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Trans-Siberian Railway 2013: Irkutsk, Siberia Photo Report

October 4th, 2013 6 comments

1 Honda AirwaveHonda Airwave

* See the Full Photo Report and my estimated Top 10 models by clicking on the title! *

This is Part 8 of my Trans-Siberian Photo Report. You can see all other Parts of this long-term Photo Report here. We are now moving 855km East to Irkutsk, which is 80 km off Lake Baikal. And here again a fascinating car landscape awaits… From roughly 30% of the traffic in Omsk and Tomsk to half in Krasnoyarsk, we are now faced with a proper invasion of used Japanese imports in Irkutsk! I have estimated that around two-third of all vehicles in circulation in this city are coming straight from Japan, complete with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car!

2 Honda StepwgnHonda Stepwgn 

This has been one of the most unbelievable evolutions I have witnessed along my trip: starting in St Petersburg and Moscow where absolutely all vehicles are ‘correct’ and left-hand drive, the car park has progressively shifted its steering wheel to the right to reach a very clear majority here in Irkutsk. If in Krasnoyarsk the Toyota Ist was the most popular, here like in Omsk the Toyota Probox is the clear winner, and I have also seen a few with the ‘Succeed’ nameplate.

4 Toyota Probox 1Toyota Probox

Before going through the rest of the most successful Japanese imports, it is important to notice the other main characteristic of the Irkutsk car landscape: the predominance of station wagons. Much more so than in any other city I have visited so far, it seems to be a format that particularly fits the needs of car buyers in this region of Russia. In this context, you would assume the Lada Largus is a resounding success here, but weirdly, not so. This trend seems to have confined itself to Japanese imports, to the exception of a few Kia Cee’d and Peugeot 308 SW.

3 Lada ZhiguliZhiguli

So it won’t come as a surprise then that the Nissan Wingroad and Honda Airwave are by far the most popular Nippon imports in Irkutsk along with the Toyota Probox and Honda Stream. Those very particular Japanese MPVs have also struck a chord here: I’m speaking of the Toyota Alphard, Voxy, Noah, Nissan Serena and other Honda Stepwgn. Other successes include the Toyota Allion, Ractis, Ipsum, Gaia, Regius and Verossa – I saw 2 in the space of one minute here, the same number I had seen since my arrival in Russia, Mitsubishi Mirage Dingo, Dion and Honda Mobilio. The Toyota Will range has now become commonplace: I spotted all 3 models (Cypha, VS and Vi).

11 Lada GrantaLada Granta

7 Lada Zhiguli Honda AirwaveZhiguli and Honda Airwave

If this description kind of sounds like I am in a Japanese city, that’s because it’s almost how it feels being in Irkutsk. There are still hordes of Lada Zhiguli around, but even the police has gone West, driving in Ford Focus or Fiat Linea. The Lada Samara and Kalina are rare, as are the Granta and Priora that are clean enough to still be considered new. I would still bet on a Top 10 ranking for the Granta here, but just.

9 Cadillac SRXCadillac SRX

10 Infiniti FXInfiniti FX

10b Toyota TundraToyota Tundra

On the other hand, I have observed a level of new luxury cars and large SUVs potentially unrivalled since Moscow, in line with Irkutsk’s wealth as the biggest city near the touristic Lake Baikal. The new generation Range Rover is back in force, the Infiniti FX is not limited to the ‘resident’ one anymore: I saw dozens of them in the city, along with Infiniti QX56, Nissan Patrol, Cadillac SRX, BMW 3 and 1 Series, Ford Explorer and F-Series, Dodge Ram and Toyota Tundra…

5 Hyundai SolarisHyundai Solaris

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Hyundai Solaris should be the best-seller in Irkutsk, once again extremely consistent across absolutely all the cities I’ve passed, much more so than the Lada Granta for example which is an astounding achievement and a big surprise as far as I am concerned.

6 Toyota RAV4Toyota RAV4

The main difference in the best-sellers list in Irkutsk compared to the rest of the country is the even keener taste for small Asian SUVs: the new generation Toyota RAV4 is literally everywhere already and could be fighting with the Hyundai Solaris for the top spot overall (yep, that much), while the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Nissan Juke, Toyota Prado, Hyundai ix35, Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander and Suzuki Grand Vitara (in this order) are clearly over-represented here. On the other hand, I didn’t see many Renault Duster.

