01 March 2024

Liechtenstein Top 50 Models : 2023

The numbers are tiny but they tell a story so here they are. With Japanese brands not that popular, it is surprising that one makes the top of the list, albeit with a reduction in registrations. European marques are dominant. 

Poland Passenger Car Sales : 2023

Registrations were up 13% for the year. 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. 

Slovenia Top 50 Passenger Cars : 2023

The Renault Clio is made here and supported well but that didn't stop it from being usurped by the Škoda Octavia in 2022. The Clio is still in touch but if it ever aspires to wrest back the top spot, it has work to do. VW may have become the top brand but Renault still holds two spots above it in the top five on the model sales chart. 

Oh, in case you are wondering the words on the Clio picture say 'immediate delivery'. Hot from the factory too.

29 February 2024

Canada Top 50 Models : 2023

Japanese car brands have a strong presence in Canada. US brands do well at the top with truck models but when it comes to cars, Japanese models are often preferred. 

Canada Light Vehicle Sales : 2023

It's not that easy to get data for this market and it's getting worse. Ford said it would only supply sales figures once a year but if they did, they did a good job of not living up to their word. Both the Ford brand and Lincoln brands both lost market share so a possible reason for being so elusive. 

Despite Ford playing hardball, it is at least still the leading nameplate. Some of the data is estimated so it may not be as accurate as desired. What it does do is give a reasonably correct total by which other more open brands can be assessed in terms of market share. 

The 'Diff' column shows market share change, an incrase around 13%, a nice result after some indifferent years before. For some of the smaller brands that I don't have data at all for I've combined them an estimated 'Others'. 

It surprises me that companies are increasingly providing sales figures with less detail, less often or not at all when not obliged to share it. Tesla doesn't bother at all which leaves me with an impression of cockiness and arrogance. It may be a wrong conclusion but that's how I feel about that stance. Anyway, I'd like to give a big thumbs up to those brands who are still releasing sales data. Japanese brands in particular are more open and most US ones too. 

Data source: Various. 

Norway Vehicle Sales : 2023

Registrations in 2023 were down 22%, a new high tax rate for ICE (internal combustion engine) cars caused a flood of sales in December 2022 and a drought in January 2023. Even electric cars went up slightly too, the sales rush causing a stock shortage in January. Stock was replenished and a normal situation returned. 

The 'Diff' column shows market share change. Tesla took 15.5% of sales and considering the data includes commercial vehicles (of which Telsa does not as yet compete), a good result. Mercedes-Benz and Volvo passenger cars lost share but VW and Toyota were winners. 

28 February 2024

Slovenia Passenger Car Sales : 2023

Registrations were +6% for the year. Renault was the top brand here and the only one with a manufacturing plant in the country as well. However, in 2014 it lost out to VW and that hasn't changed since then. VW is well in front despite surrendering some share. Škoda even went to second in 2022 but Renault's share this year improved but still some way off second place. 

The 'Diff' column shows market share change.

Data source: ADS.

Egypt Vehicle Sales : 2023

Registrations were down 51% but it did rally somewhat toward the end of the year. I thought there must be a mistake but apparently there isn't otherwise I wouldn't have published the article. It is mainly down to the floating of the currency which has caused car prices to jump. Sudden shifts have that effect until pent up demand and acceptance takes over and a degree of normality returns. 

The 'Diff' column shows market share change, otherwise, the chart below would have been awash with yellow. The fact it is so green is due to the slump by Chevrolet. It went from nearly 18% market share to just over 11% in just one year. 

Nissan and Renault seem to have been major benefactors in improving market share but Suzuki has been hit hard. A few brands don't report but generally premium ones and commercial. Not a good year for car sales.

Mauritius Passenger Car Sales : 2023

A small island nation it may be but one that releases car sales data so well done for that. I wish more were as open. The data is presented in a way consistent with a government agency, efficient but not entirely easy to understand some of the categorising. I did write for a clarification but they didn't respond. The 'Diff' column shows market share change so most were actually up in volume. 

So here the statistics are presented as passenger cars only. Suzuki is the best selling brand and pulling ahead dramatically. It had 10.3% of sales in 2020 and now 26%. Kia was top a few years ago but was unable to go with them.

Five Aston Martin registrations are impressive as are the six Mclarens. I presume there are some nice roads to take advantage of their talents.  

