USA March 2015: Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Rogue, Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokee at all-time best

Hyundai Elantra USA March 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comThe Hyundai Elantra sold a record 28,794 units in the US this month.

* See the Top 274 All-models, Top 40 All-brands and Top 15 groups by clicking on the title *

At +0.5% to 1.545.710 sales, the year-on-year gain may be small for the US new light vehicle market this month, but don’t get fooled by this result: March was exceptionally strong, for a few reasons. First, the 17.1 million seasonally adjusted annual selling rate was the third best monthly SAAR since July 2006. Second, last year March benefited from good weather, generous automaker deals and a five-weekend calendar. This March had one fewer selling day and one fewer weekend. SAARs of 16.7 million in January and 16.2 million in February were below most analysts’ predictions of annual 2015 sales of 16.9-17 million units, so March’s 17.1 million selling pace gets us back on track somewhat. But the true sign that the US market is not only growing for the 6th consecutive year, but also doing so on very sound foundations, is the fact that not all manufacturers were chasing volume this month. Overall incentives are down 1.3% year-on-year and average transaction prices are up 2.2%…

2015 Chrysler 200CA record 19,033 Chrysler 200 sold helped FCA hit 60 consecutive months of year-on-year gains.

Only Toyota Motor, FCA US and Hyundai-Kia increased their incentives and saw their March sales frankly rise, but their average transaction prices fell. Let’s look at it in more detail. Toyota’s incentives rose 16%, resulting in a 5% sales increase to 225,959 units, but this is the traditional as Toyota always offers deals in March, the closing month of its Japanese parent’s fiscal year. FCA US had a target to reach: 60 consecutive months (five full years) of year-on-year gains. The US manufacturer saw incentives spike by 10% and sales rise by 2% to 197,261. Finally Hyundai-Kia used massive incentive increases to generate a 10% year-on-year gain to hit 133,790 sales, enough to outsell American Honda.

Nissan Rogue USA March 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comNissan has hit the bullseye with the new Rogue: up to #10 overall this month.

Now let’s look at the opposite strategy. General Motors (-2%), Ford Motor Co. (-3%) and Nissan North America (-3%) all significantly reduced incentives, resulting in sales drops but a rise of 4% in transaction prices for all 3 manufacturers. These two very distinct approaches are evidence of a healthy market. Automotive News quotes TrueCar President John Krafcik: “In a stable market, brands are free to either buy some share or take profits. Those are tactical moves to make the most of their situation.” Automotive News says Ford Motor cut incentives 17% from a year ago but transaction prices jumped almost $1,200 a unit to $32,974. Ford is so short of pickups during model changeover that it is deferring fleet orders to feed dealers. Its overall retail sales rose 1% but fleet plunged 13%.

Toyota Corolla USA March 2015. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comThe Toyota Corolla hits its third best monthly volume in 6 years.

These two opposite strategies have a significant impact on the sales charts this month. The Ford F-Series is down 5% but still extremely solid overall at 67,706 units. It is followed by the Chevrolet Silverado up 7% to 45,193 deliveries and the Ram Pickup down 2% to 41,595. The Toyota Camry remains the best-selling passenger car in the country at #4 and 40,800 units and the Toyota Corolla rounds up the Top 5 thanks to sales surging 20% on a year ago to 35,532 – the nameplate’s third best monthly score in the past 6 years below August 2009 (43,061) and May 2014 (36,611).

Jeep Cherokee USA March 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comRecord sales this month for the Jeep Cherokee…

Below, the Hyundai Elantra jumps 34% to post the nameplate’s all-time record monthly volume of 28,794 units and the Nissan Rogue is up 41% to break into the monthly US Top 10 for the first time at #10 and lodge a record 27,418 sales, smashing its previous best of 21,419. Further down, the Chrysler 200 is up a stunning 155% thank to the new model to also break its volume record at 19,190 (previous best: 16,229 last December) while the Jeep Cherokee is the 4th nameplate in the Top 25 to evolve at all-time record highs, up 38% year-on-year to 19,033 (previous best for this generation is 18,235 last August).

