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China April 2015: The cars of Changchun, Jilin Province

April 26th, 2015 No comments

1. Changchun street scene 5VW Jetta taxi in front of the Changchun Railway Station

From Shanghai we are now headed North, passing Beijing to land in Changchun, the capital city of the Jilin province. The city itself has 3.6 million inhabitants, but including the greater Changchun, this figure climbs to 8 million, or almost as much as Paris or London! Yes you have read that right, there are cities in China that you may not have heard of but are larger than most European cities. Changchun was the Japanese capital of Manchuko between 1933 and 1945 and as such houses the former residence of Puyi, the Qing dynasty’s final emperor also known as the ‘puppet emperor’ and whose story was made into the 1987 movie The Last Emperor. Adequately, Changchun also used to be the capital of the Chinese film industry in the 50s and 60s.

2. China map with Changchun

Nowadays, Changchun is known as China’s Detroit as it is the largest vehicle manufacturing, research and development centre in China, producing roughly 10% of the country’s automobiles in 2014. First Automotive Works (FAW) has its headquarters here, along with its various joint-ventures with foreign manufacturers including FAW-Volkswagen and FAW-Toyota. This impacts the Changchun car landscape greatly as we will discover in a lot more detail below. Anecdotally, Changchun also produces 50% of all passenger trains in China.

3. FAW Besturn B50 taxi ChangchunFAW Besturn B50 taxi and BMW X1 in Changchun

Landing in Changchun means we have arrived in what I call ‘real China’: I did not see a single foreigner the entire time I stayed here (24 hours) and my very presence in the streets has everyone glued to their bus windows in curiosity, waving and smiling at me like they just spotted a movie star. Having around 50 bus patrons turn their head all in the same motion to keep staring while the bus drives on is a very interesting experience indeed. Must be the beard.

4. FAW Xenia S80 ChanchunFAW Xenia S80 at Changchun Longjia Airport

As soon as I step foot on the airport tarmac, the evidence this is FAW city awaits in the form of a FAW Xenia S80 minivan in its Changchun Longjia Airport livery. It is the start of a constant flow of FAW models streaming through Changchun, but they were not the ones I expected. The FAW Xiali sedan, a decade ago among the best-sellers nationwide – although not produced in Changchun but 850km South in Tianjin, is nowhere to be seen: I only spotted two lonely N5. It goes the same for the lower end of the FAW lineup: only a couple of Oley sedans and Xiali N7 hatchbacks and one Junpai D60.

5. FAW Besturn X80 ChangchunFAW Besturn X80

No. What Changchun drivers can’t get enough of are the more upmarket FAW offerings, nameply the Besturn sub-brand. The Besturn X80 SUV is absolutely everywhere: 2 or 3 of them at every block, no less, and while only ranking #91 nationally in 2014, in Changchun it is flirting with the pole position.

FAW Besturn B70 ChangchunFAW Besturn B70

Also very popular are both the Besturn B50 and B70, all generations of them (they both launched in 2006), with the 2014 B70 model already very present in the Changchun streets – I would safely bet on a Top 10 ranking here, even potentially Top 5.

FAW Besturn B50 Jinbei Haise ChangchunFAW Besturn B50 and Jinbei Haise

The first generation Besturn B50 also accounts for roughly 5% of all taxis in circulation here. Only the flagship B90 has yet to become a local favourite, potentially because of its 139,800 yuan pricetag (US$22,800). I did see one FAW Hongqi H7, the first time I see one of these out and about, and Hongqi has one H7 exhibited in the Departures hall of the Changchun Airport along with very sleek brochures.

8. FAW Hongqi H7 Changchun AirportFAW Hongqi H7 at Changchun Dongjia Airport

As such, FAW secures itself the lion’s share of domestic carmakers who account for roughly 25-30% of a car parc still largely dominated by sedans. SUVs are starting to be relatively popular but there is no heritage of any SUV buying pattern in the past, while minivans and microvans are relatively rare compared to cities like Chongqing, and pick-up trucks are non-existent.

