27 April 2024

UK Vehicle Production : 2024 (Jan-Mar)

The global car markets had been underserviced by stock for some time with COVID and supply issues so pent up demand meant that production was strong. That seems to have been sated and volume is slipping. Prices hav also been climbing as demand exceeded supply. Are prices now going to soften to keep factories busy? 

Passenger car production in the UK fell 27% in March but thanks to a good first two months numbers were still up 1%. One could expect that 2024 will not be the equal of the year before.  

Commercial vehicle volume was -19% in March but still up 27.4% YTD. Production for the home market has taken a battering, -28% in March and -13% YTD. Exports were -13% In March but up an impressive 58% YTD.

Put it all together and it mirrors the passenger car data due to the overwhelmingly greater volume that is involved. The numbers aren't flash but considering the apathy within the UK for its motor vehicle industry hardly surprising.  

With two manufacturers providing sales figures each month, they are listed here. Nissan accounted for 32% of the total and Toyota 13%. I appreciate their openness. 

Data source: SMMT, manufacturers.

25 April 2024

Singapore Passenger Car Sales : Q1 2024

Registrations were up 42% in March and 26% YTD. With the artificial way in which car sales are handled here, the ups and downs tell us little other than how many certificates were available at any given time. 

We can learn more when looking at brands. Toyota / Lexus combination leads although if separated it would be Mercedes-Benz in front. BYD has come from nowhere to third, elbowing BMW out of the way in the process, despite the latter doing well.

As for changes, the Toyota / Lexus market share is the lowest since 2013, BMW the highest since that year ironically. Nissan's share is the best since 2017 but Audi is currently residing at its lowest point going back to 2008. It's also of note that for 2024, Rolls Royce registrations are down 73% on last year's complete 2023, Bentley 55% lower and Ferrari off 77%. 

While all the variances above are not what one would normally see, in a market that is controlled with a limited certificate system, not all that surprising. 

Data source: LTA. 

17 April 2024

Korea Passenger Car/LCV Sales : Q1 2024

Apart from some high ticket brands, the data below covers the vast majority of sales. The total market and imports are both down 12% YTD. As a market that heavily favours locally made - both with steep import duty and occasionally other means - it is dominated by a few domestic brands. Kia for now leads but has an ongoing lead change dogfight with Hyundai. 

Hyundai's premium marque Genesis is doing well while KG Mobility (formerly SsangYong) moved into fifth place courtesy of a fast falling Mercedes-Benz. Chevrolet is mainly locally made vehicles and Renault Korea was formerly known as Samsung. 

Imports lost two more marques for 2024 in the form of Jaguar and DS. The way some of the brands at the lower end of the list are faring, there may be more to follow. 

Data source: Kaida, Kama.

16 April 2024

Japan Passenger Car Sales : Q1 2024

Scandals don't go down well in Japan. The culture is about face and losing it brings shame. Open apology and remorse mitigates some of the lost face but not all of it. That's how I see things but I'm not an expert in Japanese culture.

Daihatsu has recently been exposed for fraudulent vehicle testing. Production was halted for months as a result as the sales data below clearly shows. Toyota is the owner of Daihatsu and they haven't been immune to the fallout. Mazda obtains cars from them and may have been affected but less than the other two mentioned.

The Daihatsu Tanto Fun Cross (on the right) sums things up rather well. No fun for the company and no doubt has made the parent company Toyota very cross. It could be a while before Daihatsu is out of the woods over this scandal.

Total sales were down 16% with import brands down just 1%. The data below compares Q1 of 2024 with a complete 2023. Toyota losing 12% of its share in a market down 16% means Q1 2024 volume is actually 28% lower than 2023. Ouch! Daihatsu is much worse, of course. 

This has enabled other Japanese brands unaffected by the scandal to improve their situation markedly. As the year progresses, things may gradually return closer to what they were before but the damage already wreaked will not be fully erased this year and perhaps beyond.  

Data source: JAMA, JAIA.

14 April 2024

NZ Passenger Car Sales : Q1 2024

Registrations in 2024 for new cars were down 35% in March and 20% YTD. This is due at least in part to an economic slowdown. It may also reflect the reality that constant price increases have now pushed new cars out of reach of many who would have otherwise bought one. 

