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Syria Full Year 2017: Hyundai Tucson snaps lead in market down 11%

The Hyundai Tucson is the best-selling vehicle in Syria in 2017. 

* See the Top 5 All-brands and Top 20 All-models by clicking on the title *

Consult five years worth of Syrian Historical Data here

After dropping 45% in 2015 and 36% in 2016, the Syrian new car market slows down its fall in an extremely challenging context at -11% in 2017 to 7.978 registrations. Hyundai chokes the market with a 14% year-on-year gain to 66.8% share while sister brand Kia is down 38% to 32%, the two Koreans holding an obliterating 98.8% of Syrian sales for 2017 vs. 98.5% a year ago. Nissan (-18%) falls below 100 annual sales. The Hyundai Tucson doubles its deliveries year-on-year to hit 26.5% share, followed by the Kia Sportage (+7%), Hyundai H1 (+135%) and Hyundai Elantra (-42%), all three nameplates above 10% share. The best-selling non-Korean nameplate is the Nissan Patrol at #13 (+18%). The Genesis G90 makes its appearance at #18.

Syria 2014-2017: All Make and All Models monthly data available. Contact us here for more details

Previous post: Syria August 2017: Hyundai Tucson dominates market down 23%

Previous year: Syria Full Year 2016: Kia Frontier tops market down 36%

Two years ago: Syria Full Year 2015: Hyundai Elantra leads in market down 43%

Full Year 2018 Top 5 All-Brands and Top 20 All-models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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Yemen Full Year 2017: Land Cruiser holds 36% of market up 25.7%

More than 1 in 3 new vehicles sold in Yemen in 2017 is a Toyota Land Cruiser.

* See the Top 15 All-Brands and Top 70 All-models by clicking on the title *

Consult 8 years worth of Yemen Historical Data here

After plunging 65% in 2015 and another 62% in 2016 in the midst of civil war, new car sales in Yemen rally back up 27.6% in 2017 to a still meagre 3.803 units. Toyota tightens its stranglehold on the Yemeni market even further thanks to deliveries up 62% to a staggering 82.9% share vs. 65.2% in 2016. Land Rover leaps up 58% and three spots to #2 and 4.9% share, ahead of BMW (-45%) and Nissan (-39%) both at 3.8% share. The rest of the brands present in Yemen share less 5% of the market. Model-wise, the Toyota Land Cruiser remains in control, improving its market share to an overwhelming 36% vs. 24.4% a year ago thanks to sales up 88%. The Toyota Hilux (+127%), Land Cruiser Pickup (+7%) and Prado (+76%) make the Top Four 100% Toyota and adding up to 77.9% of the Yemeni market for 2017. The Range Rover is up 328% to #5, the Toyota Fortuner up 97% to #7, the BMW 5 Series up 247% to #9 and the Kia Sportage up 90% to #10.

Yemen 2010-2017: All Make and All Models monthly data available. Contact us here for more details

Previous post: Yemen August 2017: Toyota holds 85.3% of market down 24%

Previous year: Yemen 2016: Toyota Land Cruiser #1, BMW X6 and X4 in Top 10

Two years ago: Yemen 2015: Toyota Motor at 74.2% share in market down 65%

Full Year 2017 Top 15 All-brands and Top 70 All-models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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China January 2018: Focus on the All-new models

Traum S70

As per the BSCB tradition on BSCB, after covering January sales in detail, we now focus on the all-new locally produced launches so you can stay up-to-date on the fastest-evolving automobile market in the world. After seven new entrants in December, the 2018 year starts with 9 newcomers for January vs. just 6 a year ago, but none reach 2.000 units for the month. Illustrating the incredible dynamism of local manufacturers, 7 of these 9 new entrants are Chinese, 3 of them inaugurating a new brand – as many as last month. One is Japanese and one is Czech, while in terms of segments we have 5 SUVs and 4 Sedans, the latter being interestingly high. But fear not, you can stay up-to-the-minute on the fast expanding list of all active Chinese brands by consulting our Exclusive Guide to all 143 Chinese Brands.

1. Traum S70 (#245 – 1.519 sales)

First off the starting blocks in January is new brand Traum, created by Zotye Auto in June 2017 and German for dream. The Chinese name is Junma (君马) translated as Supreme Horse. All Traum-branded vehicles will be manufactured by Jiangnan Auto, a subsidiary of Zotye which until now was reduced to selling a 1985 Maruti 800. Traum already has two nameplates to its name: the MEET3 based on the Zotye SR7 and this S70, looking pretty sharp with a gaping grille, aggressive headlight and a floating roofline. Priced from 81.900 to 115.900 yuan (US$12.900-18.300) and powered by a 156hp 1.5T engine mated to a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic, the S70 enters the most cluttered segment in China: compact SUVs, that also houses the best-sellers in the overall SUV segment such as the Haval H6, GAC Trumpchi GS4 and Geely Boyue. The task is difficult but not impossible, as Zotye has already demonstrated with the success of the Hanteng brand.

