27 October 2021

Europe Top 50 Models : 2021 (Q3)

The chart below is coded by colour into Europe, Asia and the US in terms where brand names are associated with, not who owns them. The 2021 figure is for nine months and two full previous years are included as a reference only. 

The VW Golf has been the darling of the European car scene for so many years but it is in decline, no doubt due to the pressure exerted by the SUV revolution. The Toyota Yaris is less affected and closing the gap with some haste. 

The Ford Puma has been a success for the company and although much has been made of the Tesla 3 being the top selling model in September, it is still yet to crack the top 20 in 2021. Sustained sales count, not the yo-yo variety. By the end of the year, we will see if last month has more substance to it. 

Data source: JATO.

26 October 2021

China Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

They say the devil is in the detail. The fact that imported models do not feature here can affect how some brands are portrayed. In some cases, smaller foreign brands don't appear at all as they import all their cars. In other instances, a marque imports a reasonable number of vehicles while assembling others, in which case the figure here will be far too low. 

Then I read some cars that are made in China and exported are included in the sales statistics below. If that's the case, the data is somewhat compromised, depending on the scale. Data should not be manipulated to enhance the performance of a local manufacturing operation at the expense of objective information. That is so odd, I find it hard to believe.    

The market was -9% YTD and down 19% in September with the chip shortage affecting registrations. That makes five months of consecutive decline. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. So which brands were able to improve their share? The colour shadings show which way the wind is blowing. 

VW is well ahead fell by some way this year in share. Toyota is steadily making its way up the list as is Changan. Tesla has arrived and moved quickly got into its stride. I wonder how that will go down with local officials? Cos has moved from obscurity in 2020 very quickly. 'Cause it's owned by Changan so one would think that's helped the brand get such an upswing in sales. 

Data source: CAAM.

In case you don't recognise it, it's a Changan Raeton CC

Bosnia-Herzegovina Brand Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for September were -1 but +14% YTD. That isn't enough to reach recent annual numbers - and by some distance - but at least an improvement. The '+/-' column below is comparing market hare variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. 

Škoda leads the way but not quite as convincingly. Toyota in particular has been doing well and although jumping three places, is some way off the next rung on the ladder. Kia has been making the most of stock shortages to press hard and here it is no exception. It can push exports knowing that a heavily protected domestic market is safe in the meantime.

24 October 2021

Opel & Ford Germany : 1977-2021

Opel and Ford were brands that invested heavily in Germany and both sold well there. For many years they were second and third best selling brands behind VW. Occasionally Mercedes got past Ford into third but would fall back again. In the UK Ford always outsold Vauxhall (Opel) but in Germany, it was the other way around. 

The chart immediately below shows market share and goes up to 20%. The graph covers from 1977 to 1999 and Opel (red) was consistently in the ascendency compared to Ford (blue). What you can't see below is that Mercedes passed Ford again in 1998 and apart from one lapse in 2009, stayed ahead of Ford until today. 

In fact, we can see that toward the end of the graph both Opel and Ford were declining in market share in the country which raises the question as to whether that slide was to be arrested.

Below we see from 2000 to 2021 on a larger scale of 12% share so don't compare the two graphs by physical size but by the percentage numbers on the sides. 

Ford leveled off from 2000 and held its share consistently. Opel's decline continued to 2012 when there was a slight uplift. By 2012 they had both been pushed back by Mercedes, BMW and Audi to fifth and sixth. Apart from a brief moment for Ford in 2019, neither have since matched the three marques that had passed them.

Ford overtook Opel in 2017 and in that same year, Opel was acquired by PSA. Ford then had a mini surge to 2019 then suddenly a change of policy has sent Ford plunging to seventh place by 2021. Opel was seventh in 2020 but is back up to fifth for 2021 in a possible revival of fortunes. 

So what do we learn from all of this? That mainstream manufacturers in have a lot of competition and they have to carefully guard their reputation by offering a strong, consistent product range. 

Opel lost its reputation as a top notch mainstream brand and ended up chasing volume to keep factories busy, but in the process became unprofitable. PSA is working hard to turn that around, focusing on product. That is showing signs of success but it's not a quick fix. 

Ford has done better in regard to maintaining a competitive range but is now following a global strategy of moving away from passenger cars, which will impact on the number of units sold. It needs a strong SUV / crossover range if that is all its passenger car range will be comprised of. 

Much is resting on models such as this for Ford

23 October 2021

Slovakia Sales: 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for cars were 13% for September and down -11% for the first nine months. That's surprisingly stable, perhaps having so many car plants there helps. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. 

