Posts Tagged ‘Lada’

Russia May 2015: Hyundai Solaris outsells Lada Granta, Nissan X-trail soars to 5th place

June 10th, 2015 1 comment

Nissan X-Trail Russia May 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Nissan X-Trail is the most popular SUV in the whole of Russia in May…

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The Russian new car market is down another abysmal 38% year-on-year both in May (125.801) and so far this year (641.933). The Russian macroeconomic indicators however remain shaky: inflation has stabilised to 15.8% in May vs. 16.9% in March which was the highest since 2002, and the GDP decline is set to accelerate from 1.9% over Q1 2015 to 4% in both Q2 and Q3. After trying – and failing – to ignite sales with a scrappage scheme earlier in the year, the Russian government has been offering subsidised auto loans and allowing consumer leasing since April, with Industry Minister Denis Manturov boldly announcing that this may boost auto sales by at least 300.000 units this year. For now, sales under the subsidised auto loan program stand at 38.500 vehicles in one and a half month.

Hyundai Solaris Russia May 2015. Picture courtesy…while the Hyundai Solaris is the overall best-selling nameplate in the country.

Once again the Top 3 manufacturers outpace the market resulting in a rare market consolidation: Lada (-33%), Hyundai (-13%) and Kia (-27%) hold a combined market share of 38.8% this month vs. just 33% a year ago. On the other hand, the next 4 carmakers all fall at least as fast as the market anew: Renault (-42%), Nissan (-38%), Toyota (-43%) and Volkswagen (-48%) all decline sharply. Lifted by the SUV fashion, UAZ is the only mass manufacturer to actually increase its volume year-on-year: up 8% to 3.853 units in 10th position vs. 16th a year ago with the Patriot up 21% to #21. Only Cadillac (130 deliveries), Brilliance (78) and Smart (75) also increase with Porsche (458) and Mini (100) stable. Worryingly down to #16 and 1.9% share last month, Datsun is back in the game in May at #14 with 3.367 units and 2.7%, simply its strongest market share in Russia so far and 2nd best volume below the 3.502 sold in March. Subaru (-81%), Jeep, Volvo (-82%), BAW (-86%), Haima (-87%), Ssangyong and Chrysler (both at -88%) lodge the most depressing scores.

Lada Vesta Russia May 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Lada Vesta will hit Russian dealerships this November.

The biggest surprise resides in the models ranking. Alarmingly for Lada, the Granta isn’t the best-selling nameplate at home for the third time in the past 7 months. Last November, the Kia Rio send shockwaves through the market by becoming the first foreign model to top Russian sales charts since the creation of the Lada homebrand in 1970, and last January the Hyundai Solaris replicated the same exploit by ranking #1. This month it becomes the first foreign nameplate in 45 years to manage to top Russian sales twice thanks to an incredible 10.654 units sold for a 8.5% market share, its highest volume since September 2013 and strongest Russian market share ever. The Lada Granta is down a harsh 35% to 8.471 sales while the Kia Rio is down 12% at #3 and the Lada Kalina down just 2% year-on-year but up two spots on April to #4.

Lada range – Russian sales and prices as at May 2015:

Model May sales 2015 sales Starting price (roubles) Starting price (US$)
Lada Vesta Nov 2015 launch Nov 2015 launch 500,000 9,000
Lada Priora 1.637 (-56%) 11.463 (-48%) 420,000 7,550
Lada Largus 3.519 (-53%) 15.523 (-44%) 417,000 7,500
Lada 4×4 2.918 (-11%) 16.701 (+3%) 395,000 7,100
Lada Kalina 5.604 (-2%) 18.309 (-42%) 361,300 6,500
Lada Granta 8.471 (-35%) 49.542 (-15%) 311,600 5,600

While we linked the last two occurrences of Granta failing to defend its pole position to years of meticulous build-up of Hyundai and Kia dealer networks in the Russian countryside as well as the surprising strength of its slightly more upmarket rebadge the Datsun on-DO, this time there may be a third element explaining the Granta’s particularly harsh decline. More and more spy pictures are emerging on Russian car websites of the upcoming Lada Vesta: official production is scheduled kick start at Eastern Russian Izhevsk plant on September 25 for an on sale date of November 1, 5.000 units planned by the end of the year and 120.000 for 2016. Positioned on top of the Lada range despite being shorter than a Priora (see price list above), the Vesta will be in frontal competition with the very Hyundai Solaris and Kia Rio that are currently challenging the Granta supremacy at home, and could be Lada’s best chance at keeping the #1 models spot in the near future. We are therefore potentially entering a period of about 18 months worth of shaky ground for Lada nameplates, the time it will take for buyers to readjust their understanding of the Lada range’s value equation. Check this page for a complete list of Lada prices in Russia.