Traum S70 interior. Picture

The S70’s pièce de résistance is, as it is the case for more and more Chinese vehicles, to be found inside with a tremendous 25 inch touch screen combining the instrument panel and entertainment unit looking very luxurious indeed, especially for the price it’s asking. A seven-seat variant will be launched later, putting all the cards in its game to guarantee a solid success. All the elements are united for the S70 and future Traum nameplates to find its place in the crowded Chinese SUV market. A long-term objective of 5.000 monthly units will establish the brand the same way Hanteng did 18 months ago.

Bar for success: 5.000 monthly units

2. Lifan X70 (#263 – 1.238 sales)

Alternating ok months with disastrous ones (-27% in October, -16% in December, +10% in January), Lifan edged up 3% in 2017 at home with just under 110.000 units. The carmaker knows its salute is in the SUV segment, but after showcasing a stream of concepts in the local Auto Shows over the past 3 years, the actual launches have been far and few between. The Myway managed to stir some interest at launch (10.080 units in December 2016) but has been down roughly 50% year-on-year every month since last June, and the X80 has but registered a blip on the radar. We are still waiting for the X40, just as both the X50 and X60 are starting to painfully show their age. In comes the X70, and it does show some significant improvement design-wise, thankfully staying clear of copycats such as the outrageous Xuanluan MPV, a clone of Ford S-Max.

Lifan X70 interior.

Launched as a concept at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2015, it took almost three years for the X70 to hit the market, and strangely it seems to have reached faraway shores faster than its home turf, with the X70 already featured and test-driven on both Argentinean and Russian car websites, markets where Lifan has managed to make some significant in-roads accompanied with Chery. Interior-wise, the progress is also showing, but the comparison set is particularly low, with Lifan still creating some of the worst-finished cockpits in the Chinese industry. No price info yet for the X70, but expect it to start around 70.000 yuan (US$11.000). The X70 is powered by a 2.0 engine mated with a 5-speed manual or CVT.

Bar for success: 4.500 monthly units

3. GAC Trumpchi GA4  (#269 – 1.164 sales)

Present at the Detroit Auto Show both in 2017 and 2018, GAC has reaffirmed its plan to enter the hyper-competitive (and saturated) U.S. market by the end of 2019. An ambitious target that would make it the first Chinese manufacturer to venture into the home of Donald Trump. GAC is counting on its Chinese joint-venture with FCA (Jeep and Fiat) to ease the process. At home, the carmaker has had a very impressive run over the past three years. The GS4 crossover has put the brand on the map with an unthinkable 800.000 units now in market, and the GS8 was the first large Chinese SUV to hit 10.000 monthly sales. The GM8 MPV is intending to reproduce the same segment-bending prowess just as the GS3 crossover is looking like a hot shot already. Sedans: like the majority of Chinese carmakers, not GAC’s forte.

GAC Trumpchi GA4 interior. Picture

That doesn’t mean GAC should give up, and it is launching this GA4, as polished outside and inside, to try and follow in the steps of Geely which has been hugely successful with its sedan lineup lately. The GA4 is powered by a 137hp 1.3T or a 114hp 1.5 mated with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto and is priced from 73.800 to 115.800 yuan (US$11.600-18.300). It will compete full-frontal with the Geely Emgrand GL (78.800-115.800), MG 6 (96.800-132.800), Venucia D60 (69.800-111.800) and Changan Raeton CC (89.900-138.900), a really tough bunch to compete with as they all offer wildly improved perceived quality and aggressive designs. The GA3 hit 8.585 sales for its 5th month of sales in December 2014 but has only hit 1.000 units three times in the past 3 months, while the GA6 lately oscillates between 2.000 and 3.200 sales and the GA8 just crossed the 1.000 unit-milestone for the first time this month. GAC should contain its enthusiasm for the GA4: high volumes are reserved to crossovers nowadays.

Bar for success: 3.500 monthly units

4. Skoda Karoq (#341 – 380 sales)

Launched in April 2017, the Skoda Kodiaq hit 7.000 sales in December. Skoda is on a roll, and just launched the locally-produced Karoq only a couple of months after its European debut. The Kamiq, slotted below the Karoq, will follow shortly with an official presentation scheduled for the Beijing Auto Show next April. The Karoq is set to replace the Yeti, launched here in October 2013 and whose 8.101 sales in January seem highly dubious, given they constitute – and by far – the nameplate’s volume record (previous best: 5.561 in December 2015). Skoda will want the Karoq to improve on the Kodiaq as it is smaller but also more affordable. Skoda’s positioning in China is much more high-market than it is in Europe, trying for a level of sophistication rivalling Volkswagen by playing on heritage with the “Since 1895” tagline – something that VW can’t emulate.

