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Japan March 2012 Update: Toyota Aqua #1 model variant again!

Toyota Aqua

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Austin *

Thanks to Austin Rutherford I am able to share with you for the second month in a row the detail of Japanese models sales by variant, including Kei cars. And for the second consecutive time the all-new Toyota Aqua is the best-selling bodystyle in the country with no less than 29,156 sales for only its third full month of activity! The Suzuki Wagon R climbs to #2 followed by the Toyota Prius.

Subaru BRZ

As far as interesting (and exclusive) splits are concerned, notice the Toyota Prius alpha at #9 with 18,832 sales and the Honda Fit Shuttle at #16 with 9,896 units. Newcomer-wise, the Mazda CX-5 is up 27 spots on February to #48 overall with 4,640 sales and the Subaru BRZ makes its very first appearance in the ranking at #95 with 446 units sold.

Subaru Sambar

Compared to last month, this ranking now includes some commercial vehicles: the Isuzu N/F Trucks ranks #15 with just under 10,000 sales, the just renewed Subaru Sambar is #27 at 8,094 units and surprisingly the brand’s best-seller, while the Suzuki Carry is #34 with 6,760 sales.

Previous month: Japan February 2012 Update: Toyota Aqua already #1 best-seller?

The other Japan March 2012 articles are here:

Japan March 2012: Toyota Prius, Aqua and Honda Fit all beat records

Japan Kei cars March 2012: Daihatsu Mira just under 30,000 sales

Japan Imports March 2012: Mercedes C-Class #3, CLS in Top 20

Full March 2012 Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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France 1-23 April 2012: Peugeot 3008 up to #4

Peugeot 3008

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

At 108,308 units over the first 3 weeks of April, French new car sales seem to have stabilised around -5% year-on-year now that the comparison with the scrappage scheme-boosted first Quarter of 2011 has ended. Peugeot leads the brands ranking with 17.4% share (+7%) ahead of Citroen at 16.7% (+16%) and Renault at 15.1% (-15%). Follows VW at 8.3% (-15%), Ford at 5.3% (-8%) and Dacia at 3.9% (-28%). Notice Audi at #8 and 3.6%, up 4% on 2011.

Even though the market is still slightly down, the entire Top 5 best-selling models see their sales increase year-on-year. The Renault Clio is in the lead with 4,575 sales and 4.2% (+13%), followed by a Peugeot 207 in runout mode at 4,141 units and 3.8% (+5%) and the Citroen C3 with 4,098 units, up 20%.

The Peugeot 3008 climbs to a remarkable 4th position with 3,221 sales and 3% share: if it maintains this ranking until the end of the month it will be its highest month-end position ever in France, beating the 5th place it reached in May 2011. At #5 the Peugeot 308 delivers the best year-on-year increase in the Top 10 at +30% thanks to 3,200 units. Notice also the Dacia Duster at #10 but down 51% on April 2011.

Previous post: France 11-16 April 2012: Peugeot 208 and 5008 in Top 10

Previous month: France March 2012: Peugeot 208 lands at #16, Nissan impresses

One year ago: France 19-25 April 2011: Renault Scenic on podium

Full 1-23 April 2012 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Zimbabwe: Toyota Corolla sovereign, info needed

Street scene in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture by bayhaus, all rights reserved.

* Click on title for more street scenes! *

With the economic crisis striking the country, new cars are extremely rare in Zimbabwe. In fact it can even be said that similarly to a country at war, the new car market has slowed down to a grinding halt. I visited the country in June 2007 and this article is based on my observations in Victoria Falls where I stayed, but it is very difficult to understand the reality of car sales in Zimbabwe since then. If you have more recent info, please by all means comment on the article so we can all know a little more.

Toyota Corolla in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe June 2007

Based on my observations in the country, the Toyota Corolla is and has been the best-selling model in Zimbabwe for many, many years. A plethora of various generations of the model can be seen in the streets, indicating that its leadership is at least a couple of decades in the running. It may have been threatened in the eighties by the Datsun/Nissan Sunny as there are a lot of these as well in the streets. The Corolla and Sunny are by far the most popular passenger cars in Zimbabwe, with all other popular vehicles being pick-ups.

Datsun Sunny in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe June 2007

Surprisingly and contrary to the majority of African countries, the Toyota Hilux is not tremendously popular in Zimbabwe. Instead, the Isuzu KB can be seen at every street corner while the Mazda B-Series and Nissan Hardbody also rather successful. And ladies and gentlemen, there is not much more to the Zimbabwean new car market than this! As I said, new car sales in Zimbabwe are a rare and disappearing occurence.

Any additional information, even recent photos from your trip there, would be very welcome!

More street scenes below.

