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.

13 April 2024

Lucid Deliveries/Production : Q1 2024

Lucid has released its Q1 data for both deliveries and production. It's a tough time to be starting up a car company due to intense competition and electric sales that are no longer increasing in leaps and bounds.

Deliveries: A positive figure here, the best since the company started deliveries at the end of 2021. It's also 40% up on the first quarter of 2023. That increase needs to be maintained at the very least which would put deliveries at 8,400 by the end of the year. 

Production: The Q1 figure was surprisingly low. Apparently, something like 800 cars have been assembled in Saudi Arabia so far making that figure even more puzzling. Production did exceed deliveries in 2023 so was this about reducing inventory? It is only one quarter and things could change. The goal for car assembly to be in the region of 9,000 cars for the year. 

New model: Lucid will release the Gravity SUV later in the year (see picture below). Surely that will be a model with more potential as SUVs are what most people want. The majority shareholder Saudi Public Investment Fund's financial assistance has been critical in getting this new model into production. 

Data & picture source: Lucid. 

12 April 2024

Aston Martin Sales : 2022/23

A brief history: In January of 1913, Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin decided to make their own cars. In 1947, a wealthy industrialist David Brown saw Aston Martin as an investment opportunity. Then from 1963 forward, AM got a lot of publicity as James Bond's preferred set of wheels. Lawrence Stroll took control of the company in 2020. 110 years of history in total.

Regions: Wholesale deliveries were up 3% for 2023. There was a dramatic regional shift in volume during this brief period. The Americas increased 3% to get roughly a third of total volume. The shift came with EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa less UK) up 32% but Asia/Pacific down 20%. I'm assuming China was the main reason for the latter but unlike other companies, China isn't shown as a stand alone region so we can but speculate. The UK was up 3%, replicating the Americas but with less volume. 

Models: The GT/sports car collection take top honours here with just over 3,500 units. The DBX was just shy of 3,000 and the Specials 151 (mostly if not entirely Valkyries). As the DBX is made in Wales, that represents the number of cars made in that Principality.

Data source: Aston Martin.