Skoda Karoq interior. Picture

If this is good for the bottom-line, sales volumes in turn can’t be expected to match those potentially reached in parts of Europe. Local press pits the Karoq against the blockbusters Haval H6, Changan CS75, Roewe RX5 and Geely Boyue as these four nameplates have managed to lift the brand image of Chinese manufacturers to such a level that the question is now genuinely raised as to whether to choose a foreign brand – traditionally always considered superior – or the best of the Chinese crop. Competing with local brands is not what Skoda had in mind and it indicates their ambitious aim at sophistication cannot really gel once the cockpit betrays its low-cost European origins.

Bar for success: 7.000 monthly units

5. Yudo π1 (#344 – 356 sales)

Yudo New Energy is an electric vehicle company partly owned by Fujian Motor and the Putian city, located in the eastern Fujian province. The brand’s first two production models, the π1 and π3 crossovers, were both unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2017, with a commercial launch for the π1 happening in July 2017. Delayed reporting means wholesales figures have only become available in January 2018 at a low 356. Retail figures sourced elsewhere nevertheless indicate 2.258 sales for 2017 including 2.029 π1 in December.

Yudo π1 interior. Picture

Priced between 138.900 and 197.500 yuan before green cars subsidies (US$21.900-31.100), the π1 competes with the 2017 best-seller in the segment, the BAIC EC-Series (151.800-164.800 yuan) as well as other electric vehicles such as the smaller Changan Benben EV (154.800-171.800 yuan) and the larger BAIC EX-Series (192.900-202.900 yuan). The success of electric vehicles remain for now heavily dependent on car-sharing schemes in China, with private ownership still nascent. Yudo’s association with a province may restrict its expansion across the nation and muzzle its sales though.

Bar for success: 2.500 monthly units

6. FAW Junpai A50 (#349 – 321 sales)

Founded in 1953, First Automotive Works, or FAW, was the very first Chinese carmaker. Its state-owned structure has traditionally hampered its development but thanks to a slew of low-cost crossover the brand is up 3% at home in 2017 to 191.000 passenger car sales. FAW has remained far from the headlines though and in just over a decade has become almost anonymous, whereas it had China’s passenger car best-seller in 2005 with the Xiali N3. Far are the times Heavy trucks are another specialty. FAW splits itself into a handful of sub-brands rebadging the same vehicles. Besturn is for slightly more sophisticated fares whereas both Senya and Junpai are manufactured by FAW-Jilin, the latter specifically aimed at replacing Xiali low-cost models. Accordingly, the A50 sedan is available at cut-throat pricing: from a mere 60.000 to 68.000 yuan (US$9.500-10.700)! That’s a lot of – relatively modern and good-looking – car for the money, the A50 coming in at 4.59m long.

FAW Junpai A50 interior. Picture

Powered by a 112hp 1.5 engine mated with a seven-speed DCT, it also has some oomph and a respectable interior (especially for its price) that will surely help it fight the likes of the Chery Arrizo 5 (63.900-97.900 yuan), Geely Vision (53.900-72.900 yuan) and Great Wall C30 (54.900-74.900). The Junpai A50 will exclusively be aimed at third- and fourth-tier cities as well as rural areas. Unfortunately the precedents for Junpai sedans are dismal: launched in August 2016, the A70 only managed two 4-digit sales month and a grand total of 8.103 units since launch. FAW will rather look to the similarly-sized (but frankly dearer) Besturn B30 for inspiration: a personal best of 6.219 units in January 2016.

Bar for success: 3.500 monthly units

7. Cowin E3 (#372 – 151 sales)

In 2014, Chery decided to graduate its Cowin lineup into a fully fledged low-cost brand aimed at younger first-time buyers in second and third tier cities. But despite the services of a new design agency led by Pininfarina’s ex-director Lowie Vermeersch and two large and affordable crossovers, the V3 and X3, Cowin sold less than 50.000 new cars in 2017. Worse: sales are freefalling 66% at the start of 2018. Chery seems to already have given up: the X5 crossover is a rebadged Chery Tiggo 5 and for this E3, Cowin doesn’t makes the effort of renaming the car! This is indeed a Chery E3 with subtle cosmetic adjustments.

Cowin E3 interior. Picture courtesy

Problem: this is a very low margin, highly competitive segment with numerous Chinese offerings already well established and the Chery E3 wasn’t even a blockbuster to start with, peaking at 10.678 wholesales for its 5th month in market in January 2014 but failing to hit 2.500 monthly sales since March 2016…  Powered by the same 109hp 1.5 engine as the Chery mated with a 5-speed manual, to add insult to injury the Cowin E3 is not even particularly cheap: priced from 52.900 to 72.900 yuan (US$8.300-11.500). It is undercut in price by larger and arguably better vehicles such as the Geely King Kong (43.900-65.900 yuan), BYD F3 (43.900-77.900 yuan) and even a foreigner: the Hyundai Verna (49.900-73.900 yuan). You will have guessed it, the very launch of the Cowin E3 seems like a waste of marketing money.