Changchun street scene 1Changchun street scene

In Changchun we see the return of the Wuling Hongguang well established here but a long way from matching its #1 national ranking, as well as a sprinkling of the microvans that preceded it. I spotted the first two Wuling Hongguang V and the first four Baojun 730 MPVs in circulation, confirming the mesmerizing sales starts of these two nameplates are no legend but well and truly confirmed in the streets.

10. Haval H1 ChangchunHaval H1

Great Wall is relatively strong here – the first 3 Haval H1 made their appearance – and I learnt by stufying the Changchun traffic that the Haval H6 Sport in effect replaced the H6 over the past 18 months in terms of sales. That is before the new generation H6, unveiled at Auto Shanghai (more on this shortly), will take the relay. Also of note were the success of the Donfgeng X3 SUV and ChangAn CS75.

VW Jetta Changchun 2VW Jetta

That’s it for the Chinese, but what brands compose the remainder of the Changchun parc? One word: Volkswagen. Or two: VW Jetta. Being produced locally since 1991, the Jetta is logically the best-seller in Changchun whether it be with taxi companies or private buyers. I spotted hundreds of them in the streets in the space of only a few hours. The first generation Jetta (1991-1997) and its facelifts König (1997-2010) and Pionier (2010-2013) still accounts for around 75% of the Changchun taxi parc, with the current generation called Jetta Night (2013-) holding a 20% share and growing. Come back in a few years time and the new gen will be dominant.

12. Changchun street scene 2VW Jetta taxis in Changchun

In fact all mass-market Volkswagens produced in Changchun are popular here: the Sagitar follows the Jetta, ahead of the Bora, Magotan and Golf – Changchun being the first Chinese city where I spotted the European best-seller in significant numbers, including one station wagon.

Chery E3 ChangchunChery E3

Even though Toyota produces in Changchun, it’s Honda that could snap the title of most popular Japanese manufacturer here, with a regular flow of Crider, CR-V, City, Civic and Accord whereas in the Toyota camp only the Vios and to a lesser extent the Yaris L and RAV4 have made a real mark so far. Mazda also made a very strong and very recent impression, with the 3 Axela and 6 Atenza placing way above the respective #84 and #150 national March rankings. Korean-wise, the Hyundai Mistra and Kia Optima have also struck a chord with Changchun car buyers, and the ix25 is off to a great start.

Mercedes C Class Changchun

There is one car of choice for the wealthy: the Audi A6L, surprisingly frequent despite its price starting at a whopping 355,000 yuan (US$57,300). But it doesn’t stop here. Changchun wealth is clearly visible through the cars that roam its streets, including 3 Porsche Macan spotted in one hour, a handful of BMW X5 and X6 and new generation Mercedes C-Class and a dozen Audi Q3 and Q5, produced locally.

13. Changchun street scene 6Changchun street scene

Let’s finish on an American note: it would seem that each Chinese city has one resident Ford F-150 Raptor scaring its pedestrians (Kashgar in Xinjiang Uyghur had one last year) and Changchun is no exception, with the added surprise of one Toyota Tundra. Next stop is Yanji in the Yánbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture at the border with North Korea…

The Photo Report (25 pictures) continues below.

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Europe March 2015: Relief as continent-wide sales jump 11%

April 24th, 2015 No comments

Vauxhall Corsa Europe March 2015. Picture courtesy autoexpress.co.ukStrong UK sales push the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa onto the European podium in March.

