03 March 2021

Europe Top Mainstream Brands Graph : 2010-20


2017 Ford Fiesta

VW is the darling of the car market in Europe, traditionally led by the Golf. Selling well in the largest market in Europe helps of course but it has popularity is right across the region. The following pack is tightly knit and the order they hold is fluid. 

Renault and Peugeot too enjoy strong support at home, assisting them to have a strong showing. The UK has helped Ford and Vauxhall to be a numerical force in the region but poor sales there in 2020 wasn't helpful. Toyota has been a steady brand, less affected by the ups and downs the others have experienced. It is most popular in many smaller markets.

Other brands could have been added to the chart but for visual clarity only the main players are shown. 

Picture source: Netcarshow.

2020 Opel/Vauxhall Corsa

02 March 2021

Korea Premium Graph : 2020

With virtually all mainstream sales handed to local companies on a plate through tariff protection, imports are mainly of the premium variety. There wasn't a serious premium marque to fight the invaders, I mean imports. Then Genesis was spun off as a stand alone brand rather than it simply being  Hyundai models. Around the world the move hasn't been that successful so far  while in Korea it did well initially before levelled off for a few years.

Then in 2020, it took off in Korea. A renewed G80 car and the all new GV80 SUV seem to have been the catalyst. Sales in Korea in general were largely unaffected by the Covid virus so that helped things along too.

What is noticeable about the chart below is the growth in this segment. Back in 2000, the combined sales of all premium cars was a miniscule amount but the steep rise since 2010 in particular is highlighted in the graph below. 

There are six nameplates below although there was also JLR. It deleted them from the graph as recent sales have crashed for reasons I do not know. I don't think we will ever know. You will also see how Audi went almost off the chart in 2017, as a punishment for dieselgate. 

01 March 2021

Mexico Production By Company : 2020

Mexico has a vibrant vehicle industry from large trucks (not covered here) to small cars. It has recently had to deal with the US not being happy with the success of its car exports north. It also has an open market for imported cars, showing the rampant protectionism in Asia in established car making countries is simply not necessary. 

The total figure of 3 million was down 19%, which surprised no one with the Covid fallout. Passenger car volume was down 30%, which have the added issue of cars generally losing favour. Nissan makes a third of all cars and Kia one out of five. The diversity of brands is a notable plus although two left in 2020.

Light commercial vehicles did slightly better, being down 13%. GM now accounts for a third of that total and Chrysler one in five, that same pattern as cars. Two new brands entered here. 

28 February 2021

Japan Mainstream Domestic Brands Graph : 1995-2020

The local Japanese car market is heavily in favour of domestic brands. Partly because of the Kei car phenomenon but also due to strong support of what is local. So how have these Japanese mainstream brands fared over the past 25 years?

The 2001 Vitz

Toyota: It has a range of dealerships known as stores that handle different models. Toyota dealers sell premium vehicles, Toyopet dealers offer medium-priced cars, Corolla dealers provide mass-market models, and Netz dealers target younger drivers. Each chain has its exclusively sold vehicles. 

This is despite it doesn't even have a meaningful presence in the Kei car segment, which accounts for about a third of all sales. So Toyota takes about half of all regular car sales, something its four dealer styles has helped it to do. 

It is going to change how it does business as sales continue to steadily fall in Japan. However, for the chart below, the clear dominance of the brand is obvious. Bear in mind that Lexus sales were taken off Toyota's for the last dozen years.  

A 2005 Nissan Note

Nissan: They were for a long time a real competitor for Toyota but by 1995, the gap was widening and in 2020 it is one of the smaller of the local brands. The change seems to be that while the better selling models are still there, below them the numbers have shrunk. In this time it has gone from a brand with no Kei range to one accounting for about a third of sales.

Mitsubishi: This was the third best selling brand in 1995, but is now the smallest. From around 450,000 to barely managing 50,000! Virtually everything that applies to Nissan seems to fit here too. One exception is its Kei car mix is now half. Both have lost out badly in the regular car arena. 

The Honda N-Box a winner

Honda: It's done rather well for itself. Back in 2000, its Kei contribution was a third and now its a half. Not much has changed except for the N-Box model which is a huge success. 

Suzuki: It has steadily improved over the years, almost totally reliant on Kei models. Recently it has pulled back on them, from around 90% for many years to below 80%.

Daihatsu: Toyota's Kei brand, it has mainly hovered around the 95% and presently 90%. Of course, too much reliance on one category would be a disaster if that area suddenly fell for whatever reason. Maybe why some brands are moving away from total reliance on them. 

Mazda: A brand that has taken 85-90% of its sales in the regular segment, with little reliance on Kei cars. That has pitted against Toyota, so unsurprisingly it hasn't done that well. 

Subaru: It used to have over 40% of its sales from Kei but now not much more than 10%. It has a unique target market and while that isn't big, it is stable. Less sales over the years are lost Kei sales and I assume they are less profitable anyway.

