From Cape North to Gibraltar – Part 2: From Kustvägen to Finland

bjorn-sorfsjardenBjorn in Mellanfjärden along the Kustvägen (Coastal Road).

This is Part 2 of our Europe 2016 Cape North to Gibraltar series, click here to check out Part 1: Stockholm and Central Sweden. After getting a glimpse of Sweden’s capital Stockholm and touring the home of the iconic Dala Horse near Lake Siljan, we continue to head north – a rather good idea if we do want to reach Nordkapp indeed..

gnarp-yllasjarvi-with-reference-mapToday’s itinerary, northbound from Gnarp to Ylläsjärvi in Finland, starting with the Kustvägen.

Starting in Gnarp, we first discover the impossibly beautiful tiny harbours lining up the famed Kustvägen (Coastal Road), then hop on the majestic Höga Kustenbron (High Coast Bridge) to follow the Bothnian Coast all the way up to Finland, in Ylläsjärvi to be precise, where one of the wonders of Scandinavia awaits us: the aurora borealis…

auto-motor-sport-mentionProud to see bestsellingcarsblog.com mentioned in Sweden’s best-selling car magazine. 

But before we go exploring today, a nice surprise from Sweden’s best-selling car magazine, Auto Motor & Sport. AMS has been supporting BSCB by subscribing to the site from the very early days on, but it’s always heartwarming to see bestsellingcarsblog.com mentioned halfway round the world. The issue that was on sale when I visited the country had a special world market exploration dedicated to Kenya, and AMS kindly quoted us as the source. Thank you!

bjorn-kustvagen-bear-signWe met no bear – incidentally, björn is Swedish for bear…

In the first post of this Photo Series, I revelled in the fact that everything is working the way it’s supposed to in Sweden after spending four days in Malta, the kingdom of rip-off. But it’s not just “things” that are pleasantly efficient here. People are kind, trustworthy and reliable. At the end of my first day of driving, I arrived very late at a guesthouse in Gnarp that I had booked online only an hour earlier. Not to worry, the staff was asleep but left the entry door open, with the keys of all available rooms at reception for me to choose from. I just had to leave a note saying who I was and which room I chose. In the morning, it’s all smiles and welcome and copious buffet breakfast. Honesty goes a long way.

bjorn-skatanBjörn in Skåtanvolvo-v40-skatanSkåtansorfsjardenThis is the Sweden I remembered.

From Gnarp, we backtrack a few kilometres to catch the Kustvägen right from the very start at Jättendal and its picturesque church. Headed towards the Bothnian Gulf, we soon reach Mellanfjärden – pictured above and right at the top of this article. Back in 1993 when I first visited Sweden as a teenager, I got totally mesmerised by tiny, hauntingly quiet harbours open to a mirror-like sea. One of the aims of this portion of the trip was to recapture this feeling. And as soon as I get out of the XC90 in Mellanfjärden, it’s right there again for me to experience. Boat masts, water against the jetty and seagulls are the only sounds. No one seems to live here yet everyone is so discreet and quiet that all houses could be full of people for all I know. I drive Björn to the end of the jetty for a few photos. I soak in the calm. It’s heaven.

bjorn-lorudden

lorudden-3Lörudden

Our next stop on the Kustvägen is Skåtan (see pictures further up in the article). Driving into Skåtan is like driving into a town-sized museum. Every house is impeccably painted with the traditional red colour we have come to get used to since we left Stockholm, all gardens are meticulously manicured, yet it all feels homely, natural and welcoming. Being outside of summer season, the main/only restaurant in town is closed – another opportunity to enjoy the calm. Everyone passing by says hello. Can I please retire here.

lorudden-2

lorudden-1Lörudden towards the end of the Kustvägen.

