Historical info spanning the past five decades is now available for Ukraine on BSCB! For the 1970-1991 period, the data is for USSR which Lithuania belonged to then, and Lada models reigned supreme. Between 1992 and 2005 I do not have any models information at all about the Ukrainian new car market so if you do, please ensure you get in touch! From 2006 onwards, data starts to trickle down to become full-blown all-models data from 2011 on. In the past 8 years, local carmaker ZAZ which now assembles Daewoos and Cherys in the country has monopolised the Top spot 7 times: the Lanos was #1 for 6 consecutive years from 2006 to 2011 and the Sens (a Lanos twin) took the highest honours in 2013. The Skoda Octavia is the only import to have managed to top the sales charts: in 2012.
After reaching record levels in 2012, the Russian car market dropped by 5% in 2013. It seemed to have stopped its fall over the first Quarter of 2014 but April sales showed an 8% decline, potentially handicapped by the economic sanctions imposed on the country as a result of the Crimean crisis. However things could get much worse for Russian new car sales this year, with a 20% drop over the Full Year 2014 now mentioned by two separate entities. This would actually mean a 27% drop over the rest of the year…
First to cite the -20% figure, LMC Automotive is now joined by AvtoVAZ (aka Lada) CEO Bo Andersson. According to Automotive News, Andersson said in an interview at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum that the next two years will be “tough” for the Russian market. Interestingly, Andersson said he expects AvtoVAZ’s sales to fall less than the industry, by 10 to 15%, allowing the carmaker, which is controlled by Renault-Nissan, to increase market share to 20% in 2016 from 17% now. For now though, AvtoVAZ is down 15% in a market down 4% year-to-date…
But most interestingly of all, Andersson gives ‘slower economic growth’ as the reason for the 20% decline, saying the sanctions imposed on companies, officials and businessmen close to President Vladimir Putin by the United States and the European Union after Russia’s annexation of Crimea haven’t contributed to the downturn so far…
* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Irina *
The Kazakh new car market is used to year-on-year gains a lot more aggressive than the 4% delivered in April at 13,961 registrations. Is this the end of explosive growth for this market? Too early to tell, especially given the year-to-date total is still up a brilliant 19% on 2013 at 48,833 units. The Lada Priora continues to reign supreme thanks to 1,340 sales and 9.6% share, followed like in the year-to-date ranking by the Lada Granta at 7.3% and the Hyundai Accent at 6.1%. The Kia Rio is up 119% to remain in 4th place and should soon pass the GAZ Gazelle (-12% this month) to also claim the #4 spot in 2014, and the Lada Largus breaks into the Kazakh Top 5 for the very first time thanks to sales up 227% on April 2013.
But the big event this month is the thunderous arrival of the UZ-Daewoo Gentra at a formidable 6th place with 520 sales and 3.7% share. The Uzbekistan subsidiary of General Motors had been placing the Nexia on the Kazakh podium for years up until 2013 but it only ranks #17 so far in 2014, so it seems the Gentra is destined to replace the Nexia atop the Kazakh sales charts. The UZ-Daewoo Gentra is in fact a 2007 Chevrolet Optra Advance, itself a slightly disguised 2003 Optra. As such, UZ-Daewoo can offer it for a very competitive price, so much so that the Gentra is one of the cheapest new cars on sale in neighbouring Russia: cheaper than a Citroen C1 or Kia Picanto and competing with Chinese entries FAW V5, V2 and Lifan Solano…
Previous month: Kazakhstan March 2014: Kia Rio and Nissan Qashqai in Top 5
Full April 2014 Top 25 models Ranking Table below.
* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 58 All-brands by clicking on the title! *
After seeming to plateau in March at just -0.4%, Russian new car sales are back in hell in April, potentially handicapped by the economic sanctions imposed on the country: down 8% year-on-year to 226,526 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 829,046 units, down 4% on 2013. The Top 7 best-selling models are unchanged on last month, led by the Lada Granta (-13%), Hyundai Solaris (-7%) and Kia Rio (+7%), but the best performer in April is the recently-launched Nissan Almera: up to #8 with 5,798 sales and 2.6% share which are its best-ever ranking (also reached last February), monthly volume and market share. Notice also the Toyota RAV4 up 7 spots on March to #11 and the Nissan Juke up 71% year-on-year to #19, earning it a spot in the 2014 Top 25 at #23.