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

It’s official: the recession is over in Europe. Overall new car sales are up 11% year-on-year in March to an imposing 1.644.985 registrations, boosted by a record figure in the UK (accounting for 28% of the continent’s sales) and Spain up a joyful 41%. The 1st Quarter ends on a 9% increase at 3.629.902 deliveries. Volkswagen moves with the market at +11% to 11.1% share, while Ford (+9%) and Opel/Vauxhall (+4%) mechanically move up to #2 and #3 given their strong reliance on UK sales but underperform. The French fall right in the average: Renault and Peugeot rank 4th and 5th and both gain 11%. Audi (+7%) and BMW (+5%) step aside and let Mercedes (+16%) shine bright at 82,980 sales (Audi 87,688 – BMW 81,857) but the hero of the month is Nissan jumping 4 spot to crack the European Top 10 thanks to sales up 21% to #9 and 80,471 deliveries. Fiat also enjoys the success of its very profitable 500 family and the arrival of the 500X just in time for summer escapades: +13% in 10th place.

Nissan Qashqai Europe April 2014. Picture courtesy of automobile-magazine.frNissan is up 21% year-on-year in Europe in March.

Despite sales up just 0.1% to 56,269, the VW Golf manages to clock its 60th consecutive month atop the European sales charts – that’s a full 5 years with the last time the Golf did not rank #1 in Europe being March 2010… The Top 10 models is heavily influenced by the UK market as is the norm in March: the Ford Fiesta jumps two spots to #2 both in March and year-to-date, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa is up 3 to #3 (+21%), the Ford Focus is up 5 to #6 and the Opel/Vauxhall Astra is up 7 to return inside the Top 10 at #10. While the Renault Clio is solid at +12%, the VW Polo takes a beating and drops two ranks in the 2015 ranking to #4, now only 51 units above the Corsa. Another excellent month for the Nissan Qashqai at #7 (+13%) and Audi A3 at #9 (+15%).

Previous post: Europe February 2015: Now with Top 330 All-models and All-brands

Previous month: Europe February 2015: VW Passat at highest in 3 years

One year ago: Europe March 2014: Fiat 500 inside Top 10 for the first time

Full March 2015 Top 10 brands and models below.

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Categories: Europe

France March 2015: Renault, Peugeot & Mercedes lift market up 9%

April 24th, 2015 No comments

Renault Mégane France March 2015. Picture by largus.frThe Renault Mégane is back up to #6 overall this month.

* Now updated with the Top 250 best-selling models and Top 40 brands *

French new car sales are finally getting a significant boost this month: up 9.5% year-on-year in March to 196,572 registrations, partly thanks to one more opening day without which the market would be up just 4%. Year-to-date sales are now up 7% to 477,326 deliveries. Caveating this performance is the exceptional strength of tactical sales (+15%), including demo sales (+14%) and short-term rentals (+21%), while private sales are up 2% after -3.5% in February and +0.3% in January. On the plus side, orders taken by dealers in March are up 11%, on the negative side, the surge in short-term rentals seems to be the result of purchases brought forward in anticipation of the summer holiday season rather than a real activity growth and this means short-term rentals in the coming month will suffer, potentially pulling the market down with them.

Mercedes C-Class France March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus,frMercedes overtakes Audi to become the #1 premium brand in France in March.

The 2 main manufacturers in the country, Renault (+13%) and Peugeot (+12%) both outperform the market to 21.4% and 17.2% share respectively while Citroen is up just 5% to 10% and its premium brand DS is down 15% to 1.5%. The rest of the brands ranking confirms trends are turned on their head this year: Dacia, usually displaying staggering year-on-year gains, is down 10%, Ford is up 19%, Toyota up 16%, Kia up 23% and Hyundai up 44%. Mercedes spectacularly takes charge of premium brands thanks to sales up 40% (and private sales up 61%) to 5,705 units at #10 vs. 5,437 (+5%) for Audi and 5,355 (+14%) for BMW. Also impressive is Mini (+61%) thanks to the new 5-door hatch, while Jeep is in a category of its own: multiplying its sales by 10 vs. March 2014 to 845 thanks to the Renegade (#69 with 681 units).

Fiat 500X France March 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deThe Fiat 500X breaks into the French Top 50 for the first time in March.