Bar for success: 3.000 monthly units

8. Acura TLX-L (#377 – 137 sales)

Acura is a newcomer on the local production scene, with its first China-made nameplate being the CDX crossover launched in March 2017 and exclusive to this market. After 10 consecutive months above 1.000 units and a peak at 1.962 in December, the CDX crumbled in January at just 500 wholesales, coinciding with the release of the brand’s second local product: the TLX-L, an extended wheelbase variant of the TLX sold in America. It follows in the steps of almost all premium carmakers selling extended variants of their worldwide best-sellers to satisfy a Chinese clientele that gets chauffeured and therefore needs extra space in the back.

Acura TLX-L interior. Picture courtesy

All-in-all, 13.191 China-made Acuras were sold in China over the Full Year 2017, less than half the amount of China-made Infinitis sold in the same period (27.826) and only one-tenth of all imported Lexus (130.348). In other words, a disappointment. And given the SUV craze that is hitting China much like the rest of the world, it’s not certain that a sedan will help. Powered by a 208hp 2.4 engine mated with an 8-speed DCT, the TLX-L is priced from 279.800 to 379.800 yuan (US$44.100-59.900) and enters a segment already cornered by the Audi A4L (292.800-409.800), Mercedes C-Class L (312.800-489.000), BMW 3 Series L (288.000-486.900), Cadillac ATS-L (298.800-428.800) and Infiniti Q50L (279.800-409.800). Brand loyalty is much higher with premium marques in China, therefore convincing German premium owners to switch to little-known Acura that offers no price advantage will prove a challenge, a very big challenge indeed. An improvement on the slow-selling CDX is expected.

Bar for success: 2.500 monthly units

9. XPeng G3 (#403 – 39 sales)

Third new Chinese brand to make its first appearance in its home sales charts this month, Xiaopeng Motors or XPeng was founded in 2014 as an R&D bureau but is now launching its first vehicle, the electric crossover G3. XPeng Motors recruited former employees from Guangzhou Automobile, BMW, Lamborghini, BYD, ALi, Tencent, Huawei, and Samsung to help with the creation of the G3. Smartly, XPeng has chosen to opt out of manufacturing the G3 itself, instead giving this responsibility to Haima Auto in a factory located in Guangdong Province.

XPeng G3 interior. Picture

That will help reduce fixed costs and may mean the company will be able to provide high volumes if the G3 is met with success: the factory’s initial annual capacity is 50.000 cars, with a full capacity of 100.000 cars. It’s hard not to mention the Tesla Model X when looking at the G3, whose angled lines and extravagant touch screen remind of the American superstar. For a fraction of the price, Chinese carbuyers can now afford to drive a local equivalent that has started being surrounded with significant buzz. Initial sales are contained but the sky is the limit for this new startup. Based on the factory’s capacity, 3.500 monthly sales as a long term target seem like a reasonable bar for success.

Bar for success: 3.500 monthly units

Previous month: China December 2017: Focus on the All-new models

One year ago: China January 2017: Focus on the All-new models

China January 2018: VW, Geely, Toyota, Audi, Mercedes & BMW all break records, market showing surprising strength at +12%

The Bora hits a new record, helping VW to its largest ever wholesale volume.

* See the Top 77 All China-made brands and Top 425 models by clicking on the title *

New light vehicle sales in China start the year a lot better than expected given the purchase tax on vehicles with 1.6L engines and below was raised back from 7.5% to 10% on January 1: the market is up 11% to 2.456.200 units. Once again the main engine of growth in China is the SUV segment up 22.9% to 1.081.300, still close to the 1.173.000 record set last month while sedans/hatches are up 7.3% to 1.158.800. In contrast, MPVs are down 13.4% to 178.600 and microvans freefall 30% to 35.700. Truck sales shoot up 18% to 353.100, meaning the total vehicle market in China adds up to 2.809.300 units for January, up 12% year-on-year. Eco-Friendly car sales are up a fantastic 4.3-fold on January 2017 to 38.470, including 26.753 EVs and 11.717 plug-in hybrids. Chinese brands continue to fare very well but trail the overall passenger car market this month at +9.4% to 1.068.700 units or 43.5% share vs. 44.1% a year ago.

Local carmaker Geely posts a 5th consecutive all-time volume record.