Mitsubishi Outlander Russia May 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruMitsubishi Outlander Russian sales are up 87% year-on-year in May.

Ranked outside the Top 25 in April after an appearance at #16 in March, the Nissan X-Trail achieves one of the most impressive month-on-month leaps of any nameplate since BSCB has started following Russia monthly 5 years ago: it surges up to 5th place overall thanks to sales up 188% on the old model a year ago to 3.608 units and 2.9% share. This makes the X-Trail Russia’s best-selling SUV above the Toyota RAV4 up 10 spots on April to #7 and 3.516 sales – equalling its best-ever ranking also reached last November- and the Renault Duster at #9 and 3.427 deliveries. Notice also the Mitsubishi Outlander up 87% year-on-year to make its first appearance in the Russian Top 15 since last December at #12.

Previous month: Russia April 2015: Datsun fades in market down 41%

One year ago: Russia May 2014: Lada Largus smashes record, Nissan Qashqai in Top 10

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

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Latvia May 2015: Ford Focus shoots up to pole position

June 6th, 2015 No comments

Ford Focus Latvia May 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deFord Focus

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The Latvian new car market is up 9% year-on-year in May to 1.404 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 6.603 units, up 11% on 2014. Below Volkswagen sovereign at 17.5% share, Ford jumps to second place in the brands ranking thanks to 146 sales and 10.5%, this surge mainly the work of the Ford Focus, best-seller in the country this month with 5.1% share. Toyota is knocked down to #3 with 10.3%, ahead of Skoda (8%), Nissan (7.1%), Renault (6.3%) and Fiat (5.3%). The VW Caddy and Passat complete the podium  above the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Fiesta and Lada 4×4.

Previous month: Latvia April 2015: VW Passat takes the lead

One year ago: Latvia May 2014: VW Golf and Skoda Yeti on top

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Georgia Full Year 2014: Photo Report and analysis

May 26th, 2015 No comments

Toyota Corolla Georgia 2014bThe Toyota Corolla could be the best-seller in Georgia in 2014.

Today we get a more detailed insight into the car parc of Georgia, an ex-USSR state located in Caucasus with Russia to the north, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the south and the Black Sea to the west. Thanks to Marco D’Abbraccio we can get a better understanding of this very secretive market. With Full Year 2014 sales estimated by LMC Automotive at 5.500, this is a very limited market from where no official sales data has seeped through so far. Its location at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia transpires in its car parc.

All Photos below © Marco D’Abbraccio

1. Ford Taurus Tbilissi policeFord Taurus Interceptor Tbilissi Police

The Georgian car parc is a unique mix that reflects various economic ties with neighbouring countries. As it was the case in Eastern Russia, a large part of the Tbilissi car landscape is composed of affordable right-hand drive used imports from Japan coming through Georgia via, with the Toyota Ist and Mitsubishi Delica among the Top 5 most common cars there, used imports from Europe notably the Opel Astra and Vectra, and high end Mercedes from the 1990s as well as luxury SUVs.

2. Fiat Linea Georgia 2015Fiat Linea

As far as new cars are concerned, our bet on the title of 2014 best-seller in Georgia is on the Toyota Corolla produced in neighbouring Turkey and therefore imported with ease into the country. Interestingly there doesn’t seem to be that many more successful Turkish models, apart perhaps from the Fiat Linea pictured above. The Skoda Octavia could also compete for the #1 spot, making Georgia lean towards Eastern Europe, and the Toyota Land Cruiser is also a contender, this time linking Georgia with such markets as Kyrgyzstan across the Caspian Sea or even Mongolia.