Škoda is a brand from neighbouring Czech Republic but they were a united entity so it seems that history has kept the brand in the hearts of the local populous. It is down a little but still commands over 1 in 5 sales. For an open market that's high. 

Below that there are some contrasting fortunes. Both Hyundai and Kia are both on the up, while Dacia and Renault are quite the opposite. Supply is sometimes at the root of variances but not always. It must be a challenge for manufacturers to prioritise what's the best in a fast changing market.

22 October 2021

EV Registrations NZ : 2016-21

There is a push for greener cars in NZ. Electric cars already get a rebate but there is to be a feebate scheme introduced in April 2022 where low emission vehicles (-146gms) get a rebate, those in a middle band (146-192gms) nothing, and higher emitting ones ( +192gms) a fee. Vehicles over $80,000 can be charged a fee but not earn a rebate. Used imports are included too but not to the same degree.

It will be interesting to see how this works. Will sales of high emitting vehicles boom just prior and low emitting ones (not electric, which already are incentivised) go quiet as that date approaches? One would think so but that would be a one off scenario. For now, let's look at electric car / LCV sales for the past five years and nine months. I've only focused on pure electric and hydrogen, not the other variants which collectively sell in larger numbers. Heavy vehicles are also not included.

Registrations for electric cars and light commercials have grown from 87 to 4,266 (the latter nine months) in quick time. Tesla had a huge September 2021 but will it continue for the remainder of the year? Either way, 2021 is already 178% up on 2020. 

Hydrogen is shown below and that hasn't exactly been a rip roaring success. Refueling infrastructure is an issue for now but maybe the feebate scheme will help. I have always felt there is more potential for fuel cell rather than electric but for now electric well ahead due in no small part to fuel accessibility. 

Electric propulsion for cars is still small in NZ but is moving rapidly forward. More brands are getting in on the act but the pie is growing quickly enough for all to get a decent slice of it. Hydrogen fuel cell is not an option for the time being. 

Electric Vans

Electric vans that travel within a confined area, doing a daily mileage not too demanding are an ideal fit for electric propulsion. I'm surprised more haven't gone that way but the initial cost of purchase is probably a major factor in that. If a van requires a heavy payload, then fossil fuel vans again are the better bet. So what are some of the benefits of an electric van? 

Rebates. Depending on the country, there are incentives to entice buyers.

Running costs. Fewer moving parts should mean a lower maintenance cost and more reliable. Electric is cheaper than fossil fuel.

Image. Being able to claim a clean fleet of vehicles is a big plus.

Charging. It can be done at the end of the day at the place where the van sits while not in use. 

Workplace environment. For a driver spending all day in a van, it's a more serene place to be so less stressful. 

Ease of use. They have instant torque so nippy in traffic and with no gears, it's simpler to drive as well. Just accelerate or brake.

Future proofing. Depends on where you live but if restrictions are put in place to disadvantage vehicles based on emissions, then that one is already sorted. 

Summary. They are not the ideal solution for all van operators but for those doing work suited to such a van then they are a serious alternative to be considered.

21 October 2021

Israel Sales: 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for cars and light commercial vehicles were +38% for January to September, down from +54% for the first nine months. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020.

It looks like the year is heading for a record, an unusual achievement in 2021. So who gained and lost share? At the top, there was little change. Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Renault, Citroën and VW all have retreated in share if not in sales. Cupra became a stand-alone brand from SEAT, the latter holding up well considering having Cupra taken away.

Electric brands are making an impact with Tesla officially arriving, Aiways and Seres from China joining the electric push.   

Data source: Israel Vehicle Importers Association.

Liechtenstein Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for September were +0% and +13% YTD. That isn't enough to reach recent annual numbers but it is at least an improvement. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. So which brands were able to improve their share? it's all there for you below. You're welcome. 

Data source: Liechtensteinische Landesverwaltung

20 October 2021

Romania Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for September were -18% and YTD +4%. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. 

Dacia is the local brand but it has dropped 10% of the total market off its sales! I assume it has realigned its pricing. In fact, the four brands associated with the Renault-Nissan alliance have all fallen substantially. Is this the post-Ghosn effect? He was noted for pushing volume as a strategy. Ford, Toyota and Suzuki have pushed up the rankings as have premium marques generally. 

Data source: APIA.

Tunisia Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations of light vehicles for September were -3% and +32% YTD so much improved from 2020.  The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. 

It seems the big brands just got bigger. Hyundai has jumped from 8th to 1st in two years, displacing Kia in the process. Things are moving around here. Isuzu has fallen to 10th and Citroën has gone from 6th to 49th. The issue with the latter is to do with the brand ending its relationship with the importer. 