Some manufacturers officially announce Chinese retail sales including imports which differ from the data tables we provide further down in the article (locally-produced wholesales). This paragraph is dedicated to these announcements. The Volkswagen Group is up 16% to 398.600 retail, with the Volkswagen brand up 9.7% to 296.900 retail (almost 56% of VW’s global sales) and Audi up 73% to 60.688. That’s less than Mercedes up 16% to an all-time retail record of 68.425. BMW+Mini is up 6.5% to 54.675. General Motors gains 15% year-on-year to 367.712 units, with Chevrolet up 40% to 54.350, Baojun up 36% to 92.356, Cadillac up 12% to 20.222 (its 23rd consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year gains), Buick up 5.7% to 113.007 as Wuling totals 87.777 including microvans. Ford Motor plunges 18% to 75.990 sales whereas at 60.688 units, Audi surges 73% on a January 2017 figure hampered by a stop order by dealers due to plans to open a second distribution network. Great Wall Motor reports 110.040 sales up 20.6% year-on-year including 98.748 SUVs (+22.1%).

Toyota has its best month ever in China in January, with the Corolla at its highest too. 

Back to wholesales data of locally produced models, and at this game Volkswagen dominates as usual with factory deliveries up 6% year-on-year to 346.739, and according to BSCB records this is VW’s largest ever monthly wholesale volume in China, boosted by new volume records for the Bora (32.585) and Magotan (29.297) while the Tiguan drops 15%. Tellingly, 6 of the 8 best-selling sedans in China in January are VW nameplates. Geely manages the incredible feat of a 5th consecutive all-time record volume, lifting it to 148.916, up a smashing 46% year-on-year. Just as the Boyue remains above 30.000 monthly sales for the 4th time in a row, the Emgrand GS (20.987) posts its 7th consecutive monthly record and the Vision (20.055), Emgrand GL (15.163) and Vision S1 (10.303) also hit all-time bests. Honda soars 38% to its third highest monthly volume ever at 138.306 (below the 151.587 of December 2015 and the 140.963 of December 2014) with the Accord up 54%, the CR-V up 20%, the Vezel up 34%, the Crider up 38% and the Avancier up 142%.

The Baojun is now the most successful car launch in history, both in China and in the world.

Toyota surges 31% to break a new volume record at 129.336, almost 20.000 units above the previous best of 110.802 set in December 2014. Up 78% to 46.735 deliveries, the Corolla sets a new monthly volume record for a Japanese nameplate in China (beating the Nissan Sylphy’s 45.232 from November 2016) while the RAV4 is at its highest since December 2013. Changan is down 8% to 114.373 but sees the CS55 beat its volume record at 23.209, while Buick is down 4% to 112.344. Baojun is up 23% year-on-year but down 32% on December to 94.966 as the 510 crossover posts a 5th all-time record in a row, adding 4.000 units to its December score to 58.006 but bizarrely 560 model sales are not reported by the brand. Note only four nameplates have managed to cross the 60.000 monthly unit-mark in all of China’s history: the Wuling Hongguang (record of 82.543 in December 2016), the Haval H6 (80.495 in December 2016), Wuling Sunshine (73.302 in January 2011) and VW Lavida (61.568 in January 2014). With 416.883 sales in 12 months, the Baojun 510 has now become the best-selling new car ever introduced in the world, beating the previous record held for the past 40 years by the Ford Fairmont with 405.780 units sold in its first 12 months in the US in 1978.

The Haval H6 is the #1 vehicle in China outright for the 5th time, all in the past 22 months.

In 8th place in the brands ranking, Nissan gains 16% to 94.595 units with the Qashqai hitting a new high at 16.519. Haval drops 4% to 78.459 but places the H6 in the overall models pole position thanks to sales up 29% to 59.133. It is the 5th time the H6 is the best-selling nameplate in China outright after April 2016, November 2016, July 2017 and October 2017. Rounding up the Top 10 whereas it ranked at a paltry #25 in December, Audi shoots up 35% to 69.194 wholesales – a new record, with the Q5 beating its volume record at 16.688. Both Mercedes (+34%) and BMW (+37%) also post their all-time wholesale monthly volume records with no less than three Mercedes nameplates reaching an all-time high wholesale volume: the C Class L (18.408), E Class L (15.041) and GLC (13.152) while two BMWs break records: the 3 Series L (14.370) and X1 (9.984).

Audi, Mercedes and BMW are all at record levels this month, with sedans doing the heavy lifting.

Other foreign carmakers posting sizeable wholesale gains in January include Jaguar (+190%), Mitsubishi (+96%) with the Outlander hitting a new high at 11.565 units, Land Rover (+94%), Citroen (+68%) even though the new C5 Aircross is down a steep 59% on December, Cadillac (+60%) with the XT5 the first Cadillac nameplate to crack 10.000 monthly sales in China (10.385, up 90%), Volvo (+53%), Chevrolet (+39%), Mazda (+27%) with the 3 Axela breaking a record at 15.952 sales (+63%) and Renault (+7%) setting a new benchmark at 9.000 units. Foreign manufacturers in difficulty this month include DS (-71%), Suzuki (-44%), Ford (-30%) hampered by the Kuga (-72%) and Edge (-62%), and Hyundai (-24%) even though the ix35 is boosted by the new generation to its 2nd largest monthly volume at 16.540 (record: 17.431 in Dec-14) and just as sister brand Kia rallies back up 1%.

