Russia November 2016: Lada outpaces market up for 1st time in 2 years

lada-vesta-russia-november-2016The Lada Vesta sells a record 5.661 units in Russia in November. 

* See the Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

Finally! The Russian new car market manages a slight year-on-year gain in November (+0.6%) after 22 consecutive months of decline – the last gain was seen in December 2014. It’s too early to tell whether the market has bottomed out indeed though and this is confirmed by Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee: “It is good to be able to say such a thing after all, but it is far too early to read a trend turnaround into this. For now, all eyes are on December which has the potential to demonstrate that the market continues to move in the right direction”. Lest we forget the year-to-date tally is down 12% to 1.279.987 and that November 2016 is only the third month of year-on-year gains in the past 46.

jaguar-f-pace-russia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-zr-ruThe F-Pace boosts Russian Jaguar sales up 265% this month. Pictures zr.ru 

The Top 5 best-selling carmakers all outperform the market: homegrown behemoth Lada is in excellent shape this month with a 18% surge to 19.3% share, fast outpacing its immediate followers Hyundai (11.9%) and Kia (11.1%) both up 4%. Renault soars 13% to #4, distancing Toyota (+7%), Volkswagen (-8%) and Nissan, in great difficulty again at -18%. Chery (+10%), GAZ (+18%), Lexus (+22%), Porsche (+29%), Mini (+32%), Jeep (+38%), Subaru (+45%), Volkswagen Vans (+61%), Jaguar (+265%) and Smart (+352%) post the most spectacular sales improvements in November, while at the other end of the performance ladder Datsun (-16%), Suzuki (-20%), Land Rover (-23%), Mitsubishi (-30%), Audi (-32%), Peugeot (-34%), Volvo (-37%), Fiat (-41%), Dongfeng (-64%) and Geely (-80%) all fall sharply.

hyundai-creta-russia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-zr-ruPerfect scoresheet for the Hyundai Creta in Russia: 4 months out of 4 as #1 SUV. 

In the space of two years, the Russian models ranking has made a sharp U-turn: a Lada leading it is now a rarity, something that used to be utterly unthinkable. In November, the Lada Granta reclaims the title of best-selling nameplate in the country for the first time since last May, but its meagre advantage over its rivals the Kia Rio (108 sales) and Hyundai Solaris (257) do nothing to change anything in the YTD ladder. After 11 months, the Solaris has a comfortable lead at 82.338 sales (-23%) vs. 79.633 for the Kia Rio (-10%) and 78.953 for the Granta (-27%). In other words, we are headed towards the first annual win for a foreign nameplate in Russia since the Lada marque was launched in 1970! This even though the Solaris hatchback was discontinued to give way to the Creta on the Hyundai St Petersburg factory… The culprit for the Granta’s dive: the Vesta, up 11% on October to post a new record monthly volume at 5.661.

nissan-qashqai-russia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-zr-ruThe Qashqai is up 44% but doesn’t prevent Nissan from freefalling 18% in November.

Four months on sale in Russia and four month as the best-selling SUV in the country: it’s a full strike for the Hyundai Creta ranking 5th overall with 4.814 deliveries and distancing the Renault Duster at 3.569 (-17%), the Chevrolet Niva at 2.664 (-11%) and the Renault Kaptur at 2.327, the other instant blockbuster in the country and the segment. With the Logan at #9 (-11%) and the Sandero at #10 (+17%), Renault even places four nameplates inside the November Top 12 vs. just three for Lada. Other great performing SUVs include the Lada XRAY at its best since last May at #16, the Nissan Qashqai up 44% to #18 and the Toyota Prado up 22% to #22.

Previous month: Russia October 2016: Kia Rio dominates again in market down just 3%

One year ago (1): Russia November 2015: Hyundai Solaris #1, Lada Vesta lands in Top 20

One year ago (2): Russia November 2015: Now with Top 306 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Full November 2016 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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India November 2016: Maruti breaks market share record at 52.2%

Maruti Baleno India November 2016. Picture courtesy motorbeam.comThe Maruti Baleno breaks its ranking and volume records in India this month. 

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 20 brands and Top 80 models – click on title to see *

The aftermath of the highly disruptive demonetisation process that India is going through has slowed down the growth of new wholesale car deliveries in the country, with a slim 2% year-on-year improvement to 241.840 units. However the year-to-date tally still showcases a very dynamic 10% gain to 2.729.807 deliveries. Local behemoth Maruti-Suzuki goes from strength to strength this year thanks to a string of perfectly-targeted new launches. Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary even smashes its all-time market share record in November, hitting a gargantuan 52.2% thanks to 126.220 sales. BSCB records show that the only other time Maruti-Suzuki crossed the symbolic 50% share barrier was in July 2015 (50.4%), however the market total did not include luxury brands such as Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, meaning Maruti’s try share was in fact below 50% then.

tata-tiago-india-november-2016-picture-courtesy-ibtimes-co-inThe Tata Tiago ranks among the 10 best-selling cars in India for the first time. 