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World March 2012 round-up: Toyota Prius breaks a leg

Toyota Prius c

* See the Top 10 best-selling models in the world by clicking on the title! *

Let me introduce a new monthly update on Best Selling Cars Blog: the World round-up. Now that most countries models rankings are in, let’s cast a global view on which cars were the stars of the month around the world… and March had its lot of highlights…

There is one model, or more precisely family, that stands out this month: the Toyota Prius. Massively boosted by the arrival of the MPV and c versions, the Prius family lodged record-breaking volumes in Japan and the USA. In Japan, the Prius c is marketed as Aqua and is up to an outstanding 29,156 sales, while the ‘standard’ Prius sold a record 45,496 units including the MPV version, up 131% year-on-year. In the US, sales are not split and the Prius family as a whole sold a record 28,711 units for a best-ever 6th place.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V new generation enables the nameplate to reach record heights in both the USA where it ranks at a best-ever #5 with 30,068 units sold and in China where it is #4 with 21,124 units. Nissan lodges two historical performances this month: even though it is about to be replaced with a new generation, the Altima breaks its monthly volume record in the USA with 41,050 sales, while the Nissan Qashqai has its best European month ever in 7th place with 30,237 units, thanks to best-ever performances in GermanyFrancethe UKIreland (#1)PolandSlovakiaSwitzerlandCzech Republic and ranking #2 in Spain.

Nissan Qashqai

Another milestone passed in March: for the first time ever, there were two Japanese models in the European Top 10 with the Toyota Yaris climbing into 10th position with 22,856 sales, helped by a record-breaking showing in the UK. India is the new China: in March 281,831 new vehicles found a buyer in the country, up 20% year-on-year and a new all-time record! The Maruti Alto has its 2nd best month ever at 35,245 sales and no less than 12 models break their monthly record, including the Maruti DZire, Hyundai Eon, Tata Nano and Honda Brio delivering the best month ever for a Honda model in India at 6,355 sales.

VW Up!

Other highlights this month include the pole position of the VW Up! in Denmark only a few months after its launch, the Fiat Uno beating the VW Gol in Brazil for only the third time ever, the Lada Granta up to #4 in Russia, the Dacia Duster reaching 10% share in its native Romania, the all-new Peugeot 208 landing at #16 in France, the Mazda CX-5 reaching a world best #18 in the Netherlands and the Range Rover Evoque breaking into the Swiss Top 20,

Other big figures include the Ford F-Series selling 58,061 units in the US followed by the Toyota Camry at 42,567 sales, the Wuling Sunshine stuck in pole position in China with 54,546 units, the Buick Excelle now China’s favourite passenger car with 24,134 sales and the Daihatsu Mira Kei car at 29,721 units in Japan.

Previous post: World 2011: Updated Top 100 now available!

Estimated March 2012 Top 10 World’s best-selling models below.

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Portugal March 2012: Renault Clio leads, BMW 1 Series strong

BMW 1 Series

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Tuga *

New car sales in Portugal are still in hell, down 49% year-on-year to 9,622 registrations and 48% year-to-date at 23,511 units. To put things into perspective, let’s notice that the 2012 year-to-date total is inferior to the March 2010 figure alone at 23,831 sales. Also, March 2012 is 68% below the best month of March Portugal has known in 2000 when 30,016 units were sold.

Renault Clio

#3 in 2011, the Renault Clio has established itself on top of the Portuguese models ranking this year, selling 704 units this month for a huge 7.3% market share while the year-to-date total stands at 1,206 sales and 5.1%, down ‘only’ 23% year-on-year. The last time the Clio topped the ranking at year-end in Portugal was in 2008. The VW Polo and Opel Corsa both have excellent months and follow in the ranking while the Renault Megane is down 2 spots to #4 but stays #2 year-to-date at 841 units and 3.6%, down a worrying 70% year-on-year.

Mercedes C-Class

Exceptional performance of the Mercedes C-Class, up 4 ranks on February to 6th place with 287 sales and 3% share. It is now up from #14 in 2011 to #10 year-to-date in 2012. Another luxury model shines this month: the new generation BMW 1 Series breaks into the Top 10 for the very first time at #9 with 273 units and 2.8%, and is now #13 year-to-date with 482 sales and 2.1%. Notice also the Ford Focus #8 YTD at just -1%, the Chevrolet Aveo at #17 YTD up a massive 123% thanks to the new generation and the Audi A1 up to #20 this month.

Previous month: Portugal February 2012: VW Up! lands directly in 14th place

Full March 2012 Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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Singapore Q1 2012: Mercedes new leader, podium 100% German

Mercedes C-Class

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Michael *

The Singaporean car market is up 9% year-on-year over the first 3 months of 2012 to 7,510 registrations. There is only brands data available but the ranking is so unique that it deserves a full article on here… After BMW interrupted 9 consecutive years of Toyota domination in 2011, Mercedes is now the new best-selling brand in the country with 1,385 sales in 3 months for a huge 18.4% market share! The Mercedes C180 Kompressor 1.6l is the brand’s likely best-seller and could well top the Singaporean models ranking…

