Taiwan November 2016: Corolla, RAV4 and Yaris lead, Sienta lands

Toyota Sienta Taiwan October 2016. Picture courtesy hydrocycle2.comToyota Sienta 

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and Top 70 models by clicking on the title *

The Taiwanese new car market is up 10% year-on-year in November to 38.284 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 5% to 397.744 units. Toyota once again leads the market head-and-shoulders above the competition with 10.727 sales and 28% share, monopolising the models possum with the Corolla, RAV4 and Yaris. Below, Nissan/Infiniti (9.9%) and Mitsubishi/CMC (9.2%) reverse their year-to-date rankings. Mazda (+15%), Mercedes (+17%), Luxgen (+25%), Lexus (+17%) and most strikingly Volkswagen (+57%) all beat the market inside the Top 10. Model-wise, the Mazda3 is the top of the rest (read non-Toyota) in 4th place, the Toyota Vios jumps to #8, the Honda HR-V is down 6 spots on its inaugural month to a still very reasonable #13 and the Toyota Sienta makes its first appearance in the ranking at #27.

Previous month: Taiwan October 2016: Honda HR-V instant blockbuster (#7)

One year ago: Taiwan November 2015: Top 4 is 100% Toyota, Nissan X-Trail up to #5

Full November 2016 Top 10 brands and Top 70 models below.


France November 2016: New Peugeot 3008 soars to 7th place

peugeot-3008-france-november-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frPeugeot 3008. Picture largus.fr

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in France are back in positive territory in November with a vigorous 8.5% year-on-year improvement to 163.170 registrations, bringing the year-to-date tally up 5% to 1.820.814. However, these gains are once again almost exclusively the work of tactical channels with private sales up just 2.8%. If company sales are up 14.6%, the main boost this month is coming from – totally artificial – demo sales, up a whopping 43.4%. In fact, out of 12.836 overall incremental year-on-year sales in October, almost half (5.665) are demo sales.

Renault doubles the market growth with an impressive 17% gain to 33.297 registrations and 20.4% share, just above the 20% it commands year-to-date. Demo sales account for 22% of this total vs. just 8% last month and 14% year-to-date. All the while Peugeot underperforms with a meagre 1% gain to 26.721 units and 16.4% share vs. 16.9% so far this year, despite demo sales up 28%. Peugeot remains leader with private buyers at 13.340 sales (-4%) vs. 13.257 for Renault.

vw-tiguan-france-november-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frThe VW Tiguan is up 106% on the previous generation in October 2015. Picture largus.fr

Citroen (-6%) continues to struggle with a slim 8.9% market share, its lowest so far in 2016, with private sales freefalling 17% and despite demo sales up 59% due to the new C3. Below Volkswagen (+1%), Dacia surges 60% to 4.9% share which is however still below its YTD level of 5.5%. Toyota gains 20% in 6th place, remaining above Ford (-4%) while in the luxury race Mercedes at 5.788 deliveries (+27%) overtakes Audi at 5.637 (+16%) while BMW at 5.017 (+3%) is shy. Notice also Jeep up 29%, Kia up 31%, Hyundai up 48%, Alfa Romeo up 49% and Infiniti up 175%.

In the models ranking, the Renault Clio jumps up 35% year-on-year to 10.163 sales, almost 3.000 units above its rival the Peugeot 208 in difficulty at -7%. The Clio’s advantage over the 208 year-to-date now stretches to just under 10.000 units. The Renault Captur (+6%) climbs back past the Peugeot 308 (-5%) and Peugeot 2008 (-11%) while the Renault Mégane edges up one spot on October to #6 overall. The best performance of the month is once again the work of the new generation Peugeot 3008, now fully embracing its SUV status and flying up to 7th place overall thanks to 4.476 sales, way above its segment competitors the Renault Kadjar (3.166), Dacia Duster up 43% (2.912), VW Tiguan up 106% (2.445) and Nissan Qashqai (2.229). For reference, the first generation Peugeot 3008 has a personal best of #4 in France dating back to March 2013. Peugeot says it received 22.000 orders for the new 3008 since launch.

citroen-c3-france-november-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frStill waiting to pounce: the new Citroen C3 (#20).