7. BMW X5 Georgia 2015BMW X5

Affordable SUVs such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Santa Fe are also popular, this time mimicking steppe trends and Azerbaijan best-sellers, with which Georgia shares a border. Some Iranian influence in the shape of a handful of Iran Khodro Samand taxis circulating in Tbilissi, as well as a pinch of Uzbek imports with (only a very few) Uz-Daewoo Nexia spotted by Marco achieve to complete a very multi-cultural new car landscape indeed.

3. Zhiguli Georgia 20154. Gaz 24 Volga 3Zhiguli and GAZ 24 Volga

One of the main learnings about Georgia is that although the countries keep strong ties with most of its neighbours, it has all but severed car communication with ex-ruler Russia. If a lot of Zhiguli and GAZ Volga can still be spotted – mainly outside of big cities – the proportion of Russian models in the Georgian new car market is close to zero…

4. Opel Vectra Georgia 2015Opel Vectra in Tbilissi, Georgia – April 2015.

Active manufacturers in the country that have developed a reasonable network of dealerships include Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Skoda and Nissan. As we have seen in 2012-2013, given the small size of the market a large government order can vastly impact the list of best-sellers. After the Transit, Ford looks like it has benefited from another group order in the form of Ford Taurus Interceptor used as Tbilissi Police cars. However this order is much smaller and doesn’t enable Taurus any claims to the #1 title.

6. Toyota Will in Bodbe5. Gaz M21 Volga 1956Toyota Will used Japanese import, GAZ M21 Volga

Other popular models include the Hyundai Solaris, Renault Logan and Nissan Micra/March. Many thanks to Marco D’Abbraccio for this detailed reporting on the Georgian car landscape. If you have access to official sales data for this country, please ensure you get in touch by commenting on this article.

Previous post: Georgia 2012-2013: Ford Transit dominates, almost no Ladas left

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Kazakhstan April 2015: Renault Duster back up to 6th place

May 21st, 2015 No comments

Renault Duster Kazakhstan April 2015. Picture courtesy of Ilva Davidovich copyRenault Duster

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No sign of recovery for the Kazakh market which has now been in decline for a full year: down a harsh 31% year-on-year in April to just 9.573 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total down 28% to 34.963 units. Russian manufacturer Lada maintains itself at around one third of the market at 32.7% share, a world above Kia snapping back into 2nd place at 10.6%, Renault up one spot to 8.3% and Hyundai down two to 8.2%. Below Toyota, UAZ is strong again in 6th place and 5.5% share as are GAZ (4.9%) and Volkswagen (4.5%). Chinese carmaker Geely stops 29 units off a Top 10 ranking at #11 with 198 sales and 2.1% share.

Lada Kalina Russia Kazakhstan April 2015. Picture courtesy of avtovolgograda.ruThe Kalina makes it 4 Ladas in the April Top 5 in Kazakhstan.

In the models ranking, Lada manages to place 4 models inside the Top 5 this month, with the Granta still in pole position thanks to 1.027 sales and 10.7% share, the Largus at #3, Priora at #4 and Kalina at #5. Note that due to a particularly weak month of the Hyundai Accent (#7), the Largus and Priora now respectively rank #2 and #3 so far in 2015, making the Kazakh year-to-date podium 100% Lada with the Granta in the lead. The Kia Rio has a bumper month in 2nd place overall with 8.2% of the market. Notice also the UAZ Hunter up 7 spots on March to #20, the Skoda Rapid up 12 to #22, Toyota Hilux up 27 to #25 and the VW Jetta up 77 to #33.

Previous month: Kazakhstan March 2015: Lada Largus now #3 year-to-date

One year ago: Kazakhstan April 2014: UZ-Daewoo Gentra lands in 6th place

Full April 2015 Top 40 All-brands and Top 202 All-models below.

