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Netherlands February 2018: Opel leads, Kia Picanto best-seller

Opel is #1 in the Netherlands for the first time since September 2016.

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 285 All-models by clicking on the title *

New car sales in the Netherlands are up 9.5% year-on-year in February to 35.410 units, meaning the year-to-date volume is up 12.3% to 94.220 sales. Surprise in the brands pole position: after a month of January obliterated by Volkswagen (17.7% share), Opel takes the lead thanks to a 34% year-on-year surge to 8.8% share. It is the first time since September 2016 that Opel is the most popular carmaker in the Netherlands, a market it dominated from 1969 to 2004. In fact, the entire January Top 6 is up one spot while Volkswagen drops 5 ranks to #6: Renault (+1%) is up one spot to #2 followed by Peugeot (+7%), Kia (+20%) and Ford (+18%). Skoda (+48%) posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 while below, Jeep (+109%), Mitsubishi (+64%), Seat (+38%), Volvo (+23%) and Tesla (+22%) shine.

The Kia Picanto has been the best-seller in the Netherlands every February since 2015.

Model-wise, as it was the case in February 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Kia Picanto is the best-selling nameplate in the country in February 2018, up 15% year-on-year and distancing the Renault Clio (+7%), Ford Fiesta (+25%) and Peugeot 108 (-3%). The Opel Corsa (+198%), VW Polo (+82%) and Hyundai i10 (+45%) lodge the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 10 while beyond, the Mazda CX-5 (+206%), Seat Ibiza (+103%), Skoda Octavia (+85%) and Peugeot 3008 (+57%) are the best performers in the Top 10. The Opel Crossland X (#29) tops recent launches (<12 months) ahead of the Opel Grandland X (#39), Kia Stonic (#59), VW T-Roc (#61), Seat Arona (#67) and Hyundai Kona (#70).

Previous month: Netherlands January 2018: VW places Polo, Golf, Up and Tiguan in Top 4

Previous year: Netherlands Full Year 2017: Clio second Renault to rank #1 in 36 years

Full February 2018 Top 45 All-brands and Top 285 All-models below.

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Ireland February 2018: Dacia Duster leaps 147% to #2 in stable market

The Dacia Duster is the 2nd best-selling vehicle in Ireland in February. 

* See the Top 33 All-brands and Top 235 All-models by clicking on the title *

After a 4.9% drop in January, new car sales in Ireland stabilise in February at -0.01% or just two units below the February 2017 result at 17.081. The brands ranking is completely reshuffled with Volkswagen (+5%) taking the lead with a strong 10.6% share, distancing Ford (+34%), Nissan (-14%), Hyundai (+4%) and Skoda (+7%) while Toyota, leader in January, is down 21% to a paltry 6th position. The Japanese carmaker however retains the YTD lead at 10.6% share above Hyundai and Volkswagen both at 10%. Dacia is up a flamboyant 113% year-on-year to crack the Irish Top 10 at #10, Peugeot is up 104% to #12, Honda up 50% to #18 and Mini up 125% to #22. Model-wise, the Skoda Octavia snaps the lead this month but ranks 5th YTD while the performance of the month is delivered by the Dacia Duster up 149% year-on-year and 25 spots on last month to land at a stunning 2nd place overall, ahead of the Nissan Qashqai (-16%), VW Golf (+12%) and Hyundai Tucson (-12%), still #1 YTD. The Ford Focus (+66%), Nissan Micra (+54%) and Ford Fiesta (+56%) also impress while the Hyundai Kona tops all recent launches (<12 months) at a record #14, followed by the VW T-Roc (#38), Skoda Karoq (#39), Kia Stonic (#43) and Skoda Kodiaq (#44).

Previous month: Ireland January 2018: Peugeot soars 70% in market down 4.9%

One year ago: Ireland February 2017: Toyota C-HR up to 6th place in market down 21%

Full February 2018 Top 33 All-brands and Top 235 All-models below.

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South Korea February 2018: Mercedes & BMW > GM Korea for first time

Both Mercedes and BMW outsell GM Korea in February: that’s a first. 