Among the other star French launches of the past few months, the Citroen C3 III drops back 3 spots to #20 while the Renault Scénic IV doesn’t make it to the Top 25. Notice also the Dacia Sandero up 89%, the Toyota Yaris up 27%, the Ford Fiesta up 19%, Opel Mokka up 32% and the Renault Talisman (#23) taking its distance vs. its rival the Peugeot 508 (#29).

Complete brands and models rankings will be uploaded to this article as soon as available.

Previous month: France October 2016: New generation Peugeot 3008 above Duster and Kadjar

One year ago: France November 2015: Peugeot 208 on top in market artificially up 11%

Full November 2016 Top 20 brands and Top 25 models below.


Italy October 2016: Rental sales spruce market up 10%

lancia-ypsilon-italy-october-2016Not dead: now a single-model brand, Lancia is up 30% at home in October. 

* NOW UPDATED with the the Top 40 brands and Top 180 models – click on title to see *

The September 2016 post has now been updated with the Top 180 models

The Italian new car market is up 10% year-on-year in October to 146.632 registrations, bringing the year-to-date tally up 17% to 1.553.394, some 220.000 units ahead of the result reached during the same period last year. Local association UNRAE confirmed its forecast of 1.850.000 sales for the full year 2016, which would be the best year in Italy since 2010. For 2017, UNRAE predicts a 5.4% growth to 1.945.000 deliveries. Dampening the enthusiasm this month is the paltry performance of private sales down 4% to 88.491 and 59.6% share vs. 68.1% a year ago… Sales to rental companies are pushing the market forward with a staggering 44.6% gain to 26.203, with short-term rentals taking off at +123% and long-term up 30%. Business sales are up 34.6% to 33.712, spruced up by government incentives.

infiniti-qx30-italy-october-2016Thanks to the Q30 and QX30 (pictured), Infiniti sales are up 616% in Italy this month.

Market leader Fiat gains slightly less ground than the market at +7% to 29.582 units and 20.2% share vs. 21.2% year-to-date, followed by Volkswagen (+20%) and Ford (+11%). In fact, the Top 7 best-selling brands are identical to September and to the year-to-date order with Renault (+6%), Opel (+8%), Peugeot (+14%) and Toyota (+15%) in tow. Mercedes (+14%), BMW (+20%) and Lancia (+30%) round up the Top 10 and all outpace the market. Further down, notice Hyundai (+21%), Subaru (+24%), Skoda (+31%), Alfa Romeo (+32%), Jeep (+33%), Honda (+59%), Maserati (+115%), Jaguar (+177%) and Infiniti (+616%) all posting impressive results.

abarth-124-italy-october-2016Old and new: the Abarth 124 

Over in the models ranking, the Fiat Panda continues its decline at -6% but remains frankly in the lead at 7.9% share, more than double the sales of the #2, the Lancia Ypsilon prepped up by a recent facelift at +31% to 5.448 sales and 3.7% share. The Fiat 500L more than ever benefits from the strength of rental sales in Italy with deliveries up 49% year-on-year to 3.823 and cementing its third position YTD. The Ford Fiesta (+21%), VW Golf (+17%) and Fiat 500 (+47%) also shine inside the Top 10 while outside, the Jeep Renegade (+48%), Peugeot 208 (+20%), Nissan Qashqai (+23%) and Hyundai Tucson (+42%) impress. Boosted by new models, the VW Tiguan (+264%), Opel Astra (+156%), BMW X1 (+190%) and Toyota RAV4 (+152%) take off.

suzuki-ignis-italy-october-2016-picture-courtesy-red-live-itThe Suzuki Ignis has landed in Europe – first in Italy.

No less than five new nameplates make their first appearance inside the Italian Top 180 this month. They are led by the Audi Q2 landing directly at 110 sales with almost a quarter of a thousand sales for its first month in market. Below is the Abarth 124 arriving at #139, the Hyundai Ioniq at #147, the Volvo V90 at #175 and the Suzuki Ignis at #180, marking the first European country to allow Suzuki’s latest entrant into its sales charts.

