30 April 2023

Mexico Top 40 Light Vehicles : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

Nissan is well respected around these parts, taking four of the top six spots. Overall a mix of brands from various regions, reflecting an open marketplace. The picture above is the Chevrolet S-10, a rebadged Maxus T70 from China. Below is pictured the Dodge Attitude which is a rebadged Mitsubishi Attrage. 

Data source: INEGI.

Poland Top 50 Passenger Car Models : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

If you live in Poland and drive a Yaris or Yaris Cross, then you're not alone. In fact, you will be waving at so many passing cars, acknowledging the form of transport you share in common. Until you got tired of it or develop RSI. I jest of course.

Toyota had the top three models with the Corolla making up the trifecta. Škoda had several models that proved popular too. 

Source: Various.

Nissan/Infiniti Prod/Sales (By Nation/Region) : 2021-23

For the first quarter, Nissan's production was +2% and sales -6%. So we will break it down further to see what's happened.

Production: There are five main producing nations Nissan separate data for. China is the largest but for Q1, volume was -36%. Japan was +29%, the U.S. +12%, Mexico +43%, the U.K. +38% and the remainder +6%. China could have put a real damper on things but all the others negated that with strong growth. 

Data Source: Nissan. 

Sales: In Q1 North America has moved swiftly past China, the former with a sales surge of 17% and the latter -46%. Clearly, the days of huge sales success for Western car makers in China is coming to an end as they become increasingly marginalised. As for the rest, Europe was +29% with Japan and Others both +4%. 

Poland Passenger Car Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

Registrations were up 25% in March and 21% YTD. Toyota's share is the highest it has ever been and easily so. Škoda surrendered its lead back in 2020 and the gap has quickly become a substantial one. Audi has also achieved its best share ever as it pushes its volume in Europe. 

Europe Top 40 Passenger Car Models : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

From 2008 to 2021 the VW Golf was the best selling car in the region. That's fourteen consecutive years. Then the Peugeot 208 was top in 2022. The Golf suddenly fell to fifth despite its huge popularity in Europe's biggest market, Germany. What's happening in 2023? 

The Tesla Y is the best selling model in Europe in 2023..so far. I don't think many doubt it will still be so come the end of the year. The Dacia Sandero (pictured above) is next and I think that is fantastic. A brand that trades on value rather than tons of features many don't want or need anyway. I hope Dacia continues to prosper on what I call its 'get real' strategy. 

VW is the largest brand in Europe but third is its best place in can manage with the T-Roc and 52,000 sales. The Opel Corsa (picture at the base of the article). Due to supply issues, a regular top ten model the Nissan Qashqai was back on 23rd but with a new model and better supply back up to 11th. And where is the perennial leader in Germany, the VW Golf? Ninth so far.  

Data source: Automotive News Europe. 

29 April 2023

Toyota/Lexus Production (By Nation) : 2022-23

Global production was up 4.6% for the first Quarter of 2023. Japan was +19%, the rest of Asia was -2.5%,  North America +3%, Latin America +10%, Europe -11% and Africa  -15%. 

Asia (including Japan) contributed 2 in every 3 vehicles made, North America 1 in 5 and Europe 1 in 13. Japan alone made 1 in 3. China and the US are the next two largest producers. Thailand and Canada come 4th and 5th. The UK could do with a second model.

Data source: Toyota Group.

Europe Passenger Car Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

What constitutes Europe varies slightly by source so comparing doesn't bring identical results. Here it's ANE with some estimates for some small brands. That still leaves a few thousand unaccounted for. For Mrch registrations were up 25% and up 17% for the year to March. 

Over the last few years, VW easily retains the top spot but with a slightly reduced market share. Toyota and Audi have progressed with Renault going the other way. BMW has retreated in 2023, a stated intention by them that looks to being carried out. Early days to be certain. Mitsubishi looks like its winding down in Europe. 

Data source: Based on Automotive News Europe. 

Lexus Regional Sales : 2021-23

Lexus was conceived as a North American brand, utilising top of the range Toyota models. Lexus arrived in the US in 1989 and it gradually expanded beyond North America. Toyota is a name so revered in Japan it wasn't deemed necessary to have a distinctive brand there so wasn't introduced there. 

It finally made its debut in Japan for the year 2005 but it wasn't that successful. It was outsold by both Mercedes and BMW for some years. It passed the latter in 2019 and likewise Mercedes in 2023 to become the top selling premium brand in its homeland. 

Looking at regions, North America still takes nearly half of all Leexus cars sold. Asia was accounting for a third of sales but so far in 2023 just under a quarter, presumably lower sales in China are the reason for that. Japan has suddenly moved up 10 percentage points! That's why it's become the top premium brand in Japan.  

As for the rest, Europe is a very disappointing 7% of sales. German premium marques chase volume in ways Lexus isn't. The Middle East has had an unturn and now not far behond Europe. 

In Q1, global sales are up 4.3%. Japan is +142%, the Middle East +55%, Latin America +20% North America +9% and Oceania +8%. Europe is -6%, Africa -7% and Asia (excluding Japan) -32%. So most areas are doing well but Asia took much of the wind out of the sales. 