Renault breaks its monthly volume record in China to 9.000.

Among Chinese manufacturers, some of the best performers in January are Yema (+350%), Qoros (+248%), MG (+166%) with the ZS posting its first ever five-digit result (10.913) and the 6 up 11-fold on the previous generation, Bisu (+98%), Brilliance (+81%) bolstered by the new V6 crossover, Maxus (+78%), Venucia (+69%), Soueast (+58%) helped by the DX3 hitting an all-time high (13.589), Roewe (+57%) with the RX3 at a new high (9.963), Weichai (+49%), BYD (+47%), GAC Trumpchi (+32%) as the GS3 breaks a new record (7.482), Zotye (+32%), Hanteng (+28%) and Leopaard (+22%) with a new all-time high for the CS9 (7.241). Those in difficulty this month include Hawtai (-82%), Jinbei (-75%), Cowin (-66%), Landwind (-65%), SWM (-59%), JMC (-58%), Changhe (-57%), Great Wall (-54%), Karry (-36%) and JAC (-32%).

The new 6 (+985%) helps lift MG sales up 166% in January.

Great Wall’s semi premium SUV brand WEY remains by far the most popular new brand launch of the past 12 months in China, eclipsing 20.000 monthly sales for the third time in a row. It is followed at a distance by Geely’s own premium marque, Lynk & Co, up a slim 2.7% on its inaugural score last month. We welcome new local brands Traum (1.518), Yudo (356) and Xpeng (39) in the local charts in January – all the new launches are covered in a separate update as always. As for December launches, the Chery Tiggo 5X is still in the lead but drops a heavy 30% to 7.527, the Changan Raeton CC is up 18% to 6.421, the Lynk & Co 01 up 2.7% to 6.173, the Jaguar XEL down 20% to 1.062, the GAC Trumpchi GM8 up 82% to 1.001 and the Arcfox Lite down 87% to just 60 sales, but far from showing a poor reception, this drop has more to do with the fact that BAIC had filled December wholesales up to benefit from the maximum amount of subsidies for 2017.

Previous post: China Full Year 2017: Geely becomes #1 Chinese brand, market up 3.2%

Previous month: China December 2017: Geely, Baojun and Zotye end year at record levels

One year ago: China January 2017: Audi tumbles down 35% in market down 1.1%

Full January 2018 Top 77 All China-made brands and Top 425 models below.


Turkmenistan Full Year 2017: Mercedes #1 brand at 45.2% share

Toyota Corolla taxis in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Picture

* See the Top 5 All-brands and Top 10 models by clicking on the title *

Extremely rare data is available today for the very secretive nation of Turkmenistan, and this for only the second time in BSCB history. Two years ago, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov banned the import of black cars, and just last month he banned black and dark-coloured vehicles from the country’s capital Ashgabat, with the culprit cars being seized by police and their owners told they must pay up to the equivalent of one year salary to have them repainted silver or white.

Toyota Corolla taxis in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Pictures,

Ashgabat is known as the ‘City of White Marble’ and the President is a lover of white, travelling in white limousines, because he believes white brings good fortune. Simultaneously, it is reported that women have been banned from driving in the country because they have been accused of causing most car accidents, meaning Turkmenistan replaces Saudi Arabia as the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, this information according to the Daily Mail UK.

Nissan Sunny taxi near Berkarar shopping centre. Picture

Over the Full Year 2017, 755 new cars officially found a buyer in the country – that excludes grey imports (not the colour, the unofficial mode of importation into the country). Just three carmakers hold a mammoth 96.5% of the market. If for our last update the Mercedes C-Class was the best-selling nameplate in Turkmenistan, this time it’s Mercedes that stuns with a brands victory and a gargantuan 45.2% market share. Toyota follows with 38.5% of sales while Volkswagen takes the third step of the podium at 12.8%. Hyundai and Skoda are the only two other active brands in the country for 2017.

Opel Vectra in Turkmenistan desert. Picture © FarewellFire

In the models ranking, thanks to a taxi fleets delivered in August and pictured above, the Toyota Corolla is the best-seller nationally with 26.5% share, distancing the Mercedes E-Class at 22.4% and the VW Touareg at 11.9%. Four additional Mercedes find their way in the Top 10 (the Sprinter, S-Class, GLE and GLS), vs. one Hyundai (the Elantra) and four more Toyotas in the Top 12 (Hiace, Camry, Hilux and Prado).