Previous month: Italy September 2016: Fiat 500L and VW Polo shine in market up 17%

One year ago: Italy October 2015: Hyundai Tucson and Renault Kadjar shoot up

Full October 2016 Top 40 brands and Top 180 models below.

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From North Cape to Gibraltar – Part 1: Stockholm and Central Sweden

bjorn-tallberg-2BSCB is off to Sweden! 

At BSCB we love linking extremes. After going from New York to Los Angeles via the legendary Route 66 in a Ram 1500 in 2014 and linking Northern Alaska to the Mexican border in a Ram 2500 in 2015 (helped by a boat and a few planes), we now move over to Europe.

europe-map-north-cape-gibraltarFrom one European extreme to the other…

This year we will be linking North Cape, the northernmost point in continental Europe, to Gibraltar, its southernmost point. Our itinerary won’t be conventional as we will start from Stockholm and head north to North Cape before tracing back south all the way to Gibraltar with the help of one flight. To help us with this task we’ll have two cars relay each other: first a Volvo XC90, then a Mercedes C-Class Coupe. The start of this trip is in Stockholm where we take delivery of our XC90…

stockholm-1First stop: Stockholm.

After four days spent in out-of-control rip-off kingdom Malta, the sudden surge of surrounding honesty and fairness is heart-warming. Yes, things are working the way they are supposed to in Sweden, and most of the time that means fast and efficiently. There is a Volvo V70 taxi exhibited inside the arrival hall at Arlanda Airport with the city centre fare displayed in large figures on the windscreen. Why isn’t every airport like this? The Arlanda Express train swallows the 45km separating the airport to the town centre in a mere 15 mins and I manage to fit a couple of hours walking on the cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town. I’m now in Swedish mode: relaxed, quiet and smiling. I’m ready to drive.

stockholm-2Souvenir shop in Gamla Stan, Stockholm. It’s Dalahäst galore!

The Swedish new car market is currently undergoing a once-in-two-decades transformation. After 19 consecutive years of Volvo V70 domination, the Swedish manufacturer has decided to discontinue the nameplate and replace it with a more sophisticated – and expensive – V90. Will the Swedish consumer follow and upgrade their V70 to a V90, or will they switch to Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes or BMW? The first signs are the latter is happening, with Volvo combining V70, S90 and V90 sales in a attempt to hold onto the models pole position. Instead, the VW Golf has now been the best-selling nameplate in Sweden for four consecutive months at end-October. Not to worry though, Volvo remains by far the most popular brand at home, helped by renewed interest towards the smaller V60 – the best-selling model in Stockholm based on my observations – and record sales by the XC60 despite a renewal scheduled for 2017.

upplands-motor-stockholmSollentuna Upplands Motor: this is where it all started.

To try and gage interest in the new model across the country, I had planned to drive the V90. However at the time (third week of September), all V90 pressers were monopolised by the Swedish media. Instead, we will attempt to reach Nordkapp (Norwegian for Cape North) in a XC90 SUV, the brand’s flagship. Not that I’m complaining! We have a XC90 D4 Inscription priced at 600.000 skr (US$65.000 or 61.400€), loaned by the Sollentuna Uppland Motor dealership. To my surprise, this Volvo dealership is shared with Renault (and Dacia), in a setup that I will see replicated across the entire country, sometimes with Ford added into the mix. Jonas hands the key to the XC90, explains a few things like the almost-hidden button to open the glovebox and I give full thumbs up to the centre console pinch to zoom touch-screen working exactly like an iPad. I’m already impressed.

bjorn-dala-horse-avestaBjörn posing near the world’s largest Dalahäst in Avesta.

