30 December 2023

Estonia Top 25 Car/LCV Models : 2008-10

This small Baltic state had a rocky ride through this period. In the early 2000's things were booming and spending reflected that. As a global recession hit, car buying was understandably affected. In 2007, new car registrations exceeded 31,000 units.

In 2008, the numbers dropped 22% to 24,600. The top 25 for that year are to the right. Japanese brands were the most popular. Toyota led the total market with 3,100 sales, Honda was next at 2,350 and Volkswagen at third with 1,750 registrations.

Mazda was fourth in total and had the leading model, the 6 exceeding the 1,000 mark. Citroën was the fifth most popular brand, followed by Škoda, Nissan and Ford. Hyundai and Kia rounded out the top ten.

Toyota had an impressive five models making the list and Honda three. Despite Volkswagen doing well overall, it only had the one model in the top 25. 

The question on everyone's mind at time would have been how will 2009 fare with the world economies in such turmoil? 

As we all now know, the news wasn't good. In Estonia, registrations slumped 67%! The best selling model was doing half of what was the case a year earlier. 

In times of change, rankings can be volatile but at the top at least Toyota remained #1 with an increased share of the total market. Renault went from twelth to second with the Mégane now the best selling model. 

Volkswagen held on to third place in the brand rankings with the Golf/Jetta, Passat and Tiguan all in the top 25.

Elsewhere, Honda slipped two pacings to fourth Mazda dropped from fourth to tenth. Peugeot came back from the nineteenth to eighth. How would 2012 go?   
The worst of the economic meltdown was over and 2010 was the start of better things. Total registrations were up 29% to 10,300 with Toyota still top but Škoda had moved into third place and looking good. 

Renault held onto second in brand ranking and still had the top model. The Škoda Octavia and Fabia had useful gains, the latter moving into the top ten for models. 

The Volkswagen brand dropped from third to seventh and again only had one top 25 model. Nissan was tenth but the Qashqai was doing so well, it accounted for 3 out of every four cars sold under that logo. 

In 2023, sales will be over 22,000 and well ahead of the 2010 but not quite up to the 2008 figure. That's a good thing if it's now at a more sustainable level. 

Data source: Transpordiamet. Photographs: Netcarshow.

22 December 2023

Romania Passenger Car Sales : 2023 (Jan-Nov)

Dacia is an ancient tribal kingdom based around modern day Romania. Today we have a car brand of that name, owned by Renault that is based in Romania. Unsurprisingly, the brand does very well here, commanding 32% of the market. Registrations were up 3% for the year. The 'Diff' column shows market share change. 

The supplier of the data (APIA) has gone all coy regarding sharing what you see below so there won't be a full year edition. Eleven months gives a reasonable picture. 

07 December 2023

VW 1960-64

This is the last in a series of four articles. It is enough to provide an insight into how VW got back on its feet after WWII. For the first in the series, just click here.

1960: More than one million vehicles were sold in Germany and VW took over a third of total sales. 866,000 vehicles were made of which 25,000 were in Brazil.  

                                    1961: The five millionth VW is built and the 1500 Type 3 was released (photo to the left). In total, 960,000 vehicles were made of which 47,000 were assembled in Brazil. 

1962: The 1500 Type 3 range is expanded with an estate version. The one millionth VW transporter arrived this year. 819,000 Beetles, 127,000 Type 3 and 166,000 Transporters were manufactured.

1963: The rapid growth of the past few years all but halted. The Beetle slipped back to 775,000, the Type 3 up to 182,000 and the transporter increased by a modest 9,000 units.

1964: Things improved again in 1964, the Beetle was back up to 867,000, the Type 3 262,000 and the Transporter 188,000. Of this, 66,400 were assembled in Brazil and 27,000 in Australia.

Data/photo source: VW AG. 

Exports to various regions are listed below. America remained at the top apart from 1962.

VW 1955-59

1955: Only 18% of the vehicle sales in Germany were to private buyers so much potential for growth. The Ghia Coupe was released this year (picture above). Total sales passed the 300,000 mark with domestic sales reaching 150,000 units. For the first time, export sales exceeded local. 

1956: A new plant in Hanover was built for the Transporter model, freeing up capacity at the Wolfsburg facility for the Beetle. Assembly of vehicles from kits started in South Africa. Sales outside of Germany passed 200,000.