6a Mazda CX-5Mazda CX-5

Vladimir from the #1 Russian magazine Zarulev told me back in Moscow that Mazda and SsangYong had opened assembly plants in Vladivostok, 4,000 km East of Irkutsk, in order to try and woo East-Russian consumers back to left-hand drive cars. I could spot that influence a little in Irkutsk: the Mazda CX-5 is much more frequent than usual, as are the SsangYong Actyon and Actyon Sports. But it’s not a flood yet, so Irkutskers are clearly not that convinced at this stage.

12 FAW V5 Daewoo MatizFAW V5 and Daewoo Matiz

Another category of cars that seems to be more popular here than in other places are the minis: I saw many Kia Venga, Picanto and Chevrolet Spark. Finally, Chinese company FAW is clearly doing a big push in Irkustk with one FAW V5 exhibited near the central bus station (along with an UZ-Daewoo Matiz) and one I picked in the streets, but so far Chinese models are still very limited in the streets of Irkutsk, with the odd Lifan Solano, Chery Indis, Great Wall Hover and BYD F3 spotted.

14 TruckZiL 5301 “Bychek” (thanks Bad_Q, Ian and LCV News)

This was Irkutsk! Hope you enjoyed and that your ears are not frozen yet, because our next stop is the shores of Lake Baikal whose water temperature rarely goes above 10 degrees Celsius / 50 degrees Farhenheit…

Full Photo Report and estimated Top 10 best-selling models below.

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Brazil September 2013: Fiat Siena continues to impress

October 4th, 2013 3 comments

Fiat Siena Brazil September 2013Fiat Siena

* See the Top 50 best-selling models and Top 20 brands by clicking on the title! *

After alarmingly dropping by 23% last month, the Brazilian new car market is happily back into positive territory in September, up 6% year-on-year to 293,961 registrations, reducing the year-to-date fall to just 1% at 2,638,378 units. The VW Gol dominates the models sales charts head and shoulders with 7.5% share vs. 4.9% for the Fiat Uno back to #2. The hero of the month is once again the Fiat Siena, up to 4.3% share and 4th place thanks to 12,647 sales, now only 249 off the podium and the Fiat Palio.This is the Siena’s best ranking since February 2011, best share since February 2010 and 4th highest monthly volume ever below March 2010 (12,913) and September 2009 (12,700) and last month (12,687).

VW Kombi Brazil September 2013The VW Kombi is living its last months as a new vehicle in Brazil

The Chevrolet Onix and Hyundai HB20 seem to have now stabilised around 3% share, ranking #8 and #10 respectively, exactly like last month, with both their sedan versions the Prisma and HB20S sliding down to #16 and #23 respectively. About to be discontinued, the VW Kombi enjoys an nth wind, up 7 spots on August to #33.

Previous month: Brazil August 2013: Fiat Siena shines in market down 23%

One year ago: Brazil September 2012: Toyota Etios lands

Full September 2013 Top 50 models and Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Brazil

Argentina September 2013: VW Gol Trend confirms pole position

October 3rd, 2013 19 comments

VW Gol Argentina September 2013VW Gol Trend

* See the Top 207 All-models and Top 35 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

Great news coming from Argentina: new car sales in the country are up a fantastic 28% year-on-year to 82,339 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to a record 752,724 units, up 11% on 2012. Whereas last month was the first time since the two generations of Gol are counted separately (January 2011) that the Gol Trend topped the Argentinean sales charts, it reiterates this feat in September, even improving its market share to 4.3% thanks to a round 3,500 sales. The Gol Trend therefore goes from #4 to #2 in the year-to-date ranking at 25,337 units and 3.4%, still a fair distance off the traditional leader the Chevrolet Classic still going strong this month at 4%, adding up to 29,676 sales and 3.9% so far this year.

Chevrolet Tracker Argentina September 2013The Chevrolet Tracker is already inside the Argentinean Top 50.