After Esmeralda the Sardinian Fiat Panda, we now need to baptise our Volvo XC90. With a male name as this is an SUV, therefore a truck which has a masculine gender in my native tongue, French. I never can’t quite get myself to call trucks with female names… Looking up typical Swedish male names serves me with rather uninspiring fares such as Fyr (most sincere apologies to all the Fyrs in the BSCB readership). I know what you’re all thinking, we all want to call this Volvo Björn, don’t we? Ok. Just this time I will make an exception: Fyr can have a middle name also. Please give a warm welcome to Fyr – Björn, we’re about to see a lot of your country together, and beyond…

stockholm-gnarp-with-reference-mapDay 1 takes us from Stockholm to Gnarp

We get out of the Volvo dealership with 6.035 km on Björn’s odometer – a figure that’s about to surge over the next week. Our first destination is the idyllic Siljan Lake, the picture-perfect region of everything quintessentially Swedish. Stepping out of Stockholm, I instantly realise this trip won’t be a fast one. Speed limits even in rural areas are almost uniformly 80km/h, 60 or 50km/h when traversing towns, and speed radars every km or so are here to ensure you stick to the rules. That’s the other side of the Swedish medal: for everything to work efficiently, everyone has to abide by the rules.

bjorn-leksand In Leksand

These first few km are also the opportunity to test Volvo’s line-assist system, and the very first time the car corrects your direction feels like driving in a slight rut: you can sense the car redressing gently towards the centre of the road. A slightly creepy feeling at first, that promptly transforms into a smart aid. More on this in the next iterations of this Series. A mere 140km into our day, we enter the Dalarna region for a mandatory selfie stop of Björn in front of the world’s largest Dala Horse (aka Dalahäst) in Avesta. Absolutely stunning and iconic to Sweden, these carved wooden horses painted in bright colours and decorated with folk-art flowers go back centuries ago, and (normally) range from 3 to 50cm high.

bjorn-tallbergIn Tällberg 

Lake Siljan was formed 360 million years ago by Europe’s largest meteor impact, whose force was equivalent to 500 million atomic bombs. How times have changed: today, the lake is impossibly quiet, with small, quaint and picturesque villages spreading along its shores. Tällberg in particular, population 200, got my vote with its sprinkle gingerbread-like houses over green pastures, most of them painted with the traditional Falu Red colour typical of the region.

rattvikOn Scandinavia’s longest wooden pier in Rättvik.

This is Sweden’s heartland, and the place most Swedes want to come to on holiday for Summer. Lucky us! Rättvik boasts Scandinavia’s longest wooden pier: the 628m Långbryggan stretching into a mirror-like Lake Siljan, however, memories from my previous (and only) trip to Sweden as a teenager conjure images of tiny, sleepy harbours along the Baltic Sea. One of the aims of this trip is to recapture that pure, serene feeling. Time to drive to the sea…

hudiksvallHudiksvall’s Möljenbjorn-hudiksvallBjörn admiring the sunset in quiet Hudiksvall. 

For this we must first cross east through endless forests on a two-lane road filled with slow trucks and cross a multitude of small villages that force our speed down. Never mind, the scenery is so calming and inspiring that it’s all forgiven, Sweden. Although way too big for my liking (pop. 15.015), Hudiksvall has a harbour that ticks more than a few boxes: its red wooden fishermen’s storehouses (Möljen) date back to the early 19th century and ignite in a burst of flaming red at sunset. We set camp further north in Gnarp after a 653 km journey, enough to get a very good first impression of the Swedish countryside car landscape. Hudiksvall is where I saw the very first V90 “in its element” (meaning outside of a Volvo dealership) of this trip – there was none in Stockholm surprisingly. A few more observations follow below.

station-wagons-rattvikIt’s a kombi’s world! 

First things first and it’s impossible to step away from this observation: the roads of Sweden are saturated with station wagons – Kombis in Swedish. This shouldn’t really be a surprise when the Volvo V70 – itself only available as a wagon – has been the best-seller here for 19 consecutive years while the V60 – also a wagon only – has ranked inside the Top five best-sellers ever since its launch in 2010. Yet local association Bil Sweden doesn’t provide any kombi sales splits for nameplates that are available in both sedan and kombi variants (we are currently in touch with them to try and extract this detail for you). And this trend isn’t recent: a quick survey of 300 passenger cars on the highway today gave a smashing 52% station wagon ratio.

vw-passat-alltrack-loruddenThe VW Passat may already be the overall best-selling nameplate in countryside Sweden.