* See the Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models by clicking on the title *

The South Korean new car market drops a steep 7.7% year-on-year in February to 125.360 units with a sharp decline by local manufacturers (-11.9% to 105.432) not compensated by very healthy foreign carmakers (up 22.9% to 19.928). Brand leader Hyundai almost double the market decline to tumble down 13% to 36.1% share, followed by Kia resisting a lot better at -5% to 29.5%. Ssangyong is down 13% to climbs one spot on January to land in third place. Below, we witness a first: both Mercedes (+12%) and BMW (+91%) manage to rank inside the Top 5, outselling both GM Korea (-48%) handicapped by the announcement of the closure of one of its Korean plants, and Renault Samsung (-33%). It is the first time a foreign manufacturer (let alone two) manages to outsell GM Korea at home. Hyundai’s new premium brand Genesis is up 310% year-on-year but down two spots to #8 or last Korean marque. Below, Cadillac (+78%), Toyota (+67%), Jaguar (+63%) and Peugeot (+35%) are among the biggest gainers.

The Hyundai Veloster is back into its home sales charts. 

Over in the local models ranking, the Hyundai Grandeur continues to dominate the charts head and shoulders but is starting to lose momentum with a steep 18% drop in February and 14% YTD. The Hyundai Porter (-6%), Kia Sorento (+16%), Hyundai Avante (-21%) and Sonata (+14%) replicate the January Top 5, while the Hyundai Santa Fe (-31%) is up 8 spots on January to #8 and the Kia K5 (+41%) also to #9. The Hyundai Kona edges up one rank on last month to return to its home Top 10 only for the 4th time and the first time since last September. Among other recent launches, the Kia Stonic is down two spots on January to #24, the Genesis G70 also down two to #29 and the Kia Stinger up two to #35. The Hyundai Veloster makes its return in the charts thanks to the new generation at #50 with 109 sales.

Previous month: South Korea January 2018: Genesis above Renault Samsung

One year ago: South Korea February 2017: Hyundai Grandeur cements leadership

Full February 2018 Top 30 brands and Top 60 local models below.

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Croatia February 2018: Market up 46.4%, Crossland X and Kona up

The Opel Crossland X ranks 14th in Croatia in February. 

* See the Top 33 All-brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *

Thanks to our new partnership with local outlet Promocija Plus, we can share with you today Croatian data for February and the market continues to gallop ahead with sales up 46.4% to 3.840, lifting the year-to-date tally up 38.3% to 7.546 registrations. The Top 6 best-selling brands all beat the market: Volkswagen (+65%), Skoda (+62%), Suzuki (+88%), Ford (+52%), Opel (+53%) and Hyundai (+73%). In the Top 10, Dacia (+57%) and Audi (+53%) also over-perform but Renault (+2%) and Peugeot (+40%) trail the market growth. Other spectacular gains are delivered by Porsche (+200%), Alfa Romeo (+133%), Mitsubishi (+133%), Honda (+117%), Land Rover (+100%) and Smart (+100%). Model-wise, the Skoda Octavia (+269%) and VW Golf (+263%) remain in the lead and both sport outstanding year-on-year gains, followed by the Suzuki Vitara (+31%), Ford Focus (+105%) and Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (+229%). The Ford Kuga is up 2733% to #9, the Opel Insignia up 312% to #12, the Opel Crossland X lands at #14 and the Hyundai Kona at #19.

Previous month: Croatia February 2018: Skoda Octavia triples sales in market up 30.8%

Previous year: Croatia Full Year 2017: Skoda Octavia #1 for the third time, market up 15.1%

Full February 2018 Top 33 All-brands and Top 20 models below.

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New Caledonia (France) February 2018: Hyundai Kona lands at #6

The Hyundai Kona is the 6th best-selling model in New Caledonia for its first month.