The Peugeot 208 confirms it is a new serious contender to the title of best-selling car in Argentina in 2014 by consolidating the outstanding third position it reached in August with 2,806 units and 3.4%. Even though the new generation has not reached Argentinean shores yet, the Renault Sandero is up a further 4 spots on August to #4 vs. #13 year-to-date while the Clio Mio is stable at #5, the Duster is back up 8 ranks to #7 and the Logan up 3 to #17 vs. #34, making Renault the #2 brand in the country this month, only 363 unit off Volkswagen. Notice also the Chevrolet Onix up 10 spots to break into the Top 20 for the first time at #20, the Chevrolet Spin up 13 to #25, the Chevrolet Tracker breaking into the Top 50 for its 2nd month of sales at #49 and the Toyota Etios making its first appearance in the Argentinean ranking at #70.

Previous month: Argentina August 2013: VW Gol Trend #1, Peugeot 208 on podium

One year ago: Argentina September 2012: Ford Ka and Ranger impress

Full September 2013 Top 207 All-models and Top 35 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Argentina

Trans-Siberian Railway 2013: Tomsk, Siberia Photo Report

October 2nd, 2013 20 comments

1 GAZ logoGAZ logo

* See the Full Photo Report and my estimated Top 10 models by clicking on the title! *

This is Part 6 of my Trans-Siberian Photo Report. You can see all other Parts of this long-term Photo Report here. We are moving 940km North East of Omsk to… Tomsk (hard to not confuse the two but I will do my best). And I am happy to report that at last, the Tomsk car landscape is looking pretty much like what one would expect from Russia. By this I mean a full blanket of Zhiguli, reinforced by many Lada 110 and Kalina welcomed me as I came out of the train station. Reassuring to see all the Zhigulis are not on the verge of extinction.

2 Renault Logan Lada ZhiguliRenault Logan, Lada 4×4 and Zhiguli in front of the Tomsk “Voksal” (train station)

In the same vein, the Lada Granta is clearly the best-selling new car here, it has been vastly adopted by taxi companies and the police, which says it all. I saw many new-looking Lada Priora, a tough achievement in a city where most cars seem to get instantly covered by mud, which could still mean a Top 3 ranking for the model which has gone down drastically nationally in 2013.

1 Lada GrantaLada Granta

3 Chevrolet NivaChevrolet Niva

4 Hyundai SolarisHyundai Solaris and VW Touareg

The remaining podium step should be a tough fight between the Chevrolet Niva, seemingly at its best in Siberia, the Ford Focus which has a strong heritage here looking at the many previous gen models in the streets, the ever-present Hyundai Solaris, very consistently successful everywhere I’ve been, and the Renault Logan which if it does indeed manages a Top 3 ranking should send a big ‘Spasiba’ (Russian for ‘thank you’) letter to all the taxi drivers in the city that have chosen this model.

4b Izh OdaIzh Oda

6 GAZ Volga1967 GAZ Volga

6c GAZ Volga2004 GAZ Volga

Now that we have the best-sellers out of the way, to the specificities of Tomsk. First striking element and it has become clearer and clearer as I have gone East, Toyota should be the clear #2 brand here behind Lada. The Toyota Camry is everywhere in Tomsk, as are the Prado, Land Cruiser and Highlander. Plus I have seen two new generation Toyota Corolla which always stops me in my tracks with my mouth wide open as I have only seen this model in Russia – and also the reason why I wasn’t quick enough to take a few pics…

5 Toyota Land Cruiser Lada 4x4Toyota Land Cruiser and Lada 4×4

9 Subaru XVSubaru XV

The other brand clearly more successful here than in the other cities I passed is Subaru, with the XV already noticeable and a broad range of models spanning a few generations. That Subaru and Toyota get more successful as we ‘approach’ Japan (still 6,500 km away mind you) should not come as a surprise but it’s fascinating to actually see it happen before my eyes.

8 UAZ adGood old me in front of a UAZ Bukhanka billboard.Yep, you can still buy them new here!

The SUVs are back in force in Tomsk (compared to Omsk), perhaps because we have now entered ‘true’ Siberia and once you leave the city there doesn’t seem to be any sealed roads in sight based on what I could see from the train in the two hours preceding my arrival here. And believe me, even though we’re at the end of Summer here it’s already wet and I could see massive ruts on those roads all the way from the train, so a 4WD wouldn’t go amiss here.