Maruti illustrate this record-breaking performance by placing seven vehicles in the Top 8 and monopolising the Top Five for the first time in history with the Alto (+6%), DZire (-9%), Wagon R (+11%), Swift (+23%) and Baleno breaking its monthly volume and ranking records at #5 and 11.093 units (+22%). Hyundai (-8%) and Mahindra (-33%) are hit full frontal by the demonetisation effect but Tata (+21%) is back with a vengeance at #3 after years of paltry results thanks to one nameplate: the Tiago, accounting for 47% of the carmaker’s total sales in November. The small hatch posts a second consecutive month above 6.000 units and ranks among the ten best-selling passenger cars in the country for the first time ever (SUV excluded), #13 overall. Renault (+22% thanks to the Kwid), Volkswagen (+107% thanks to the Ameo) and Datsun (+143% thanks to the Redi-GO) also shine in the brands ranking.

Previous month: India October 2016: Hyundai breaks volume record in biggest month ever

One year ago: India November 2015: Maruti Baleno strong, cannibalises Swift

Full November 2016 Top 20 brands and Top 80 models below.

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Europe October 2016: Discover the Top 340 models and Top 55 brands

Renault Megane Europe October 2016The new model pushes Renault Megane sales up 42% across Europe. 

* See the Top 55 brands and Top 340 models by clicking on the title *

Final October data for Europe 29 countries is now available, with the overall score almost 9.ooo units below preliminary figures at 1.132.112 delivers for a 0.9% year-on-year drop. The year-to-date tally remains however in frank positive territory at +6.8% to 12.682.782 sales or over 800.000 additional sales compared to the same period a year ago. There are a few changes atop the brands ranking now that sales figures have been confirmed. Renault (-2%) manages to recapture the 2nd spot year-to-date off Ford (-6%) at 889.068 vs. 888.974. It will be a photo finish for the final annual ranking next month. Peugeot for its part (-4%) advances to #5 for the month, overtaking Audi (+1%) at 66.446 vs. 66.180 sales and in a slew of bad news for Audi, Mercedes retains the #6 overall spot at #1 luxury year-to-date at 703.950 vs. 702.769. Another photo finish for next month…

peugeot-3008-europe-october-2016The Peugeot 3008 is back inside the European Top 50 thanks to the new generation. 

Beyond the Top 10, Hyundai (+5%), Kia (+7%), Seat (+13%) and Mini (+20%) post very dynamic gains among high-volume brands, while on the opposite Mitsubishi (-20%), Citroen (-9%), Volvo (-8%) and Mazda (-6%) struggle. Smaller but impressive performers include Alfa Romeo (+22%) thanks to the Giulia, Lancia (+23%), Jaguar (+78%) thanks to the F-Pace and XE, Infiniti (+61%) thanks to the Q30 and Maserati (+46%) thanks to the Levante. Chinese MG surges 62% with the GS SUV but remains extremely discreet at 257 sales. DS (-28%), Tesla (-25%), Ferrari (-28%), Aston Martin (-36%) and Lotus (-40%) are in difficulty this month.

Hyundai Ioniq Europe October 2016-picture-courtesy-autoexpress-co-ukThe Hyundai Ioniq is already level with the Toyota Prius in Europe.

In the models aisle, the only change in the Top 20 compared to preliminary figures is the Peugeot 2008 (now #16) and Skoda Fabia (#17) exchanging positions. The Renault Clio ranks 4th year-to-date below the Ford Fiesta at 252.882 (+0.3%) vs. 253.180 (-6%) which is the reverse order vs. preliminary data. Below, the Renault Mégane is up 7 spots on September and 42% year-on-year to #22 vs. #32 YTD, the Hyundai Tucson is up 52% to #23, the Audi A4 and Kia Sportage both up 24%, the BMW X1 up 137%, VW Touran up 67% and Peugeot 3008 up 52% on October 2015 and 45 ranks on last month to rally back into the Top 50 thanks to the new model. The Fiat Tipo (#60) and Seat Ateca (#80) are the only two recently launched nameplates (<12 months) inside the Top 100 with the Ford Ka+ (#108) catching up and gaining 64 ranks on September while the Hyundai Ioniq is up 72 to #175 and only 60 units below the Toyota Prius. We welcome the Skoda Kodiaq at #285.

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

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

One year ago: Europe October 2015: Now with Top 340 models and All-brands

Full October 2016 Top 55 brands and Top 340 models below.

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From North Cape to Gibraltar – Part 3: The journey to North Cape

bjorn-nordkapp-1Spectacular sunset over North Cape.

This is Part 3 of our North Cape to Gibraltar series, click here to check out Part 1: Stockholm and Central Sweden and Part 2: Kustvägen to Finland, a succession of impossibly stunning fishing villages. Today is the big day: the road to North Cape – Nordkapp in Norwegian, roughly 600km from our Finnish pitstop, Ylläsjärvi. We cross into Norway as Finland has no access to the sea northbound. I had imagined a spectacular end-of-the-world location, but not only is it absolutely breath-taking, the journey to reach North Cape is actually the most spectacular part of the trip…

yllasjarvi-nordkapp-with-reference-mapnordkapp-2Road to Nordkapp. Map from Google Maps.