2015 Jeep® Renegade Trailhawk…and promising start for the Jeep Renegade.

Other great gainers include the Toyota RAV4 up 28% to #14, the Chevrolet Equinox up 22% to #15, BMW 3/4 Series up 47% to #30, Ford Mustang up 36% to #35, Honda Pilot up 34% to #37, Jeep Patriot up 41% to #38 and the Dodge Dart up (at last!) 56% to #49. Has the Chevrolet Colorado already plateaued? It is down 9 spots on February to #69 and back below the Nissan Frontier (#66) while its twin the GMC Canyon is down 18 ranks to #134. One new entrant in the ranking this month: the Jeep Renegade landing at #191 with 943 sales. According to, there are more than 4700 Renegades currently in stock at the moment, so except it to rise up the ladder over the coming months.

Previous month: USA February 2015: Toyota above Ford, Nissan Rogue & Chrysler 200 shine

One year ago: USA March 2014: Ram Pick-up up to 2nd place for the first time

Full March 2015 Top 274 All-models, Top XX All-brands and Top 15 groups below.

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Canada March 2015: Ram Pickup less than 1,000 units below F-Series

2015 Ram 1500 RebelOnly 997 sales separate the Ram Pickup from the Canadian pole position this month.

* See the Top 257 All-models, Top 35 All-brands & Top 15 groups by clicking on the title *

The Canadian new light vehicle market continues on its positive trend: up another 2% year-on-year in March to 160,416 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to a record 368,927 units, up 3% on 2014 which was already a record year. The overall trend at play in Canada is pretty clear: pickup trucks now hold 19.8% of the total market vs. 18.3% a year ago, whereas passenger cars are down 2% over the 1st Quarter 2015. The Fiat Chrysler Group maintain its stranglehold on the market thanks to sales up 2% to 25,060 units for a strong 22.9% market share ahead for Ford Motor Co. at 19.6% (-5%) and General Motors at 19.2% (-3%). Hyundai-Kia overtakes Toyota Motor Co. to snap the 4th spot overall thanks to 19,389 sales vs. 16,805.

VW Golf Canada March 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comVW Golf sales are up 10-fold on March 2014 in Canada.

Brand-wise, surprisingly all marques in the Top 5 underperform the market: Ford (-5%) leads ahead of Toyota (-6%), Honda (-3%), Hyundai (+0.2%) and Chevrolet (-16%). Further below though, Nissan (+8%), Ram (+24%), GMC (+26%), Volksvagen at a polar opposite from its US performance (+73%), Lincoln (+28%), Porsche (+46%), Mini (+26%) and Scion (+29%) all shine. In the models ranking, the Ford F-Series remains the uncontested leader thanks to sales up 3% to 9,988 units, however the Ram Pickup continues to lodge record month after record month, now up 17% to a fantastic 8,991 sales, lifting its 1st Quarter result up 10% to 20,647 units.

Ram ProMaster City Canada March 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comRam ProMaster City

The GMC Sierra (+11% at #4), Chevrolet Silverado (+14% at #7) and Honda CR-V (+16% at #9) are the other great gainers in the Top 10, while further down the Toyota RAV4 (+34%), Jeep Cherokee (+53%), Mercedes C-Class (+78%) and Chrysler 200 (+72%) also impress. Special mention to the VW Golf up 10-fold on March 2014 to #19 and 1,970 deliveries. Among recent launches, note the GMC Canyon overtaking its mass-market twin the Chevrolet Colorado at a best-ever (for this generation) #80 and 485 sales vs. #82 and 466 units, the Ram ProMaster City up 61 spots on February to finish just off the Top 100 at #102 and 371 sales and the Jeep Renegade selling its very first Canadian unit in March.

Previous month: Canada February 2015: GMC Sierra/Chevy Silverado on fire

One year ago: Canada March 2014: Hyundai Santa Fe in Top 10 for the first time

Full March 2015 Top 257 All-models, Top 35 All-brands & Top 15 groups below.