BMW 3 Series

The prevalence of luxury models atop Singapore car sales is due to the Certificates of Entitlement (COEs), a government program meaning residents of Singapore have to bid for the right to buy a motor vehicle, with the number of certificates deliberately restricted. In April 2012 COEs prices went up again, to S$91,000 for cars over 1,600cc, roughly the same as the car price itself, and almost as much as the record S$110,500 reached in 1994, having for result that only the very rich can afford to buy a new car in Singapore these days…

Porsche Panamera

BMW is down to #2 with 1,237 units and 16.5% share. Official rankings place Toyota in third position with 888 sales but these include 191 Lexus models, bringing Toyota down to #4 with 697 units and 9.3%, below Volkswagen with 860 sales and 11.5%, meaning the whole Singaporean brands podium is 100% German! Other great performances include Audi at #5 and 6.2%, Volvo at #7 and 3.7% and Porsche at #11 and 1.9%…

Previous post: Singapore 2011: BMW ends almost a decade of Toyota domination!

Full Q1 2012 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Denmark March 2012: VW Up! already in pole position!

VW Up!

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Full stop for Danish car sales in March: after months of impressive growth, the market is down 17% year-on-year to 13,615 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 40,682 units, up just one percent on 2011. In Denmark this month has unfolded what will remain one of the biggest events of the year: already at a world best #15 last month, the VW Up! doesn’t beat around the bush for only its second full month of sales in the country and simply climbs into pole position with 698 sales and a massive 5.1% market share, making Denmark the first country to be tamed by Volkswagen’s new mini, before others will follow? The rest of the year will tell us…

The rest of the market pales in comparison with this huge feat: the Peugeot 107 is up 8 spots to #2 with 609 units and 4.5%, the Toyota Avensis makes up for an off month of February (#24) by rounding up the podium like in January and in the year-to-date ranking with 435 sales and 3.2%. The Toyota Aygo follows at 2.9% ahead of two Kias: the Picanto at 2.7% (and #2 year-to-date at 3.5%), and the Rio at 2.6% thanks to 358 units sold. In spite of dropping down to #17 this month, the Chevrolet Spark stays in the lead year-to-date with 1,724 sales and 4.2% share.

Previous month: Denmark February 2012: Kia Rio #5, VW Up! at world best

One year ago: Denmark March 2011: Chevrolet Spark and Suzuki Swift on top

Full March 2012 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Spain LCV March 2012: Citroen Berlingo shines

Citroen Berlingo

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

While new Passenger Car sales have slowed down their fall in Spain in March at -4%, Light Commercial Vehicle sales are still in hell at -19% year-on-year to 5,303 sales. The year-to-date total stands at 12,397 units, down 22% on 2011. The Citroen Berlingo, perhaps already boosted by its slight facelift, grabs one third of all sales at 1,765 units and 27.5% over 3 months thanks to 3,411 sales. It is followed by the Peugeot Partner at 880 units, the Renault Kangoo at 732 sales, VW Caddy at 444 units and Ford Transit Connect at 315 sales.

Previous month: Spain LCV February 2012: Citroen Berlingo reclaims top spot

Full March 2012 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Thailand Pick-ups March 2012: Chevy Colorado & Mazda BT-50 up

Chevrolet Colorado

* See the Top 8 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Austin *

In this new monthly update we follow sales of Pick-ups in the country that produces them all, and all indicators are now up after floods disrupted production at the end of last year. At 55,526 sales, March is 20% above February, 48% above January and a very impressive 40% year-on-year compared to March 2011… The Toyota Hilux is still the kind of the roads with 20,722 sales, progressing exactly like the market year-on-year, above the Isuzu D-Max at 18,467 units, up 31%.

Mazda BT-50

The Mitsubishi Triton continues to impress at +51% on March 2011 to 6,040 sales, while two recently relaunched models lodge sales figures over 3 times their March 2011 scores: the Chevrolet Colorado is up 264% year-on-year to 3,562 sales, that’s double its January 2012 score, and the Mazda BT-50 is up 232% on March 2011 to 2,422 units and up 573% on last January.

Previous month: Thailand Pick-ups February 2012: Market now recovered

Previous year: Thailand 2011: Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max maintain stranglehold

Full March 2012 Top 8 Ranking Table below.

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Netherlands LCV March 2012: New Opel Combo on the up

Opel Combo

* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Dutch companies bought 6,116 new Light Commercial Vehicles in the Netherlands in March, bringing the year-to-date total to 19,800. Volkswagen still dominates the ranking with the Caddy in pole position at 667 sales and 10.9%, followed by the Transporter at 601 units and 9.8%. The Ford Transit reclaims its traditional third place this month with 426 sales and 7%.

Other great performers this month include the Peugeot Partner up 3 spots on February to #4, the Renault Trafic up 2 ranks to #6, the new generation Opel Combo up 4 spots to #16 at 116 units and 1.9%, while the Nissan Navara at #21 with 64 sales, and the Toyota Hi-Ace at #23 with 58 units, make their appearance in the Top 25.

Previous month: Netherlands LCV February 2012: Mercedes Sprinter still on podium

Full March 2012 Top 25 Ranking Table below.

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