In the models ranking, all Top 7 nameplates gain more ground than the market, resulting in a trend-bucking de-fragmentation. The Peugeot 308 at #4 (+63%), Renault Captur at #3 (+41%) and Renault Clio IV at #1 (+27%) are the biggest gainers, with the Renault Mégane at #6 (+18%) also back in shape. The Peugeot 2008 (#5) is up 15% while the Peugeot 208 (#2) is up 11% and the Citroen C3 (#7) up 10%. The Renault Twingo III is down 4 spots on February to #9 and the Top 10 is 100% French for the 2nd straight month with the VW Polo at #12, VW Golf at #14 (both down a harsh 17%) and Ford Fiesta at #15 (+10%) the most popular foreigners.

Audi TT France March 2015. Picture courtesy largus.frThe new model lifts Audi TT sales 4-fold on a year ago in France.

Further down, the Peugeot 508 is up 49% at #19, the Citroen C4 Cactus maintains itself above the C4 at #21, the Opel Mokka is up 41% to #25, the VW Passat up a spectacular 86% to #37, the Toyota Aygo II (#42) and Fiat 500X (#43) both break into the monthly French Top 50 for the first time, the Nissan X-Trail is up 9 ranks on February to #58 and the Ford Ecosport up 24 to #65. Outside the Top 100, notice the Ford Mondeo up 123% year-on-year, the Nissan Leaf up 120%, Mazda6 up 135%, Audi TT up 331%, the Land Rover Discovery up 1144% thanks to the new Sport model, the BMW X6 up 245% and the Kia Sorento up 326%.

Previous post: France 1-16 March 2015: Renault Mégane back in shape

Previous month: France February 2015: Renault Twingo III breaks into Top 5

One year ago: France March 2014: Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 both in Top 4 for the first time

Full March 2015 Top 250 models and Top 40 brands below.

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Categories: France

Romania March 2015: Ford Fiesta on podium, Fiat 500L in Top 10

April 23rd, 2015 No comments

Fiat 500L Romania March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frThe Fiat 500L is among the 10 best-sellers in Romania for the first time.

* See the Top 32 All-brands and Top 100 models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Romania are up a very satisfying 17% year-on-year in March to 5,339 registrations, bringing the first quarter total to 14,433 units, up 8% on 2014. Dacia logically keeps the pole position despite sales down 2% to 28.1% share (30.2% year-to-date), followed by Ford up a gigantic 104% on a year ago to 698 units and 13.1% and Skoda up 15% to 606 deliveries and 11.4%. Volkswagen (+29%), Mercedes (+16%), Renault (+19%), Hyundai (+15%) and Fiat (+50%) follow and all outperform the market this month. Notice also Peugeot up 118%, Kia up 142%, Citroen up 95% and Volvo up 4-fold year-on-year.

Ford Fiesta Romania March 2015The Ford Fiesta lands on the Romanian podium in March.

The Dacia Logan (15.5%) and Duster (9%) dominate the models ranking head and shoulders and stay very close to their year-to-date levels of 15.3% and 9.1% respectively. #12 last month, the Ford Fiesta shoots back up to third place thanks to 349 sales and 6.5%, becoming the most popular foreign nameplate in the country in March. It is followed by the Skoda Octavia (4.9%), Ford Focus (4.6%) and Skoda Rapid (3.8%) and all other nameplate are below 2% market share. The Fiat 500L is up 15 spots on February to crack the Romanian Top 10 for the first time at #9, the VW Up is up to #27 and the Peugeot 301 up 58 spots on last month to #31.

Previous month: Romania February 2015: Dacia and Skoda monopolise Top 4

One year ago: Romania March 2014: Dacia Dokker back up to 4th place

Full March 2015 Top 32 All-brands and Top 100 models below.

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Categories: Romania

Singapore March 2015: Toyota, Mazda and Honda post explosive gains in market up 97%

April 23rd, 2015 No comments

Toyota Corolla Singapore May 2014Toyota hits its highest market share in Singapore in at least 3 years.

