26 November 2018

The Renault-Nissan Alliance


Carlos Ghosn has been the driving force in this alliance, one where Renault was the dominant force. Hiroto Saikawa was appointed CEO of Nissan by Ghosn in 2017 with Ghosn remaining chairman and the two seemed close. More recently Ghosn was pushing for a merger, which some say Saikawa was against. It could have ended up a Renault takeover and it is felt Saikawa was against this.

Due to a whistleblower, an investigation was discreetly started by Nissan - without Renault's knowledge - into alleged misuse of Nissan funds by Ghosn for personal benefit. When Carlos Ghosn recently arrived in Japan, he was arrested. Almost immediately Nissan had Ghosn removed as Nissan chairman, despite Renault wanting them to wait for more information.

Hiroto Saikawa is regarded as a scrupulous man, doing business straight down the line. Any impropriety would be looked upon very negatively, so his actions do reflect that attitude. He is against a merger and wishes to rather stabilise the existing structure. Others would say that the timing is suspiciously opportune, as it conveniently scuppers the merger that Nissan was opposed to.

Whatever the truth, we will probably never get a full picture of why things happened as they did. The fact is that things have taken a serious turn and the Renault-Nissan alliance will in future be governed differently, now the flamboyant leader has been taken out of the picture. How the alliance worked as well as it did was probably because it was done without much input from Nissan. Japanese culture is restrained and in future, that style will figure more strongly in the way things are done.

PS. Mitsubishi Motors, which Nissan took a controlling interest in back in 2016 has since also removed Carlos Ghosn as its chairman. As of this time, he has not been formally charged.

16 November 2018

New Style Dealership (NZ)

In New Zealand, car dealerships have an interior area where a few new cars are displayed. Outside the yard is full of more new cars and second-hand ones. There is no parking on site and often none on the street in front. If you want to go there, a parking space has to be found nearby.

This new dealership in Auckland, NZ has a unique look about it (see below). It's located at premises that could be a furniture shop or similar. Convenient parking is plentiful outside the door and there are no vehicles for sale outside.


The customers are viewed as guests, who are welcome to walk around in a relaxed atmosphere. The air-conditioned showroom can accommodate as many as 40 vehicles indoors with ample space to wander around them (as you can observe below).


The service centre area is New Zealand's largest, with 20 hoists and all the technical gizmos that go along with modern car diagnostics.


As someone who has always felt that such a major purchase as a car isn't made as convenient and inviting an experience as it should be, this is the sort of dealership that I'd warm to. Dealers in smaller towns could do similar but on a more modest scale.

10 November 2018

Mclaren Sales (Nation) : 2017

Not an experience many will have

This is s company on the up, making fantastic drivers cars for those who want and can afford this sort of thing. For most of us, even sitting in one is something we will never do, let alone take one for a spin. Mind you, if I did take one out for a drive, it could end up being spun at some point.

The big disappointment is that 21% or 1 in 5 sales are missing from the chart. Germany, for example, isn't even there but we can do something about that! Europe is quoted as 892 sales for the 2017 year and if you take away the other European sales below, that leaves 201 units. Germany would take by the far the majority of those sales, I would assume.

The Mclaren racing team was founded in 1963 by a New Zealander, Bruce Mclaren. These cars, therefore, bear his name and the marque does very well in this tiny country, with 1% of all sales. The cars the company make do his memory proud.

The US figure is an estimate (not by me) and clearly a market that has embraced the Mclaren supercar. Add the UK and there are half the marque's sales. It's a relatively new company so that percentage should drop as time passes and the marque establishes its reputation, a loyal customer base and the dealer network expands. However, the company has no plans for an SUV. It's not what they do and that's a bold stand to take.

The colours below represent regions, pale blue Europe, dark blue Americas, yellow Asia/Pacific and orange the Middle East.



Rk Nation 2017 %


1 USA 1,110 33.2%


2 UK 567 17.0%


3 China 228 6.8%


4 Japan 164 4.9%


5 Canada 124 3.7%


6 Australia 116 3.5%


7 UAE 96 2.9%


8 Switzerland 67 2.0%


9 Taiwan 42 1.3%


10 NZ 33 1.0%


11 France 26 0.8%


12 Saudi Arabia 18 0.5%


13 Belgium 13 0.4%


14 Singapore 10 0.3%


15 Luxembourg 5 0.1%


16 Spain 4 0.1%


17 Czech Rep 2 0.1%


17 Poland 2 0.1%


17 Austria 2 0.1%


17 Lebanon 2 0.1%


21 Norway 1


21 Estonia 1


21 Finland 1



Others 706 21.1%


Total 3,340

09 November 2018

Lotus Sales (Nation) : 2017


I have compiled a list of some national sales for the Lotus sports car brand in 2017. It's by no means comprehensive with 15% not accounted for but gives an idea of where they sell best. The US figure is an estimate. If anyone can add to, please let me know and I will amend the list.