In the brands ranking, at #1 Lada is down 16% but with 16.3% share it is almost one percentage point above its year-to-date level (15.5%) and in any case still sells more than double any other brand on the market. Kia is down 3% to #2, Renault down 9% at #3, Hyundai stable at #4, Toyota down 1% to #5, Chevrolet down a harsh 17% to #6 and Nissan up 43% to #7. Notice also Mazda up 91%, Lexus up 22%, Infiniti up 82% and Jeep up 84%.
A very rare feat, after ChangAn and Alfa Romeo in March, there are 3 additional new carmakers in the Russian ranking this month: Acura lands at #45 with 112 sales, Brilliance ranks #47 at 75 units and JAC is #49 with 58 sales, the latter two bringing to 11 the number of Chinese brands on sale in Russia. They are led this month by Lifan (#20), Chery (#28), Geely (#30), Great Wall (#31) and FAW (#39). Interestingly, all new Chinese entrants are rightfully launching a new small SUV in Russia: the ChangAn CS35, Brilliance V5 and JAC S5.
Previous month: Russia March 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander breaks into Top 10
One year ago: Russia April 2013: Toyota RAV4 in Top 10
Full April 2014 Top 25 models and Top 58 All-brands Ranking Tables below.
* See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Irina *
The Kazakh new car market is back to explosive growth in March at +34% year-on-year to 12,647 registrations, bringing the First Quarter total to a record 34,474 units, up 25% on 2013. The models ranking is back to a little bit of normalcy with the Lada Priora reclaiming the top spot it also holds year-to-date thanks to 1,215 sales and 9.6% share adding up to 3,305 units so far in 2014. However the Hyundai Accent is catching up at a mammoth +149% to rank #2 at 985 units and 7.8% vs. 6.4% year-to-date… Korean carmakers are in great shape this month: the Kia Rio up to a fantastic #4 spot with sales up 277% and the Kia Sportage up a huge 577% to stop just short off a Top 10 spot at #11. In runout mode before the arrival of the new generation, the Nissan Qashqai is up 202% to #5 whereas the Lada Largus gains one further spot to a best-ever #6.
Finally from this month onwards Kazakh stats include Chinese carmaker Geely, met with a lot of interest here: the SC7 is the first Chinese model to break into the local Top 25 at #21 this month with 144 sales and 1.1% share. This is actually rather logical given the success of the SC7 in Xinjiang, the Chinese province bordering Kazakhstan, and particularly in Urumqi where I was a couple of days ago.
Full March 2014 Top 30 models Ranking Table below.
As illustrated in Africa and Latin America, Chinese manufacturers have been working extra-hard under the radar to secure less developed markets that will form the bulk of global car sales growth over the next couple of decades. Their approach to Eastern Europe is very similar. There are currently three Chinese assembling hubs in the region – in Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria – acting as a very convenient springboard for further expansion throughout the continent, including all the ex-USSR nations and potentially Western Europe in the longer-term.
Even though their market share is limited to just under 4% for now, Russia is currently the overseas country delivering the largest volume for Chinese manufacturers, and even become the first overseas country to buy more than 100,000 Chinese passenger cars annually with 102,389 sales in 2013. That’s up a whopping 23% on 2012 in a market down 5%. Import tariffs are too high to allow sizeable direct imports from China, so the 4 main Chinese carmakers present here have already all invested very significantly to assemble locally and as a result are registering extremely strong growth rates in 2013: Lifan is up 34% to #24, Geely up 55% to #25, Great Wall up 39% to #28 while Chery is slower at +4% and #29.
Chery has the longest (and most troubled) history in Russia: the Chery Amulet ranked within the monthly Top 20 as early as 2007 but the brand saw sales plummet on the back of poor quality perception, to which Chery responded by rebranding their cars Vortex. Since last year though, the Chery brand is back in Russia with encouraging success. Model-wise, the Great Wall Hover is the best-selling Chinese vehicle in Russia in 2013, up 37% to #41, followed by the Lifan X60 (#42), Geely Emgrand (#46), Geely MK/MK Cross (#54), Lifan Solano (#67) and Chery Tiggo (#93).
