29 August 2023

Renault Group Middle East Sales : 2020-22

This is an area where sales statistics are not readily available so this is unique data below. Renault has fallen over the last few years but overall sales have also done so as well. 

Israel is the main market in the region, with Saidu Arabia next. The region is strong for Asian brands so ones from Europe have to fight hard to have an impression, unless they are of the premium variety.  

Data source: Renault Group.

26 August 2023

Belgium Brand Sales : 1955

I've been scratching around Statbel and found some interesting historical data. So a big call out to them for making this available. It's not often older data is accessible. I have a lot more but I don't know how much statistical information on Belgium is of interest.  

As for the chart to the right, some obvious and predictable things are there but also things to surprise. I've shaded the USA in a different colour and they were more popular than I expected. Belgium wasn't protected like the larger European markets were at the time so that would have helped.

I'm not sure if supply was an issue for some brands as they rebuilt after the war and sourcing materials may have still been problematic even ten years after hostilities ceased. 

I did think of combining brands belonging to the same company but then thought seeing the brands separate would be more enlightening anyway. 

Ford Europe was one brand, sourcing cars from England, France and Germany. Opel and Vauxhall were both owned by GM but both brands were sold their products which were quite different. 

Some brands are now only found in history books (and blogs like this). DKW became Audi. Austin, Morris and several other English brands were merged and became MG Rover which was eventually killed off altogether. Shameful.

Enjoy the data. It took a while to assemble. The source seems to have total sales slightly higher than is generally found elsewhere. It could be down to what constitutes a passenger car or even if new cars imported privately are counted or not. 

The car above is the Ford Taunus, sourced from Germany. The name used from 1939 to 1994 and unusually covered two different sized models. The above is the smaller car which went from 1952-59.

18 August 2023

Renault Group Asia/Pacific Sales : 2020-22

This region has been quite good for the Renault Group but a couple of situations have affected volume in recent times. One is the repositioning of Samsung in Korea, in which the right to use that name has expired. Geely has recently acquired 34% of Renault Korea Motors and between the two companies, new models will come online. It will also give Geely access to the USA via Korea.

I digressed so back to situation two. China. Renault was late to the party and found for various reasons conditions unfavourable hence the retreat. Otherwise most markets in the area are doing well. It's just that two larger markets in the region experiencing headwinds have affected total volume. India is now the biggest market for the Renault Group in Asia/Pacific. 

Data source:Renault Group.

17 August 2023

Toyota Model Sales - Belgium : 1970-74

I always thought that Toyota came of age at the beginning of the 1970s. They may have already achieved that earlier but I think the series two 1970 Corolla (pictured right) was a huge step up on the first one in terms of styling at least. 

The fourth generation Corona of the same era was likewise a much better looking car in my eyes at least. Sales reflected greater acceptance around this time in Belgium. The 1000 (picture to the left) was a solid if not a spectacular performer.

Numbers gathered pace quickly from the brand's introduction in 1966. Most sales were for the Corolla several other models did reasonably well too. The Crown was very popular in 1970 but fell away sharply but other models more than made up for that. This was a successful five years for Toyota Belgium. 

Data source: Statbel.

16 August 2023

Renault Group Africa Sales : 2020-22

Another difficult region to get data for bar a few countries. North Africa is where most Renault products find their way, partly because they are larger than most and also through a greater French influence. 

Morocco leads the way with South Africa/Namibia next. Algeria includes Brokers, someone used to facilitate the transfer of goods or assets from one party to another. I'm not sure how that fits in but it isn't a large part of sales overall. NITCO is a brokerage firm also, again not a big part of the sales.

It includes all Renault brands so here Dacia plays a large part too. It's an interesting and unique insight other car manufacturers don't share and I suspect this won't be available for the 2023 year or thereafter. 

Data source: Renault Group.

14 August 2023

Triumph Model Sales - Belgium : 1970-74

The Triumph brand was one I always liked. One model I really took a fancy to was the Dolomite Sprint, sporty yet not flashy. The 2500 was a class act and of premium quality. The range was eclectic with basic, premium and sports cars. Yet they all came together nicely.

In 1970, they were still selling quite well in Belgium but with the mainstream Herald range (above) and 1300 models coming to an end without replacement, the numbers fell dramatically. 
The 2000/2500 (above) was aging too and it likewise was without a replacement. The only bright spot, for now at least, was the Spitfire sports car (right). The GT6 was retired while the TR6 and Stag were selling in numbers one would expect. 