The last noteworthy stop along the Kustvägen is tiny Lörudden, where the houses (red-obviously!) give straight onto the harbour with no cars allowed near them, instead a vast parking is provided hinterland. Perfect. As I arrive the place is foggy and a little mournful, but goes from fog to full sunlight in a matter of minutes. And the spectacle continues. Simply but tastefully decorated windows, nothing out of place, Lörudden is a village deliciously frozen in time.

hoga-kustenbronHöga Kustenbron

After 48 hours familiarising myself with Björn our Volvo XC90, I have to admit it’s been very difficult to fault him. The cabin exudes sophistication, every noise alert – seatbelt, line-assist, car in the blind spot as you prepare to overtake – is smooth and non-confrontational. The line-assist itself, as I progressively get used to it each day, is a stunning piece of technology that actually does make you feel safer on a constant basis. You know the car will nudge you back in place, without fault. I did try to provoke it into not reacting (repeated movements, fast, slow…) but always failed. The touch screen display is brilliant and instinctive to manoeuvre, keeping menu navigation bars at all times so it’s effortless to switch screens. You can get an overall view of what you really want to follow on the screen without having to back- and forward-screen all the time – see below two examples: 1. the all-navigation menu and 2. the detail of music menu with other menu bars (Navigation, Phone…) still there and clickable but not obtrusive. You can zoom the navigation map by just pinching the screen like on an iPad. Simply brilliant.

abba ace-of-base When in Rome…

So of course, I did play the mandatory ABBA and Ace of Base to put me in a full-Swedish mood. I had to. Now one fantastic option this XC90 has been equipped with is the $4.500 Sensus Premium Sound by Bowers & Wilkins. I’ll cut to the chase: this is quite possibly the best sound I have ever got to listen to in any car I have driven so far in my life. Yessir. I threw everything I could at this sound system, the biggest bass lines, treble, music that would normally send even a robust sound system to the grave (try some good ol’ bass-heavy rap or nineties eurotrash), but nothing even came close to ruffling its feathers. Very impressive indeed. The only slight disappointment I have so far with Björn is the instability of the car (truck?) on the unsealed sections of the Kustvägen. At a full two tonnes, the XC90 isn’t a lightweight, granted, but it’s not the heaviest of the pack and its rear-end got a little too wobbly for my liking when I pushed the car more aggressively on winding roads. Surprising, yet again I am also discovering that this is not an SUV that was primarily destined to play in the mud.

hyundai-i30-sw-loruddenHyundai i30 SW sporting its add-on headlights like a Boss.

As for the surrounding car landscape we are encountering on this part of Sweden, the one element that has stood out the night before when arriving at Gnarp is the presence of add-on headlights on the bonnet of almost every single car. This is a rural part of Sweden with the only one-lane artery connecting Stockholm to Luleå, the rest being unlit countryside narrow and winding roads. Still, the Swedes seem to have a particular love for facing over-lit night landscapes, and this could have a lot to do with the omnipresence of wildlife throughout the country, namely reindeer, elk and bear. We have spotted none of the above yet though.

vw-golf-alltrack-lorudden

mercedes-e-class-loruddenVW Golf Alltrack and Mercedes E-Class Kombi in Lörudden

The main trend we described in the First Part of this series – an obsession with Station Wagons – continues on as we progress north, with a significant amount of VW Golf Alltrack such as the one pictured above spotted in Lörudden. This is however not a new trend, illustrated by the robust amount of middle-aged – I did not say vintage, anything older than 15 years seems to have miraculously disappeared from Swedish roads – luxury Mercedes, BMW and Audi-branded kombis, streaming around in the company of Volvos.

finland-borderBjorn and I are crossing the border into Finland.
finnish-breakfast A very hearty Finnish breakfast.

It’s full 900km and past midnight before we cross the border into Finland, and with an (unexpected) one-hour time difference between Sweden and Finland we immediately find ourselves even further into the night. But there’s a surprise waiting. Contacting my hotel earlier in the day, I learnt that the aurora borealis forecast was good for the night. A little like trying to spot kangaroos in the wild when I first arrived in Australia, the search is made harder when you don’t actually know what to look for. But suddenly and right above my head, here it is. Like curtains dancing in the sky. It was the very beginning of the aurora season when I visited (mid-September) so this almost god-like apparition only lasted a few seconds and prevented any pictures to be taken, leaving me wondering whether this was just all a big hallucination as perhaps I had been driving for way too long today. A nice chat wit the hotel owner around a very hearty Finnish breakfast the morning after confirms I have not lost my mind: I did just see my very first aurora borealis. 

yllasjarvi-finlandOnto another day, just after sunrise in Ylläsjärvi, Finland.