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Latvia April 2015: VW Passat takes the lead

May 19th, 2015 No comments

VW Passat Latvia April 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frVW Passat

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Latvian new car sales continue on their very vigorous trend so far this year with April up 16% year-on-year to 1.452 registrations and the year-to-date total now up 11% on 2014 at 5.198 units after 4 months. Volkswagen is still in control of the brands ranking with 271 sales and 18.7% share while Toyota reclaims the 2nd spot it holds year-to-date off Nissan thanks to 179 units and 12.3% vs. 119 and 8.2%. Skoda is solid in 4th place and 7.2% share above Fiat, Ford and Lada up 11 spots to #7 and 4.1%. Model-wise, this month the VW Passat takes the lead thanks to the new generation selling 77 units for a 5.3% market share, with the Nissan Qashqai retreating to 2nd place at 4.8% but retaining its year-to-date pole position by far at 304 sales and 5.8% vs. 196 and 3.8% for the VW Passat at #2. The Lada Niva surges to an outstanding third place (much better than at home in Russia) thanks to 59 sales and 4.1%, the Fiat 500 is back up to #5 and the Toyota Avensis is up 18 ranks to #6.

Previous month: Latvia March 2015: Nissan Qashqai sovereign

One year ago: Latvia April 2014: VW Golf and Passat shoot up to top 2 spots

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Russia April 2015: Datsun fades in market down 41%

May 14th, 2015 No comments

Nissan Terrano Russia 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruFirst Top 25 ranking in Russia for the Nissan Terrano, a Renault Duster rebadge.

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The Russian market is stuck in hell: -41.5% year-on-year in April to 132.456 registrations, the lowest April score in over a decade, even below April 2009 in the midst of the global recession. Year-to-date figures are now down 38% on 2014 to 516.135 deliveries, however local organisation AEB rather optimistically foresees a “flattening of the negative trend in the coming months.” Once again local manufacturer Lada fares slightly better than the market at -37% in April and -29% year-to-date, resulting in an improved 17.3% market share. Koreans Kia down 22% to 10.5% share and Hyundai down 14% to 10.3% are the real winners in these troubled times, cementing their spots on the podium and keeping Renault (-41%), Toyota (-54%), Nissan (-47%) and Volkswagen (-44%) at a comfortable distance.

Datsun on-DO Russia October 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruPeaking out: Datsun.

Hero of the past 6 months, recently relaunched low-cost brand Datsun shows worrying signs of peaking out this month: down to #16 overall with 2.508 sales and 1.9% share, its lowest volume since October which was its first full month in market and lowest share since December. The Datsun on-DO, after cracking the Top 10 in December (#10) and January (#7) is now down to #21 with 1.622 sales and 1.2% share, its weakest performance since October. Is the honeymoon between Datsun and Russian car buyers coming to an end? The brand’s April scores still make for an impressive performance taken in isolation in the current depressed Russian context, but the signs of eroded sales frenzy are undeniable.

Honda CR-V Russia April 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruNo splash: Honda sales are down 84% year-on-year in Russia this month.

Still running against the tide are luxury brands in Russia: Mercedes is down just 9% at #11, Lexus is up 5% at #17 with 2.200 registrations whereas it ranked #27 over the Full Year 2014 and Porsche is up 12% to 537 sales and #27 (#39 in 2014). Also, SUV specialist UAZ benefits from the current SUV craze and sees its sales decline by just 3% at #12 with the Patriot progressing further to #20 in the models ranking. At the other end of the scale, Chevrolet, soon to be dismantled in Russia, is down 64% but back up to #8 overall thanks to the Niva, Opel which will be discontinued here at the end of 2015 is down 59%, Citroen down 70%, Chery down 72%, Suzuki down 75%, Peugeot down 76%, Subaru down 79% and Honda down 84%.

Skoda Rapid Russia April 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruBrand’s best-seller: the Skoda Rapid.

The Lada Granta (-21%) maintains itself at a very high market share (7.8%) as do the Hyundai Solaris down just 8% to 6.8% and the Kia Rio down 13% to 5.9%. Despite sales down 40%, the Renault Duster climbs back to #4 and #1 SUV in Russia, also leaping up to #5 in 2015. The VW Polo (-38%) is back up 5 ranks to #5, the Chevrolet Niva up 8 to #9, the Toyota Camry is down just 23% at #12 while the Skoda Rapid celebrates one year in Russia by hitting its best ranking so far at #13. The tail end of the Top 25 is once again crowded with SUVs: the Kia Sportage (#16), Toyota RAV4 (#17), Hyundai ix35 (#18), UAZ Patriot (#20), Mazda CX-5 (#22) and the Nissan Terrano earning its first Top 25 ranking at #24 with 1.272 sales and 1% share.