1957: VW struggled to meet domestic demand with a waiting list extending to several months. Domestic sales passed 200,000 and total sales neared half a million.

1958: Exports surpassed 300,000 and globally 550,000. 3,650 Transporters are classified as made in Brazil, athough not yet offically a manufacturer.

1959: VW market share in Germany is just over 40%, the Beetle alone is over 30%! VW Brazil manufacturered 24,800 Beetles and tranporters and in Australia VW started vehicle assembly from kits. Exports reached 400,000 units. 

Data source: VW AG. For the last article in the series, simply click here.

As for overseas sales of exported vehicles, VW started releasing data from 1956. Europe was the largest but America took over as the biggest market in 1959. I'm not sure if that was just the USA. However, Germany is not included below and was still the largest market with 100,000 sales more than America. 

05 December 2023

Nissan Sunderland Sparking Along

Nissan is to build three electric cars at its plant in Sunderland, UK. The Qashqai and Juke will join the Leaf in a three pronged attack as the brand goes fully electric by 2030. There will also be three battery factories to compliment the car production. 

Of course, while Europe goes electric other parts of the world will not. I assume some car companies will still be producing ICE vehicles to meet the demand that will still exist. Sunderland presumably won't be part of that. 

For now, the plant is pushing UK car production along with its current range. In October 2023, just over 34,500 passenger cars came off the production line, a 52% increase over 2022. In ten months of '23, production volume is already 13% above the whole of '22. That compares with +24% and -10% (comparing ten months with twelve for both of those figures) when all manufacturers are included. 

04 December 2023

VW 1950-54

After the British Military Government had handed over VW to the State of Lower Saxony, the foundation for a successful company had been laid. It was now up to VW to make the most of it and they certainly did so.

1950: The VW van was introduced (see right) and production of the 100,000th post war VW vehicle was achieved. 

Exports went to 17 countries and 29,400 sales in number. The local market exceeded 60,000 units. 

The 6,000 domestic LCV sales in the chart below are an estimate. Total worldwide sales reached 90,200.

1951: Like elsewhere, material shortages hampered growth and VW was also affected. Total sales reached 105,700 but it could have been higher. Sales in Germany were up to 70,000 and exports 35,700, the latter were going to 28 countries. 

1952: The sales increase called for greater space so expansion was done to cope with the greater volume. 89,100 sales for the domestic market and 46,900 abroad added up to 136,000 global sales. Export revenue helped procure raw materials for the company.  

1953: VW built apartments to allow workers with travel issues to live closer to their work. 175,700 vehicles were sold and the 500,000th VW was produced post war. By the end of the year, vehicles were being exported to 88 countries. Arrangements were made for starting vehicle assembly in Brazil. 

1954: The car was still a luxury for many in Germany with nearly 90% of sales for businesses. The move to conveyor assembly was being utilised as VW moved to more efficient mass production. Annual sales raced to nearly 250,000 with export sales exceeding 100,00 for the first time. 

Source: VW AG. For the next in the series, please click here.

02 December 2023

VW 1945-49

Germany came out of WWII devastated. The Allies wanted Germany to prosper unlike what happened after WWI. Britain played an important role in assisting Germany to get back on its feet as soon as possible and VW was a beneficiary of that initiative.

An important part of that was getting resources to VW so as to get car production up and running again. Many systems needed to be organised to rebuild a shattered country and reestablish a car company from one producing armaments. Step by step with British support that was being accomplished. 

By 1949, VW was building just under half of all cars made in Germany and was ahead of the others in exporting. Now for a brief breakdown by year:

1945: 1,800 vehicles were made. Parts were made at Braunschweig and cars were assembled at Wolfsburg.

1946: In March, 1,000 vehicles were made in a month which was considered a milestone. 10,000 vehicles are made for the year in total. 

1947: A Works Council is set up to allow workers to have a voice in many matters affecting them. Britain should have done the same back home. Exports commence (an example to the right). 9,000 cars produced, 56 exported. 

1948: Currency reform helped create an environment for economic growth. 19,200 cars are manufactured. As for sales 15,000 were for the domestic market and 4,500 exported.

1949: A convertible model is produced for VW by Karmann with 450 built by year's end. VW was handed over by the British Military Government to the State of Lower Saxony. 46,000 vehicles are made. 38,700 are sold in Germany and 7,100 are exported. 

Source: VW AG. For the second article in the series, simply click here.