Sometimes brands appear and disappear so the data below needs to be accepted with that proviso. Tata suddenly showed up in 2021 despite being here in 2020 also. The Aunty figure is until June but by September it was missing.

19 October 2021

Korea Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for domestic sales and imports are handled separately. For September total registrations were -30% and -7% YTD. For imports, it's -7% and +12% respectively. Imports are therefore doing slightly better in 2021 so far. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. It includes passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. 

Domestic: Hyundai/Genesis and Kia are going OK, with the company's premium brand Genesis more so. Chevrolet sells mainly locally made models but does include imports but things aren't that flash in '21. Samsung and Ssangyong are both struggling. Even though the Korean car market is heavily protected, the sheer dominance of the Hyundai Group is leaving little room for them.

Import: Most of the sales here are for premium offerings, which are largely unaffected by import tariffs. The brands doing best here are German and US. Volvo is doing well but JLR has been dropping for a few years after being successful. In the case of JLR, as recently as 2018 combined sales were 15,500 but for nine months of 2021 a tiny 2,500. Put another way market share has moved from 0.9% to 0.2%. Most strange. 

I noticed during September, Hyundai and Kia sales really fall, whereas their export market sales have not done so. Are they prioritising exports over domestic sales while the semiconductor shortage goes on, knowing their heavily protected home market will have no option but to wait for their cars? Let's face it, when it comes to mainstream models, the Korean buyer has little choice. 

The Japanese have been under the cosh. Most have lost market share while Nissan and Infiniti pulled out altogether during 2020. In 2017, the two Nissan marques had 9,000 registrations but had walked away from that just a few years later.  

Summary: Allowing for a few small marques that don't reveal their sales, the number of brands on the market is not as many as one this size usually has. Protection is the basis for that but not all of it. When I look at other country's car sales, I get a feel of market forces and company policy moving things. In Korea, I sense there are additional factors that are at play too. Brands and even countries where they are sourced seem to fall in and out of favour. 

Singapore Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

 For a market that doesn't have a car industry to protect or get nationalistic over, it's surprising that a few brands have such a strong position. The COE system makes cars expensive and therefore favours higher ticket models, That still doesn't explain why a few privileged brands taking so many sales. 

Whatever the reasons, registrations for September were 15% and +18% YTD. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. So which brands were able to improve their share?

Toyota/Lexus, Mazda, Hyundai and Nissan have all gone well but Honda is well off last year. To think less than two years ago it was number one. Mercedes and BMW did OK but not Audi and VW so well. Tesla has come from nowhere but that is typical of the way it operates, that is to send cars in huge batches. Peugeot and Citroën were sound but Renault slumped. Big-ticket marques were successful. 

Data source: LTA Singapore.

18 October 2021

Greece Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for September were -7% and +36% YTD. The nine months of 2021 have been healthy but stock issues appear to be biting. It seems certain that registrations will exceed the 21st century average without difficulty. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. Many with a minus differential are in fact up but they lost share.

The top brands generally did well, with a poor patch in the middle and the lower end is a mixed bag. Toyota continued on its merry way as the top selling brand, although Peugeot is well placed just behind it. VW and Nissan dropped in terms of share, as did Škoda and Renault. Both Hyundai and Kia are making hay with not having a chip shortage to deal with like others do. Unless they are putting exports over domestic sales.

Data source: SEEA.

Uruguay Sales: 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for September were +28% and +33% YTD. The strong sales for the year so far reveal the strength of the market in 2021. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020.

So while things are well on the up, some managed to increase their slice of the pie while others achieved more registrations but got less pie. The top two slipped a bit with their share, but Hyundai and Fiat did rather well. Chevrolet fell to fifth place, with compatriot brand Ford in freefall. Ironically Ford is starting to assemble the Ford Transit in Uruguay but the data here excludes vans. Opel arrived in April so early days.

Data source: ACAU.

17 October 2021

Brazil Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

After five years of GM being the leading brand, that position has been taken over by VW in 2021. Fiat, Hyundai and Chrysler (Jeep) have all progressed well. GM's drop in volume is substantial due to various issues but has no plans to leave. Ford however ended production at the beginning of the year and registrations are reflecting that decision. 

Mercedes-Benz is ending car production but the effect on sales is yet to be fully felt. Will Audi follow suit? BMW continues with its local assembly and Land Rover is persisting with its low volume operation too. Its overall registrations grew but Jaguar not so (which fully imports). 

Registrations for September were -28% but +13% YTD. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. For the size of the market, the variety of brands isn't that wide but imports tariffs usually have that effect. 

Data sources: Anfavea, Abeiva.