Although Russia does not qualify as a “less developed” market, its structure heavily weighted towards low-cost models like the Lada range and Renault-branded Dacias make it one of the biggest opportunities for Chinese manufacturers worldwide. However in Eastern Europe too, it’s in the developing car markets that we see the Chinese grab their highest market share. Ukraine is the only market in the world with regular available sales data outside China to have repeatedly crowned a Chinese model in the monthly rankings. The Geely CK ranked #1 there in July 2012, December 2012 and January 2013 and finished 2013 in third position.
But the CK is not a one trick pony: Geely was simply the most popular brand in Ukraine in January 2014 with 12.7% market share above Toyota (11.4%)! The Geely Emgrand EC7 peaked at #2 in September 2013, the MK-2/Cross was #15 in March 2013 and the MK was #19 last September 2012. All in all Chinese carmakers currently command around 10% of the Ukrainian car market.
Other Chinese actors in Ukraine include Chery, 25th brand in 2013, BYD up 144% to #27 Great Wall at #32 and MG at #34, placing the MG 350 at #77 in April 2013. Another example of Chinese manufacturers immersing themselves in the local culture, Chery manufactures at the local ZAZ plant from CKD kits and sells the Chery Fulwin 2 as the ZAZ Forza which ranked among the Ukrainian Top 10 from May to August 2012.
Another milestone event for Chinese manufacturers in Eastern Europe was the opening of the Great Wall factory in Lovech, Bulgaria, in February 2012. This is the very first automotive plant set up in Bulgaria and as a result Great Wall has played the ‘made in Bulgaria’ card to the fullest since, with great results: it was #10 brand in the country over the first 6 months of 2012 and quickly went up to #2 overall with 10.5% share below just Volkswagen in October and December 2012, placing the Steed pick-up in pole position that same month, the Voleex C10 at #2 in April 2013 and the Hover at #6 in December 2012. 2013 was a little more discreet however for Great Wall in Bulgaria as a whole.
Great Wall’s Bulgarian hub is planned as the focal point for their expansion throughout Europe, and Bulgarian exports have already started to trickle down in sales stats for countries like Macedonia where in December 2012 Great Wall was the #10 brand with 4.7% share and the Voleex C10 was #5 model at 3% share. This expansion will likely reach more neighbouring markets in the near future, once again the less mature ones like Serbia (where Chery ranked #25 in 2012), Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro and potentially Albania and Moldova.
A fourth Chinese assembly hub in the region kick started in 2013 in Belarus, where Geely has set up a joint venture with Belarusian company BelDzhi and is has launched the locally assembled SC7, ranking 19th overall in 2013 with 1.2% of the market and pushing Geely up to #18 brand with 1.5% share for its first year in market. The assembly facilities, located in Zhodino and Borisov, are scheduled to produce 60,000 cars/year for the first three years, with capacity potentially doubling in 2017. From that 4th hub, exports towards Russia and Kazakhstan are on the cards.
Launching from their 4 hubs in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Belarus, Chinese carmakers are getting ready to expand further in Eastern and Western Europe in the very near future. Russia will remain by far their biggest opportunity in the region with local assembly plants already in place and ready to gear up to surf on the growing demand for affordable cars in that market.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series: Asia!
* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 57 All-brands by clicking on the title! *
Has the Russian new car market finally reached a plateau? In March, after losing ground for 11 of the last 12 months, new car sales are down just 0.4% year-on-year to 243,335 registrations. This brings the First Quarter total to 602,523 units, down 2% on 2013. In the models ranking, the Lada Granta remains the most popular by far but continues to evolve a notch lower than last year at -10% and 12,958 sales. The Hyundai Solaris is up 2% but for the first time threatened by the Kia Rio which smashes its volume and market share records this month at 9,728 sales and 4% share (previous bests: 8,632 and 3.5% last September).