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Chile March 2015: Nissan up to #2 in market down 23%

Nissan X-Trail Chile March 2015Nissan X-Trail

* NOW UPDATED with the Q1 2015 Top 20 models and March Top 60 All-brands *

No sign of recovery for the Chilean new car market, down another 23% year-on-year in March to 21,469 registrations, bringing the first quarter total to 63,593, down a harsh 27% on 2014. Chevrolet cements its leadership of the market with 3,415 sales and 15.9% share and we have a surprise in 2nd place this month: Nissan is up 3 spots on February and on its year-to-date ranking thanks to 2,233 sales and 10.4% share vs. 7.8% so far in 2015. Kia is kicked down to #3 at 10.2% but overtakes sister company Hyundai year-to-date, the latter being down to a paltry 5th place with 7.1% share in March. Suzuki ranks 4th with a strong 8.4% share, Mitsubishi is back up to #7, while the Chinese add up to 1,760 sales and 8.2% share, led once again by Great Wall (#19) followed by ChangAn (#20) and Chery (#21).

Mitsubishi L200 Chile 2015The Mitsubishi L200 is the best-selling nameplate in Chile so far in 2015.

We now have access to rare models data for Chile over the 1st Quarter 2015, and there are a few surprise atop the sales charts: the Mitsubishi L200 brilliantly takes the overall lead thanks to 2,381 sales and 3.7% share (vs. #5 in 2014), potentially thanks to reduced prices as the current model enters runout time. The L200 is now followed by the Hyundai Accent at 2,253 units, the Kia Rio at 2,193 and the Toyota Hilux at 2,099. #2 in 2014, the Chevrolet Sail drops to #5 so far this year whereas the 2014 leader the Chevrolet Spark falls to #17. Notice also the Nissan Versa at #10 and the Hyundai Grand i10 at #15.

Previous month: Chile February 2015: Chevrolet reclaims top spot in market down 29%

Previous year: Chile Full Year 2014: Chevrolet leads in market down 11%

Full March 2015 Top 60 All-brands Ranking Table below.

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Argentina March 2015: Ford Focus edges past Toyota Hilux to #1

Ford Focus III Argentina March 2015. Picture courtesy Ford Focus is #1 in Argentina for the first time.

* See the Top 34 All-brands and Top 184 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Argentinean new car market gets a breath of fresh air in March with sales down just 7% year-on-year to 48,236 registrations – on a very low March 2014 base though, meaning the 1st Quarter 2015 ends on a 28% drop at 155,784 units. Volkswagen (#1, +15%), Ford (#2, +5%) and Chevrolet (#4, +21%) are the only manufacturers to gain ground year-on-year in the March Top 8. Reversely, Peugeot (-25%), Citroen (-28%) and Renault (-39%) sink. Mercedes triples its sales compared to March 2014 to 888 units, Nissan is up 113%, Iveco up 203%, Hyundai up 123% and Audi up 259%… Some pretty good news indeed.

Mercedes C-Class Argentina March 2015. Picture courtesy sales in Argentina are up a gigantic 199% year-on-year in March.

The best-selling model in Argentina this month is a novelty: the Ford Focus III edges 6 units past the Toyota Hilux to snatch the pole position for the first time in its two year-career, its previous best being #3 last August. The Focus sells 2,080 units for a 4.3% market share and climbs to #7 year-to-date vs. #12 over FY2014. The Hilux for its part is also #2 so far in 2015, as it was in 2014. The Fiat Palio is back up 5 spots on February to #3, the Ford Ecosport is down two to #4, the Fiesta Kinetic makes it 3 Fords in the Top 5 and the VW Gol Trend drops 5 ranks on last month to #6 but remains #1 year-to-date with 6,697 sales so far. Further down the ranking, we welcome the Nissan Note directly at #107.

Previous month: Argentina February 2015: Gol Trend and Ecosport top market down 28%

One year ago: Argentina March 2014: Toyota Etios up to world-best #2

Full March 2015 Top 34 All-brands and Top 184 All-models below.