Our first milestone is the Norwegian border, and to reach it we need to cross through some of the most isolated parts of Finland for close to 200km, skirting the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park for almost the entirety of this stretch of the itinerary. It’s the first time we travel through Finland in daylight which gives me an opportunity to confirm that the most popular new cars in this part of the country are consistent with the 2016 sales charts. Even though we are a whopping 1.000 km from the capital Helsinki, the Skoda Octavia – almost exclusively as station wagon –  Nissan Qashqai, Opel Astra (already a few new generation) and Toyota Auris – also as station wagon, are the most frequent nameplates I encountered in and around the border-town of Muonio.

destination-nordkappIt’s not every day we set a car’s GPS destination to Nordkapp…reindeer-caribou-world-distributionWorld distribution of caribou (green) and reindeer (red). Picture Wikimediawhite-reindeerCurious reindeer isn’t fazed by the ballet of cars around.

But for once I have to admit it’s not the cars that fascinated me the most in Finland. A mere few km after leaving Ylläsjärvi and as a potent signal that we’ve entered into their territory (see map above), a full herd of about twenty reindeers find itself peacefully grazing by the side of the road, crossing nonchalantly to explore greener pastures. Not in the least disturbed by whirling ballet of cars slowing, stopping and u-turning to capture the moment. Most of them have grey fur but a few a sparkling white. Little did I know that this ritual would now become par for the course.

norwegian-frontierBjörn is now setting its wheels into Norway.

We now cross the border into Norway to enter a region confusingly called Finnmark – a mix of Finland and Denmark located in northern Norway. Still with us? First is the Finnmarksvidda Plateau, a stark expanse of land sparsely populated with Sámi people. My first encounter with this native people of the area was at a at roadside petrol station/restaurant in Muonio, an elderly woman wearing a full and bright red outfit. I may have stared a bit, but it was from sheer surprise, admiration and awe. Much more on the Sámi people in a next iteration of this Series.

reindeer-sign

norway-towards-nordkappIt’s a straight road north in the barren Finnmarksvidda Plateau.

Thanks to Jan our correspondent in Norway we can share with you exclusive sales data for this region of the world. In the Alta district, the first section we crossed, the best-seller is the Skoda Octavia. Even though the Octavia only ranks 8th overall in Norway, this isn’t that illogical given the district’s proximity to Finland where the Octavia leads. We have a surprise in 2nd place though: the Peugeot 208, up from #57 in Norway. Another smashing success here is the new Mercedes GLC at #5 and #2 SUV below the VW Tiguan. The Skoda Superb (#7) and Kia Sportage (#9) also over-perform.

Alta district – 1/1-18/9/16:

Pos Model Alta % Norway % Nor
1 Skoda Octavia 30 7.4% 2,838 2.4% 8
2 Peugeot 208 26 6.4% 574 0.5% 57
3 VW Golf 23 5.6% 10,664 9.2% 1
4 VW Tiguan 20 4.9% 1,758 1.5% 13
5 Mercedes GLC 16 3.9% 936 0.8% 43
6 VW Passat 14 3.4% 3,711 3.2% 3
7 Skoda Superb 14 3.4% 1,600 1.4% 16
8 Mazda CX-5 13 3.2% 2,022 1.7% 11
9 Kia Sportage 13 3.2% 956 0.8% 42
10 Mitsubishi Outlander 12 2.9% 4,561 3.9% 2
11 Volvo V70 12 2.9% 1,206 1.0% 31

Source: OFV. Norway data is 1/1-30/9/16

bjorn-brennelvBjörn in Brennelv along the E69 leading to Nordkapp.mercedes-cla-hammerfest-september-2016The Mercedes CLA is the best-selling vehicle in Norway’s Hammerfest district.

The Hammerfest district is the northernmost in Norway, and the 2016 sales charts up to the time I visited are even more of a surprise: it’s a Mercedes festival here, with the German luxury carmaker placing no less than five nameplates inside the Top 7. Granted, the market is small (152 sales YTD) but it’s still a stunning achievement nonetheless. The Mercedes CLA holds 11.2% market share thanks to 17 units finding a buyer – and we will assume the majority of these sales are for the Shooting Brake station wagon variant given the particular taste for this format in Scandinavia. The Toyota RAV4 and VW Golf complete the podium.

Hammerfest district – 1/1-18/9/16:

Pos Model H’fest % Norway % Nor FY15
1 Mercedes CLA 17 11.2% 551 0.5% 60 49
2 Toyota RAV4 12 7.9% 3,683 3.2% 4 7
3 VW Golf 10 6.6% 10,664 9.2% 1 1
4 Mercedes A Class 9 5.9% 513 0.4% 65 58
5 Mercedes GLA 9 5.9% 355 0.3% 75 62
6 Mercedes B Class 8 5.3% 1,652 1.4% 15 20
7 Mercedes E Class 6 3.9% 601 0.5% 52 63
8 Toyota Auris 6 3.9% 3,554 3.1% 5 2
9 Toyota Avensis 6 3.9% 1,264 1.1% 28 27
10 Ford Focus 5 3.3% 1,141 1.0% 34 18
11 Mercedes GLC 5 3.3% 936 0.8% 43 94
12 VW Tiguan 5 3.3% 1,758 1.5% 13 28

Source: OFV. Norway data is 1/1-30/9/16

bjorn-nordkapp-5

nordkapp-road-detailNordkapp arrival detail 

355 km north of Ylläsjärvi we hit the Barents Seat in Alta. Then, a further 120km northeast we arrive at Olderfjord for the start of one of the most spectacular roads I’ve ever had the chance to travel on. The E60 kisses the east coast of the peninsula that leads to Nordkapp (pictured above). Peppering the voyage are only a handful of fishing settlements too small to be called villages with only four to five houses at most. It’s drizzling, the sky is grey and menacing. The drama goes crescendo as I drive Björn on the 130km leading to Nordkapp. I stop many times. To grasp the silence, hear the wind and smell the rain. It’s the end of the world.

nordkapp-road

nordkapp

midnight-sun-nordkapp-picture-courtesy-wikipediaNordkapp at sunset – above the cloud base – and a sunlit picture courtesy of Wikimedia.

