28 May 2017

Toyota UK Sales 1965-79 (by model)

The 1965 Corona

Toyota arrived in the UK late 1965 with the Corona model, sporting 'luxuries' rare on a family car at the time. Features such as two-speed wipers and a heater were quite a novelty on a mainstream car. The Corona was soon followed by the Corolla to spearhead the sales push into Britain.

From 1965 to 1968, 1,961 cars had been sold. In 1969 1,211 cars found homes, 1970 1,327 and 1971 3,982. Things kicked off in 1972 as imports started to make inroads into the local market. The Corolla was the best selling model, with the Starlet not far behind.

Mod/Yr 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Corolla 5,253 7,666 7,046 8,310 9,657 11,850 10,315 9,116
Starlet - - 582 5,172 5,330 4,387 4,137 7,910
5,008 3,549 3,272 3,070 3,151 4,348 6,076
3,632 2,751 2,974 3,423 2,985 5,131 5,294
Cressida - - - - - 1,293 3,897 3,315
1,821 838 462 458 449 490 502
Others 8,273 396 48 80 156 42 16 7
Total 13,526 18,523 14,814 20,270 22,094 24,157 28,334 32,220
*Carina and Corona models combined

Data source: Mainly Toyota UK.

The 1970 Celica 

22 May 2017

GM India/South Africa : A Disappointment

This bakkie wasn't enough to save Chevrolet South Africa

GM has decided to stop selling cars in India but keep on making them there. I find that hard to fathom. By making cars there, surely that avoids import duty and allows the cars to be sold profitably. Despite being in the market over 20 years, it still had less that 1% market share. For that reason the plug has been pulled.

At the same time, the decision has been made to leave South Africa, both in manufacturing and sales. The plant will be taken over by Isuzu, who currently share it. This means Chevrolet will leave the RSA after over 90 years there. As for the Opel brand, it will be up to PSA to take that over if they wish.

Sales of Chev have been in free fall while Opel has held up better. Market share for passenger cars dropped from 7.7% in 2012 to 3.3% for 2016. The decline would have been worse but for Opel. Light commercial vehicles fared slightly better, from 12.1% in 2012 to 7.9% in 2016.

GM Passenger Car Sales : RSA

Make/Yr 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Chevrolet 31,183 23,328 21,621 14,389 7,847

Opel 2,704 2,603 3,598 6,486 4,101

Total 33,887 25,931 25,219 20,875 11,948

Share 7.7% 5.8% 5.7% 5.1% 3.3%

GM LCV Sales : RSA

Chevrolet 19,556 18,484 16,865 16,693 12,578

Share 12.1% 11.0% 9.7% 9.6% 7.9%

There is no point in running operations that are losing money. However, as to why GM struggles to make money while other succeed is a valid question. Whatever the reasons, GM has decided to terminate its problem areas rather than continue to try fix them.

Data source: Naamsa.

20 May 2017

VW Profit Per Brand : 2016

Car sales going upward look impressive but profit is the important - but often unseen - element of a business. Without it, a company will not survive very long. The VW Group has made plenty of money out gaining an unfair advantage with its defeat device but now it is having to pay for that now. Despite that, it is big enough to cope with the consequences.

So how did the various divisions manage in 2016? They all made money to some degree. Below they are listed according to per unit profit, the strongest first:

Porsche: €16,222 per unit (+4.4%), sales 239,000.

Porsche only goes back to 2012 with the VW Group listings and this was the second best year. The per unit profit is impressive. 

Bentley: €10,182 per unit (+1.8%), sales 11,000. 

Despite getting hit by a sales halt in Korea, it still held up well. The new Bentayga may add to the bottom line in 2017.

Audi: €3,159 per unit (-5.9%), sales 1,534,000. 

This is the lowest p.u. profit since 2010, despite total sales only being eclipsed in 2011 (by a tiny margin at that). So while p.u. profit is good, one would think the VW Group would rather see improved profit than greater sales in 2017. 

Škoda: €1,471 per unit (+28.6%), sales 814,000. 

With record profit up 28.6% nearly €1,500 p.u, things are looking good. Sales didn't increase that much either. It's larger models are no doubt a big help here in maximising a solid bottom line.

VW LCV: €952 per unit (+13.6%), sales 478,000. 

I would have thought the €952 p.u figure was a little low for light commercial vehicles but at least it's going the right way, up.

VW Car: €430 per unit (-9.5%), sales 4,347,000. 

This was the lowest p.u. figure since 2008 and the fifth consecutive year of reduction. Clearly too much emphasis was on volume and saloon cars. More SUV's are on the way and the need for a stronger bottom line performance should be the major focus moving forward. Recent concessions from German workers will help too.

SEAT: €279 per unit (% n/a), sales 548,000. 

SEAT doesn't do profit, so to be in the black is a novelty, one the brand will no doubt repeat more often. It's reliance on smaller cars and no SUVs has been at the root of the problem, not mention modest volumes. It now has an SUV and two to follow so it seems it has a future. So while the €279 p.u figure may have you spluttering into your morning coffee, bear in mind this is historically a fine result.

Summary: Profit is king in a capitalist society so with all the recent dramas with the VW Group, it will be aiming to get that sorted. After all, growing sales looks impressive but healthy profit keeps you in business.

Data source: VW Group.