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Mexico March 2015: VW Vento up to 2nd place in market up 22%

VW Vento Mexico March 2015. Picture courtesy of Vento

* See the Top 13 best-selling models and Top 27 brands by clicking on the title *

The Mexican market is hot like a jalapeño this year: March marks the third consecutive all-time best score, and like in January 2015 is the first year March sales cross the symbolic 100,000 unit-mark at 104,902 deliveries, up a stunning 22% year-on-year. First quarter sales add up to a record 306,157 units, also up 22% on 2014 – the previous best Q1 was hit in 2006 (282,177), and at this rhythm 2015 could close around 1.35 million units, smashing the previous record of 1.140 million reached back in 2006… Nissan outperforms the market once again at +30% to 28,575 sales and 27.2% share, above Chevrolet (+27%) and Volkswagen (+11%) with Toyota (+29%), Honda (+41%), Mazda (+57%), Mini (+84%) and Infiniti (+130%) the biggest gainers.

Nissan X-Trail Mexico March 2015. Picture courtesy Nissan X-Trail breaks into the Mexican Top 10 in March.

In the models ranking, below the Chevrolet Aveo faithful to its pole position at 6,022 units, the VW Vento is up a fantastic 124% on March 2014 to breaks its Mexican ranking, volume and share records in 2nd place with 5,102 sales and 4.9% share, knocking down the Nissan Versa to #3 while the antediluvian Nissan Tsuru remains at #4. The Chevrolet Spark is up 41% at #5, the Nissan March up 53% to #6 and the Nissan Sentra up 26% to #8 whereas the Nissan X-Trail breaks into the Mexican Top 10 for the first time thanks to the new model and 2,379 deliveries for the month.

Previous month: Mexico February 2015: Market shoots up 22% to record level

One year ago: Mexico March 2014: Chevrolet Spark up to 4th place

Full March 2015 Top 13 models and Top 27 brands below.

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Russia March 2015: Only SUV sales resist in market down 43%

UAZ Patriot Russia March 2015UAZ Patriot sales are up 2% on March 2014.

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

The precarious state of the Russian new car market is reaching new lows in March: down 42.5% year-on-year to just 139,850 registrations, bringing the first quarter total to 383,691 units, down 36% on 2014. The  economic sanctions imposed on the country as a result of the Ukrainian crisis and a galloping inflation stuck at 17% both in February and March have combined to knock the market out of air. Faced with the prospect of losing money with each car sold in the country, a string of manufacturers are trimming their presence in Russia, some in very significant ways: Nissan (-51% in March) has suspended production in in St Petersburg plant for the entire second half of the month, Volkswagen (-57%) will do so for two weeks in May, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen (-79%) will halt the production of the Citroen C4 and Peugeot 408 from April 27 to July 7 and Mitsubishi (-68%) will stop production of the Outlander and Pajero Sport from April 27 to May 12.

Opel Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruSunset: General Motors will stop selling the Opel brand in Russia by the end of 2015.

Most significantly of all, General Motors announced it will abandon local production by the end of 2015, with the Opel brand (-78% in March) exiting Russia and Chevrolet (-74%) reducing its lineup to “iconic” U.S.-built models such as the Corvette, Camaro and Tahoe. Reversely, Ford (-73%) has reiterated its focus on Russia and just kick started the St Petersburg production of the all-new Mondeo, one of 4 new models to be launched in the country by the American manufacturer in 2015. In this nightmarish context, the top selling brands are also among the ones that resist the best, confirming a trend towards ‘back to basics’ and ‘back to trusted’ that we have observed over the past few months that the declines have deteriorated. Local fare Lada is down ‘only’ 26% to a very strong 19.6% share, Hyundai is down 15% to 9.9%, Kia down 32% to 8.7%, Toyota is up two ranks on February and down 34% year-on-year to #4.

Datsun mi-DO Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThanks to the arrival of the mi-DO, Datsun is now the #11 brand in Russia.