Just as I thought this couldn’t get any more spectacular, the 7km-long North Cape tunnel makes the journey that much more mysterious, enabling Björn and I to cross the Magerøysundet strait between the Norwegian mainland and the island of Magerøya where Nordkapp is located. After a couple more tunnels on the flank of the cliff we’ve been hugging for over 100 km, we arrive at Honnigsvåg which is the only village on the island. A few more hills as we elevate our position to roughly 300m above see level and finally, around a bend, I suddenly come face to face with Nordkapp just as the sun blazes the sky pink. I can’t avoid a big loud gasp, as it looks almost too beautiful to be true. I quickly park the car at a viewpoint to snap a few photos including the one atop this article. Then, as if in a fairy land far, far away from common sense and lives, three curious reindeers quietly and softly come close to the car, all the while continuing to graze. Nordkapp is a magical land.

nordkapp-3

bjorn-nordkapp-4Nordkapp sunset, and Björn stretching its wheels on the Magerøya island leading to Nordkapp.

While I had Nordkapp in my field of vision, it is another 20 km to actually hit the North Cape, where there is only a visitor centre that was closed when I arrived. There is an earth globe to mark the spot and a steep cliff coupled with strong winds and chill factor all combined to make this visit a rather haunting one. The sun finally set under the clouds below us and all was back to darkness, like a dream had sailed off. This cliff is located at 71°10′21″N 25°47′04″E, 2.102 kilometres south of the North Pole. But there’s a catch: although North Cape is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, this title actually belongs to neighbouring Knivskjellodden point, just to the west, which extends 1.457 metres further to the north but is only accessible by foot. There’s more: given both of these points are situated on the Magerøya island, the northernmost point of mainland Europe is actually Cape Nordkinn, 5.7 km south. According to Wikipedia, the northernmost point of Europe including islands is several hundred miles further north, either in Russia’s Franz Josef Land or Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, depending on whether Franz Josef Land is considered to be in Europe or in Asia.

bjorn-nordkapp-2Spectacular scenery on the Magerøya island near Nordkapp. Click on picture to enlarge.

Returning to Honnigsvåg for the night, I was welcomed by a full hundred people-strong marching band all smiles in the town’s main (and only) street. Yes, today is a day to celebrate as we’ve reached one of the two extreme points of the European saga. But it’s far from the end. Tomorrow we are headed to the Russian border… Stay tuned!

More photos below.

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USA November 2016: Incentives revive annual record hopes

gmc-acadia-usa-november-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comGeneral Motors gains 10% in November, with the GMC Acadia up 35%. Pictures caranddriver.com

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 285 models by clicking on the title *

It’s a nice surprise this month for the U.S. new light vehicle market. After three consecutive months of decline and just as most analysts (including myself) had given up on the hope of a seventh consecutive year of gains – it would a century first (up nine years up to 1917) – and a second consecutive annual record, November sales rally back up 3.7% to 1.380.558 units on the back of very generous incentives and two additional selling days. This a new November record, with the previous best dating back to 2001 at 1.328 million. The year-to-date tally is back into positive territory – just – at +0.1% to 15.859.922 vs. 15.839.783 a year ago. The seasonally adjusted, annualised sales rate (SAAR) is strong however down 1.1% year-on-year to 17.83 million vs. 18.07 a year ago and 17.98 in October.

bmw-3-series-usa-november-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comDespite the largest incentives on the market, the BMW Group is down 16%.

The elephant in the room is the record level of incentives which is almost entirely fuelling the current market growth, with Ford even warning against this artificially-boosted sales environment a couple of days ago. Average incentives per vehicle skyrocket up 13% vs. November 2015 to $3.475 according to TrueCar. Only Daimler has cut on incentives at -4% year-on-year to $4.660 but all other manufacturers have increased them. The most generous are BMW at $6.279 (+25%), General Motors at $4.305 (+13%), Nissan at $4.209 (+13%), FCA at $4.154 (+18%), Ford at $3.982 (+23%) and Volkswagen Group at $3.751 (+6%). Below average are Kia at $3.164 (+6%), Hyundai at $2.468 (+13%), Toyota at $2.420 (+3%), Honda at $1.936 (+6%) and Subaru at $1.145 (+100%).

Ford F-Series USA November 2016. Picture courtesy youtube.comThe Ford F-Series is up 11% vs. +1% for the Chevy Silverado and +8% for the Ram Pickup

According to Automotive News, GM cut $10.000 on some Chevrolet Silverado and Suburban while Hyundai cut prices on 2016 car models by 21% to 40%. The good news is incentives are down 1.4% from October. Once again, low gasoline prices spur light truck sales up 8.5% to 849.450 whereas passenger cars drop 3.1% to 531.108, bringing the truck/car ratio to 62/38. Year-to-date, these figures at +7.1%, -8.4% and 59/41. Out of the 49.500 additional vehicles sold this month vs. November 2016, there was 43.000 additional crossovers, 25.000 additional pickups, 10.000 additional SUVs but 17.000 less cars. In the detail, Pickup trucks are up 13%, crossovers up 12% and SUVs up 10%.

audi-a4-usa-november-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comFirst year-on-year gains in 12 months for the Volkswagen Group, 85th consecutive gains for Audi.