Previous post: Russia 1st Quarter 2015: Datsun oblivious to devastated market

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

One year ago: Russia April 2014: Nissan Almera breaks records again

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Russia 1st Quarter 2015: Datsun oblivious to devastated market

May 2nd, 2015 No comments

Datsun on-DO Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy of zr.ruThe Datsun on-DO is an instant blockbuster in troubled Russia.

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Catastrophic results for the Russian new car market, crumbling down over the effects of galloping inflation triggered by economic sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis. Despite scrappage schemes implemented by the government, first quarter sales are in freefall: down 36% from 602.523 units a year ago to just 383.691 this year. Lada takes advantage of the situation somewhat, declining ‘only’ 25% to 68.544 deliveries which bumps its market share almost 3 points to 17.9% compared to 15.2% over the same period in 2014. Renault and Nissan (both down 41%) step aside to give way to Korean Hyundai (-4%) and Kia (-15%) up to #2 and #3 respectively.

Hyundai Solaris Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Solaris helps Hyundai up to #2 brand overall so far in 2015.

The manufacturers hardest hit by the crisis literally implode: Honda (-87%), Opel, Peugeot (-80%), Citroen, Chery (-78%), Suzuki (-75%), Chevrolet (-72%), Ford (-71%) and a couple of other Chinese carmakers like Geely (-62%) and Great Wall (-67%) are only but a shadow of themselves. The situation is so serious that General Motors has decided to abandon local production and pull the Opel brand out of Russia altogether, and most of Chevrolet models sold here. Ford is the notable exception, confirming it will endeavour to withstand the Russian storm with 4 new launches for the year, starting with the all-new Mondeo last month.

Mercedes C-Class Russia March 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruMercedes is now among the Top 10 best-selling brands in Russia.

In this context and as is often the case in periods of deep crisis, luxury carmakers are faring the best: Porsche even posts and insolent 54% year-on-year gain at 1.095 sales thanks to the Macan, Lexus is up 19% thanks to the NX and jumps inside the Top 20 vs. #31 a year ago, Mercedes is up 9% to crack the Russian Top 10 at #9 compared to #16 last year and BMW is down just 3% to lift its market share from 1.4% to 2.2%.

Porsche Cayenne Macan Russia March 2015Porsche sales are up 54% year-on-year in Russia so far in 2015.

The big brand story in Russia over the period is however the stunning success of Nissan’s newly relaunched Datsun brand. Met with a lukewarm welcome in other parts of the world it was reintroduced (India, Indonesia and South Africa), Datsun is off to a tremendously successful start in the largest country in the world. Thanks to models tailored to this market and not sold anywhere else, Datsun is up to #12 over Q1 2015 with 9.339 sales, within throwing distance of Chevrolet (9.748) and Mitsubishi (9.793) meaning a FY2015 Top 10 ranking is absolutely feasible. The on-DO, a bardge-engineered Lada Granta, is already among Russia’s 10 most popular nameplates with 8.061 deliveries.

Lada Granta Russia March 2015The Lada Granta now accounts for 8% of Russia sales.

Speaking of which, despite being challenged by the Hyundai Solaris – #1 in January, the Lada Granta sees its market share fly up to 8% from 5.4% a year ago thanks to sales down just 5% over the period. The Hyundai Solaris (-2%) and Kia Rio (-12%) also see their market share improve drastically, resulting in a very clear consolidation atop the models charts: the Top 3 hold a 19.3% share in 2015 vs. 13.1% a year ago.

Lada 4x4 Russia March 2015Still valiant: the Lada 4×4 is up from #15 last year to #4 in 2015.

The Lada 4×4 is reborn from its ashes: tough times call for budget, sturdy SUVs, and its sales are astoundingly up 16%, jumping from #15 over Q1 2014 to #4 overall this year. This trend also applies to the UAZ Patriot, making a remarkable entrance inside the Top 25 and seeing its market share improve by 1/3. The Renault Logan benefits from the launch of the new generation and gains 6 spots year-on-year to land at #5, the Toyota Camry is up 12 ranks to #12, the Hyundai ix35 up 3 to #13 and the Skoda Rapid is the second all-new nameplate in the Top 20 with the on-DO at #17. The tail end of the Top 25 is SUV territory, with the Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Qashqai all improving their ranking year-on-year.