As I get ready for what could end up being the most exciting day of this European adventure, I notice the morning sunlight has a very distinct, softened glow. We have arrived in Lapland.

Stay tuned for the next iteration in this Photo Series: the journey to Nordkapp…

Brazil November 2016: Onix, HB20 shine, Jeep Compass lands

jeep-compass-brazil-november-2016The new generation Jeep Compass has already landed in Brazil.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 150 models by clicking on the title *

Just as the Brazilian economy doesn’t show any sign of improvement, the new car market has a bit of a respite in November with sales down “just” 8% year-on-year to 173.561, leading to a year-to-date tally down 21% to 1.787.362. Chevrolet continues to go upstream with deliveries up 7% to 32.820 for a much improved 18.9% market share, distancing Fiat at 15.6% (-10%) while Hyundai cements its newfound podium ranking at #3 with 10.2% of the market (+7%). Ford slides down 13% and Volkswagen, although still down a very steep 36%, claws back up from a hellish 7th place and 6.9% share in October to 5th and 9.2%. Notice also Toyota up 8%, Nissan boosted up 41% by the Kicks and Peugeot up 3% while on the other side of the scale Honda drops 24%, Land Rover 32%, BMW 45% and Audi 50%.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil November 2016The Chevrolet Onix is headed towards a 2nd consecutive year atop the Brazilian sales charts. 

In the models ranking, the two best-selling nameplates continue to sail off out of reach from the competition: the market leader, the Chevrolet Onix, is about to post a second consecutive year atop the Brazilian sales charts and thanks to sales up 31% year-on-year in November it delivers its 2nd best-ever monthly result at 15.700, beaten only by the 17.951 units hit back in December 2014. The Hyundai HB20 is aiming at similar heights with 12.136 units (+15%), the nameplate’s third highest since its October 2012 launch below 12.921 in December 2014 and 12.537 in March 2013. Keeping in mind this month’s result is achieved in a drastically weaker market than three years ago, these are outstanding performances for both manufacturers.

hyundai-hb20s-brazil-november-2016-picture-courtesy-primeiramarcha-com-brFirst ever Top 10 ranking in Brazil for the Hyundai HB20S.

The Top Five is unchanged on October with the Ford Ka (-4%), Renault Sandero (+12%) and Chevrolet Prisma (-9%) in tow, the latter overtaking the Toyota Corolla (#9 this month) to snap the #4 spot YTD. The Fiat Palio freefalls 43% year-on-year but gains 4 spots on last month to #6, the VW Gol is back from the dead (#29 in October) to #7 but down 19% while the Hyundai HB20S gains 33% to break into the Top 10 for the first time in a career that now spans over 3.5 years (April 2013 launch). Among recent launches, the Fiat Toro ranks #11 (-3 on October), the Fiat Mobi #13 (-1) and the Nissan Kicks #34 (+1) but the main event in November is the new generation Jeep Compass surging 52 spots to #23 with over 2.500 sales thanks to a Brazilian launch ahead of every other world market. As a result the Honda HR-V (-38%) and Jeep Renegade (-44%) suffer.

Previous month: Brazil October 2016: Volkswagen crashes again, Toro best-selling Fiat

One year ago: Brazil November 2015: Chevrolet Onix closes in on first annual win

Full November 2016 Top 20 brands and Top 150 models below.

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Iran October 2016: Exclusive production and imports figures available

Peugeot 206 Sedan Iran October 2016The Peugeot 206 SD remains in production in Iran and accounts for 70% of 206 sales. 

* Click on the title to see the Top 15 most produced cars, Top 10 pickups, imports & brands *

Thanks to a partnership with CE Auto newsletter, we can now share with you a monthly update about the Iranian new car market. The period covered roughly corresponds to October 2016, but the Persian calendar works slightly differently: the month in question is the seventh month (Mehr) of the Persian year 1395. Also, this update combines production figures for local manufacturers with exclusive import sales data obtained with Iranian customs. In Mehr 1395/October 2016, 104.082 cars were produced locally (905.008 YTD), 6.342 pickups (71.596) and 4.620 imported vehicles were sold. That’s a total of 115.044 vehicles for the month.

saipa-ario-iran-october-2016The Saipa Ario is a rebadged Zotye Z300. 