* See the Top 32 All-brands ranking by clicking on the title *

Now that the price of Certificates of Entitlement (the right to register a car) are back down to more affordable levels, car sales in Singapore are up a majestic 97% year-on-year in March to 3,925 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 10,364 units, up 74% on 2014. Thanks to sales up 166% on March 2014 to 968 units, Toyota (including Lexus) delivers its highest market share in the country in at least 3 years at 24.7% and reclaims the year-to-date lead off Mercedes, down to a paltry 6th place this month. Meanwhile mass market Japanese brands are having the time of their lives: Mazda is up 326% to 10.4% share, Honda up 508% to 9.5% and Nissan up 101% to 8.3% while Volkswagen underperforms at… +81%. Mitsubishi is reborn at #10 and 110 sales.

Previous post: Singapore Full Year 2014: Toyota Corolla new best-seller

Previous month: Singapore February 2015: Toyota reclaims #1, Honda up 10-fold

One year ago: Singapore March 2014: Toyota/Lexus takes the lead

Full March 2015 Top 32 All-brands ranking table below.

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Categories: Singapore

Germany March 2015: Opel Corsa and Mazda3 impress

April 15th, 2015 No comments

Opel Corsa Germany March 2015Opel Corsa

* See the Top 50 brands and Top 316 models by clicking on the title *

Excellent showing for the German new car market in March: up 9% to 323,039 deliveries, which brings the 1st quarter total to 757,630 units, up 6%. If Mercedes is back to its traditional 2nd spot with 27,674 sales and 8.6% share and the entire Top 7 brands for March is both identical to the year-to-date ranking and the FY2014 one, Audi (+12%) and Ford (+15%) clearly outperform the market. Hyundai (+8%) overtakes Renault (-14%), while Fiat (+20%), Peugeot (+16%), Citroen (+17%), Suzuki (+99%), Smart (+71%), Porsche (+53%) and Jeep (+123%) also post very strong results.

VW Golf Sportsvan Germany March 2015. Picture courtesy of automibile-magazine.frThe Sportsvan variant helps the Golf nameplate up 32% year-on-year in March.

The VW Golf remains the most popular nameplate at home and by a country mile, even lodging the largest year-on-year sales increase among the 19 top sellers in March at +32% to 26,821 units and 8.3%, with the podium 100% Volkswagen for the third consecutive time and the 5th time in the past 6 month: the Passat is up 27% to #2 and the Polo up 12% to #3. The Mercedes C-Class is back up to 4th place despite sales down 1% on March 2014, the Opel Corsa is up 26% to #5 thanks to the new model, the Ford Fiesta is up 17% to #7, the Ford Focus up 11% to #8 and the Skoda Fabia up 27% to #15, boosted by the new generation.

Mazda3 Germany March 2015. Picture courtesy of largus.frMazda3 sales are up 88% in Germany this month.

Further down, the Ford Kuga surges 40% to #31, the Mazda3 is the 2nd best-selling ‘true’ foreigner (remove Skoda and Seat) below the Fiat 500 with sales up an explosive 88% on March 2014 to 2,712 at #33, the Hyundai i10 is up an equally impressive 74% to #34, the BMW 4 Series is up 42% to #35, the Suzuki Swift is up 248% to #40 and the Ford Mondeo up 47% to #49. Finally, notice the Suzuki Vitara landing at #147 with 393 sales.

Previous month: Germany February 2015: BMW 2 Series breaks into Top 20

One year ago: Germany March 2014: Mercedes C-Class up 31% to #4

Full March 2015 Top 50 brands and Top 316 models below.

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Categories: Germany

Europe February 2015: Now with Top 330 All-models and All-brands

April 15th, 2015 No comments

BMW 2er Active Tourer Europe February 2015. Picture courtesy autozeitung.deThe Active Tourer variant lifts the BMW 2 Series to its first European Top 50 ranking.

