilean market in November vs. 10.8% YTD.

Previous month: Chile October 2014: Chevrolet Spark reclaims top spot off Sail

Previous year: Chile Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Sail confirms top spot

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Mexico November 2014: Nissan March on podium

Nissan March Mexico November 2014First podium ranking for the Nissan March in Mexico.

* See the Top 30 best-selling brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to all-time high November sales at 111.645 registrations (+11% YOY), the Mexican new car market breaks the one million unit-barrier after just 11 months for the first time in history. Its previous best at this time of year was reached in 2006 at 999.344 units, 2014 betters this with 1.002.136 deliveries, a 6% increase on the same period in 2013. 2014 is now assured to be among the three best-ever years in the history of Mexican new car sales and could well be an outright record year. The two benchmark years are 2006 (1.139.718 registrations) and 2005 (1.131.768). December sales will have to hit 137,600 units or a 15% YOY surge for 2014 to be an all-time annual high. It seems just a tiny bit far-fetched, but not completely impossible, a more realistic forecast would be 2014 as the second best year in history in-between 2006 and 2005 around 1.135.000 deliveries.

Honda CR-V Mexico November 2014. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Honda CR-V is back up to #8 in Mexico this month.

Nissan confirms it is master in command in Mexico – the only country in the world where it ranks #1, by increasing its sales 18% YOY to 28,365 units and 25.4% share. Chevrolet (+8%), Volkswagen (-1%), Ford (+12%) and Toyota (+7%) follow, while Mazda (+37%), Renault (+36%) and Mitsubishi (28%) deliver impressive gains. Hyundai is once again just units away from the Top 10 at #11 and 2,031 sales vs. 2,075 for Seat. Model-wise, the Chevrolet Aveo keeps the lead despite sales down 16% YOY, the Nissan Versa is up 26% to 5% share and the Nissan March is the hero of the month, up a huge 70% on November 2013 thanks to the new model to land on the Mexican podium for the first time in the nameplate’s history at #3 and 3,984 sales. Notice also the VW Vento up 52%, the Nissan Sentra up 22% and Honda CR-V up 27% thanks to its facelift.

Previous month: Mexico October 2014: Nissan March at highest in two years

One year ago: Mexico November 2013: Chevrolet Aveo at highest share in one year

Full November 2014 Top 30 brands and Top 20 models Ranking Tables below.

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Russia November 2014: Shock: Kia Rio first foreign model #1

Kia Rio Russia November 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Kia Rio is the first foreign model in at least 45 years to top Russian sales.

* See the Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

This month the Russian new car market experiences an earth-shattering event – something that has never happened since the creation of Lada, originally VAZ (Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod), in 1966. The local brand’s first model, the Lada 2101, debuted production in 1970 and was a localised version of the Fiat 124 adapted to treacherous Russian conditions. By 1973, 660.000 annual units were produced annually and by the end of the model line’s run in 2012, 17 million would have been made. In the past 45 years, it has been unconceivable that a Lada would not top the Russian sales charts. Even a shaky transition between the 2104/7 and Granta over 5 years (2008-2013) did not dent Lada’s invincibility at home. The closest a foreigner had been to the top spot was in December 2011 when the Hyundai Solaris came 744 units short of the #1 ranking. Almost 45 years of continuous Lada domination have come to an abrupt end this month: the Kia Rio is up 54% year-on-year in a market down 1% to hit 10,834 sales and 4.7% share. It snaps the Russian crown away from the Lada Granta, down to #2 with 10,520 units and 4.6% while the Hyundai Solaris is very close behind at 10,134 sales and 4.4%.

Lada 2101 Bulgaria 1980Every month since 1970 and the Lada 2101, a Lada has been #1 in Russia. Up until today.