In the locally-produced brands ranking, Saipa edges past Peugeot for a mere 300 units but remains well below the French manufacturer year-to-date at 290.000 units vs. 337.000. Iran Khodro remains i third place adobe Renault, Chery, Brilliance and Zamyad. Lifan leaps up to #8, Dongfeng up to #9 and JAC is down to #10.

zamyad-z24-iran-october-2016-picture-courtesy-pedal-irThe Zamyad Z24 is now the best-selling pickup so far in 2016 ahead of the Iran Khodro Arisun.

Model-wise, the Sapia Pride is once again the country’s favourite with just under 23.000 units produced this month, while the Peugeot 206 overtakes the 405 for 2nd place overall. The Sapia Tiba is up 3 spots on its July ranking to land at #4, passing the Peugeot Pars and Iran Khodro Samand. The Renault Sandero continues to improve and now ranks inside the ten most popular locally-produced nameplates at #8.

dongfeng-s30-iran-october-2016-picture-courtesy-pedal-irDongfeng S30. Picture pedal.ir 

Leading the Chinese offensive is the Brilliance H330 slotting inside the Top 10, ahead of the Chery Tiggo 5, Chery Arrizo 5, Dongfeng S30 and Lifan X50. In the pickup aisle, the Zamyad Z24 – a rebadged 1970 Nissan Junior – has now overtaken the new Iran Khodro Arisun, signalling a particularly poor transition by Iran Khodro from the immensely successful Bardo.

ssangyong-tivoli-iran-october-2016-picture-courtesy-pedal-irThe Ssangyong Tivoli is the 2nd best-selling import into Iran this month. 

The imports aisle continues to be Hyundai’s playground: the Korean carmaker holds a mammoth 27% share (32.2% in July) and places the Santa Fe as #1 imported vehicle with 18.8% share. Sister brand Kia (15.2%) passes Toyota (14%) to rank #2 importer with Renault and Ssangyong in tow. Lexus, BMW, Volvo and Porsche also make it into the Top 10. Model-wise, the Ssangyong Tivoli is climbing very fast up the charts, reaching a stunning 2nd place this month ahead of the Renault Fluence, Kia Optima and Toyota Prius. The Lexus NX and Mitsubishi Outlander also shine.

Previous post (1): Iran July 2016: Exclusive production and imports figures available

Previous post (2): Iran First Half 2016: Exclusive production and import figures available

See also: STRATEGY: What future for the Iranian new car market?

Full Mehr 1395/October 2016 Top 15 most produced cars, Top 10 pickups, imports & brands below.

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Finland November 2016: Octavia, Qashqai and Auris in photo finish

toyota-auris-finland-november-2016-picture-courtesy-tekniikanmaailma-fiToyota Auris. Picture tekniikanmaailma.fi

* See the Top 30 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

The Finnish new car market posts another stable month with November sales up just 0.1% year-on-year to 8.966, yet the year-to-date tally remains up by a large margin at +10% to 109.696. Despite sales down 1% on October 2015, Toyota reclaims the brands pole position off Volkswagen (+6%) this month but remains #2 year-to-date. Ford (-5%) and Skoda (-13%) struggle but Nissan (+12%), Renault (+48%), Audi (+38%), BMW (+22%), Dacia (+92%) and Seat (+27%) impress. Further down, notice also Suzuki (+98%), Jaguar (+150%), Lexus (+180%) and Porsche (+120%). The November models ranking is a photo finish: only 3 sales separate the Skoda Octavia (+13%), Nissan Qashqai (+34%) and Toyota Auris (+8%)! The Ford Focus (+54%), VW Golf (+47%), Opel Astra (+139%) and Audi A4 (+294%) also make themselves noticed, all within the Top 15, and although it drops 10% year-on-year, the Renault Clio ranks far above its YTD level this month at #10 vs. #25.

Previous month: Finland October 2016: Volkswagen up 24%, Golf up 96% in stable market

One year ago: Finland November 2015: Toyota Yaris and Auris lead, Volkswagen down 6% in market up 24%

Full November 2016 Top 30 brands and models below.