* See the Top 330 All-models and Top 55 All-brands by clicking on the title *

Refined European data is now available with the traditional one month-delay, confirming the 8% year-on-year increase announced earlier at 952,084 units and 1.977.866 year-to-date (+7%). Outside the familiar Top 10 brands, Seat (+23%), Nissan (+27%), Mini (+34%), Lexus (+36%), Mitsubishi (+43%), Smart (+45%), Porsche (+46%) and most spectacularly Jeep (+182%) impress. The VW Passat is the hero in the Top 10 with sales up 65% to #8, but beyond a few other nameplate also make themselves noticed. The Renault Captur is still on the up at #12 (+23%) as is the Peugeot 308 at #14 (+31%), the Opel Mokka at #18 (+67%), Mercedes C-Class at #20 (+54%), Seat Leon at #21 (+26%), Renault Twingo at #25 (+133%) and Mini at #36 (+105%).

Smart Forfour Europe February 2015Mainly thanks to its performance in Italy, the Smart Forfour is inside Europe’s Top 100.

Lifted by the success of the Active Tourer variant still not separated from the Coupe/Cabriolet in official sales, the BMW 2 Series breaks into the European Top 50 for the very first time this month at #43 with 6,859 units. The Citroen C4 Cactus is getting tantalisingly closer to reaching that milestone as well: up a further two spots on January to #51 and 6,293 sales, the Jeep Renegade posts its first European Top 100 at #83 and 3,904 units as does the new generation Smart Forfour at #96 and 3,428 sales and the Fiat 500X at #98 and 3,151 sales while the Nissan Pulsar is up 13 spots on January to #85 and the Land Rover Discovery Sport is up 15 to #194.

Previous post: Europe February 2015: VW Passat at highest in 3 years

Previous month: Europe January 2015: Now with Top 335 All-models and All-brands

One year ago: Europe February 2014: Discover the Top 343 All-models

Full February 2015 Top 330 All-models and Top 55 All-brands below.

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Categories: Europe

UK Full Year 2014: Now with Top 365 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

April 14th, 2015 No comments

Peugeot 2008 UK 2014The Peugeot 2008 posts the biggest year-on-year gain in the 2014 UK Top 50.

* See the Top 365 All-models ranking by clicking on the title *

The time has arrived: I can now share with you the much anticipated all-models ranking for the UK over the Full Year 2014. This data is exclusive to BSCB. As a quick reminder, the UK market is up a very robust 9% in 2014 to 2,476,435 registrations, the biggest annual tally in a decade and the 4th largest of all time:  only 2002, 2003 and 2004 saw more cars registered in the history of automobile in this country. Keep in mind this complete ranking reflects registrations to end consumers and not to dealers and there are therefore slight changes compared to the previous FY2014 Top 20 I published, plus little variations in variants of one model taken into account.

Mercedes A Class UK 2014. Picture courtesy of whatcar.co.ukMercedes A-Class sales are up 47% in the UK in 2014.

For example Mercedes C-Class sales now include the Coupe, pushing the nameplate to #12 overall (+4%), the Mini, boosted by the arrival of the 5dr variant, is up to #13 with the Vauxhall Mokka still up a staggering 145% to #14, the Vauxhall Zafira is back inside the Top 20 at #18, knocking the Renault Clio down to #21. Outside the Top 20 in uncharted territory for us and this is where things get really interesting. The Mercedes A-Class is up 12 spots and a fantastic 47% to #22, the Citroen C4/C4 Picasso is up 60% to #25, the Nissan Note up 88% to #27, the Seat Leon up 52% to #28, the Skoda Octavia up 48% to #33 and the Dacia Sandero up 66% to #62.

Peugeot 108 UK 2014The Peugeot 108 is the most successful all-new nameplate of 2014.