This is the first time the Rio sells above 10,000 units in a single month in Russia (previous best: 9,045 last April), making it only the second foreigner to cross that milestone with the Hyundai Solaris. This is not a freak event but the culmination of years of constant progression in the shadow of the Solaris. My Trans-Siberian trip last year brought to light the exceptional regularity of both the Solaris and the Rio in every corner of the country, from Tatarstan to far-East Siberia and Lake Baïkal. This success was built on word-of-mouth from the bottom up, from the rural regions to the bigger towns, and is the result of meticulous dealer network expansion across the largest country in the world by both Korean manufacturers. On the other hand, we are dealing with a 14% YOY decline for the Lada Granta, steeper than its YTD evolution (-9%). This could be due to some cannibalisation from the astoundingly successful Datsun on-DO, a low(er)-cost rebadge of the Granta manufactured at the same Togliatti plant. More on the on-DO below.

Hyundai Solaris Russia November 2014The freshly facelifted Hyundai Solaris could be the next foreigner to reach #1 in Russia…

The current period is also rather unusual in Russia as new car sales are heavily boosted by government scrappage subsidies to try and curb the sales down spiral triggered by Ukraine-related economic sanctions. On top of it, consumers are rushing to get ahead of widely anticipated new year price increases. Until now however, the scrappage subsidies had benefited Lada, but this month the Russian manufacturer is down 17% while Kia is up 19%, Renault up 8%, Hyundai up 4% and Toyota up 32%. All-in-all, Russian new car sales are down just 1% year-on-year to 229,439 registrations in November, the smallest decline since last March, yet the year-to-date total is still down a depressing 12% to 2,220,751 units.

Datsun on-DO Russia November 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruCould the Datsun on-DO be cannibalising the Lada Granta already?

The second big event in the Russian models sales charts this month and very much connected to the first one is the striking success of the Datsun on-DO. It shoots up from outside the October Top 25 directly to #11 in November with 4,011 sales and 1.7% share, only 87 units off its first Top 10 ranking in Russia. No doubt the on-DO has eroded the November sales figure of the Lada Granta as it is a cheaper rebadge of the market leader, and as such played a role in its demise from pole position. If last month the on-DO outsold both the Opel Astra and the Ford Focus, this time it overtakes such Russian blockbusters as the Lada Priora, #1 in the country in 2009 and 2012 and the legendary Lada 4×4 (aka Niva). That’s how fast the on-DO is making its way up the sales ladder and across Russian roads. It single-handedly brings Datsun to #17 brand in-between Mercedes and BMW and way above SsangYong, Suzuki, Honda or Subaru. Most importantly, the on-DO annihilates all Chinese brands, selling more than double any of them (Lifan -21%, Geely -27%, Great Wall -18%). Russia is now competing with Indonesia for the title of first country in the world where the newly relaunched low-cost Datsun places a model inside the Top 10: both the on-DO in Russia and the Go+ in Indonesia now have personal bests set at #11…

Toyota RAV4 Russia November 2014The Toyota RAV4 reaches its highest ever ranking in Russia this month.

In other news, the Renault Logan is up by a fantastic 77% on November 2013 thanks to the new model to rank #4 overall for the 2nd time this year after August, and with the Duster at #5, Renault places two models inside the Russian Top 5 this month, something local behemoth Lada did not manage… The Toyota RAV4 is up 50% YOY to climb up to #7, simply and by far the nameplate’s best-ever ranking in Russia (previous best: #10 in April 2013), the Nissan X-Trail is up 13% to #15, the Hyundai ix35 up 48% to #19, the VW Tiguan up 44% to #22. For 4 compact SUVs doing well we have 3 compact sedans really struggling in Russia at the moment: the Ford Focus (-62%), Chevrolet Cruze (-46% YTD) and Toyota Corolla (-39%). On the brands side, note the exceptional performances of Lexus (+65%), Porsche (+55%), Subaru (+35%), Jeep (+33%) and Mazda (+24%) and the nightmarish ones of Daewoo (-66%), Mini (-32%) and Ford (-26%).

Previous month: Russia October 2014: Datsun on-DO above Opel Astra and Ford Focus

One year ago: Russia November 2013: Renault Duster on podium for the first time

Full November 2014 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models Ranking Tables below.

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