7 UAZ PatriotUAZ Patriot

The Renault Duster, new generation Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage and Nissan Juke (even though technically not a 4WD) are the most popular. Tomsk drivers also seem to have completely fallen in love with the Kia Soul: I saw way more of them than any other city I have passed. I’m also seeing more and more UAZ Patriot, Hunter and Lada 4×4 as I go East, including brand-new ones.

10 Lexus RX Infiniti FXInfiniti FX and Lexus RX

10b Infiniti QX56Infiniti QX56

Among luxury vehicles, a very special mention goes to the Lexus RX: I literally saw the current generation at every street corner, a ratio to the overall traffic potentially higher to St Petersburg or Moscow which in itself is extremely impressive. I now got used to the ‘resident’ Infiniti FX and Tomsk follows the trend. Other models I saw more often than in the previous cities I passed include the new generation Chevrolet Aveo sedan, Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Fabia.

11 Jinbei GranseJinbei Granse

Virtually no Chinese in Tomsk, which is a surprise as I thought I would see an increase the further East I went. I saw my first Jinbei Granse here, but the other 4 lonely models (in 36 hours!) were the unexotic Lifan Solano, Chery Cielo, QQ6 and Indis. Still an odd American trait to the Tomsk car landscape with two Toyota Tundra (made in the US) and one Chevrolet Camaro spotted.

12 Toyota Will CyphaTwo birds unfazed by the outrageous fluorescent orange robe of this Toyota Will Cypha

Last but not least, on to the Japanese imports. To be honest I was half-expecting the entire Tomsk traffic to be driving on the other side of the road, but not so. If anything I believe the Japanese imports ratio may have slightly declined compared to Omsk but then again I may just be getting used to it by now. Most popular are the Toyota Ist, Japanese spec Corolla, Funcargo and Nissan Primera. Other frequent nippons include the Toyota Probox, Spacio, Opa, Noah, Will VS, and I spotted one Nissan Lafesta, one Mitsubishi Delica and… get this: not one, not two but three Toyota Will Cypha, including one in a flashy fluorescent orange robe! I don’t think I could have picked that many in the whole of Japan itself!

That was Tomsk for you, hope the trip was pleasant enough. Next stop: Krasnoyarsk!

Full Photo Report and estimated Top 10 models below.

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World August 2013 Round up: Premium or Low-cost is the way!

October 1st, 2013 1 comment

Audi A3 World August 2013. Picture courtesy of largus.frAudi A3

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

Once again I ask: what better way to finish one month and start a new one than going through our traditional World Roundup? I don’t think there is any! Before we start, don’t forget to catch the latest Photo Report in my Trans-Siberian series here. As usual, let’s begin by an overview of the main worldwide markets: one one hand the two largest markets in the world are in a totally euphoric state: the USA is up 17% and China up 10%. On the other hand, usually booming markets are down: Brazil at a dramatic -23% and Russia at -10%In Europe, after July gave us a bit of hope with a 5% year-on-year increase on the continent, in August new car sales are back to hell: -18% in Spain, -11% in France to the lowest monthly result in 37 years (!), -7% in Italy to the worst August score in 51 years (!!) and -7% in Germany but, as usual, +11% in the UK

Now let me introduce the Top 5 worldwide highlights of this month of August.

1. The Audi A3 hits a record 2nd place in Germany (previous best #4) at a best-ever 2.8% share in the nameplate’s 17 year history. This and solid performances throughout Europe earn it a record 6th spot Europe-wide (previous best: #9 last April), which places it at #2 in its segment behind only the VW Golf and above the Ford Focus and Opel Astra, both outside the Top 10 in August. Moritz Drechsel from Audi Germany gave me a few explanations for this performance at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

BMW 3 Series World August 2013. Picture courtesy of largus.frBMW 3 Series

2. Illustrating the long-term European trend towards premium models, the BMW 3 Series also smashes its European ranking record this month at #4, the 1 Series hits its highest ranking and potentially highest ever market share in the UK at #6 and 2.9% and the 5 Series simply leads the models ranking in Ireland, nothing less, and ranks #8 in Portugal.