Previous post: Turkmenistan September 2015: Mercedes C-Class and Hyundai Elantra dominate

Full Year 2017 Top 5 All-brands and Top 10 models below.

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Germany January 2018: VW above 20% share, T-Roc weak, market up 11.6%

The VW T-Roc hasn’t yet cracked the Top 50 at home. Picture

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The German new car market starts 2018 with a fantastic 11.6% year-on-year gain in January – almost 30.000 additional units – to 269.429 registrations. 5 of the Top 6 best-selling carmakers trail the market though, with the Top 10 identical to the FY2017 order. Volkswagen gains 10% to 20.2%, its first time above 20% in one year,  Mercedes is up 8% to 9.8%, Audi down 3% to 7.8% and BMW up 2% to 7.7%. Hyundai (+30%), Renault (+24%), Seat (+24%), Skoda (+17%) and Ford (+16%) post the largest year-on-year improvements in the Top 10. Below, Alfa Romeo (+64%), Cadillac (+58%), Jeep (+42%), Kia (+41%), Rolls Royce (+38%), Lada (+37%), Porsche (+37%), Toyota (+37%), Peugeot (+34%), Lamborghini (+31%), Dacia (+29%), Land Rover (+26%), Citroen (+25%), Smart (+23%) all at least double the market’s growth.

The BMW 5 Series is up 122% in January thanks to the new generation. 

Model-wise, the VW Golf (+31%) impresses with a 4th consecutive month of double-digit gains, followed by the Tiguan (+11%) and Passat (-12%), Volkswagen monopolising the podium like it did over the FY2017. The rest of the Top 7 is identical to the FY2017 order: Mercedes C-Class (-1%), VW Polo (-5%), Audi A4 (+12%) and Skoda Octavia (+14%). The BMW 5 Series (+122%), Mercedes GLC (+65%), Ford Focus (+63%), BMW 1 Series (+54%), Ford Kuga (+52%) and Audi A6 (+34%) post the largest gains in the Top 15.

The Dacia Sandero is the #1 “true” foreigner in Germany this month. 

Further down, the Dacia Sandero (+40%) is the best-selling “true” foreigner at #28 (removing Skoda and Seat nameplates), with the Citroen C3 (+98%), Audi Q2 (+92%), Opel Insignia (+83%), Mazda CX-5 (+76%) and Renault Captur (+48%) also making themselves noticed in the Top 50. The Opel Crossland X (#49) is the only recent launch (<12 months) inside the Top 50 this month, with the VW T-Roc up 59 spots on December to a lukewarm 57th place, nowhere near the levels it has already reached in markets such as Austria (#6). The Opel Grandland X is up 22 ranks on last month to #66, the Skoda Karoq up 24 to #74, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross up 203 to #82, the VW Arteon up 26 to #101, the Seat Arona up 68 to #103, the Kia Stonic up one to #106 and the Hyundai Kona up 52 to #110.

Previous post: Germany Full Year 2017: VW places Golf, Passat and Tiguan on podium

One year ago: Germany January 2017: Mercedes above 10%, BMW X1 up to record #7

Full January 2018 Top 50 brands and Top 320 models below.

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Austria January 2018: VW T-Roc up to world-record #6

The VW T-Roc is up to #6 in Austria, its highest ranking anywhere in the world so far. 

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New car sales in Austria are up by a robust 8.4% year-on-year in January to 28.568 registrations. Brand leader Volkswagen trails the market at +2% to 18.2% but both Skoda (+21%) and Seat (+32%) frankly outpace in on the podium. Mercedes (+22%) and BMW (+11%) are the only two other Top 10 carmakers to post double-digit gains whereas Hyundai freefalls 17% to #10 vs. #3 in December. Further down, there are a lot of manufacturers posting spectacular gains. Among them Subaru (+114%), Ssangyong (+75%), Mitsubishi (+70%), Toyota (+52%), Jaguar (+49%), Suzuki (+47%), Mazda (+43%), Mini (+40%), Alfa Romeo (+39%), Volvo (+33%), Jeep (+29%) and Porsche (+25%). In the models ranking, Volkswagen monopolises the podium with the Golf (-17%), Polo (+37%) and Tiguan (-29%), with the VAG Group placing an incredible 8 models in the Top 8 and 9 nameplates in the Top 10: the Skoda Octavia (#4), Fabia (#5), the VW T-Roc shooting up 53 spots on December to a world-record 6th place, the Seat Leon (#7), Alhambra (#8) and finally Ibiza (#10). The only non-VAG nameplate in the Top 10 is the Renault Clio (#9). Notice also the Opel Crossland X up 23 ranks on last month to #15, the BMW X3 up 283% to #19, the Renault Scenic up 150% to #20, the Seat Arona up 83 spots on December to #22 and the Skoda Karoq up 48 to #23.

