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With the new year up and running, it is always of interest to see who jumps out of the blocks first. Of course by the time the year has run its course, things will change. However, trends are already being established that will remain for the year. Let's see what January 2016 shows.
Winners: You cannot look past one company as a clear leader here, JLR. Jaguar leads the field by miles and with the new F-Pace shortly to arrive, plus the new XE and revised XF then that is one trend that will see the year out. The fact that Land Rover is third is impressive, based mainly on the Discovery Sport.
Honda has been shedding market share in Europe faster than a squirrel up an Oak Tree. 2016 saw a dramatic change, the new HR-V no doubt making a difference. The CX-3 for Mazda would be doing likewise for that brand.
Losers: Mitsubishi has been going well, especially with the Outlander. I'm picking it has run out of steam somewhat, which can happen after a great run. Nissan is putting more emphasis on profit over volume so expect sales to retract in 2016 during this realignment. No surprises VW has lost some ground. Not what it deserved and all things considered has got off lightly in this region. Still, dropping from 13% to 11.7% is a sizable hit. The market share VW enjoyed in Europe seemed high to me anyway.
Data source: ACEA.
Summary: Sales were up 6.3% in January. Despite that, there is an uncomfortable feeling that Europe isn't in that much of a robust situation. For now car manufacturers are making hay while the sun shines, keeping an eye on the sky for a storm cloud that may suddenly appear. If the rain stays away, then car factories will be kept busy.
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