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South Korea November 2016: New Hyundai Grandeur shoots up to #3

* See the Top 6 local brands and Top 55 All-local models by clicking on the title *

Sales of local nameplates in South Korea are up 2% year-on-year to 144.814 units, lifting the year-to-date tally up 1% to 1.422.745. Hyundai continues to struggle at -14% to 55.721 deliveries and 38.5% share, while sister brand Kia is less affected at -2% to 48.906 and 33.8%. Local gains are in fact the work of smaller brands: GM Korea is up a splendid 51% to 11.9% share while Renault Samsung shoots up 109% to 8.7% vs. 6.8% year-to-date (+39%). Ssangyong is also in positive at +5% while Genesis remains stuck below 1.000 monthly units.

Kia Morning South Korea November 2016The Kia Morning is the best-selling nameplate in South Korea in November. 

In the models ranking, the Kia Morning gains 4 spots on October and 13% year-on-year to snap the top spot for the first time since November 2014 ahead of the Hyundai Porter (+4%) resuming its YTD domination due to a slow month by the Hyundai Avante (-23%). The big event atop the South Korean ranking this month is the third position of the Hyundai Grandeur. Although down 2% year-on-year, this is in fact a 14 spot-jump on last month thanks to the new 2017 model just launched (see launch TV ad atop this article). The Grandeur competes with the tremendously successful Samsung SM6 – aka Renault Talisman – down one spot in November to #10. Impressive performers this month also include the Chevrolet Spark (+46%), Hyundai Genesis (+90%), Kia K7 (+95%), Chevrolet Trax (+124%) and Malibu (+389%). The Samsung QM6 – aka Renault Koleos – is down 7 ranks to #19.

Foreign brands and models data will be uploaded to this article as soon as it becomes available.

Previous month: South Korea October 2016: Samsung QM6 outsells Tucson, Sportage and Santa Fe

One year ago: South Korea November 2015: Tivoli hits highest Ssangyong ranking in 11 years

Full November 2016 Top 6 local brands and Top 55 All-local models below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hungary November 2016: Renault doubles sales in market up 43%

Renault Clio Hungary October 2016. Picture courtesy quattroruoteThe Renault Clio shoots up to 4th place in November.

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

After dipping into negative territory for the first time in almost 4 years last month, the Hungarian new car market is back to roaring shape with November sales up a whopping 43% year-on-year to 9.412, leading to a year-to-date tally up 24% to 86.801. Local producer Suzuki brilliantly beats the market at +66% to 11.9% share, distancing Skoda (+34%), Ford (+61%) and Opel (+10%). Dacia (+97%), Renault (+106%) and Toyota (+58%) also impress. Model-wise, despite Suzuki’s outstanding score it’s the Skoda Octavia that snaps the top spot this month thanks to 639 sales (+33%) vs. 624 for the year-to-date leader, the Suzuki Vitara (+53%). The Dacia Duster continues to evolve significantly above its 2015 level with November sales surging up 4-fold to 481 in third position. The Renault Clio (#4), Hyundai Tucson (#7) and Ford Kuga (#8) also over-perform.

Previous month: Hungary October 2016: Market down for the first time since March 2013

One year ago: Hungary November 2015: Skoda Octavia back to #1, VW Passat up to #4

Full November 2016 Top 10 brands and models below.

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China LCV October 2016: Discover the Top 60 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Huanghai N2 China October 2016. Picture courtesy pcauto.com.cnHuanghai N2-Series sales are up 49% year-on-year in October. 

* See the Top 60 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

October sales data for Light Commercial Vehicles in China is now available thanks to our partnership with Chinese consultancy outlet Cedars with complete Minivan, Pickup and Mini Truck model figures as well as selected Light Truck and Van data provided by LMC Automotive. Mini Trucks (+7%) and Pickups (+6%) continue to post strong results in contrast with Minivans freefalling 53% and now accounting for just 23.945 sales vs. 41.011 for Mini Trucks. This is impacting the overall LCV total down 9% to 249.776 for October and down 11% to 2.657.231 so far this year. Thanks to sales up 24% year-on-year, the Foton Light Truck snaps back the YTD pole position off the Wuling Mini Truck at 203.545 vs. 202.146 sales. It’s going to be a photo finish until the end of the year. The Wuling Hongguang V (+93%) is back on the podium, with the entire Top 7 best-selling nameplates registering year-on-year gains. As part of the pickup revival currently happening in China thanks to deregulations in four provinces, the Great Wall Wingle 6 is up 37%, the JMC Yuhu up 65%, the JAC Pickup up 82% and the Huanghai N2-Series up 49%.

