08 September 2022

Russia Model Sales : August 2022

Passenger cars: On the model front, the departure of Western brands is very much having an impact. Russian and Chinese (shaded yellow) are more prominent. The Granta and Niva are doing the best for Lada as the assembly has restarted for those models. 

Geely assembles cars in Belarus so I assume that is helping that brand. The Coolray was the fifth best selling model in August. I'd probably buy one just for the name alone. 

Of the foreign brands, Hyundai and Kia seem the slowest to be exiting, possibly due to higher stock levels. One would assume by the end of the year they will all have cleared the decks so to speak.

Data source: AEB.

Light Commercials: Russian LCV manufacturers GAZ and UAZ have always been fairly strong anyway but for now at least they have the market much to themselves. Chinese firm DFM is already getting in on the act and that may be the start of many more Chinese models to come.

Russian Car Market New Direction

The Russian car market is protected by import duty so brands with any volume of note had assembly plants. Sanctions came and foreign producers decided to pull out. Lada was owned so by Renault so that was an uncertain situation too. 

Renault gave away its ownership, leaving the national car maker to find its own way. With Lada, some Chinese assembly and a few local light commercial companies, it didn't look too flash. Of course, there are plenty of cars for Russians to drive around in so it wasn't a big deal for now but in time an issue of growing concern.

A quick overview of domestic registrations shows August '22 they were -62% and -64 YTD so were understandably well down and August was par for the YTD figure. Where can new stock be obtained? 

After a pause, Lada first started production of the Granta but without ABS, airbags, belt tensioners or an immobilizer. It now features two front airbags so that's an improvement. Shortly thereafter, the Niva Legend also recommenced but the Vesta, Largus and X-Ray are not being made and Lada has had problems bringing them back into production. 

The other source to tap into is China, not large suppliers of cars at present with import duty on anything imported impacting on the price unless large scale assembly is embarked on. Currency fluctuations and reputations affected by dealing with Russia will also be issues to consider. 

Below are sales for August and already we can see Lada and Chinese brands taking over as others sell off existing stock. All the brands doing best are local and Chinese (yellow shading). Lada's sales increased 75% on July while market share has gone up from 18% to 43% compared to August '21. However, with sales well down, volume was actually down too, albeit only to a slight degree. 

Data source: AEB.

27 August 2022

The Big Truck Market Down Under

Anyone that regularly follows this blog will know that in this neck of the woods the pickup is very popular. It suits an outdoor lifestyle, with enough space to maneuver and park them as well. The size of the vehicles is large but not by North American standards.

Until now. There is a market opening up for the larger pickup that is common on Stateside driveways. The problem is in the US they drive on the wrong side of the road. To get around that, there is an industry that has recently sprung up in Australia where large pickups are being converted to right hand drive. 

The Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 are already sold in NZ. The Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra are also coming down under, as manufacturers cash in on the small but increasing desire for such large pickups to compliment the 'smaller' ones that already sell well here. 

All sorted then. Well, not quite. Ford NZ is still yet to confirm the F-150 and it seems Toyota NZ may have ruled out the Tundra. In the case of the latter, the company has committed to reducing carbon emissions across its fleet of new vehicles. The Tundra would negatively impact that. 

It surprised me that the interest in this sort of super sized transport even has potential here. Its days are numbered anyway unless it eventually moves to electric propulsion, something diehard pickup owners are not too keen on. The car industry is having to change as many governments put incentives in place to encourage the take up of low or no emission vehicles. Perhaps it's a case of getting them (fossil fuel trucks) while you can.