27 February 2021

Slovakia Top 50 Models : 2020

No surprise that Škoda is the leading brand on the Top 50 list with a long time association with the brand when the country was combined with the Czech Rep. Hyundai/Kia, the VW Group, PSA and Land Rover all make cars here. 

Data source: Zap. Picture: Netcarshow.

26 February 2021

Uruguay Top 50 Models : 2020

The Uruguayan car market is an unusual mix of brands and models. There are many Chinese brands but few models make the Top 50. European, Japanese and US models sell best. Total sales were down 15% but many models still increased (shaded green).

The Renault Kwid (above) is the top of the pile in 2020, replacing the Onix / Prima from Chevrolet. The Joy model from that company is the old Onix which has now been replaced by a new car sourced from China. So if the Joy was included with the Onix, then it would be still the best selling model by some margin.

Data source: ACAU.

25 February 2021

Canada Top Nameplates Graph : 2000-20

                                  Canadian number one in summer...

The list doesn't show all the nameplates from the year 2000 that have graced the higher echelons of the Canadian car business. It does show the most prominent ones overall. Dodge and Ram are combined. It's not one of the prettier charts but still tells a story.

At the top for all but two years is Ford. The Blue Oval has displayed a consistency through all of the 21st century so far. Chevrolet took the lead in 2005 and Toyota for 2008 but otherwise it's been blue. Chevrolet has been unable to replicate Ford's staying power and is slipping away in more recent years. 

The Dodge/Ram combine has been up there throughout and and not suffered much in the way of highs and lows. Toyota and Honda has led the Japanese assault with some distinction but neither can match Ford's success. 

                                                       ..and in winter too

23 February 2021

Luxembourg Premium Comparison : 2018-20

                                               This is the one, apparently

If you were judging the principality on car sales data, one could be excused for thinking the country is safe, predictable. German premium is a safe call, while they are under warranty at least. I think they are too common and an uninspiring choice. 

The BMW Group keeps a solid lead thanks to the assistance of MINI. Volvo is doing well elsewhere but hit a speed bump here. JLR, Alfa Romeo and Lexus are all in a consistent retreat. All very predictable.

Data source: Statistiques Luxembourg.

Liechtenstein Top 30 Models : 2020

 This is a small, landlocked state in Europe. Quite a few cars are sold here considering its size. So what sells here? The top 30 (actually, it's a top 36 models but who's counting?) is well endowed with German premium models. The number sa re small so even a variance of a few sales from year to year has models going up and down like yo-yos.

The VW Golf did have a substantial drop in sales, plummeting from first to seventeenth! The Renault Zoe went the other way in even more spectacular manner, up to third. 

21 February 2021

Nissan UK Production : 2018-19 (By Model)

I just came across 2019 UK production for Nissan and Infiniti. It tells a story of a company pulling back on volume and refocusing on creating a more compact business strategy. The former has got many a car company into financial strife. 

In 2018, the output at the Sunderland plant was 442,000 and 2019 346,500. The 2020 figure is 246,000, obviously hampered by the corona virus. I haven't got the 2020 breakdown by model, in case you're wondering why it isn't on the chart below.  

Back to what we do know, the Qashqai (the new 2021 model is pictured above) added up to three out of four cars coming off the assembly line in 2019. The Juke and Leaf basically made up the rest with the Infiniti Q30 in production runout mode. 

During 2020, a new Juke model came out so that would have changed the model mix somewhat. Then in early to mid 2021, the new Qashqai as shown above is available. If 2021 isn't disrupted too much, then things may be on the up in 2021 at the plant in the North East of England. Some local support wouldn't go amiss either. 

20 February 2021

UK Premium Graph : 2020

I've chosen the five main premium groups which are the biggest selling anyway. I seem to get statistics so generally aren't into pie charts and the like but a bar graph like this does give perspective to data over a long period.

Here we see back in 2000 BMW narrowly led Mercedes with JLR just ahead of Audi and Volvo in touch with the others. Then the segment took off at about the time the MINI arrived. This worked out brilliantly well for BMW as a strong lead was established. 

Audi then got past Mercedes and JLR pursued them while Volvo stagnated. For the latter that was a common situation. Recently Volvo has strengthened its position although with some way still to go. JLR should do better in its home market but loyalty is something lost to many in the UK.

Which leaves the top three. Mercedes got back to second but 2020 had them and Audi about even with Mercedes enduring a huge drop. BMW/MINI is still well ahead but felt the drop no doubt. 

19 February 2021

Italy Vehicle Production : 2018-19 (By Brand)

The vehicle production numbers were down 14% in 2019, after a 7% fall the year before. It sounds bad but back in 2013 there were 650,000 units made compared to the 900,000 in 2019. There is some variance in terms of brands and models in the figures below, which spreads risk of a sudden downturn. 