Data source: Toyota Group.

Turkey Top 40 Passenger Car Models : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

Fiat promotes locally made through import duty and so a few models stand out because of that. None more so than the Fiat Egea or Tipo as it is known elsewhere. The Clio also is popular and Dacia shines with the Duster. 

28 April 2023

Czech Rep Passenger Car Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

Registrations were up 32% in March and 19% YTD. Škoda's market share of 34.5% may look exceptional but that is on par with recent history. Competing brands accept double digit share just isn't going to happen.

Premium brands did well, improving their rankings in the process. Tesla is making waves in Europe but not so much here, not yet anyway. Chinese brands aren't doing much either so electric cars are still not that common I'd assume. 

Data source: SDA.

South Africa Top 40 Car/PU Models : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

The RSA is a Toyota stronghold. It's based around - but by no means totally reliant on - the Hilux.  The Corolla Cross comes next before the Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-Max pickup trucks or bakkies as they are called here. VW gets a couple of entries in the top ten, the older version Polo and the new one. Renault has used Dacia sourced models and some from India with success.

Singapore Passenger Car Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

With registrations down 6% in March and likewise, with a year to date drop of 17%, the end figure of 6,500 isn't brilliant. With a new purchase licencing system keeping sales very low and favouring more expensive cars, it does create a distorted market. Premium cars are well represented. 

Toyota/Lexus are combined but I'm curious what the sales ratio would be. Apart neither would probably be at the top. Mercedes is popular here and was at the top of the ranking briefly in 2013. BMW was for the two years before that. Rolls Royce is well placed at 23rd, not often one can say that.  

Data source: LTA.

South Africa Car/LCV Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

For passenger cars and light commercials sales were -1% in March but +2% for the YTD. Not much change there but increasing interest rates are likely to keep things subdued, depending on how that pans out for the year.

Toyota is well out in front, with share up a full 2%. VW lost 1.5% share so is losing ground. Suzuki was about the same so it is getting closer to the second spot. Nissan grew usefully by nearly 1% share to pass Hyundai which lost what Nissan gained. 

Chinese brands aren't that common, Haval and GWM settled and Chery arrived with immediate success. After a failed previous attempt, it should do better this time around but here that takes the brand will be interesting. 

27 April 2023

VW Group Global Division Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

Sales fell 7% last year but the first quarter of 2023 was up 24%. The increase was well spread. Mainstream brands were +24%, Premium also +24%, Sport 16% and the Traton commercial wing +30%. I don't think the Traton heavy commercial side of the business is well known (VW Truck bottom picture), which is not to be confused with VW LCVs (middle picture). 

All regions increased with Asia being the quietest. China was the largest but Western Europe is now. Not a bad thing I feel. 

NZ Fuel Type Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

New Zealand introduced a clean car scheme where cars attract rebates, or fees according to their emissions or lack of. Some in the middle of the spectrum attract neither. Ideally, it was supposed to pay for itself but has cost in excess of NZD 200 million so far. Considering electric and hybrid sales haven't been exceptional, I don't know why it wasn't calibrated to get close to or be neutral.

Is the cost worth the trouble? So far this year petrol takes 35% of sales, diesel slightly less, hybrid 19% and electric 12%; ICE vehicles 68% and hybrid/electric 32%. The percentages would be less for the non-ICE vehicles without rebates and so authorities seem happy with the result. The rebate/fee allocation will be reviewed at some point.

With fully electric vehicles up from 10% in 2022 to 12.3% already in 2023, clear progress is evident. For the many who don't feel electric will work for them, there are hybrids but it takes years to break even due to the initial extra cost. NZ has also reduced its fossil fuel tax to assist in keeping inflation in check which hasn't helped in the move away from ICE vehicles.  

The tax level on fossil fuel will soon return to normal and the cost benefit for electric and hybrid cars will improve. How that will affect future sales will be interesting. 

For those interested in sales by brand, see below.

Data source: MIA.

Toyota/Lexus Euro Model Sales : 2023 (Jan-Mar)

The region covered by Toyota Europe extends into Turkey, Caucasus, Kazakhstan and Israel. Toyota and Lexus sales were up 2.5% (Toyota +3% and Lexus -5%) with market share 6.9%. 71% of sales are from models having electrification aiding their propulsion. 

Toyota: The Yaris Cross was the most popular model, followed by the regular Yaris. Then come the C-HR and Corolla (hatch, sports tourer and sedan). I'm surprised the Corolla Cross and bZ4X don't figure in the data but they must be contained within 'Others'. Strange.

This list includes light commercials as well. The Hilux is top there, ahead of the two ProAce models. Maybe a few lcv sales are also in the 'Others'. The figures provided didn't quite add up either, out exactly by Hilux sales. I assumed the total was correct and reduced the 'Others' figure by that amount. 

Lexus: 85% of sales came from the SUV range (models ending with X). Down slightly in Q1 but a substantial increase is expected for 2023. Improved supply, a new RX and a brand new RZ electric model were reasons stated for the optimism. The figures were out by eleven so I created 'Others' to fix that.