29 January 2023

Europe Sales : 2022

Registrations for December were up a promising 15% and for 2022 -4% so the deficit wasn't fully erased. The '+/- diff' column below is for market share change.. Green means market share gain but not necessarily an increase in sales. 

VW is protecting its double digit share and still holds a clear lead over the competition. Toyota meanwhile is gradually improving its position with steady, incremental gains. VW will not want to relinquish top spot to its global rival in its own backyard. 

Some of the smaller brands are doing well, green being a prominent colour further down the list. As new brands arrive due to a push for greener cars, unusual names are popping up, some not listed here due to their size. I'm surprised the supplier of this data didn't include BYD so I did some maths and came up with a reasonable estimate. 

How Europe is defined and therefore how far to go collating sales statistics will vary by source. I've also noticed when the following year's sales are presented, the previous year's numbers are modified with improved data used to refine the figures. So some of the 2022 numbers will be updated at the end of 2023. At least we have a good idea of how things are. Those who put the numbers together are to be commended as it can't be easy with some sources in particular. 

Data source: ANE.

28 January 2023

Is Korea Being Treated As Hogu?

I was reading a Korean article online (translated) and it said some car companies view Korea as a hogu. What does Hogu mean? It's the amour worn by practitioners of Taekwondo. But is that all?

A Google search revealed it also can also be a slang term meaning someone who is foolish (or stupid) and easily deceived by others.

Reading on, it said Tesla has an overall operating profit of 12.1% but in Korea it's 1.5%. Porsche 16% and 3.5%, Mercedes-Benz 17.2% and 3.5%, BMW 12% and 2.1%. It was claimed that cars are overpriced when sent to Korea to reduce profit made within Korea. this is a trick to avoid corporate tax in Korea. These are successful marques in Korea, MB sold over 80,000 cars in Korea last year, BMW 78,500, Porsche 9,000 and Tesla estimates vary wildly.

If true, why are companies picking on Korea to do that? High corporate taxation in Korea would be an obvious reason but I don't know about such things. Is Korea a hogu, a place that easily tricked? I know that the second point isn't true. For example, it watches import brands' claims on fuel consumption closely and severely punishes any perceived transgressions in that regard.  

As for the Korean car market, it's no eldorado. Some of the casualties of late have been Subaru (left in 2012), Mitsubishi (2013), Fiat (2017), Nissan and Infiniti (2019) and Citroën sold its last car in April of  2022 and Jaguar sales all but ceased. 

So if Korea was foolish enough to be taken advantage of, some brands missed an opportunity. Is this a way to discredit successful import brands or unfair tax avoidance? I can't say but the culture in Asia generally is anti trade and pro export. The Korean car market - like many others in the region - is protected when it is now strong enough not to need any at all. 

I'm not into politics be it government or business so I'm not playing such. Fairness is very important to me as it is for most people yet the world is anything but fair at times. I just want to know what is the truth in all of this but maybe it's not for us to know.  

Slovakia Top 50 Sales : 2022

An even mix of Asian and Euro brands are spread across the chart below. Hyundai and Kia lead with both gaining about 1% more in market share. It may not sound much but it's quite a slice of the pie. 

Last year's kingpin Škoda Fabia knocked back to third, not surprising as it lost a sizable 2.7% of its market share. The Škoda brand is still well represented but not as well this time. 

Data source: ZAP SR.