Driving through Sweden confirms that most best-selling nameplates here are high in the sales charts mainly thanks to strong kombi sales. One kombi in particular stands out from the crowd head and shoulders: the VW Passat Alltrack 4WD variant. It’s a constant flow of the new generation of the model crisscrossing the country, by far the most frequent nameplate I’ve encountered on this part of the trip. Numerous VW Golf Variant are also to be spotted, including the all-new Alltrack model, already well spread despite being on sale for just a few months when I visited. This variant is the key to the Golf’s overall domination of the Swedish charts for the past four months. Let’s also single out the Toyota Auris (#7 so far in 2016), Kia Cee’d (#8), Skoda Octavia (#10), Audi A4 (#11), A6 (#12), BMW 5 Series (#14), 3 Series (#17), Mercedes E-Class (#22), Opel Astra (#24) and Peugeot 308 (#28), all almost exclusively sold as kombis.

ram-1500-hudiksvallRam 1500 in Hudiksvall

The Swedish countryside also reserves a few surprises: in the same way they were also popular in another nordic country – Iceland – full-size American pickup trucks aren’t rare here, led by the Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra and Ford F-Series. Sold as Light Commercial Vehicles, they had escaped the scrutiny of BSCB’s sales charts so far.

volvo-144-1972-rattvik1972 Volvo 144 in Rättvik

Finally, if you were hoping the Swedish countryside would be a goldmine of vintage Volvos and Saabs in pristine condition in the same vein as what we just saw in Malta, prepare to be bitterly disappointed. Old vehicles are very rare even in remote countryside and rural areas, although I did manage to snap the above Volvo 144, still valiant at almost 45 years of age…

Next we drive further north on the stunning Kustvägen Bothnian Coast road to reach Finland. Stay tuned!

Portugal October 2016: Renault monopolises podium

Renault Megane Portugal October 2016. Picture courtesy largus.fThe Renault Clio, Mégane (picture) and Captur rank on the October Portuguese podium. 

* See the Top 35 All-brands and Top 220 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Portuguese new car market continues on the up at +9% year-on-year in October to 14.933 registrations, lifting the year-to-date tally up 14% to 173.859 units. Renault more than doubles the market growth at +21% to 13.2% share, ahead of Peugeot, Volkswagen and BMW with Mercedes actually down 8% to 5th place. Nissan (+16%), Citroen (+20%), Seat (+52%), Kia (+47%), Mitsubishi (+70%) and Land Rover (+93%) all post solid gains. Renault’s score is reflected in the models ranking: the French manufacturer simply monopolises the podium with the Clio (+2%), Mégane (+43%) and Captur (+19%) distancing the VW Golf (-19%) and Peugeot2 008 (+4%). The Audi A3 (+46%) and Seat Ibiza (+76%) post the largest year-on-year gains inside the Top 10, with the Citroen C4 Cactus (+83%) and Peugeot 3008 (+150%) also shining. Boosted by their newly launches station wagon variants, bot the Fiat Tipo (#36 vs. #60 YTD) and Renault Talisman (#47 vs. #90 YTD) jump ahead among recent launches (<12 months) with the Seat Ateca in tow at #64. This month we welcome the Opel Mokka X (#83) and Audi Q2 (#112) in the Portuguese sales charts.

Previous month: Portugal September 2016: Renault Clio and Mégane on podium

One year ago: Portugal October 2015: BMW on podium, Peugeot 2008 hits record

Full October 2016 Top 35 All-brands and Top 220 All-models below.


Malaysia October 2016: Perodua, Honda, Proton resist, market at -14%

honda-civic-Malaysia-october-2016Honda drops just 4% in 2nd place in Malaysia. 