Dacia Sandero France September 2013Dacia Sandero

3. Confirming that in 2013, unless you are a premium or a low-cost brand in Europe, chances are you are in trouble, the Dacia Sandero is the best-selling model in Spain for only the 2nd time ever after last January, it is on the French podium for the 2nd consecutive time and third time ever, up to #9 in the German private sales ranking and hits a best-ever #12 in Italy. But wait there’s more: at home in Romania the Logan is up to its strongest market share in almost 3 years at a mammoth 29.2% (the new generation must have helped), the Dokker up to a huge 14.6% share in neighbouring Bulgaria, by far its best worldwide performance to-date and the Duster is already #4 in Ireland only 6 months after the brand launched there.

Tesla Model S Frankfurt Auto Show September 2013. Picture courtesy of autobild.deTesla Model S

4. The Tesla Model S delivers its first Top 20 ranking in the world in Norway where it lands at #15 with 1.6% share, pushing Tesla up to #17 brand, above manufacturers like Honda, Citroen, Suzuki and Renault! The Model S even reportedly topped the Norwegian models ranking outright during the first week of September! In other electric news, the Chevrolet Volt brilliantly breaks into the Top 20 in the Netherlands at #18 this month.

Honda CR-V World August 2013Honda CR-V

5. This is a group accolade to salute the performance of Japanese brands in the US market, nothing short of indecent: Lexus is up 23% on August 2012, Toyota and Nissan both up 24%, Mazda up 26%, Honda up 29% and Subaru up 45% to pass 40,000 monthly units for the first time in history…  If we focus on Honda in particular, it places 3 models inside the overall US Top 6! Both the Civic and Accord hit their strongest monthly volume in 4 years at 39,458 and 38,559 sales respectively, while the CR-V is up to a all-time high of 34,654 units.

Toyota Vios Philippines August 2013. Picture courtesy of livelifedrive.comToyota Vios

For its part Toyota has an excellent month not only in the States but worldwide, with a few of its important 2013 new launches making nice waves. Thanks to the new station wagon the Toyota Auris takes the lead in Finland for the first time since November 2010 and does so for the first time ever in Poland. The new generation Corolla boosts the nameplate to #1 and 10.1% share in Israel and #5 in Turkey, I have also started spotting it in Russia so we should witness the new gen effect there soon too. The previous gen, now in run-out mode, takes the lead in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (July figures), while the the RAV4 hits an all-time high ranking for the nameplate in Australia at #9 and the Vios breaks a new monthly sales record in the Philippines.

But there were many more worldwide events than these 5 highlights, discover them by clicking on ‘Read more’ below.

See the Full article featuring 30 more countries by clicking on ‘Read more’ below.

Here is the full last 6 months’ worth of World roundups:

World July 2013 Round up: Volvo V40 and GMC Sierra get their place in the sun

World June 2013 Roundup: Renault Captur surprises, Skoda Rapid cannibalises

World May 2013 Roundup: Europeans buy more local

World April 2013 Roundup: Toyota RAV4 means business

World March 2013 Roundup: Don’t take this the wrong way, but…

World February 2013 Roundup: Nissan Qashqai pumps up the jam

See the Full article below.

Read more…

Categories: World

World 7 months 2013: Toyota Corolla back in charge

October 1st, 2013 8 comments

Hyundai i30 Toyota Corolla World July 2013. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auHyundai i30 and Australian Toyota Corolla hatchback

* See the Top 200 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Now that we have explored in detail the July worldwide sales charts, it’s time to go through the year-to-date rankings to extract longer-term trends. The fight for the title of 2013’s best-selling car in the world is as tight as ever, with the big event this month being the Toyota Corolla reclaiming the top spots thanks to almost 100,000 sales in July. The tallies after 7 months in 2013 are as follows: Toyota Corolla 650.072, Ford Focus 647.866 and Hyundai Elantra up 27% to 546.159 but 636.776 with the i30)…

VW Golf VII. World July 2013 Picture courtesy of L'ArgusThe VW Golf is now #6 worldwide

The only other change in the year-to-date Top 10 is the VW Golf passing the VW Passat to establish itself in 6th position now that the new generation is well and truly installed in the European market. The Ford F-Series is up a fantastic 18% to 511,406 sales at #4 while the Toyota Camry is down 2% at #5. Further down, the combo Renault Logan/Sandero is now threatening the Honda CR-V for #11 and could well break into the year-to-date Top 10 sometime during the next couple of months.