The new Dolomite was delayed due to industrial unrest (surprise, surprise) but registrations were already suggesting it wasn't going to make up for what was lost. Triumph was sadly heading the same way as many other British brands.

Data source: Statbel.

Renault Group Caribbean Sales : 2020-22

It may be a small region of the world but obtaining any data on the Caribbean is all but impossible so well done Renault for giving us this insight. I included French Guiana in this listing. Although geographically it is in South America, I see it from a cultural point of view as Caribbean. 

Considering the size of some of these places, the numbers are good. The top three are connected to France so it is to be expected that they would be the main markets for Renault in this region. Overall sales have kept an even flow about them numerically at a time when globally there have been many upheavals. 

Data source: Renault Group.

08 August 2023

Simca Model Sales - Belgium : 1970-74

Simca was started by Fiat and its early cars were based on models from that company. Chrysler gradually took control and by this time here being considered was part of Chrysler Europe which included the former Rootes car company in the UK. 

Chrysler Europe wasn't successful but Simca was selling well in Belgium. The small hatchback 1100 was the most popular model by 1974, with the 1300/1500 medium/large sedan was consistent in volume. The small 1000 (picture above) was coming toward the end of its life and I presume the 1200 was a sports coupe which was in runout mode at this time.

The Chrysler-Simca 160/180/2L is listed here, although not a Simca product. It was mainly designed in the UK and built in France and then later in Spain. It was also the basis for the Centura model in Australia. European sales were affected by strong competition from more established manufacturers such as Ford and GM. 

Data source: Statbel.

06 August 2023

Austin/Morris Model Sales - Belgium : 1970-74

Thanks to Statbel, I was able to piece together some data from years gone by. It's basically accurate although some of the entries needed deciphering so I believe I got it right. It doesn't quite line up with total figures I've seen elsewhere so that will come down to how they are counted.

The Mini was the main selling model which isn't surprising as it was assembled here. It exceeded 50% of the total each of the years below and sometimes well over that. 

The Allegro model arrived in 1974 so its sales impact in the country was still undetermined. It was assembled in Belgium (150,00 in total) and exported so high hopes were held for its success. It replaced the 1100/1300. 

Although the title says Austin and Morris, in 1973 the name Leyland was mostly - but not entirely - replacing them both in the data source. I don't know if that was simply how they were recording it or if it was reflected on logos on cars. Austin and Morris did duplicate models. Either way, sales were quite strong in Belgium.

Picture source and for all things BL (but too many ads) : AROnline.

05 August 2023

Technology In Cars

We live in a world of change and increasing complexity. Some people seem to love delving into all of that while others find it tedious or confusing. Technology is designed to make life easier and more efficient but there is a point where advancement is lost because the complexity is reducing efficiency.

Take for example the touch screen in cars. The idea is simply using the tip of your index finger to achieve a desired result is more efficient than turning knobs and pushing buttons. I suppose it would be true if the modern car had fewer functions. This has resulted in the curse of the inefficient submenu. 

If a car dashboard had both a touchscreen and all the physical controls as well, which would a motorist end up using? Flicking through a series of menus or activating a manual control? I know what I would be doing and I suggest most would be doing the same.

So what is driving all of this? I can't see a cost saving. Driver efficiency is reduced and safety is compromised. With eyes off the road while fiddling with a touch screen, the need for autonomous braking and lane departure warning is needed. Yet a human will always be better at evaluating and anticipating hazards than a computer will ever be. That is why autonomous cars have failed to materialise in any meaningful way years after they were promised.

The main driver for all of this is profit. Car manufacturers are eyeing making huge gains from selling features that can be downloaded. I can see that on occasion that would be useful but what I have noticed is that features that could have been loaded into the system at the beginning are not and then made available at a substantial extra cost.

I have always been someone who wants a car to get me from A to B and back again. I think optimum reliability was achieved a decade or two ago, which more likely fulfills the aforementioned objective. I don't want to eat and drink while driving or have phone conversations. I concentrate on driving so I don't need intrusive driver aids to protect me from any self induced distractions.

What most people want are essential features but few want superfluous ones. Indulgence that creates inefficiency and frustration is the accepted norm in the industry. Striking the balance between useful and unnecessary is beyond car makers today.

I have always loved cars but modern ones are causing me to lose that love. The simple joy of driving is being overtaken by technology. That's why the only car brand that would interest me today is Dacia. If I had to buy something else, I'd opt for public transport. I've never wanted a new car less than I do today. 

I'll still love statistics and will still watch car sales but I can't say the way technology in cars is being used today is something I appreciate or find appealing. For me, it's all gone too far.