The Lada Kalina continues to creep back up now that the new generation is established, up 21% this month at #4 and passing the Renault Duster. But the hero of the month is without a doubt the Mitsubishi Outlander: it breaks into the Russian Top 10 for the first time in the nameplate’s history, shooting up to 9th place thanks to 4,584 sales and 1.9%, up 78% year-on-year and now #20 year-to-date (+42%). Not far below is the new generation Skoda Octavia, up 8 spots on February to a best-ever 11th place at a record 3,951 units. Finally, notice the Nissan Almera down 6 ranks to #14 and the Toyota Corolla up 44% on March 2013.
In the brands ranking, Lada slows down its fall at -8% to 15.2% share, while Kia (+7%) is up 3 ranks on February to grab the 2nd spot, passing Nissan (+26%), Renault (-8%) and Hyundai (+3%). Reversely, Ford loses 33%, penalised by the Focus (-61%). For once, Chinese carmakers have mixed fortunes this month: if Chery (+21%) and Geely (+4%) continue to progress, Lifan (-4%) and Great Wall (-17%) don’t. Rare event, we welcome two new entrants in the ranking this month: ChangAn lands at #43 with 145 sales (the CS35 SUV) and… Alfa Romeo reappears at #56 with 3 units sold.
Previous month: Russia February 2014: Renault Duster and Nissan Almera impress
Full March 2014 Top 25 models and Top 57 All-brands Ranking Tables below.
* See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Irina *
Building on a record year in 2013, the Kazakh new car market is up a further 22% in February to 10,863 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 21,436 units, up 17% on 2013. Traditionally relatively stables, the Kazakh models ranking sees a complete change of guard this month, with the entire podium occupied by models that all ranked outside of it in 2013. The GAZ Gazelle brilliantly takes the lead of the sales charts thanks sales up a huge 161% year-on-year to 1,037 for a 9.5% market share vs. #7 and 3.6% over the Full Year 2013! The Lada Granta is up 48% to #2 with 903 units and 8.3% and the Hyundai Accent rounds up the podium at 892 sales and 8.2%, up 118% year-on-year.
Leader in 2013, the Lada Priora is down 47% to #4 and 6.8% this month but remains on top year-to-date thanks to a strong month of January. Likewise, the Lada Samara is down 4% to #5 while the Renault Duster is up a mammoth 174% to a shiny 6th position with 331 sales and 3% share. Other great performers in Kazakhstan this month include the Lada Largus up to #7, the Nissan Qashqai up 57% to #9, the Toyota Corolla up a gargantuan 533% to #10 thanks to the new generation, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado up 71% to #14, Chevrolet Aveo up 169% to #15, Lada Kalina up 670% to #18, Mitsubishi Outlander up 112% to #16, Renault Sandero up 167% to #17, the Chevrolet Tracker landing at #18, Renault Logan up 325% to #19 and the Toyota RAV4 up 1275% to #28.
Full February 2014 Top 30 models Ranking Table below.
* See the Top 20 best-selling manufacturers by clicking on the title! *
In 2013, 84.1 million new vehicles found a buyer worldwide which is a new all-time record, up 5% on 2012 and actually the 4th consecutive record-breaking year for worldwide vehicle sales. Toyota has seen its global sales gain 2.9% year-on-year in 2013 to 9.98 million units (including subsidiaries Hino Motors and Daihatsu), placing the group at #1 in the world for the 2nd year in a row after losing the top spot in 2011 following natural disasters in Asia which crippled production. General Motors previously held the worldwide pole position from 1931 to 2007, with Toyota taking over from 2008-2010. Toyota predicts a 3.4% increase for its worldwide sales in 2014 to reach 10.32 million.
A bit of controversy for the 2nd place: some sources mention General Motors, however Volkswagen is up 5% and one spot to rank #2 this year at 9.73 million sales, including its heavy commercial vehicle brands Man and Scania. Volkswagen is also on target to pass the 10 million unit-mark in 2014, whereas it originally sets itself to reach this target in 2018! The VW nameplate saw its sales up 3% to 5.93 million, Audi is up 8.3% to 1.58 million, Skoda down 2% to 920,800, Seat up 10.6% to 355,000 and Porsche up 15% to 162,145.
General Motors is third with 9.71 million sales, up 4% on 2012. The Chevrolet brand is up 0.4% to 4.98 million sales, Opel/Vauxhall is down 0.4% to 1.064 million, Buick up 15% to 1.03 million thanks to China and Cadillac up 28% to 250,830 units. GM doesn’t detail other brands which include its participation in Chinese SAIC Wuling and total 2.4 million sales for the year (+10%).