* See the Top 42 All-brands by clicking on the title *

The Malaysian new car market is stuck in a negative trend this year with October sales down another 14% to 47.879, with the year-to-date tally also down a harsh 14% to 466.208. The Top three manufacturer resist better than the market, resulting in improved market shares: Perodua is down 7%, Honda down 4% and Proton down 5%. Reversely Toyota (-39%), Nissan (-34%) and Mazda (-21%) freefall. Isuzu surges up 12% to 6th place, Mercedes is down just 0.2%, BMW is up 19%, Kia up 50%, Hyundai up 1%, Subaru up 49%, Volvo up 63% and Mini up 18%.

Previous month: Malaysia September 2016: Perodua boosted again by Brezza at +18%

One year ago: Malaysia October 2015: Discover the Top 75 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Full October 2016 Top 42 All-brands ranking below.


New Zealand October 2016: Rentals lead to all-time record month

Toyota Corolla New Zealand October 2016The Toyota Corolla is #1 in New Zealand for the first time since January. 

* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 67 All-brands by clicking on the title *

The approaching start of summer – and with it the start of the rental season – lifts the New Zealand market to never-seen-before heights in October, up 16% year-on-year to 14.709 registrations, eclipsing the previous all-time monthly record dating back to July 1984 at 13.983. This is the first time in history that sales cross the 14.000 monthly mark. Including in this month result are a whopping 4.181 rentals, a full 30% of year-to-date rental sales (13.724). Overall so far in 2016, deliveries are now up 9% on the same period in 2015 to 121.974, now on track to surpass 140.000 annual units for the first time after breaking the 130.000 mark in 2015. In fact, local publication Autotalk predicts 2016 at 143.000 registrations.

Toyota remains the most popular brand in the country by far despite sales down 1% to 3.287 and 22.3% share, with its two closest followers surging: Holden is up 43% to 1.866 and Ford up 33% to 1.624, ahead of Mazda up 4%. Nissan (+55%), Mitsubishi (+25%), Volkswagen (+51%) and Kia (+71%) also set the Top 10 on fire while below Honda (+36%), Mercedes (+29%), Isuzu (+43%), LDV (+244%) and Renault (+210%) also impress. Model-wise, rentals push the Toyota Corolla to pole position as is traditionally the case at this time of the year, with whopping 1.026 of its 1.210 October sales being rentals. Note the Corolla’s October rental score represents 46% of its YTD rental figure (2.218). This is however insufficient to dislodge the YTD overall market leader the Ford Ranger (7.173) and the Toyota Hilux (5.299) with the Corolla at 4.789. The Toyota Yaris is up 9 spots on last month to #4 (74% rentals), the Holden Commodore up 7 to #5 (72% rentals) and the Holden Trax shooting up to #11 (83% rentals).

Previous month: New Zealand September 2016: Holden shines in record month

One year ago: New Zealand October 2015: Rental season pushes Corolla back to #1

Full October 2016 Top 25 models and Top 67 All-brands below.


Slovenia October 2016: VW Polo takes lead in market down 4%

vw-polo-slovenia-octiber-2016-picture-courtesy-quattroruote-itThe VW Polo is the best-selling nameplate in Slovenia in October. 

* See the Top 33 All-brands and Top 195 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Slovenian new car market is down 4% year-on-year in October to 5.239 registrations, however the year-to-date tally remains frankly in positive territory at +6.5% to 54.259 units. Volkswagen (+12%) frankly beats the market to remain in charge in the brands ranking ahead of Renault (-9%) while Skoda (+20%), Opel (+32%) and Kia (+105%) all post spectacular gains. Ford (-29%), Hyundai (-31%) and Dacia (-40%) struggle but Jeep (+20%), Mercedes (+33%) and Mazda (+57%) shine. Model-wise, the VW Polo (+72%) takes the lead this month with 5.1% share ahead of the Renault Clio (-47%), Skoda Octavia (+73%) and Renault Captur (+73%). The new generation-boosted Renault Mégane (+101%), Opel Astra (+234%) and VW Tiguan (+367%) also impress.

Previous month: Slovenia September 2016: VW Golf leads, Dacia Duster in 5th place

One year ago: Slovenia October 2015: Hyundai Tucson soars to 6th place

Full October 2016 Top 33 All-brands and Top 195 All-models below.