In summary, registrations were up 15% in December and up 17% YTD. I believe it's a nice place to visit though I've never been. Daniel says it's the best place.......

Data source: NLTA.

To the right are pickup sales, led by Mazda but hunted down by Toyota. It looked an unassailable lead too. 

For the year, pickup registrations were up 10% on the 2022 figure. Green shading is up and yellow is down in sales volume.

02 February 2024

Toyota/Lexus Sales : 2021-23

Total worldwide sales came to 10,307,400 units, up 7.7% on 2022 and making it the world's largest car manufacturer. The Toyota world is divided into five regions with the main countries within that region having their respective sales listed. Let's look at the regions.

Asia: Nearly 5 million sales and making up 48.4% of the global total. China is the second largest market for the company with 1.9 million sales and 38.2% of the region's sales. Compared to many foreign brands, it's holding up well there. Japan is next with close to 1.7 million units sold there and 33.5% of the region in terms of volume. 

North America: The next region for size is North America with 2.6 million cars finding new homes. It does have the largest market in the USA with over 2.6 million cars sold. Unsurprisingly, it has 86% of regional registrations. 

Europe: Toyota doesn't have regional weak spots as far as penetration goes but this would be the closest to it. Just over 1.1 million passenger cars sold here in what is a large area for worldwide sales. Looking at sales by country reveals why.

The largest market is Germany yet it is only the fifth biggest in terms of sales. The UK leads the way with France, Italy and Spain all ahead of it. Russia has gone, left for Chinese brands to swoop in. 

Oceania, Middle East & Africa: This disparate collection of countries got to nearly 1.1 million sales. The GCC or the alliance of six Middle East states took nearly half a million cars. Australia and South Africa came next. I slipped in New Zealand although Toyota doesn't include it in their data. 

Latin America: Nearly half a million sales in total which isn't huge but a solid effort. Toyota was a bit late establishing itself there but is making steady progress. 

Summary: An impressive list indeed. There have been some issues that have come up at the end of 2023 that won't please Toyota's hierarchy. They will be thorough in addressing them. 

Data source: Toyota Group.

01 February 2024

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

Global production was up 11.1% for 2023. Japan was +27%, the rest of Asia was +2.1%,  North America +9.5%, Latin America +0.9%, Europe +0.7% and Africa +34%. 

Asia (including Japan) contributed 2 in every 3 vehicles made, North America 1 in 5 and Europe 1 in 12. Japan alone made 1 in 3. China and the US are the next two largest producers. Thailand and Canada come 4th and 5th. The production country of the year goes to India which made a third of a million cars, up 170%! The UK could do with a second model.

Data source: Toyota Group.

JLR Sales By Plant : 2022-23

JLR doesn't have a large number of assembly plants yet it has more than many might expect considering its size. The data below is retail sales attributed back to the factory of origin as best as I can do so. Volume was up 27% which was really positive. 

Data source: JLR data as a basis.

Plants: Solihull c. Birmingham in the English Midlands is the largest producer of vehicles, mostly Land Rover. Nitra is in the west of Slovakia and is increasingly an important cog in the manufacturing structure of JLR. Only LR vehicles are made here. 

Changshu in China is near Shanghai and the operation is in conjunction with Chery. Just over 50,000 units were assembled there in 2023 but with the capacity to expand if need be. Halewood, c. Liverpool in the NW of England is being repurposed as a fully electric vehicle producing plant which will be disruptive to production in the short term I would imagine.

Of the others, Magna Steyr Graz makes cars under contract for Jaguar, Castle Bromwich will soon no longer be used to assemble Jaguars but will be used for body panel pressing and possibly other roles too. Finally the Brazilian plant in Itatiaia, located in the state of Rio de Janiero. It was an interesting option to assemble and the numbers are below where I thought they would be.

Summary: A broad range of plants in fairly well scattered locations is currently being used for a smaller volume car maker. The numbers were up nicely in 2023. 

31 January 2024

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

Nissan and Infiniti's production was +6% and sales were +5%. With most manufacturers increasing post Covid, this doesn't sound very good. However, there is a good reason for it as we will see.

Production: There are five main producing nations Nissan separates data for, the rest coming under Other. China is the largest but volume was -26% and it was nearly toppled as the largest producer for Nissan. Japan was +28%, the U.S. +12%, Mexico +58%, the U.K. +37% with the remainder -14%. China could have put a real damper on things but all the other mentioned nations negated that with strong growth. 