The list of manufacturers receiving good news in March in Russia is thin: Datsun reaches the best ranking since its reintroduction as a low-cost brand, up to #11 with 3,502 sales and 2.5% share thanks to the gearing up of the mi-DO hatchback (989 units) while the on-DO sedan is still very strong at #14 and 2,513 deliveries. Mercedes only drops 3% on March 2015, resulting in a much-improved market share of 2.9%, Lexus is up 29% to 2,521 sales and Porsche up 27% to 520. Over in the models ranking, the Lada Granta sends a strong message with sales down just 4% to 12,438 units and 8.9% share. Only the Hyundai Solaris (8,593) and Kia Rio (7,176) manage to sell more than 1/3 of the Granta figure – all other nameplates are under 3% market share this month…

Nissan X-Trail Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Nissan X-Trail (+29%) replaces the Qashqai inside the Russian Top 25 in March.

Another very clear trend at play in Russia is the regain in interest towards SUVs: not all display good behaviour (the Renault Duster is down 58% for example), but the only non-new nameplates to lodge year-on-year gains in the Top 25 in March are all SUVs: the valiant Lada 4×4 (aka Niva) is up 6% to 5th place, the Nissan X-Trail is up 29% to #16 vs. #27 over FY2014 thanks to the new model, the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 makes a very impressive appearance at #21 thanks to sales up 9% on March 2014 and the UAZ Patriot is up 2% to #23.

Previous month: Russia February 2015: Market worsens down to -38%

One year ago: Russia March 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander breaks into Top 10

Full March 2015 Top 25 models and Top 55 All-brands below.

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Brazil March 2015: Fiat Strada and Chevrolet Onix on top

Chevrolet Onix Brazil March 2015. Picture courtesy the first time, the Chevrolet Onix is the best-selling passenger car in Brazil.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 140 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Brazil show clear signs of progress in March: down just 1% year-on-year to 225,981 registrations, which brings the first quarter total to 648,677 units, down 16% on 2014. For once Fiat performs the worst among top manufacturers: down 25% to 40,593 deliveries and 18% share, with Chevrolet (16.4% share) and Volkswagen (15.4%) both down 8%. Reversely, among the rest of the Top 10 brands, Hyundai is up 11%, Ford up 18%, Renault up 22%, Nissan up 37%, Honda up 39% and Toyota up 45% in a very impressive string of strong year-on-year gains. The 3 premium Germans also very frankly outperform the market: Mercedes is up 65%, Audi up 59% and BMW up 14%.

Fiat Strada Brazil March 2015The Fiat Strada is the best-selling nameplate in Brazil for the 2nd time ever.

The models ranking offers its lot of surprises this month: for only the second time ever after March 2014, the Fiat Strada is the best-selling vehicle in the country despite sales down a harsh 24% year-on-year to 9,946. In second place we however witness an even more significant event: the Chevrolet Onix tops all passenger cars for the first time, here too despite a serious year-on-year drop of 22% to 9,548 units. This means the Onix outsells the Fiat Palio (down 28% to 9,232) for the very first time, but also the Hyundai HB20 (up 9% to 9,100 sales), the Fiat Uno (down 16% to 8,671) and the VW Gol (down 33% to 8,351).

Honda HR-V Brazil March 2015. Picture courtesy Honda HR-V lands directly at #33 this month.

A string of recently (re)launched nameplates display explosive growth this month in Brazil: the Ford Ka cements its new Top 10 blockbuster status thanks to its new generation with an excellent 7th place at 8,151 sales, the Renault Sandero is up 32% to #8, Toyota Corolla up 110% to #12, Hyundai HB20S up 41% to #14, VW Up up 40% to #15 and Honda Fit up 80% to #16. The Ford Ka sedan is up 8 ranks on February to a best-ever #21 with 3,475 sales and the Honda HR-V lands directly at an outstanding #33 with 2,382 sales and 1.1% share for its first full month in market. Pick-up trucks are on fire too: the VW Saveiro is up 44% to #10 and the VW Amarok up 23% to #43. Finally, there are only two Chinese nameplate inside the Top 100 this month: the Lifan X60 at #88 and the Chery Celer at #98.