A handful of models launched during 2013 logically post some of the largest year-on-year gains in the ranking. Among them the Peugeot 2008 is up 356% to #45, the Renault Captur is up 207% to #39 and the BMW 4 Series is up 662% to #53. The best-selling all-new nameplate in 2014 is the Peugeot 108 landing directly at #93, followed by the BMW 2 Series at #111, the Mercedes GLA at #124, Nissan Pulsar at #176 and Porsche Macan at #180.

Previous FY2014 update:  UK Full Year 2014: Market up 9% to highest level in a decade

Previous exclusive update: UK 9 months 2014: Now with Top 360 All-models (BSCB exclusive)

One year ago: UK Full Year 2013: Now with Top 322 best-selling models (BSCB exclusive)

Full Year 2014 Top 365 All-models vs. Full 2013 figures below.

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Categories: UK

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

April 14th, 2015 No comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Categories: Canada

Australia 1st Quarter 2015: Mazda2 soars to segment lead

April 14th, 2015 No comments

Mazda2 Australia March 2015. Picture courtesy caradvice.com.auThe Mazda2 now leads its segment in Australia.

* See the Top 295 All-models ranking by clicking on the title *

As is the tradition every quarter on BSCB, I can now share with you an All-models ranking for Australia. A very dynamic market up 4% year-on-year to 277,594 registrations over the period, Australia gets a constant flow of new models with great sales potential and the 1st Quarter of 2015 is no exception as we’ll see further down. Just outside the familiar Top 10, the Nissan X-Trail gets a very sizeable boost due to the new generation, up 9 spots on its Q4 2014 ranking to #11 and 4,989 sales, landing at a very impressive 2nd place in the overall Australian SUV ranking over the period – it is only beaten by the Mazda CX-5 improving further to #7. Also thanks to a much-needed facelift, the Mazda2 is up 10 spots on the previous quarter to #16 with 4,049 sales, catapulted into its segment’s lead above the Toyota Yaris (#17) and Hyundai i20 (#20).

Mercedes C Class Australia March 2015. Picture courtesy of caradvice.com.auThe Mercedes C-Class is up to #23 over the period.

The Mercedes C-Class goes from strength to strength: from #55 in Q3 2014 to #33 in Q4 to #23 now thanks to a stunning 3,254 sales, leaving its direct competitors in the dust: the BMW 3 Series is #72 and the Audi A4 #93. The Nissan Qashqai gains 15 spots over last quarter to an excellent #25, the Subaru Outback sells more in this quarter (2,595) than in the whole of last year (2,457) as does the Subaru Liberty (1,085 vs. 1,041) both thanks to new models, the Jeep Cherokee gains a further 12 spots to #34, the Kia Sportage is up a surprising 20 ranks to #38, the Audi Q3 jumps to #74 and the Mercedes GLA cracks the Top 100 at #92, however the Hyundai Genesis (#170) and Lexus RC (#180) have plateaued already.

Mazda CX-3 Australia March 2015The Mazda CX-3 has landed in Australia.

There are 9 all-new nameplates making their first appearance in the Australian ranking over the period, frankly led by the Honda HR-V landing directly at #41 with 2,122 sales including 1,081 in March alone. A tremendous start for Honda’s baby SUV, instantly placing it at the same level as the brand’s veteran blockbuster CR-V (#36). There may be an even more promising new entrant in the sales charts: the Mazda CX-3 arrives at #77 with 865, Australia being one of the first countries in the world to get this pocket rocket SUV after Japan. The Hyundai Sonata (#140), Renault Captur (#148) and Suzuki Celerio (#162) are the only other new nameplates to make it into the Top 200, along with one very exciting newcomer that you will discover below the jump…

Previous post: Australia March 2015: SUV sales push market up 8%

Previous Quarterly update: Australia 4th Quarter 2015: Nissan X-Trail back in Top 20

One year ago: Australia 1st Quarter 2014: Now with Top 300 All-models ranking

Full Q1 2015 Top 295 All-models ranking vs. Q4 2014 and FY 2014 full sales below.

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Categories: Australia