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

New light vehicle sales in New Caledonia, a French Overseas archipelago located north-east of Australia, continue to struggle in this start of 2018: after dropping 18% in January, February sales are down another 11% to 582 units, bringing the year-tpo-date total down 14.9% to 1.246 registrations. Hyundai brilliantly takes the lead of the New Caledonian brands ranking thanks to sales surging 35% to 11.2% share, followed by Peugeot up an equally impressive 27% to 10.7%. The remainder of the Top 5 all drop heavily: Toyota (-40%), Ford (-23%) and Dacia (-30%), the latter remaining #1 YTD at 10.1% share thanks to a strong January score. Further down, Citroen (+84%), Land Rover (+240%), Subaru (+63%), Mitsubishi (+225%), Fiat (+43%) and Dodge (+50%) all impress. Model-wise, the Dacia Duster reclaims the lead it held over the FY2017 despite a 24% year-on-year drop and for just one unit above the Ford Ranger (-3%) while the Toyota Yaris (+175%) rounds up the podium and the Peugeot 3008 shoots up 27 spots on January to #4 overall. The Hyundai Kona lands directly at #6 for its first month in market, distancing the Creta at #6 and the i10 at #8. Notice also the Range Rover Evoque up to #11.

Previous month: New Caledonia (France) January 2018: Ford Ranger snaps lead in market down 18%

One year ago: New Caledonia (France) February 2017: Hilux lifts Toyota to #1, Hyundai Creta #3

Full February 2018 Top 30 All-brands and Top 30 models below.

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Bulgaria February 2018: Renault soars 96% to #1, Lifan up to #11

Lifan sales are up 9-fold in February in Bulgaria.

* See the Top 40 All-brands by clicking on the title *

The Full Year 2017 Report has now been updated with the Top 10 models

New car sales in Bulgaria sail off in the distance with 3.127 registrations in February, a 25.6% year-on-yea improvement lifting the year-to-date tally up 21.6% to 6.359. Renault surges 97% to 13.7%, reclaiming the brands lead off its low-cost equivalent Dacia both in February (Dacia up 32% to 9.7%) and year-to-date at 12% share (+42%) vs. 10.2% (+0.3%) for Dacia. Skoda (+54%) remains in third place but ends February just 3 sales below Dacia. If Nissan (+71%) and Opel (+45%) outpace the market inside the Top 10, Toyota (+10%), Peugeot (-2%), Volkswagen (-2%), Kia (-6%) and Ford (-17%) all under-perform. Further down, Lifan storms into 11th place thanks to deliveries up 9-fold on February 2017, Citroen is up 87%, Lada up 73%, Hyundai up 55%, Mazda 51% and Volvo 38%.

Previous post: Bulgaria January 2018: Dacia reclaims lead, Nissan up to #4

Previous year: Bulgaria Full Year 2017: Dacia and Renault lead, Kia up 123% to #4

Full February 2018 Top 40 All-brands ranking below.

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Media post: Reviewing the new offshore Holden Commodore

2018 Holden Commodore. Picture 

In 2018 the Holden Commodore is manufactured overseas for the first time, as the Australian Holden factories have now been closed down.

As such, many Australians are sceptical that a fully imported Commodore will meet their expectations and be able to win the hearts of patriotic Commodore lovers.

The 2018 Commodore is being built in Germany, with a V6 engine but no V8 engine or rear wheel drive option. Its sold in Europe as the Opel Insignia and in the USA as the Buick Regal GS.

Here’s the Australian point of view on the top model of the new Holden Commodore:

Holden Commodore VXR V6 2018 Specifications

Price: $55,999 AU

Engine: 3.6L V6 unleaded petrol with direct fuel injection 381Nm/235kW

Transmission: 9-speed automatic all-wheel drive

Wheels: 20-inch alloy with 245mm wide Michelen

Safety: Traction control, dual front & side airbags, ABS, 5-star ANCAP safety.

Efficiency: 9.3L/100km with 215g/km CO2.

Style & Engineering

The new Commodore has a more European shape and is shorter and narrower than the old model. The front ‘shark nose’ is aggressive, fitting well with the modern lines of the body.