The Renault-Nissan Group remains in 4th position with sales up 2% to 8.26 million, split as follows: 5.1 million for Nissan, 2.63 million for Renault-Dacia-Samsung and 0.53 million for Avtovaz (aka Lada). Hyundai-Kia stays 5th but is catching up with the Top 4 thanks to sales up a very impressive 6.5% on 2012 to 7.56 million units. The Top 5 biggest car manufacturing groups in the world account for over one in every 2 vehicles sold worldwide (53.5%).
Now without Mercury, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, Ford won’t ever play with big boys anymore, but is however up an astounding 10% in 2013 to 6.25 million sales thanks to excellent performances in China (+49%) and the US (+11%) and in spite of lukewarm sales in Europe. Fiat-Chrysler is up 3.6% to rank 7th with 4.35 million sales, with the balance leaning more and more towards the American operations of the group: Chrysler is at 2.6 million units vs. 1.75 for Fiat. Honda is catching up: +7.3% to 4.1 million sales in 8th place. PSA Peugeot Citroen is one of only two major groups to see its sales fall over the period: down 4.9% to 2.82 million units at #9.
Just outside the Top 10, two premium German manufacturers beat their all-time record sales in 2013: BMW is up 6.4% to 1.92 million units and Daimler is up 10% to 1.56 million sales. In the premium brand race, the BMW brand is world leader in 2013 with 1.66 million sales (+7.5%) ahead of Audi at 1.58 million (+8.3%) and Mercedes at 1.46 million (+10.7%). For all 3 brands, these are all-time annual record sales!
Back to the global manufacturing ranking with Tata Motors, owner of Jaguar-Land Rover, the last manufacturer above 1 million worldwide sales at #15 (1.04 million) thanks to record sales for the two British brands (425.000). Note the Top 15 manufacturers account for 86% of worldwide sales. In 16th place with have the first Chinese manufacturer, Geely, totalling 977.358 units: 549.518 for the Geely brand (+14%) and 427.840 for Volvo (+1.4%) with the Swedish manufacturer up 46% in China but down 10% in the US. The next most popular Chinese manufacturers are ChangAn (840.000), Great Wall (754.000), BYD and Chery (480.000).
Full Year 2013 Top 19 manufacturers Ranking Table below.
* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 55 All-brands by clicking on the title! *
New car sales in Russia slow down their fall once again in February to -2% at 206,476 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 359,138 units, down 4% on 2013. If the Lada Granta keeps the lead of the models ranking, it is down year-on-year again (-8%) to 11,280 sales whereas the Hyundai Solaris manages to gain 3% on February 2013 to 8,660 units. The Renault Duster lodges an all-time high 3.7% market share thanks to 7,541 sales and remains at an astounding third position, its highest ranking so far and reached for the third time after last November and January. The Lada Kalina is up one spot on last month but still down 13% year-on-year at #4.
After making its first appearance among the 10 most popular cars in Russia last month, the Nissan Almera gains a further two ranks to reach a record 8th place with 4,481 units and 2.2%. Other great performers this month include the Kia Sportage up 53% on February 2013 to #15, the Nissan X-Trail up 45% to #16, Toyota Corolla up 62% to #24 and the Toyota RAV4 up a huge 146% to #25. Notice also the Skoda new Octavia at #19 and the Daewoo Gentra at #25.
Brand-wise, the Japanese are the most impressive this month: Nissan is up 31%, Toyota up 43% and Honda up 54%. The Chinese, normally masters at this game, are a little shy if still in progression: Chery and Geely at +12%, Lifan at +6% and FAW at +13% but +95% year-to-date Reversely Great Wall is at -10%/ Finally let’s salute the performance of the new Avtovaz-Renault-Nissan Group, monopolising the brands podium this month: Lada #1 at 20.2% share followed by Nissan at 11.2% and Renault at 11%.
Previous month: Russia January 2014: Duster on podium, Nissan Almera #10
Full February 2014 Top 25 models and Top 55 All-brands Ranking Tables below.