Now that most October sales data has come through, it’s now time to go through our traditional Worldwide roundup. But first as usual a bit of overview of how the biggest car markets in the world fared this month: China continues to evolve in a different stratosphere: up 20% this month to almost 2 million units, the USA is back to its euphoric self at +10% after a shocking 4% drop in September. Japan joins the two biggest car market in their euphony: up a magnificent 17% while Germany is back up 2%. Reversely, Brazil is back into negative at -4% and India is slowing down its year-on-year fall to just 1%. Europe as a whole is up year-on-year for the 2nd month in a row at +5% with the UK celebrating 20 consecutive months of year-on-year gains at +4% and Spain up a spectacular 35%. Now onto the 5 big worldwide events of October…
1. Nissan Leaf tops Norwegian sales charts
Last month’s big worldwide headline was the Tesla Model S ranking #1 in Norway, in October Norway is once again under the spotlight given it is another electric car that tops its sales charts for the very first time in the world! The Nissan Leaf sells 716 units for a splendid 5.6% market share! The Leaf is now up to #4 year-to-date there at 3,755 units and 3.2% share. Meanwhile the Tesla Model S is back to earth (meaning outside the Top 20) with 98 sales and 0.8%. Having two different electric cars topping the sales charts of one market over two consecutive months is something that has never happened before in the history of automobile. Are we finally on the eve of a new era? In other great news for Nissan, the Juke hits a record 7th place in the UK and the Qashqai tops the Northern Ireland sales charts.
2. US podium 100% pick-up for the first time in 8 years
Back in 2008-2009 the US market was hit full-frontal by recession, and the Big Three survived by the skin of their teeth. American consumers down-sized to smaller cars, and gas guzzling oversized pick-up trucks were progressively becoming fashion-backward. Over the past couple of years the American new car market has flamboyantly turned the corner, and this month the most symbolic illustration of this comeback hit: for the first time since February 2006, the top 3 most popular vehicles in the USA are all XXL pick-up trucks. The Ford F-Series leads, up 13% year-on-year to 63,803 sales, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado up 10% to 42,660 units and the RAM 1500/3500 up 18% to 29,846 sales. In the same vein, the Ford F-Series has already beaten the all-time annual sales record in Canada after just 10 months at 106,861 sales. On one side more electric and hybrid cars, and on the other more oversized work horses. The worldwide car market is indeed full of contradictions…
3. New generation Honda Fit takes control in Japan
Thanks to the third generation of the model hitting dealerships, the Honda Fit is the best-selling car in Japan this month with 23,281 sales, up a huge 150% year-on-year. The last time the Fit topped the Japanese sales charts was in May 2011, right in the aftermath of the terrible tsunami that hit the country in March of that year. The Fit has topped the annual Japanese sales charts twice before: in 2002 (interrupting 22 consecutive years of Toyota Corolla reign!) and 2008. 2014 could be next! This performance pushes Honda to #2 brand above Nissan at 14.4% share vs. 10.1% year-to-date. BSCB reader Stephen has already noticed plenty of new gen Fit on Japanese roads during its trip there this month…
4. Skoda Octavia inside European Top 5 for the first time
Whereas it had only managed two lonely European Top 10 rankings in the past (in January 2012 and last August when it both ranked #10), the Skoda Octavia, bolstered by the new generation now well and truly installed in the entire continent, surges up to #5 Europe-wide this month thanks to 19,240 sales, up 46% year-on-year. A very successful 2013 year for the Czech nameplate originally launched in 1959 then re-launched in 1996. This is also the first time a Skoda ranks inside the European Top 5, with the only other model in the Czech manufacturer’s range to achieve a Top 10 finish being the Skoda Fabia (#10 in August 2008 and #8 in August 2009)… This performance has a lot to do with the Octavia’s #7 ranking in Germany where after hitting a record 5th position in September, it ranks within the Top 10 for only the 4th time in 17 years after September 2012 (#9), March 2013 (#9) and September 2013 (#5)… The Skoda Octavia also ranks #1 in Switzerland (passing the VW Golf), #1 in Czech Republic, #1 in Finland for the 4th time in the last 5 months, #1 in Poland for the 5th time this year, #1 in Hungary, #1 in Estonia and #2 in Iceland.
5. French mini SUVs mean business
Inspired by the success of the Nissan Qashqai, French manufacturers Peugeot and Renault finally decided to launch their own small SUVs earlier this year. And it’s proving to be a welcome breath of fresh air for both carmakers. This month the Peugeot 2008 hits a record #4 in France thanks to 5,301 sales and 3.2% share. This is the nameplate’s first ever time inside the Top 5 of any country in the world. The 2008 also breaks into the Top 20 for the first time in Italy at #17, ranks #31 in Spain and Austria and is already above the 208 in the German Private Sales ranking at #41 vs. #63! The Renault Captur for its part ranks #5 at home in France with 3.1% share, its 5th consecutive month within the French Top 5, it is also #6 in Slovenia, #7 in Croatia, #12 in Portugal, #14 in Spain and Italy. In other good news for the French, the new generation Peugeot 308 is already up to #8 at home in France and #3 in Portugal with sales up a mammoth 633% year-on-year…
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