The engine is all new to the Commodore, and while it doesn’t have as much power as outgoing models, it’s performance and economy speak volumes for German engineering.

Passenger’s point of view

The Commodore still has plenty of space to accommodate four adults. Being shorter and narrower than the old model, there’s a bit less head and shoulder room, but the same amount of knee room.

The cabin is light and airy, thanks to the power sunroof and plenty of convenient storage to stow small items. Heated and cooled massage seats, wireless phone charging and the high-quality materials used to add to the comfort of passengers.


The new Commodore is a huge step up from the Australian built model, with a 360° rearview camera, and 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Driving the new Commodore

Commodores sold in Australia are tuned locally at Lang Lang, Victoria. As such, the suspension and handling (and the radios too) are tuned to Australian conditions.

The all-wheel-drive system can deliver torque effectively to the rear wheels via the Twinster rear drive unit. This means the Commodore keeps that ability to swing the tail on dirt that enthusiasts love. You get a car that’s comfortable for driving at city speeds, but when you want to notch it up a little, it responds with glee.

In the wet it’s fun to drive with excellent traction from the AWD system giving it a neat sideways kick and holding confidently through a slippery hairpin.

Overall Verdict

Some Commodore owners will always prefer the guttural sound of the old V8 engine, but not many will argue that the ride, performance, and handling on this new Commodore are excellent. It’s not the V8 muscle car that Australians associate with the Commodore brand, but it’s sporty, high-tech and a commercially viable car. Australians looking for brute straight-line performance might switch to the Stinger GT, but most will find that on twisting roads and for everyday driving, the 2018 Holden Commodore more than meets expectations.

Article provided by Positive Lending Solutions

Media post: Why It’s Important To Find A Good, Reputable Repair Service After An Accident

After a car accident has damaged your car, you will naturally want to get it repaired as soon as possible so that you can get back to your normal routine. However, you also want to be sure to find a good and reputable repair service.  So, although you may be in a hurry to get your car fixed, you should avoid just settling on the nearest repair shop you can find. You need to take the time to find a reputable auto repair shop.

Let’s take a look at your best two options to get a good repair job done: using a direct repair program or finding your own auto repair shop.

Using A Direct Repair Program

Insurance companies often provide their customers with the option of using a direct repair program. In essence, a direct program is a network of auto-repair shops that have been approved by your insurance company. Although you are under no obligation to work with a recommended body shop or mechanic, there are some unique benefits to working with a preferred shop:

  1. You can choose to go to either a specialized repair shop or a one-stop shop.

Specialized repair shops: If, say, only your windshield was shattered by the car accident, you will need to get high-quality windshield glass expertly installed as soon as possible. So, in this case, a specialty service will suit your needs perfectly. An insurance company like ICBC will not only make your claims process quick and easy for a new windshield, but they will also suggest an ICBC express provider specializing in auto glass replacement.

One-stop shops: If, on the other hand, your car was damaged in a variety of different ways, then it may be more convenient to take your car to a shop that can fix everything, rather than have to get different insurance estimates and take your car to different places  for different types of repair jobs.

  1. You will find the billing arrangement easier. 

Since the payment-for-repair process will have been streamlined, it will make everything easier and less expensive for you.

  1. You will get high-quality service and repair work.  

Before endorsing an auto shop, an insurer will screen them to make sure that they provide high-quality service. Since an insurer’s reputation is on the line, they will not recommend an unethical or subpar repair shop.

  1. You will get an extended warranty on the repair work. 

A warranty on the repair work is especially important if you ‘ve been taking special care of an older car and have no plans of selling it to get a newer car.

Choosing Your Own Auto Repair Shop

If your insurance company does not have a direct repair program or you would prefer not to use it, then your other option is to choose your own auto-repair shop. You will either need to pay a deductible after the repair with your insurer paying their portion to the shop directly or you may have to pay the full amount to the shop and then get reimbursed by your insurance company.

If you already have a favorite repair shop then just take your car there. However, if you don’t know where to take your car, then you should choose a repair shop that has been highly recommended by family and friends who have used it or to a shop that has earned industry certifications.