Previous post: Austria Full Year 2017: VW Golf unbeatable, Toyota up 43%

One year ago: Austria January 2017: Seat Ateca breaks into Top 10

Full January 2018 Top 45 All-brands and Top 302 All-models below.

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Vietnam January 2018: Mazda hits 19.4% share in market up 28.7%

Mazda places both the 3 and the CX-5 on the Vietnamese podium in January.

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After dropping a steep 10.8% over the Full Year 2017, the Vietnamese new car market starts 2018 with a bang: January sales are up a whopping 28.7% year-on-year to 26.037. Below Thaco-Kia (+65%) and Toyota (-4%), the hero of the month is Mazda surging 75% to 19.4% share vs. 9.5% over the Full Year 2017 and only 91 units below Toyota. Mercedes (-2%), Ford (-4%) and Chevrolet (-8%) disappoint but Peugeot (+1255%), Isuzu (+146%), Hyundai (+112%), Mitsubishi (+54%) and Honda (+42%) impress. Model-wise, the Toyota Vios (+44%) cements its domination while Mazda places bth the 3 (+58%) and CX-5 (+119%) on the podium. the Kia Cerato (+152%), Honda City (+77%), CR-V (+76%), Toyota Corolla (+59%) and Kia Morning (+49%) also beat the market inside the Top 10.

Previous post: Vietnam Full Year 2017: Toyota Vios tightens grip on market down 10.8%

One year ago: Vietnam January 2017: Toyota, Mazda shine in market down 13%

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Czech Republic January 2018: Skoda Karoq up to #7 in record market

The Skoda Karoq continues to climb its home sales charts.

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After posting a fourth consecutive record year in 2017, the Czech new car market seems to be headed towards one more, with January sales up 11.5% to 23.219, a new record for the month. Homegrown brand leader Skoda tightens its grip on the market even further with a fantastic 32% year-on-year gain to 36.7% share vs. 31% over the Full Year 2017. In contrast, Volkswagen dives 21% to 10.2% share ahead of Hyundai (+1%), Ford (+7%) and Dacia (+13%). Peugeot (+35%), Kia (+25%) and Toyota (+23%) also frankly beat the market inside the Top 10 while below, Suzuki (+66%), Lexus (+55%), Land Rover (+51%), Citroen (+50%), Tesla (+40%), Mitsubishi (+39%), Subaru (+37%), Mini (+25%), Nissan (+25%) and Honda (+20%) also impress.

Skoda places four nameplates in the Top 4 as it did over the Full Year 2016 and 2017: the Octavia (+22%) leads above the Fabia (+26%), Rapid (+62%) and Superb (+2%) but this month it also has 6 models in the Top 7, its best result since monopolising the Top 6 last May. The Kodiaq rallies back up 11 spots on December to #6 while the Karoq is up two to hit a new ranking record at #7. The BMW 5 Series (+337%), Citroen C3 (+193%), Suzuki S-Cross (+152%), Dacia Sandero (+151%), Ford Focus (+81%), Peugeot 2008 (+54%) and Kia Cee’d (+49%) also make themselves noticed while among recent launches the Hyundai Kona is up 92 spots on December to #36 and the VW T-Roc up 80 to #80.

Previous post: Czech Republic Full Year 2017: Octavia #1, 4 Skodas in Top 4, record market

One year ago: Czech Republic January 2017: VW rallies up 83% in record market

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Poland January 2018: Skoda (+30%) outpaces market up 21.7%

The Kodiaq helps Skoda up 40% year-on-year in Poland in January. 

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Sales of new light vehicles in Poland are up a very impressive 21.7% year-on-year in January to 51.051 units including commercials. Skoda soars 30% to 13.6% share, two percentage points above its FY2017 level, Toyota is up 14% to 11.1$ and Volkswagen up 13% to 9.2%. Mercedes (+76%), Citroen (+40%), Peugeot (+39%), Dacia (+29%), Ford (+27%) and Nissan (+23%) also outpace the market in the Top 15. Model-wise, the Skoda Fabia (+26%) keeps the lead it snapped last year for only the second time in 10 years, followed by the Skoda Octavia (+38%) and Toyota Yaris (+43%). Only the Fiat Tipo (+46%) also beats the market in the Top 10 while below, the Dacia Sandero (+102%), Seat Leon (+96%), Toyota Aygo (+46%), Skoda Citigo (+40%), Superb (+39%), Citroen C3 (#29), Ford Kuga (#32), Opel Insignia (#34), Mazda CX-5 (#41), Skoda Kodiaq (#47) and Mazda CX-3 (#50) make themselves noticed.

Previous post: Poland Full Year 2017: Skoda Fabia leads for 2nd time in 10 years

One year ago: Poland January 2017: Toyota C-HR up to 11th place

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