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. Fewer 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 at 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 model 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 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 not suffered much in the way of highs and lows. Toyota and Honda have led the Japanese assault with some distinction but neither can match Ford's success. 

                                                       ..and in winter too

23 February 2021

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 numbers are 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 an even more spectacular manner, up to third. 

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.

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 in 2019 346,500. The 2020 figure is 246,000, obviously hampered by the coronavirus. 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. 

In 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 the 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 each marque. I based it on 2018 with the same increase for each. Between them, they did well.

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

As for commercial vehicles, they were much more consistent than 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 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 does 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 an 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 pickup truck and a boat. What more could a Kiwi want?

Sales data by the 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 pickup 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 an 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 the top dog. That battle is still being won by Mercedes but only just. Any pretensions 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. 

Toyota/Lexus Production By Nation : 2020

All assembly lines have robots but I didn't know they gave them sweaters too

Production was -10% in 2020, a very strong result. The total* of just under 8 million was the lowest since 2011 but the changes from year to year are slight, so we're not talking large variances here. 

Asia is the leading region for production with 67.5% of the total. Japan is the largest of that with 54.8% of the 5.3 million units. China grew but still only had just under 29%. Production in North America is led by the USA with 1 million units and 63% of the region's contribution. 

Europe was down 13%, with Turkey (32%) and France (28%) accounting for 60% of the region. Brazil and Argentina are the two South American producers while South Africa dominates that continent. 

*Source: Toyota. Data below excludes Daihatsu and Hino. 

12 February 2021

Toyota/Lexus Sales By Nation : 2020

Sales* were only down 11% for the year, a good result considering the world as it is at the moment. Toyota is now the largest company in the world, including all four of its divisions. 

Asia is the largest region for the company, with 49.2% of the total. China is the leading country within that region with 42.1% of the Asian total. Japan is next with 35.2% of the region. 

The USA remains the biggest national market and accounts for 87% of the North American total. North America has 27.7% of total sales for Toyota/Lexus and decreased 13% in 2020. 

Europe did quite well with just a 9% fall-off in sales volume. The UK is the leading market in the region, just ahead of Russia. Germany is surprisingly low seeing as it has far more sales overall. 

C & S America dropped by nearly a third, Brazil being the main culprit. Gulf States, Australia and South Africa are the three main countries in the remainder of the world, collectively down 16%.

*Source: Toyota. Data below excludes Daihatsu and Hino. 

Vietnam Top 50 Passenger Car Models: 2020

As the figures below only pertain to locally assembled, there may be the odd import vehicle that missed its moment of fame in not being included on this list. That's the price you pay for not putting yourself out there.

The Toyota Vios must be conspicuous on streets around the country as it is far and away the best selling model. The Mitsubishi Xpander is next and the Ford Ranger jumped two placings to third. Apart from Ford and Peugeot minibus, it's all Japanese. 

Data source: VAMA.

Nissan Global Sales & Production : 2020

Nissan is in a period of readjustment following the departure of Carlos Ghosn. He drove volume as a strategy for success. The new way is less volume to achieve the same outcome. Generally, I would favour the latter but somehow Mr Ghosn seemed to make his way work. 

Production: That dropped 9% in 2019 and 27% in 2020. The coronavirus had a profound impact on the latter but some sort of decrease would have occurred anyway due to the aforementioned change of policy.  

China was least affected by events of 2020 and now represents nearly 40% of all production. That is now at its highest historical percentage. Conversely, the UK is at its lowest percentage since 1992, when production in that country was in its infancy.

The Other figure is rather large, possibly some from plants owned by Renault.

Sales: It's interesting that these numbers don't quite align with production, usually being slightly higher. The gap widened over the last couple of years, possibly due to adjusting stock levels. 

China is the largest region, having passed North America in 2020. That's another first too. Europe is down to barely 400,000 sales and 10% of the total.