General Motors posts the largest increase in the Top Seven and its largest so far this year at +10% to 252.644 deliveries, with retail sales up 8% to 197.609 and rental deliveries up a whopping 27%, translating into a 16% gain at Buick 14% at Cadillac and GMC and 8% at Chevrolet. Toyota Motor also has its biggest lift of 2016 at +4% to 197.645, climbing to #2 for the first time this year. Ford Motor ends a four-month negative trend by rising 5% to 196.441 thanks notably to a 19% up at Lincoln. Ford retail sales are up 10% while fleet shipments at down 9%. If Honda Motor (+6%), Nissan Motor (+7.5%) and Hyundai-Kia (+9%) all outpace the market, FCA falls flat at -9% and is the only large group to lose ground due to drastically reduced fleet volumes (-42%) while retail sales are down 2%. Former golden child Jeep (-12%), Fiat (-14%), Dodge (-21%) and Chrysler (-47%) all falling heavily with Ram (+12%) the only brand remaining afloat.

Subaru Outback USA November 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comSubaru celebrates its 60th consecutive month of year-on-year gains in the U.S.

Off a very low base in November 2015, Volkswagen Group ends twelve consecutive months of decline at +16% to 52.690 units, with the Volkswagen and Porsche brands both up 24% and Audi up 3% to extend its winning streak to 85 consecutive months. Subaru for its part marks the 60th consecutive month of gains at +11% to a November record 51.308. Mercedes has all but secured the #1 luxury spot with 338.670 sales so far this year including commercials, vs 290.046 for Lexus (-4%), 280.339 for BMW (-10%) and 187.018 for Audi (+3%). Among smaller brands, Maserati is up 27%, Tesla up 46%, Ferrari up 86%, Bentley up 106% and Jaguar up 217%.

Jaguar F-Pace USA November 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comJaguar gains 217% thanks mainly to the F-Pace, its new U.S. best-seller.

Over in the models aisle, the Ford F-Series remains the most popular vehicle in the United States in November and by a large margin thanks to sales up 11% to 72.089 vs. just +1% to 45.280 for the Chevrolet Silverado and +8% to 36.885 for the Ram Pickup. The Toyota Camry is up to #4 despite a 9% drop and the Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling crossover at 28.116 sales (+3%), distancing the Nissan Rogue at 26.629 (+18%) and YTD leader Honda CR-V at 25.758 (-1%). Boosted by doubling incentives, the Toyota Highlander soars 67% to a record 13th place. The Ford Explorer (+18%), Chevrolet Malibu (+72%), Subaru Outback (+16%), Ford Edge (+32%), Jeep Renegade (+30%) and GMC Acadia (+35%) are among the largest gains inside the Top 50.

toyota-highlander-usa-november-2016-picture-courtesy-caranddriver-comThe Toyota Highlander leaps to a record 13th place helped by generous incentives. 

Among recent launches, the Chrysler Pacifica returns inside the Top 50 at #46, the Cadillac XT5 gains five spots on October to #78, as does the Tesla Model X at #145 but the Buick Envision is down 14 to #149. The Lincoln Continental continues to gear up at 1.419 sales and #170, the Volvo S90 is up 27 ranks to #205 and the Genesis G90 is up 28 to #235. No new nameplate enters the ranking in November: although at record levels, the U.S. market remains markedly less dynamic than its Chinese counterpart where six to eight locally-produced newcomers maker their entry each month.

Previous month: USA October 2016: Record year now unlikely as market drops again

One year ago: USA November 2015: Volkswagen crumbles down 25%

Full November 2016 Top 40 brands and Top 285 models below.

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Germany November 2016: Mercedes hits high point at 10.3% share

Mercedes E Class Germany November 2016The view from the luxury competition: Mercedes snaps 10.3% of the German market.

* See the Top 50 All-brands and Top 315 All-models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Germany are up 1.5% year-on-year to 276.567 units, with the year-to-date tally now up 4.6% to 3.095.074 deliveries with just one month to go in 2016. Volkswagen continues to deliver paltry performances at -7% to a still vastly dominant, however, 19.5% share. Mercedes takes a definitive advantage over its luxury rivals thanks to sales up 6% to 10.3% share, according to BSCB files the highest market share hit by the brand in Germany in at least 6 years – and potentially ever – and only the second time it breaks the 10% barrier after last August. Mercedes distances BMW at 8% (+8%) and Audi at 7.4% (-6%). Below, Opel (+2%), Ford (-5%) and Skoda (-1%) all disappoint, whereas Renault, up 17% thanks to the Mégane up 165% and Seat, up 33% thanks to the Leon up to #13 and the Ateca breaking into the Top 50 at #44, both impress. Further down, outstanding performers include Peugeot (+16%) thanks to the new 2008 and 3008, Volvo (+20%) thanks to the S/V90, Porsche (+24%) thanks to the Cayenne up 58%, Suzuki (+29%) thanks to the Vitara, Alfa Romeo (+80%) thanks to the Giulia, Infiniti (+112%) thanks to the Q30, Maserati (+114%) thanks to the Levante and Jaguar (+115%) thanks to the F-Pace.

toyota-c-hr-germany-november-2016The Toyota C-HR has landed in Germany. 