Nissan Sylphy World July 2013. Picture courtesy of www.auto.ifeng.comNissan Sylphy worldwide sales are up 73% so far in 2013.

In 13th position, the VW Jetta is up 34% year-on-year, as is the Ford Kuga/Escape at #21. Other great improvements inside the Top 50 include the Nissan Sylphy up 73% to #24, Hyundai Tucson/ix35 up 30% to #25, VW Lavida up 108% to #34, Renault Duster up 42% to #38 and Kia Forte up 25% to #43. Below, let’s salute the Hyundai Santa Fe up 65% to #56, the Peugeot 208 up 231% to #59 as the model launched worldwide roughly a year ago and the combo Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia surfing on the record strength of the Indonesian market: up 43% to #63.

BMW 3 Series GT World July 2013The BMW 3 Series is the most popular premium model in the world so far in 2013.

The most popular Chinese passenger car worldwide is the BYD F3 up 60% to #88 thanks to the addition of the 2nd generation of the model, followed by the Great Wall Haval H6 up 123% to #101 and the Emgrand EC7 up 47% to #103. Premium-wise, the BMW 3 Series leads by far at #40 (+17%), ahead of the Audi A4 at #53, BMW 5 Series at #64, Audi A6 at #65 and Mercedes C-Class at #68.

Chevrolet Onix Hyundai HB20 World July 2013The Chevrolet Onix and Hyundai HB20 are two of the 3 all-new models present in the Top 200.

There are 3 all-new models inside the worldwide Top 200: the Buick Encore/Chevrolet Trax/Opel Mokka triplets land at #104 with 106,002 sales in 7 months, followed by the Chevrolet Onix/Prisma at #112 with 101,925 units and the Hyundai HB20 at #136 and 85,455 sales. These models are all up from #109, #119 and #143 respectively after 6 months.

Previous post: World July 2013: Discover the Top 200 best-selling models!

One year ago: World 7 months 2013: Toyota Camry, Suzuki Swift and Kia Rio shine

Full 7 months 2013 Top 200 models Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: World

World July 2013: Discover the Top 200 best-selling models!

October 1st, 2013 1 comment

Toyota Corolla World July 2013The progressive spread of the new gen sedan should help the Corolla keep the worldwide lead…

* See the Top 200 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Austin *

Now that Middle-Eastern figures are out in the open, thanks to the hard work of Austin I can update you on an estimated ranking of the most popular cars in the world for the month of July (be careful there is one month delay with most of the articles you have seen on BSCB over the past few weeks). Boosted by a very successful run-out model of the Gen 10 model in the Middle-East and the progressive arrival of the Gen 11 across Eastern Europe, the Toyota Corolla misses out on 100,000 worldwide sales for just a bit this month at 98,044 units, enabling it to reclaim the year-to-date lead over the Ford Focus at 650,072 sales vs. 647,866. Remember Corolla sales include the 9th, 10th and 11th generations and the Auris hatchback but not the Japanese model while Focus sales include the last two generations in hatchback, sedan and station wagon variants.

Dacia Logan World July 2013The Logan/Sandero combo is up to #7 in the world in July.

In fact the July Top 5 best-sellers are identical to the Top 5 year-to-date: the Hyundai Elantra is back in third place with 76,681 sales (89,035 or just below the Focus if you add sales of the i30 hatchback), ahead of the Ford F-Series at 72,011 and the Toyota Camry at 69,829. Boosted by record results in the US and Russia, the Chevrolet Cruze continues to evolve higher than its year-to-date level at #6 in July vs. #8, whereas the Renault Sandero/Logan continues to progress up the worldwide ladder: up a further one spot to #8 with the spread of the 2nd generation of the combo into Eastern Europe and Central Asia (with South America and Russia still to come!) and the success of the Lada Largus (aka Dacia Logan MCV) in Russia.

Chevrolet Silverado World July 2013The success of the new generation is pushing the Chevrolet Silverado up to #15 worldwide…

Other great worldwide performers this month include the Chevrolet Silverado up to #15 vs. #27 year-to-date, the Opel Astra/Buick Excelle XT/GT up to #16, Dodge RAM up to #28, BMW 3 Series at #31 vs. #40 year-to-date, Toyota Prius c/Aqua up to #34 vs. #57, the combo Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia up to #50 on the sole strength of the Indonesian market and the Chinese VW Jetta up to #54 thanks to the new generation of the model.