Previous month: Brazil February 2015: VW Up in Top 10, threatens Golf

One year ago: Brazil March 2014: VW Gol passed by Fiat Strada and Palio, threatened by Onix!

Full March 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 140 models below.

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Venezuela March 2015: Chevrolet dominates market on the mend

Chevrolet Silverado Venezuela March 2015The previous gen Chevy Silverado is the best-selling nameplate in Venezuela in March.

* See the Top 10 All-brands and Top 35 All-models by clicking on the title *

At 3,832 registrations, the Venezuelan new car market in March amounts to double the January and February scores combined and a 129% year-on-year gain, clearly showing signs of recovery. However this sales figure is still 68% below March 2013 indicating the crisis is far from over in Venezuela, and most of this sales surge is due to the return of Chevrolet at 1,771 sales and 46.2% share this month vs. just 115 across the first two months of the year. Accordingly, the American manufacturer monopolises the Top 4 ranks in the models ranking, placing the Silverado (previous gen) at #1 with 13.2% share above the Aveo at 12.7%, Spark at 7.5% and Cruze at 7.4%. The Dodge Forza rounds up a Top 5% 100% USA.

Previous month: Venezuela February 2015: Mitsubishi Lancer and Toyota Corolla survive

One year ago: Venezuela March 2014: Dodge Forza #3 in market down 86%

Full March 2015 Top 10 All-brands and Top 35 All-models below.

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Angola Full Year 2014: Suzuki and Hyundai on top

Hyundai Grand i10 Angola 2014. Picture courtesy of motorbeam.comHyundai i10

* See the Top 28 All-brands ranking by clicking on the title *

Today I can share with you very rare official data for Angola. New car sales are up a very dynamic 25% year-on-year here to 40,686 registrations. This year Suzuki overtakes Hyundai to become the most popular brand in the country with 10,079 sales corresponding to 1 in every 4 new vehicles sold in the country. Hyundai is kicked down to 2nd place and remains at the same market share level as in 2013: 17.9% at 7,281 sales. It is Kia, Renault and Chevrolet, while Toyota drops 4 spots to #6. Notice the Chinese JMC at #15 and Great Wall at #23.

Previous post: Angola 6 months 2014: Hyundai leads market up 33%

One year ago: Angola Full Year 2014: Hyundai i10 most popular

Full Year 2014 Top 28 All-brands Ranking Table below.

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Egypt February 2015: Chevrolet TFR and Speranza Tiggo shine

Chevrolet TFR Egypt February 2015. Picture courtesy of egyspeed.comChevrolet TFR

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 139 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Egyptian new car market is up by a very healthy 18% year-on-year in February to 23,947 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 46,702 units, up 17% on 2014. Chevrolet holds an imposing 25% of the market thanks to sales up 31% to 5,979, while Hyundai does even better at +54% to 4,354 deliveries and 18.2%. Notice also Toyota up 24%, Suzuki up 48%, Mitsubishi up 62%, Renault up 134%, Brilliance up 146% and Skoda up 326%.

Brilliance X30 Egypt February 2015. Picture courtesy shinerayauto.comThe Brilliance X30 misses out on a Top 50 ranking by 11 sales for its first month in market.

The Chevrolet TFR, best-seller in 2014, is taking its distance with its traditional rival for the pole position the Hyundai Verna, with 2,627 sales and 11% share vs. 2,107 and 8.8% this month. Chevrolet places 3 models inside the Top 4 with the Lanos at #3 and the Aveo at #4. The Skoda Octavia remains extremely solid at #6 vs. #14 over FY2014, the Mitsubishi Lancer EX is up 4 spots on January to #7, the Speranza Tiggo is up 9 to #11 and the Brilliance X30 makes its first appearance in the Egyptian ranking at #57 with 71 sales.

Previous month: Egypt January 2015: Skoda Octavia hops onto podium

One year ago: Egypt February 2014: Nissan Sunny stays on podium

Full February 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 139 All-models below.

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