Production was up 13.8% over 2016 as the total figure seen on the chart below is for global production. The rest of the data is for sales. The home market is unsurprisingly where most sell but not by that wide a margin. There is room for growth in virtually all markets. One country that seems to be achieving an exceptionally strong sales volume in Australia, so that may be one instance where registrations are at their maximum level.

Owners Geely wants to take the marque to a higher level of sales, something essential to make car manufacturing profitable. Eventually, an SUV will come along which will help with the bottom line. It has to happen.

The colours below represent regions, pale blue Europe, dark blue Americas, yellow Asia/Pacific and orange the Middle East.



Rk Nation 2017 %


1 UK 279 19.4%


2 Germany 199 13.9%


3 Japan 172 12.0%


4 France 162 11.3%


5 Switzerland 90 6.3%


6 Italy 75 5.2%


7 Australia 62 4.3%


8 USA 60 4.2%


9 Belgium 27 1.9%


10 Luxembourg 22 1.5%


10 Korea 22 1.5%


12 Sweden 11 0.8%


13 Taiwan 7 0.5%


13 Czech Rep 7 0.5%


15 Austria 6 0.4%


16 Poland 4 0.3%


17 Spain 3 0.2%


17 NZ 3 0.2%


17 Lebanon 3 0.2%


20 Netherlands 2 0.1%


21 Singapore 1 0.1%


21 Denmark 1 0.1%


21 Slovenia 1 0.1%



Others 217


Total 1,436 13.8%

07 November 2018

Aston Martin Sales (Nation) : 2017


I gathered from around the world, from different sources, sales for the evocative Aston Martin marque. This isn't a list that Andy Palmer (CEO AM) emailed to me, which would differ I am sure in detail if it was. Overall, it is a reflection of where they are sold. The only guess is the USA, where I had data from but it didn't add up. Perhaps it's time to send that email.

This is a company on the up. Sales are past the 5,000 mark and up 39%. An SUV is on the way and we know the sort of effect that can have on sales. The UK and US stand out as the strongest markets for Bentley, with Germany, China, Japan and Switzerland following. Australia does well and New Zealand is amazing for a country that size. That latter success is nothing to with me, by the way. I've never even sat in one, let alone bought one.


The colours below represent regions. Dark blue Americas, pale blue Europe, yellow Asia/Pacific and mustard Africa/Middle East. The figures are indicative rather than absolute, depending on the reliability of the source.



Rk Brand 2017 % +/-


1 UK 1,471 28.7% 62.4%


2 USA 1,150 22.5% 11.4%


3 Germany 380 7.4% 50.2%


4 China 350 6.8% 89.2%


5 Japan 321 6.3% 72.6%


6 Switzerland 217 4.2% 70.9%


7 Australia 144 2.8% 25.2%


8 France 115 2.2% 55.4%


9 NZ 58 1.1% 163.6%


10 UAE 51 1.0% -26.1%


11 Taiwan 49 1.0% 8.9%


12 Belgium 46 0.9% 155.6%


13 Italy 41 0.8% 141.2%


14 Hong Kong 36 0.7% 111.8%


15 Luxembourg 33 0.6% 37.5%


16 Netherlands 31 0.6% 181.8%


17 Sweden 29 0.6% 26.1%


17 Singapore 29 0.6% 107.1%


19 Turkey 25 0.5% -13.8%


20 Saudi Arabia 24 0.5% -71.8%


21 Spain 23 0.4% 43.8%


22 Israel 21 0.4% 61.5%


22 Kuwait 21 0.4% n/a


24 Philippines 18 0.4% 50.0%


24 Russia 18 0.4% 260.0%


26 Portugal 16 0.3% 128.6%


27 Austria 12 0.2% 9.1%


28 Norway 9 0.2% 200.0%


28 Czec Rep 9 0.2% 350.0%


30 Poland 7 0.1% 75.0%


31 Oman 6 0.1% n/a


32 Lebanon 5 0.1% 150.0%


33 Liechtenstein 2
100.0%


33 Hungary 2



35 Denmark 1
-66.7%


35 Mauritius 1
0.0%


35 Romania 1
0.0%



Others 345 6.7%



Listed Sales 4,772
41.3%


Actual Sales 5,117
38.8%






Production 5,164
39.9%


Prod Diff 47