With passenger cars, Fiat made up half the number as you would expect. Jeep accounting for 30% may be more surprising. Alfa Romeo and Maserati had a couple of good years not long back but have suffered more recently. 

The 2019 Ferrari and Lamborghini numbers are correct when combined but I did the division into marque. I based it on 2018 with the same increase for each. Between then, they did well.

The article for the 2017-18 equivalent is also available (click here) 

As for commercial vehicles, they were much more consistent as they usually are. Fiat and Iveco took the lion's share of the total but PSA made its mark as well. 

18 February 2021

Portugal Production : 2019/20 (By Brand)

Getting data for production is increasingly difficult. The car industry has been more open than most but it may be it is becoming more sensitive about how such information will be presented. Portugal is still still allowing us to see what's going on there and may that continue. You may not be aware that the country even has vehicle assembly. I wrote an article back in 2017 and it is worth a visit (click here)  

The VW Group is the largest assembler, making the VW T-Roc, Sharan and SEAT Alhambra. PSA chimes in with the Peugeot Partner, Citroën Berlingo and Opel/Vauxhall Combo. Fuso do the Canter  and finally, Toyota with the Land Cruiser. It has also entered a strategic alliance with Caetano in making buses.  

Data source: ACAP. 

Passenger cars were up an impressive 20%  in 2019 but understandably were down 25% in 2020. 

Commercial vehicle production followed the same trend as pcs. PSA is the mainstay of this area which now includes Opel/Vauxhall too. 

17 February 2021

Luxembourg Car/LCV Sales : 2020

Registrations for the year were -18%  and -10% on the previous year's average. Green shows increase and yellow the opposite. VW retains its top spot over the three German premium marques, despite having its lead cut. Škoda jumped three places to take 5th placing with a 12% increase in registrations. Renault and Peugeot had substantial falls.

I put Jaguar and Land Rover as one entity due to the data being inconclusive regarding which one got which sales. Apparently that is how it is supplied to Statistics Luxembourg.  

Data source: Statistiques Luxembourg.

15 February 2021

NZ Light Vehicle Top 25 Model Sales : 2020

                    A pick up truck and a boat. What more could a Kiwi want?

Sales data by model in NZ is rarer than hen's teeth. I assume the agencies involved with collating the data make a financial return on it so one can't grumble if that is the case. I cobbled this together as best I could. 

The love affair with the pick up truck continues as with SUVs/CUVs. The Ford Ranger remains comfortably on top, something that sticks in the craw of Toyota. They have veiled digs at Ford being a one vehicle brand, which it is basically. 

Another point of note is that with the Covid-19 disruption, the large number of tourists that grace these shores have suddenly evaporated. That has impacted on rental car sales, something Toyota dominated with the likes of the Corolla. That model dropped 62% in registrations. Ouch! 

The once popular Holden brand has all but gone, but the successful Colorado pick up still managed 2,500 sales in its runout year. The brand won't be seen on any top model sales list again. 

USA Top Nameplates Graph : 2000-20

Priority parking at its best

Back at the beginning of the 21st century, it was still Ford and Chevrolet that dominated proceedings. As their sales fell, they both lost ground to other makes, particularly Toyota. So those three are the leading nameplates, with Honda, Dodge/Ram and Nissan not able to close the gap. Nissan tried to get past Honda but has recently decided not to chase volume.

14 February 2021

Germany Premium Marque Sales Graph : 2000-2020

It doesn't take profound powers of observation to notice the strong leaning for German branded premium cars. In fact, Lexus was left out altogether as it barely registered as a intermittent line along the bottom rung of the graph. At least Volvo and JLR do get some recognition, albeit scant. 

Back in the year 2000, Mercedes (red) was well ahead but it steadily declined. The MINI enabled BMW to pull away from Audi and strive to assert itself as top dog. That battle is still being won by Mercedes but only just. Any pretentions Audi had to join the tussle seem to be fading for now at least.

Which leave Volvo and JLR to meander along, effectively like bottom feeders in a deep pond.    

13 February 2021

JLR Historical Sales Graph : 2010-2020

How has the last decade gone for Jaguar & Land Rover? Overall a success but it may not feel like that. Back in 2010, sales of Land Rover were about 180,000 and Jaguar 50,000. With an expanding product portfolio and China booming, sales peaked in 2017, with Land Rover nudging 450,000 units and Jaguar 180,000. 

Things changed. Diesel sales in Europe were hit after the VW fiasco and sales in China crumbled. Now the virus in 2020 and volumes are well down on their peak. However, they are still ahead of sales even a decade ago, thanks to an expanded range. 

Profit is more the focus for many manufacturers and JLR is progressing well in that department. Chasing volume is risky and costly when it isn't sustained. Numerical growth should be achieved in a restrained way. Otherwise one can end up with a boom and bust scenario.