The VW Golf remains by far the most popular nameplate in the country despite sales dropping 16%, ahead of the Polo (+13%) and Passat (-28%) while the Mercedes C-Class is up two spots on October to land at #4 above the VW Tiguan already slowing down its new generation-induced growth (+24%). The Opel Astra does the same at a timid +15% in 6th place but the Mercedes E-Class soars 29% to break into the Top 10. Notice also the Audi A4 up 35%, the Renault Clio up 40%, BMW X1 up 64%, Skoda Superb up 42% and Hyundai i20 up 61%. Among recent launches, The Audi Q2 is up 29 spots to end November 50 sales off its first Top 100 ranking at #101 and the Ford Edge gains 32 ranks to #124. This month we welcome three all-new nameplates in the German charts: the Toyota C-HR lands directly at #138, the Suzuki Ignis arrives at #249 and the Nissan NV300 at #266.

Previous month: Germany October 2016: Volkswagen drops 20% but monopolises Top 4

One year ago: Germany November 2015: Volkswagen Group resists, 2 Skodas in Top 8

Full November 2016 Top 50 All-brands and Top 315 All-models below.

(more…)

Sweden November 2016: Volvo S/V60 best-seller for the first time

volvo-v60-sweden-november-2016The Volvo S/V60 is the best-selling nameplate at home for the first time in history.

* See the Top 45 best-selling brands and Top 265 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Swedish new car market gains 1.4% year-on-year to snap its 35th consecutive month in positive territory and the highest ever November score at 31.801 deliveries, pushing the year-to-date tally up 7.5% to a record-breaking 335.037 units. Bertil Molden, CEO of BIL Sweden, says there is no reason for this euphoric situation to end anytime soon: “NIER’s Business Tendency Survey, published last week, shows a bright mood in the Swedish economy. Consumer confidence in the economy rose further in November, and the perception of their own finances are now more optimistic than in the past nine years. All these are positive signs for continued strong auto market.” Homegrown Volvo slides 3 but remains in the lead with 20.8% share ahead of Volkswagen up 10% to 16.9%. BMW is up 3 spots on October to jump onto the podium at #3 and 6.1% share, overtaking Toyota for the 4th spot year-to-date and now threatening Kia for #3 at 20.099 sales vs. 20.154. Opel (+17%), Dacia (+29%), Renault (+29%), Ford (+47%) and Porsche (+111%) are the other success stories of the month.

VW Golf Alltrack Sweden November 2016. Picture courtesy mullersvarld.seThe VW Golf should be the first non-Volvo to finish 2016 at #1 since 1960! Picture mullersvarld.se 

As we have witnessed in the past few months, the Swedish models ranking is currently in the middle of a once-in-two-decades reshuffle. The 19-year domination of the Volvo V70 has come to an end with the discontinuation of the nameplate, replaced by the more expensive S/V90 and resulting in a sales slump even when combining the V70 with the S/V90: down 72% to #6 this month. The VW Golf, helped by the new Alltrack 4WD station wagon variant, led the sales charts for four consecutive months until October and is now standing a mere 219 sales below the V70-S/V90 year-to-date, meaning it should snap the Swedish annual pole position in a month-time, becoming the first non-Sweden nameplate to do so in almost 60 years! (since the VW Beetle in 1960).

volvo-xc60-sweden-november-2016The Volvo XC60 is also recuperating sales from the defunct V70.

Yet another twist and turn is clouding this picture in November: the Volvo S/V60 (in fact almost all sales are the V60) surges 55% year-on-year to 2.414 sales to take the lead of the Swedish charts for the first time ever. Although this score enables the nameplate to pass the VW Passat year-to-date to rank #3, it is coming too late in the year for Volvo to hope retaining the annual top spot with the V60 instead of the V70/V90 combo. The Volvo XC60 is also recuperating V70 sales with deliveries up 26% in third position. Other great performers this month include the VW Polo up 127% to #7, the Toyota Avensis up 114% to #16, the Audi A3 up 46%, Ford Focus up 55%, Kia Rio up 57%, BMW 2 Series up 113%, Citroen C3 up 117% and Renault Megane up 138%. Among recent launches, the Hyundai Ioniq is up 151 spots on October to break into the Top 100 at #92 and the Audi Q2 is up 91 to #112.

Previous month: Sweden October 2016: VW Golf takes root in pole position

One year ago: Sweden November 2015: Volvo XC60 hits highest share in record market

Full November 2016 Top 45 best-selling brands and Top 265 All-models below.