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Europe October 2016: Opel Astra and VW Tiguan shine in market down

old-new-vauxhall-astra-europe-october-2016-picture-courtesy-autoexpress-co-ukOld and new Vauxhall Astra 

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *

The European new car market marks a pause in October with sales down 0.5% to 1.140.978 registrations across 29 markets (Russia and Turkey excluded), indicating the strong growth of the past five years may have come to a peak. To keep things in perspective, this is still the second highest October score since 2009. Three of the top five markets registering a year-on-year gain: Italy (+10%), Spain (+3%), UK (+1.4%) while France (-4%) and Germany (-6%) decline. The best performing markets are Croatia (+18%), Cyprus (+12%), Slovakia (+11%), Czech Republic (+11%), Poland (+11%) and Lithuania (+11%), while the most affected are the Netherlands (-23%), Ireland (-12%), Norway (-9.5%) and Switzerland (-9%). As is the case in almost the entire world, SUVs continue to be the engine of growth in Europe with a splendid 12% gain to 302.851 registrations with compact (C-SUV) up 22.5% and midsize SUVs (D-SUV) up 20.1%.

vw-tiguan-europe-october-2016-picture-courtesy-autovideo-netThe VW Tiguan ranks at a stunning 7th place and is the best-selling SUV in Europe.

Market leader Volkswagen bears the steepest fall in the Top 10 at -8% to 130.553 sales, meaning its YTD score is now in negative as well at -0.7%, the only brand in the Top 10 to lose ground so far in 2016. Renault (-2%) and Ford (-4%) complete a 100% declining podium ahead of Opel (+2%). In the luxury race, Audi (+2%) recuperates # spot it lost to Mercedes (+7%) last month while BMW gains 3%. Fiat (+2%) and Skoda (+5%) are also in positive while outside the Top 10, Maserati (+47%), Infiniti (+67%) and Jaguar (+76%) post the largest gains. The VW Golf, although still the #1 nameplate across the continent by a large margin, accelerates its fall at -21% in anticipation of the 2017 model. The Ford Fiesta is up 7.5% in 2nd place ahead of the VW Polo (-10%) and Renault Clio (-3%) but the heroes of the month are the Opel Astra up 56% to 5th place and the VW Tiguan up 52.5% to sign a third consecutive month inside the European Top 10 at #7, an impressive feat as before last August the Tiguan had never broken into the Top 10.

Previous post: Europe September 2016: Discover the Top 340 models and Top 52 brands

Previous month: Europe September 2016: Mercedes overtakes Audi YTD to #1 premium

One year ago: Europe October 2015: VW limits fall to 0.2%, Peugeot 308 at #8

Full October 2016 Top 10 brands and Top 20 models below.

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Australia October 2016: Two pickups (utes) on top for the first time

toyota-hilux-ford-ranger-australia-october-2016-picture-courtesy-youtube-comLeaning towards the American market: Australia.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 15 brands and Top 285 All-models – click on title to see *

October sales in Australia are disappointing: down 1% year-on-year to 93.357 units, however the year-to-date tally is still at all-time record heights, up 2.4% on 2015 to 980.433. That’s 23.000 more sales than at the same time last year. Passenger cars, down 7.4% to 37.817 registrations, seem irremediably destined to be overtaken by SUVs, up another 4.9% to 36.442, the smallest gap between the two categories so far in Australia, while light commercials are up a tiny 0.4% to 16.098. Once again, the news isn’t good in the private sales aisle, indicating a growing shyness of every day consumers at -3.5% to 42.643, compensated by business sales doing the heavy lifting at +2.6% to 38.299.

Hyundai Tucson Australia October 2016The Hyundai Tucson is the best-selling SUV in Australia in October. 

Only three States manage an increase: Tasmania up 13% to 1.937, Victoria up 4% to 27.546 and New South Wales up 2% to 31.850. Reversely, South Australia is down 6% to 5.450, the Australian Capital Territory down 7% to 1.411, Queensland down 7.5% to 16.870, Northern Territory down 9% to 713 and Western Australia once again the most affected due to the slowing down of mining activity at -11% to 7.580. In October Australia bought 25.662 new vehicles imported from Japan, 21.244 from Thailand, 13.891 from South Korea, bought 7.179 Australia-made cars and 7.518 made in Germany. Ford, stopping local manufacturing this month, is down 11% to 1.099 Australia-made sales in October but the two other local carmakers (until 2017) are up: Holden at 3.609 (+10.5%) and Toyota at 2.471 (+3.6%).

