17 April 2024

Korea Passenger Car/LCV Sales : Q1 2024

Apart from some high ticket brands, the data below covers the vast majority of sales. The total market and imports are both down 12% YTD. As a market that heavily favours locally made - both with steep import duty and occasionally other means - it is dominated by a few domestic brands. Kia for now leads but has an ongoing lead change dogfight with Hyundai. 

Hyundai's premium marque Genesis is doing well while KG Mobility (formerly SsangYong) moved into fifth place courtesy of a fast falling Mercedes-Benz. Chevrolet is mainly locally made vehicles and Renault Korea was formerly known as Samsung. 

Imports lost two more marques for 2024 in the form of Jaguar and DS. The way some of the brands at the lower end of the list are faring, there may be more to follow. 

Data source: Kaida, Kama.

16 April 2024

Japan Passenger Car Sales : Q1 2024

Scandals don't go down well in Japan. The culture is about face and losing it brings shame. Open apology and remorse mitigates some of the lost face but not all of it. That's how I see things but I'm not an expert in Japanese culture.

Daihatsu has recently been exposed for fraudulent vehicle testing. Production was halted for months as a result as the sales data below clearly shows. Toyota is the owner of Daihatsu and they haven't been immune to the fallout. Mazda obtains cars from them and may have been affected but less than the other two mentioned.

The Daihatsu Tanto Fun Cross (on the right) sums things up rather well. No fun for the company and no doubt has made the parent company Toyota very cross. It could be a while before Daihatsu is out of the woods over this scandal.

Total sales were down 16% with import brands down just 1%. The data below compares Q1 of 2024 with a complete 2023. Toyota losing 12% of its share in a market down 16% means Q1 2024 volume is actually 28% lower than 2023. Ouch! Daihatsu is much worse, of course. 

This has enabled other Japanese brands unaffected by the scandal to improve their situation markedly. As the year progresses, things may gradually return closer to what they were before but the damage already wreaked will not be fully erased this year and perhaps beyond.  

Data source: JAMA, JAIA.

14 April 2024

NZ Passenger Car Sales : Q1 2024

Registrations in 2024 for new cars were down 35% in March and 20% YTD. This is due at least in part to an economic slowdown. It may also reflect the reality that constant price increases have now pushed new cars out of reach of many who would have otherwise bought one. 

Total sales thus far are 21,580 units. Added to that were 26,670 used cars, almost exclusively sourced from Japan. They were up 8.5% YTD so faring better than new, for now at least. A useful alternative to overpriced new cars. 

What a difference a year can make, especially when government policy changes. Out went rebates and fees favouring or punishing purchases based on emissions and that caused a dramatic shift in models purchased. Another factor in the swing is from July of this year electric and hybrid cars which previously did not contribute to roading costs will be paying a road user charge.

So things have been stirred up. The data below is for passenger cars only so light commercials and pickup trucks are not included. The Diff column below shows market share change, Q1 of 2024 versus a full 2023. What does an overview of the data show us? 

For brands strongly favouring electric models, MG (-39%), Tesla (-61%), BYD (-81%) and Polestar (-85%) all suffering market share collapse in a market already on a downward slide. It shows how much subsidies prop up low emissions cars. I didn't call them environmentally friendly as I wonder about that.  

It's still early days and as the year progresses, we will see if what has happened so far will continue to the same degree. And in case you were wondering what the one 'Other' is below, it was a Morgan. 

Data source: MIA.