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Japan November 2016: Nissan Note e-powers through to pole position

nissan-note-e-power-japan-november-2016-picture-courtesy-autoc-one-jpNissan Note e-Power

* See the Top 58 All-brands and Top 30 best-selling cars by clicking on the title *

After two months in negative, the Japanese new vehicle market is back on track in November at +7% to 417.602 registrations. The year-to-date tally however still lags behind the same period in 2015 at -2% to 4.572.726 units. Market leader Toyota beats the market at +8% to 30.3% share, still over double the sales of its immediate follower, Honda up 9% to 13.9%. Daihatsu edges up 0.2% to 12.2%, passing Suzuki (+1.4%) for just 52 units. Nissan gains 14%, Subaru is up 17%, Mitsubishi up 22% and Isuzu up 23% but Lexus (-8%) is the only brand in negative in the Top 12. There are no foreign carmakers in the Top 10 for the first time since April, with Mercedes (+6%) sliding down to #11 followed by BMW (+25%), Volkswagen (-9%), Mini (+20%), Audi (+19%) and Volvo (+37%). Notice also Citroen up 59%, Jeep up 73%, Jaguar up 115% and Abarth up 122%.

nissan-note-e-power-japan-november-2016Nissan Note e-Power  

Thunder strikes in the models ranking: the Nissan Note leaps directly to pole position with a stunning 15.784 sales thanks to the launch of the new model, and specifically the e-power variant, an all-new hybrid powertrain with no plug-in. It consists of a  79 PS/103 Nm 1.2 litre three-cylinder engine only present to feed the 109 PS/254 Nm electric motor from the Leaf: the petrol mill is not connected to the driven wheels, so none of its power actually reaches the ground. Nissan says that the system allows drivers to enjoy the benefits of an electric motor – such as maximum torque from standstill – without having to worry about charging the battery. The presence of the range extender also means that the battery can be made much smaller (just 1/20th the size of the one in the Leaf), enabling it to be placed under the front seats to maintain interior space. All-in-all, the Note e-Power delivers a fuel economy figure of up to 37.2 km per litre on the Japanese JC08 cycle. This according to paultan.org.

toyota-tank-roomy-daihatsu-thor-japan-november-2016-picture-courtesy-autoc-one-jpThe Toyota Tank and Roomy both land directly inside the Japanese Top 30 in November.

The Toyota Prius (+121%) is relegated to 2nd place ahead of the Toyota Aqua (-19%), Sienta (+14%) and Honda Freed (+262%). Notice also the Nissan Serena up 92% year-on-year but down 4 spots on October to #7, the Toyota Vellfire up 52% to #11, the Toyota Passo up 51% to #12, Subaru Impreza up 94%, the Subaru Forester up 44% to #22 and the Mazda CX-3 reappearing in the ranking at #30. Two all-new launches directly land inside the Japanese Top 30 in November: the Toyota Tank (#26) and Roomy (#27) which along with the Daihatsu Thor and Subaru Justy are replacing the Toyota Ractis, bB and Daihatsu Coo Materia.

Kei cars data will be uploaded to this article when made available.

Previous month: Japan October 2016: Nissan Serena shoots up to #3 as market nudges down

One year ago: Japan November 2015: Toyota Voxy up, Volkswagen down 32%

Full November 2016 Top 58 All-brands and Top 30 cars below.

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Australia November 2016: Hilux vs. Ranger the new iconic battle

ford-ranger-toyota-hilux-australia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-autocar-co-nzThe Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger are the two Australian best-sellers again in November.

* See the Top 15 best-selling brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *

The October 2016 post has now been updated with the Top 50 All-brands and Top 285 All-models.

Despite a stable score in November – up 0.3% year-on-year to 98.937 registrations, the Australian new car market is headed towards a second consecutive annual record at 1.079.370 units year-to-date, up 2% on the same period in 2015. SUVs, accounting for 38% of the market, and light commercials (19%) are once again the engines of growth in Australia just as the passenger car segment continues to falter at just 40% share in a market biased by business purchases. Private sales fall flat once again at -5% to 47.335 while business sales are up 8% to 39.172. Government purchases (down 3% to 3.593) and rental sales (down 2.5% to 5.880) struggle also. In the segment detail, the most popular are small cars (17.4% share), medium SUVs (16.2%), 4×4 utes/pickups (12.9%) and large SUVs (11.7%).

toyota-hilux-australia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-caradvice-com-auIn one month, the Toyota Hilux could become the first ever ute to top annual Australian sales. 

The most dynamic states are Northern Territory (up 10% to 808 sales), Tasmania (up 7% to 1.903), Victoria (up 6% to 28.991), Australian Capital Territory (up 5% to 1.631) and South Australia (up 4% to 6.259). Declining states are New South Wales (down 0.7% to 32.995), Queensland (down 3% to 18.733) and Western Australia (down 12% to 7.657) more and more affected by the mining slump. Where do cars sold in Australia come from? Primarily Japan (27.307 units), Thailand (24.738), South Korea (13.352), home-made (7.486), Germany (7.469), the U.S.A. (4.029) and the UK (2.440).

ford-ranger-australia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-4x4australia-com-auThe Ford Ranger had never ranked #2 in Australia before last month. It’s now twice in a row. 

Brand-wise, Toyota remains and by far master in command despite sales skidding down 1% to 18.162 units, that’s still more than its next two followers combined. Mazda is stable (+0.2%) in 2nd place, but this hides an Australian first for the Japanese carmaker: for the first time in its history, every Mazda SUV and passenger car ranks first, second or third in their respective segments in November. The CX-9 notably, is a smashing success, outselling both the Toyota Kluger and Holden Captiva this month. Mazda is the 2nd best-selling SUV brand in November with its three nameplates selling 4.280 units vs. 4.976 for Toyota that has twice as many models in this segment.

mazda-cx-9-australia-november-2016-picture-courtesy-caradvice-com-auThe new generation Mazda CX-9 is an instant blockbuster in Australia.