Colombia Sales: 2021 (Jan-Sep)

The data below is for cars, light utilities and taxis. In a market with import duty, local assembly is required to have much success. Registrations for September were +16% and +46% YTD. The strong sales for the year so far still don't quite get the volume back to pre-Covid levels but go a long way toward that. 

The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. An increase in sales may register here as a minus in share. Renault took the lead in 2017 and has retained it ever since, now with a comfortable buffer back to Chevrolet. Mazda and Toyota are making up ground on Chevrolet with haste. 

Data source: Andemos.

16 October 2021

Norway Sales: 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Data is hard to get for Norway once one drops below the top 20 brands but I did manage to cobble some numbers together which are as accurate and as in as much depth as I can hope for. 

Registrations for September were +16% and +35% YTD. The strong sales for the year so far reveal the strength of the market in 2021. Looking at the historical sales, you wouldn't think there were any issues facing the car industry, such is the buoyancy of the registrations. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020.

Tesla bounces around not only from month to month but also year to year. It is currently the top selling brand but who knows whether that will be so in three months' time. Toyota is strong in hybrid technology and that is working for it in Norway as it moves into second place. VW dropped from first to third. 

Luxembourg Sales: 2021 (Jan-Sep)

MG will face an uphill battle to gain acceptance

Registrations for Cars and light commercial vehicles* for September were -5% and +23% YTD. The strong sales for the year so far reveal the strength of the market in 2021 and some favourable supply so far. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020.

VW is comfortably ahead although no brand has a commanding share. There is a clear preference for German brands with French ones also but to a lesser extent. Japanese and Asian makes are not overly sought after. 

*I normally would have just passenger cars but I failed to get the 2020 data for that so I asked Statistiques Luxembourg very nicely if they could oblige but they responded with a resounding silence. 

15 October 2021

Austria Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

 Registrations for September were -13% but +5% YTD. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020. So let's see who was able to not only cash in on the increase but also steal some share off others.

VW reinforced its lead over its Mladá Boleslav based sibling but the ones from Barcelona and Ingolstadt drew a bit closer. Sales for Jaguar have been very strong while the two new brands Cupra and MG are establishing themselves with healthy registration figures. In the luxury class, both Aston Martin and Mclaren are on the up. For one another brand, it could be a case of hit the road JAC. 

Data source: Statistik Austria.

Ssangyong Global Model Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Ssangyong has always been very open with its sales figures, even when they haven't been flattering. A stance others should embrace. The problem with the company is it cannot seem to establish itself as a successful company. It doesn't help that the Hyundai Group has a stranglehold on the local market. It, therefore, has to rely heavily on exports and they swing like a pendulum. 

For the year 2021, worldwide sales were -17%, with none of the models managing to reach positive territory. The range is limited but is in segments that are increasing. Exporting an average of just 2,350 units per month this year isn't going to save the brand. When exports go up, domestic sales fall and the current swing favours exports. 

The current majority shareholder Mahindra wants out but could not find a buyer. The company went under court receivership and put up a controlling stake for auction. With its operating loss increasing dramatically in 2020, it was always going to be a hard sell. Three bids were received by the deadline and one from that small group will presumably be accepted.

14 October 2021

Spain Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

Registrations for September were -16% but +9% YTD, following a pattern among many European markets. The '+/-' column below is comparing market share variance for nine months of 2021 with a full 2020 which shows which brands are taking more share and those losing it. 

None of the top brands could quite reach a 10% share, which shows that no one marque is particularly favoured which is a long standing situation. The last time double digit share was achieved back in 2005 by Renault. SEAT's sporty spin-off brand Cupra is making inroads very quickly. If the sales were combined with SEAT, then it would be over the 10% mark. 

Although sales are up, premium marques have mostly lost share, not surprising as they are less affected by the ups and downs that mainstream brands have to deal with. Green (share up) with yellow (less share).  

Data source: ANFAC.

Jaguar Global Sales : 2021 (Jan-Sep)

For the first nine months of the 2021 calendar year, Jaguar sold 71,863 cars. If you count the i-Pace as an SUV, then they accounted for 65% of sales, saloon cars 28% and the solitary sports car 7%. 

The F-Pace sets the pace with 34% of sales, or a third of the total and well up on the 27% of last year. The E-Pace is at 21% of sales, down 2 percentage points from 2020. The i-Pace is down to 10% of the total, the F-Type up to 7%. 

With the semiconductor shortage, one can't see a strong end to the year. The more profitable models will be prioritised as the best way to handle the situation in a positive way for the company. 

In the regions, China is the leader and contributed close to 30% of the Q3 total. There isn't much between the four main regions although the spread has widened in 2021. Jaguar's global reach beyond those main regions / countries has fallen to just 8%. The UK is particularly disappointing but not unexpected.