The Dangers of a Bad Repair Job

Ultimately, your goal is to get your car to an auto mechanic who does a thorough job and who charges a fair price. When it comes to getting your car fixed, you don’t want to have to deal with the hassles and possible dangers of a bad repair job.

There are three ways a mechanic or repair shop can mess up repairs.

  1. They use fixes that simply don’t work.
  2. They don’t fix certain things that you asked them to repair or that they noticed when they were working on your car.
  3. They overcharge you for the work, inflating the cost of parts and labor.

The first and second issues are hassles when detected early because you then have to take your car back to the shop; however, if you are not immediately aware that the work was not done well or some repair jobs were not done at all, then you could put your own life in jeopardy, as well as endanger others, when you are driving in heavy traffic or speeding along the freeway.

Be mindful of the need to find the best repair work after a car accident. Often, you will find your car insurance company a helpful resource when it comes to where to take your car for the best quality of work, with many insurers providing a direct repair program for their clients.

Taiwan February 2018: Honda CR-V up 3-fold in market up 11.4%

Honda CR-V

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and Top 80 models by clicking on the title *

The Taiwanese new car market is up 11.4% year-on-year in February to 26.965 registrations, lifting the year-to-date volume up 7.5% to 74.901 units after two months. Market leader Toyota edges down 0.2% to 22.4% share, still almost double the #2, Mitsubishi/CMC up 5% to 11.7%. Honda soars 35% to 9%, overtaking Nissan/Infiniti up just 4% to 8.2%. After a particularly weak January result, Mazda rallies back up 51% to 7.3% share in 5th place, distancing Mercedes (+7%), local carmaker Luxgen (+30%), Ford (-12%), Volkswagen (+28%) and BMW (-15%). Just outside the Top 10, Lexus is up 42% to 3.2% share. Model-wise, the Toyota Corolla holds onto its crown but drops 10% to 6.4% share, only 336 units above the Honda CR-V boosted up 216% to 5.2% by the new generation. The Toyota RAV4 (-17%) and Sienta (+18%) follow while the Mazda3 is back up 42 spots on last month to #5. The VW Tiguan (+138%) breaks into the Taiwanese Top 10 for the first time at #9, smashing its previous record of #17 hit in March 2017. The Suzuki Swift (+490%), Mitsubishi Colt Plus (+238%), Mazda CX-3 (+238%) and Lexus NX (+230%) also shine.

Previous month: Taiwan January 2018: Honda CR-V up 62% in market up 5.5%

One year ago: Taiwan February 2017: Toyota RAV4 and CMC Veryca impress

Full February 2018 Top 10 brands and Top 80 models below.

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Israel February 2018: Kia #1, Toyota up 61% in market up 3.9%

Kia is the best-selling carmaker in Israel in February.

* See the Top 40 All-brands ranking by clicking on the title *

Thanks to our partnership with, we can share with you today February data for Israel. New car sales are up 3.9% year-on-year this month to 26.284 units, yet the year-to-date tally remains in negative territory at -7.4% to 65.303 registrations. Up 2% on a year ago, Kia takes the lead of the Israeli brands ranking in February at 14.6% share, just above Toyota soaring 61% to 14.2% while Hyundai, #1 in January and over the FY2017, tumbles down 21% to 13.9% but remains #1 YTD in 2017. Mazda stuns with a 108% year-on-year gain in 5th place, with BMW (+28%), Nissan (+18%), Audi (+17%), Peugeot (+16%) and Subaru (+16%) also strong in the Top 20. Further down, Isuzu (+419%), Lexus (+153%), Infiniti (+147%), Land Rover (+47%), Volvo (+28%) and Ssangyong (+25%) make themselves noticed.

Previous month: Israel January 2018: Hyundai up to 16.1% share in market down 13.7%

One year ago: Israel February 2017: Hyundai and Kia on top, Suzuki up 89%

Full February 2018 Top 40 All-brands ranking below.

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