Kia Sportage Australia October 2016Australian Kia sales are up 24% in October, enabling the brand to return inside the Top 10.

In the overall brands ranking, Toyota remains in control at 17.5% share (-4%), with Hyundai overtaking Mazda for 2nd place at 9.3% share (-3%) vs. 8.5% (-7%), Holden (-7%) and Ford (+7%) rounding up the Top 5. Ford is up 17% year-to-date whereas Holden is down 7%. Volkswagen (+9%), Subaru (+1%) and Kia (+24%) are the other manufacturers posting positive results inside the Top 10. Further down, Mercedes surges up 33%, Renault is up 43% thanks to the all-new Koleos, Skoda is up 15%, Fiat up 20%, Mini up 19%, Jaguar up 64% and Bentley up 125%. Jeep (-38%), Alfa Romeo (-43%), Peugeot (-50%), Foton (-51%) and Chrysler (-59%) struggle.

Mercedes GLC Australia October 2016Mercedes surges 33% this month.

But the big event this month is the 1-2 signed by utes – Australian slang for pickup trucks – the first time in Australian history this happens. The Toyota Hilux is the outright best-selling vehicle in the country, selling 3.352 vs. 3.339 a year ago in October 2015 when it also ranked #1. This enables the Hilux to reclaim the #1 year-to-date position off its stablemate the Toyota Corolla for just 21 sales at 34.179 (+19%) vs. 34.158 (-3%). Of concern though for Toyota (once again) is the outstanding performance of the Ford Ranger, soaring 24% to 3.217 units in 2nd place. This is the Ranger’s best-ever monthly ranking in Australia, its previous best being #3, hit four times in 2016. This performance lifts Ford’s ute up to #4 year-to-date below the Hyundai i30, overtaking the Mazda3 for the first time.

renault-koleos-australia-september-2016-picture-courtesy-caradvice-com-auRenault is up 43% thanks to the new Koleos, and now outsells Peugeot 7-to-1. 

The Toyota Camry climbs back up 5 spots to #6 and #1 Australia-made nameplate above the Holden Commodore (#7). Like last month, Hyundai manages to place three nameplates inside the Top 10 with the Accent up 30% to #8 and the Tucson up 119% to lead the SUV segment at #9 and 1.845 sales, partly thanks to sharply-priced 30th anniversary-badged version that celebrates the brand’s three decades in Australia. The Tucson distances the Nissan X-Trail (+3%), Mitsubishi ASX (+52%) and Mazda CX-5 (-21%), the traditional SUV leader, coming down after M-day boosted October sales.

great-wall-steed-australia-october-2016-picture-courtesy-whichcar-com-auGreat Wall is back in Australia with the Steed pickup. 

Other great performers include the Kia Cerato (+32%), Toyota Land Cruiser (+36%), Kia Sportage (+111%), Mazda CX-9 up a spectacular 260% year-on-year to #33 overall thanks to the new model, the VW Tiguan (+131%), Honda Civic (+85%) and Mercedes GLA (+178%). The Ford Mustang leads new launches (<12 months) at #46 ahead of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (#64), Mercedes GLC (#67), Suzuki Baleno (#90), Subaru Levorg (#102) and Kia Picanto (#108) while the Fiat 124 Spider shoots up 111 spots on last month to #155. This month marks the return of Great Wall in the Australian sales charts, now as a pickup-only brand with the Steed landing at #235, sister company Haval for its part launches the H6 – the best-selling SUV in China – at #252.

Previous month: Australia September 2016: Corolla in YTD lead, Mazda #1 SUV brand

One year ago: Australia October 2015: New generation pushes Toyota Hilux to #1

Full September 2016 Top 15 brands and Top 285 All-models below.

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