Data Source: Nissan. 

Sales: North America has moved swiftly past China, the former with a sales surge of +26% and the latter -24%. The days of huge sales success for Western car makers in China are coming to an end as they become increasingly marginalised. As for the rest, Europe was +20% with Japan up 7% and Others +12%. 

Summary: Nissan China has slumped while the rest of the world is doing well. Its share of Nissan's global sales have fallen from 34% to 24% in just two years. Put another way, sales dropped by 251,600 in China but the total was up 149,400. Is it a big deal to lose sales in China? Personally, I think that is a good thing although Nissan may see that differently. 

Singapore Passenger Car Sales : 2023

With registrations down 14% at the three quarter mark, things were looking grim for the market here. With a new purchase licensing system keeping sales very low and favouring more expensive cars, it does create a distorted market. With the volume of cars so low, there weren't enough certificates available to lift registration. 

Whatever happened late in the year certainly helped though. Sales were up 10% in November and 98% in December or double last year in the latter instance. It still made it the lowest total since 2014 but it could have been much worse. 

Toyota/Lexus are combined but I'm curious what the sales ratio between them would be. If shown separately, would Toyota be at the top? Probably this year but not everyone. Mercedes is popular and was at the top of the ranking briefly in 2013. BMW was for the two years before that. 

The certificate system (COE) favours premium car purchases. The COEs also limit sales so the roads aren't clogged with cars. Premium car owners can then waft along the streets without being caught in excess traffic. Interesting concept. 

The 'Diff' column shows market share change. Data source: LTA.

Hyundai Factory Sales By Country : 2022-23

Hyundai brand factory sales were up 8% for the year, despite closing their assembly plant in Russia. Hyundai has a broader manufacturing footprint than Kia, both in volume and the number of countries involved.

3.8 million passenger cars left plants in 2023, up 8%. Of the commercial vehicles (not included in the list below) there were 228,400 made, all but about 10,000 from Korea. The Others figure is CKD units.

Data source: Hyundai.

Countries: Korea is the main supplier, with 39% of total PC production from there. India is a strong second with over 750,000 cars assembled in that country. The US and the Czech Rep are in the 350,000 region. Turkey, China and Brazil make around the quarter of a million mark. 

In addition to the Russian closure, Kia was making the Accent model for them in Mexico but that arrangement has ceased. Singapore surprisingly arrived in 2023, the Ioniq 5 being the vehicle they have started to make there. 

Summary: A good showing overall, with over 4 million vehicles made with the Hyundai badge.  

30 January 2024

Land Rover Japan / Korea Sales Comparison : 2009-2023

Two and a half years ago I did an article on this which included Jaguar. I'm updating this but for this one, it's just Land Rover. Have the past 30 months added much? Indeed it has so let's take a look at each country separately. 

Korea: There was progressive increases up until 2018. What happened then I don't know. I do know that in Korea importers can't be too successful or authorities get shall we say watchful. I don't have an inside story but sales tumbled without an obvious cause. 2023 saw a useful increase and 2024 will interesting.

Japan: Sales were neck and neck until 2014 when Korea bolted but Japan had modest gains. Japan's avoidance of a sales collapse stands in contrast to its regional neighbour. With supplies of the Defender in particular improved in 2023, a sudden jump not seen before occurred. 

Summary: What happened in Korea will never become common knowledge and it doesn't have to. It's their business and I'd rather hear nothing than be fed half truth or misleading spin. What we can say with absolute confidence is that 2023 was good for Land Rover in both countries. 

Kia Factory Sales By Country : 2022-23

Sales from plants increased by 9% in 2023, despite closing its operation in Russia. So an impressive return I would have thought. Just over 3 million vehicles left facilities, just over 3% light commercial vehicles and the rest passenger cars. 

Data source: Kia.

Countries: Korea is the main supplier, with 53% of total production out of there. The US, Slovakia and India are all in the third of a million area with Mexico at a a quarter of a million. China is now the smallest manufacturing nation for Kia which is a little surprising. It had a sudden drop in 2021 but 2023 was a positive.

Summary: Kia is doing well, aided in no small part by its captive home market. But it has worked hard at exporting too and is a now strong brand around the world.