Ford Ecosport World July 2013The Ford Ecosport sells more than 20,000 monthly worldwide units for the first time in July.

One model that is starting to see the results of its simultaneous launch in China and India is the Ford Ecosport, up 19 ranks on June to #70 with over 20,000 monthly units sold worldwide for the very first time for the nameplate at 20,037 vs. #122 year-to-date and #314 in 2012…  Other recent launches in good shape include the Buick Encore/Opel Mokka/Chevrolet Trax beating their best worldwide ranking by 20 spots at #77, the Chevrolet Onix/Prisma up 16 to #79, Hyundai HB20 up 36 to #105, Nissan Days up 32 to #107 and the Honda Crider up to #150 for its second month in activity on the sole strength of the Chinese market.

Previous month: World June 2013: Discover the Top 300 best-selling models!

One year ago: World July 2012: Discover the Top 150 best-selling models!

Full July 2013 Top 200 models Ranking Table below.

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Categories: World

Gulf July 2013: Toyota Corolla and Camry shine

September 30th, 2013 2 comments

Toyota Camry Gulf July 2013. Picture courtesy of motortrend.comToyota Camry

* See the Top 250 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Ldman *

The Gulf Cooperation Council area includes Saudi ArabiaKuwaitQatarBahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. New car sales in the region, currently one of the most dynamic in the world, are up 10% year-on-year in August to 139,369 registrations, which brings the year-to-date total to 931.116 units, up 9% or some 80,000 units on 2012… Bolstered by its pole position in the two biggest markets in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia and the UAE), the Toyota Corolla logically takes the lead in the region in July with 10,070 sales and 7.2% share, but remains #2 year-to-date at 54,184 units and 5.8% vs. an unattainable 67,899 sales and 7.3% for the Toyota Hilux, down to #2 this month at 8,516 units and 6.1%.

Nissan Altima Honda Accord Mazda6 Gulf July 2013. picture courtesy of ksa.yallamotor.comNissan Altima, Honda Accord and Mazda6

The Toyota Camry is also in great shape, up 2 spots on June to round up the Gulf podium with 6,098 sales and 4.4% vs. #6 and 3.6% year-to-date. Star of the month in June, the Hyundai Elantra is down 2 ranks to #4 and 5,857 units. The Honda Accord has a stellar month, up 5 spots on June to land in 8th position with 2,958 sales and 2.1% vs. #13 year-to-date, as do the Ford Expedition breaking into the Gulf Top 10 at #10 with 2,574 units and 1.8% vs. #17 year-to-date, and the Chevrolet Tahoe up 5 ranks to #11. Notice also the Hyundai Tucson up to #15 vs. #20 year-to-date, the Toyota Sequoia at #22 vs, #32, Lexus ES up 11 spots to #30 and the Ford Explorer up 13 to #32.

Previous month: Gulf June 2013: Toyota Hilux and Hyundai Elantra in charge

One year ago:  Gulf July 2012: Toyota Hilux and Corolla dominate, Kia Cerato up

Full July 2013 Top 250 Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Trans-Siberian Railway 2013: Kazan, Tatarstan Photo Report

September 30th, 2013 5 comments

2 Lada SamaraLada Samara in Kazan, Tatarstan Russia – September 2013

See the Full Photo Report and my estimated Top 10 models by clicking on the title! *

This is part 3 of a Trans-Siberian Photo Report. You can see all other Parts of this long-term Photo Report here. We are now off to Kazan, 800 km East of Moscow in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. Now that Russia’s biggest cities and their twisted car parks are out of the way, I figured Ladaland would start. And judging by the car landscape of the countryside I saw from the train approaching Kazan, it is definitely the case, with around 75% of vehicles being Ladas.

1 Lada GrantaLada Granta

This ratio goes down significantly once in Kazan but there is now definitely a much higher proportion of Ladas than there were in St Petersburg or Moscow. This is an opportune moment to make one remark: I only ever had time to explore the centre of each city I will take you through which may weigh the car park a little towards foreign brands and less Ladas, keep this in mind when you read the next Reports and please do comment on each article if you live in the city I’m describing and have a different view of its car landscape.