Hyundai is down 5% to 8.1% share but remains solidly anchored to the YTD third place, on its way to post its first ever annual podium finish in Australia. Holden freefalls 13% to just 7.8% and Ford is up 8% to 6.9% share in fifth place just as the Falcon ends 56 years of Australian production. Mitsubishi (+14%), Volkswagen (+10%), Mercedes (+18%), Kia (+19%) and Honda (+14%) post the largest sales gains in the Top 15. Among smaller brands, Jaguar (+26%), LDV (+30%) and Ferrari (+229%) impress, whereas Jeep (-13%), Alfa Romeo (-55%), Peugeot (-56%) and Ssangyong (-70%) suffer. Newcomers Haval (47 units) and Ram (16) remain very discreet while comeback kid Great Wall sells 45 units of its Steed in November.

Ford-Falcon-Holden-Australia-1960The Ford Falcon (1960-2016)

In a telling sign of changing Australian tastes, two utes (Australian slang for pick-up trucks) dominate the overall sales charts in November, for the second consecutive month and ever. The Toyota Hilux wins again at 3.839 units vs. 3.410 for the Ford Ranger. This month, the Hilux dominates both 4×2 Ute sales at 934 vs. 590 for the Ranger and 4×4 Utes at 2.905 vs. 2.820, but the Ranger is ahead year-to-date as far as 4×4 Utes are concerned with 28.009 vs. 27.851 for the Hilux. In the overall YTD charts, the Toyota Hilux remains in the pole position with 38.018 units sold so far in 2016 and is on track to become the first ute to ever top the Australian annual sales charts. For perspective, this means the Hilux on its own is currently selling similar numbers as brands such as Kia, Mercedes and Honda… The fact that the majority of Hilux and Ranger are sold as 4×4 dual cabs with an average transaction price of above $50,000 gives an idea of how popular these two vehicles are in Australia.

Complete brands and models data will be uploaded to this article when available.

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

One year ago: Australia November 2015: Nissan shines in strongest November ever

Full November 2016 Top 15 brands and Top 20 models ranking tables below.

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Turkey November 2016: Sales rally back up 45% to break YTD record

toyota-corolla-turkey-november-2016The Toyota Corolla edges past the Fiat Egea in November to rank #1 in Turkey.

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 250 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Turkish new light vehicle market is on fire: after a 29% surge in October, it gains a smashing 45% year-on-year in November to 122.309 units, propelling the year-to-date tally back into positive and record territory at +3% and 841.808 deliveries so far in 2016. Note these figures include light commercial vehicles, a lot of which manufactured locally. According to our local correspondent Kursat Bahadir, this is due to a spike of pulled-forward sales in anticipation of a government tax increase that was implemented on November 28. Premium vehicles are targeted by the tax, and therefore are the biggest gainers this month as buyers and taxi companies rushed to dealerships to benefit from pre-tax hike prices. The new tax is 71% (!) for <1.6L vehicles priced above 70.000 TL (19.000€), 130% for 1.6-2.0L vehicles and a mind-crushing 189% for >2.0L vehicles. In effect, this means to purchase a 2.3L Ford Mustang you must first buy another two for the government before being able to drive off… The other element sprucing November sales is the impending vehicle price rise in the wake of the devaluation of the Turkish Lira post-Trump election: the local currency has lost a further 15% vs. the US dollar and carmakers have warned this will be reflected in higher stickers from December onwards.

Mercedes C Class Turkey November 2016The Mercedes C-Class is up 5-fold on November 2016 to rank 8th best-seller overall. 

In this one-off context favouring premium brands, five of the Top 6 most popular brands (and 8 in the Top 10) falling short of the market’s growth: Volkswagen (+39%), Fiat (+25%), Renault (+18%), Ford (+31%) and Opel (+44%). Only Toyota (+98%) and Mercedes (+123%) over-perform in the Top 10. Below, great performers include Audi (+76%), Honda (+83%), Nissan (+84%), Skoda (+109%), Seat (+110%) and Suzuki (up 81-fold!).

In the models ranking, the Toyota Corolla, up a fantastic 116%, edges past the Fiat Egea (+211%) for the month, but the latter remains YTD leader at 32.260 sales vs. 30.379 for the Ford Courier (+49% in November) and 28.347 for the Corolla. The Renault Mégane is reborn (+619%) thanks to the all-new Sedan variant accounting for 83% of the nameplate’s November sales, and the Mercedes C-Class signs a mammoth month with no less than 3.351 sales (+353%) and a record 8th place – advantageous tax regimen on taxis can only have helped. Further down, the Nissan Qashqai (+78%), Honda Civic (+143%), Skoda Octavia (+141%), Seat Leon (+172%), VW Jetta (+132%), Skoda Superb (+112%) and VW Tiguan (+142%) all jump ahead while the new generation boost the Peugeot 3008 up 14-fold to #37 and 1.042 sales. The Toyota C-HR, produced locally, leaps up 153 spots on October to end its first full month of sales in Turkey at #38.

Previous month: Turkey October 2016: Fiat Egea confirms lead, Renault Mégane Sedan up

One year ago: Turkey November 2015: Fiat Fiorino and Opel Astra on top, Egea in Top 20

Full November 2016 Top 45 All-brands and Top 250 All-models below.

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