Previous month: China LCV September 2016: Wuling Mini Truck now in YTD lead

One year ago: China LCV October 2015: Discover the Top 60 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Full October 2016 Top 60 models ranking below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Spain November 2016: Renault Mégane soars to pole position

renault-megane-spain-november-2016bThe Renault Mégane is the best-selling vehicle in Spain in November.

* See the Top 47 All-brands and Top 282 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Spanish new car market returns to double-digit growth rates in November at +13% to 93.066 registrations, the largest October score since 2007 (125.227), lifting the year-to-date gain to +10.9% and 1.056.159 units, the highest 10 month-result since 2008 (1.089.112). Yet a phenomenon now widespread across Europe prevents analysts such as myself to jump for joy too high: most of the October year-on-year increase is due to artificial channels – read easily manipulated with self-registrations and much less profitable – such as company sales up 29% to 30.100 and sales to rental companies up a whopping 43% to 7.016. Private sales only gain 3% on October 2015 to 55.950 units and represent 60.1% of the market vs. 65.8% a year ago. The year-to-date situation is more favourable to private sales: up 7% but down from 55.8% to 53.8% share while company sales are up 15.9% to 27.6% share vs. 26.4% and rentals are up 15.8% to 18.6% share vs. 17.8% a year ago.

audi-q2-spain-november-2016The Audi Q2 has already broken into the Spanish Top 100.

In the brands ranking, Renault surges 42% to take the top spot for the second consecutive month at 8.323 sales and 8.9% share, while Volkswagen benefits from a low base last year when its October sales were severely affected by the emission scandal to gain 21% to 7.112 and 7.6%. Opel gains a very shy 1% to #3 with 6.630 but stays in the year-to-date lead at 83.250 sales (+16%) above Volkswagen at 81.480 (+0.3%) and Renault at 80.415 (+14%). Other great performers near the top of the ranking include Seat (+37%), Hyundai (+20%), BMW (+67%), Audi (+26%), Fiat (+43%) and Mini (+49%). Reversely, Peugeot (-2%), Ford (-3%), Citroen (-5%), Kia (-12%) and Dacia (-15%) lose ground. Among smaller brands, notice Abarth (+102%), Jaguar (+109%), Maserati (+180%) and Infiniti (+359%).

Renault digitals templatesThe Mégane is benefiting from leasing promotions up to the end of the year in Spain. 

Model-wise, the Renault Mégane simply doubles its sales year-on-year thanks to the new generation and a special leasing offer (see picture at top of article), leading it to take the overall Spanish pole position for the first time since October 2014. The Seat Leon (+15%) is knocked down to 2nd place but remains by far the top seller so far this year at 32.188 units (+7%) ahead of the Seat Ibiza at 30.046 (+4%), staying at #3 this month. Below, the Renault Clio (+23%) and VW Polo (+45%) impress, at #8 the Hyundai Tucson breaks into the Top 10 for the third time in the past 8 months after April (#10) and August (#5) and the Opel Mokka is boosted by its facelift up 58% to #10, the brand’s best-seller above the Astra (#11) and Corsa (#12).

toyota-c-hr-spain-november-2016The Toyota C-HR makes its first appearance inside the Spanish sales charts. 

The Seat Ateca leads recent launches (<12 months) once again but drops four spots on October to #21 while the new generation Peugeot 3008 shoots up 39 ranks on last month to #29 with 1% share. The next best things are the Ford Ka+ at #54 (+17), the Fiat Tipo at #69 (-11) and the Audi Q2 breaking into the Top 100 for its first full month of sales at #95 (+88). The one newcomer of the month is the Toyota C-HR landing directly at #108 with 217 sales – a score that should improve drastically over the coming months.

Previous month: Spain October 2016: Seat Leon leads, Ateca breaks into Top 20

One year ago: Spain November 2015: Dacia Sandero doubles sales to #1

Full November 2016 Top 47 All-brands and Top 282 All-models below.

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