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

Full Q1 2015 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models vs. Full Q1 2014 figures below.

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Kazakhstan March 2015: Lada Largus now #3 year-to-date

April 24th, 2015 No comments

UAZ Patriot Kazakhstan March 2015bUAZ now holds 5.1% of the Kazakh market vs. 2.8% in FY2014.

* See the Top 40 All-brands and Top 188 All-models by clicking on the title *

A year ago one of the fastest-growing new vehicle markets in the world, Kazkahstan is stuck in negative territory this year with March sales down a worrying 34% on a year ago to 8,369 deliveries and 1st quarter registrations down 26% to 25,390. Bizarrely, Lada holds double the market share here than it does at home in Russia at 36.8% thanks to 3,080 sales in March above Hyundai (12%), Kia (8%) and Renault (7%) while Toyota drops to 5th place at 5.7%. Thanks to solid performances of the Bukhanka (#13), Patriot (#16), Patriot Pickup (#21) and Hunter (#27), Russian manufacturer UAZ is up to #6 overall with 5.1% share (#11 and 2.8% in FY14). The Chinese presence in Kazakhstan is restricted to the Geely brand ranking at a very satisfying 12th place with 127 sales and 1.5% share in March vs. #14 over FY2014.

Lada Largus Kazakhstan April 2014. Picture courtesy of zr.ruFirst Top 5 ranking for the Lada Largus in Kazakhstan and worldwide.

The models ranking is exceptionally stable this month in Kazakhstan: the entire Top 7 best-sellers are identical to February and to the year-to-date charts as well now that the Lada Largus has overtaken the FY2014 winner the Lada Priora for #3 at 2,255 sales and 8.9% so far in 2015 vs. 2,199 and 8.7%. The Lada Granta is gearing towards snapping the overall annual pole position in a 2nd country in the world after Russia, holding 10.4% of the market in March and 11.8% year-to-date. Notice also the Lada 4×4 up 6 spots to #8 making it 5 Ladas in the Top 8, the Renault Sandero up 8 to #12, Geely Emgrand X7 at #23 and the Nissan Teana and Geely Emgrand EC7 both up 19 ranks on February to #33 and #46 respectively.

Previous month: Kazakhstan February 2015: Lada Granta and Hyundai Accent on top

One year ago: Kazakhstan March 2014: Kia Rio and Nissan Qashqai in Top 5

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

April 14th, 2015 No comments

Dacia Dokker Bulgaria March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frDacia Dokker

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The Bulgarian new car market is up an estimated 14% year-on-year in March to 2,694 registrations, bringing the first quarter total to an estimated 6,489 units, up 8% on 2014. The Renault Group places its two brands atop both the March and first quarter sales charts: Dacia leads with 351 units and 13% ahead of Renault at 336 and 12.5% in March, 766 and 749 respectively over the first 3 months of 2015. Toyota rounds up the podium at 9.7% followed by Ford at 9.1% and Skoda at 7.3%. Local manufacturer Great Wall is stuck at a paltry 18th spot with just 35 sales, down 57% over Q1 2015…

Renault Captur Bulgaria March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Renault Captur is #4 in Bulgaria in March.

In the models ranking, the Dacia Dokker has now well and truly grabbed the reins of the sales charts with 222 sales and 8.2% share in March, almost double any other nameplate on sale in the country. The Renault Clio IV is up to 2nd place with 118 units, just above the Ford Fiesta at 110 and the Renault Captur at 106. Excellent performance of the Toyota Auris at #7, Lada Niva at #9 and Renault Fluence at #11. As a reminder Bulgarian sales data is always to be taken with a pinch of salt as a large portion of new car sales in the country never make it to local roads but are re-exported elsewhere in the EU. See here for more on this phenomenon.

Previous month: Bulgaria February 2015: 3 Dacias in Top 4

One year ago: Bulgaria March 2014: Renault Clio and Nissan Qashqai on top

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

April 11th, 2015 No comments

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

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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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Categories: Russia