3 Chevrolet CobaltChevrolet Cobalt

A few minutes walking around in Kazan and one thing is for sure: the Lada Granta is definitely the best-seller here, holding a much larger market share than its national 6.3% average so far in 2013, I would say between 12 and 15%. They are literally everywhere, as taxis or passenger cars, two, three, four in a row – no doubt about it Kazan loves the Granta. The Lada Largus has also had a fantastic start here and could possibly claim a spot on the Kazan podium. The words of Vladimir from the Russian #1 magazine Zarulev: “the Russians have been waiting for a car like the Largus” cannot resonate better than here in Kazan.

4 Kia RioKia Rio and Lada Kalina station wagon

6 Hyundai Solaris Daewoo MatizDaewoo Matiz and Hyundai Solaris

The entire Lada range is still extremely well represented in this city, starting with droves of Kalina (especially the break variant as taxi), Samara, 110, Priora and Zhiguli in this order. I even saw my first Kalina II just next to the railway station. With the St Petersburg and Moscow markets I was starting to feel I was in a different country than Russia, so it’s good to finally see a car landscape that is much closer to the monthly national rankings I have been publishing!

5 Lada Granta Lada KalinaLada Granta and Kalina station wagon

The second striking element looking at Kazan streets is the strength of Chevrolet. Lots of Lacetti and Optra show Kazan’s love affair with the American carmaker is not new. As a logical consequence, this is by far the city where I saw the most Chevrolet Cobalt, a model I didn’t know was on sale in Russia until I spotted one in St Petersburg, but dozens of them in Kazan. The Cruze is also very popular here, but interestingly and contrary to what is the norm in Russia for this segment, the hatchback variant seems to be more successful than the sedan. And the Niva is of course everywhere.

7 Renault DusterRenault Duster x 2

8 Lada SamaraLada Samara

The Kia Rio could claim the 2nd spot in Kazan’s sales charts, with the Hyundai Solaris and Renault Duster not far behind. If the French SUV was making itself sparse in St Petersburg and Moscow, it has definitely convinced Kazan car buyers, who appreciate smaller SUVs like the Opel Mokka, surprisingly frequent in spite of its very recent launch, SsangYong Korando, Kia Sportage and new generation Toyota RAV4.

11 Kazan trafficKazan traffic

There are way more Daewoo Matiz and Nexia than in the two previous cities I visited and way less Ford Focus and VW Polo. Lots and lots of GAZ Gazelle LCV in all formats, and I saw the new generation (“Gazelle Next”) for the first time here. Luxury models are still around but limited to SUVs or bigger versions of sedans, typically the BMW 5 Series GT and Honda Accord Crosstour which I was surprised to spot.

9 Great Wall HoverGreat Wall Hover

Finally, it will be remembered that the city I saw my very first new generation Toyota Corolla, likely to be one of the two best-selling cars in the world in 2014, was Kazan in Tatarstan, Russia. Who would have thought?

That was Kazan! I hope you enjoyed the coverage. Next stop: Yekaterinburg just beyond the Asian ‘border’…

Full Photo Report and estimated Top 10 models ranking below.

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Italy August 2013: Now with the Top 150 best-selling models!

September 30th, 2013 9 comments

Maserati Quattroporte Italy August 201312 Maserati Quattroporte found a buyer in Italy in August.

* See the Top 150 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Paolo *

Looks like we are starting a new monthly rendezvous on BSCB thanks to Paolo! After going through the 50 most popular models in Italy in August I can now give you the Top 150. We learn that the Chevrolet Cruze is up 15 spots on July to #57, the Volvo V40 up 42 to #64, Opel Adam up 7 to #72, Mercedes CLA up 10 to #80, Mitsubishi ASX up 35 to #88, Peugeot 2008 down 22 to #95 and the Range Rover Sport up to #108. Finally, notice the new Maserati Quattroporte starting to stretch its legs at 12 units sold in August vs. just one one year ago.

Previous post: Italy August 2013: Fiat Punto teases Panda in worst August in 51 years

One year ago: Italy August 2012: Lowest August since 1962, Fiat Panda at highest in 30 years

Full August 2013 Top 150 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Italy