Total sales thus far are 21,580 units. Added to that were 26,670 used cars, almost exclusively sourced from Japan. They were up 8.5% YTD so faring better than new, for now at least. A useful alternative to overpriced new cars. 

What a difference a year can make, especially when government policy changes. Out went rebates and fees favouring or punishing purchases based on emissions and that caused a dramatic shift in models purchased. Another factor in the swing is from July of this year electric and hybrid cars which previously did not contribute to roading costs will be paying a road user charge.

So things have been stirred up. The data below is for passenger cars only so light commercials and pickup trucks are not included. The Diff column below shows market share change, Q1 of 2024 versus a full 2023. What does an overview of the data show us? 

For brands strongly favouring electric models, MG (-39%), Tesla (-61%), BYD (-81%) and Polestar (-85%) all suffering market share collapse in a market already on a downward slide. It shows how much subsidies prop up low emissions cars. I didn't call them environmentally friendly as I wonder about that.  

It's still early days and as the year progresses, we will see if what has happened so far will continue to the same degree. And in case you were wondering what the one 'Other' is below, it was a Morgan. 

Data source: MIA.

13 April 2024

Lucid Deliveries/Production : Q1 2024

Lucid has released its Q1 data for both deliveries and production. It's a tough time to be starting up a car company due to intense competition and electric sales that are no longer increasing in leaps and bounds.

Deliveries: A positive figure here, the best since the company started deliveries at the end of 2021. It's also 40% up on the first quarter of 2023. That increase needs to be maintained at the very least which would put deliveries at 8,400 by the end of the year. 

Production: The Q1 figure was surprisingly low. Apparently, something like 800 cars have been assembled in Saudi Arabia so far making that figure even more puzzling. Production did exceed deliveries in 2023 so was this about reducing inventory? It is only one quarter and things could change. The goal for car assembly to be in the region of 9,000 cars for the year. 

New model: Lucid will release the Gravity SUV later in the year (see picture below). Surely that will be a model with more potential as SUVs are what most people want. The majority shareholder Saudi Public Investment Fund's financial assistance has been critical in getting this new model into production. 

Data & picture source: Lucid. 

12 April 2024

Aston Martin Sales : 2022/23

A brief history: In January of 1913, Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin decided to make their own cars. In 1947, a wealthy industrialist David Brown saw Aston Martin as an investment opportunity. Then from 1963 forward, AM got a lot of publicity as James Bond's preferred set of wheels. Lawrence Stroll took control of the company in 2020. 110 years of history in total.

Regions: Wholesale deliveries were up 3% for 2023. There was a dramatic regional shift in volume during this brief period. The Americas increased 3% to get roughly a third of total volume. The shift came with EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa less UK) up 32% but Asia/Pacific down 20%. I'm assuming China was the main reason for the latter but unlike other companies, China isn't shown as a stand alone region so we can but speculate. The UK was up 3%, replicating the Americas but with less volume. 

Models: The GT/sports car collection take top honours here with just over 3,500 units. The DBX was just shy of 3,000 and the Specials 151 (mostly if not entirely Valkyries). As the DBX is made in Wales, that represents the number of cars made in that Principality.

Data source: Aston Martin. 

11 April 2024

Land Rover Model/Regional Sales : Q1 2023-24

Land Rover is a popular marque with a global following. It has a reputation for offroad capabilities and all vehicles have that in them. That ensures they have a loyal following, even if the owner doesn't need it. It's nice to know it is there if required. So how are sales going?

Data & picture source: JLR.

Models: The Defender is the leading model with 29% of the total. It also enjoyed an 18% increase for the first quarter of the year. Supply has improved so hopefully wait times are down.  

Next is the Range Rover, down 4% but still a strong selling model with 18,000 sales. The Rage Rover Sport was up 49% and accounted for 18% of the total. The Evoque held its own but the Discovery Sport dropped 15%. The Discovery was up 18%, a good car it is.

Regions: North America grew 22% and increased its contribution to 25%. The UK was up 18% but China dropped from first last year to third place down 9%.  

Europe slightly gained but its contribution is lower while the rest of the world has caught up with it. Overall sales were up 8,000 units for the three month comparison. 

Summary: A good result that achieved in a global market that isn't exactly booming. The rest of the year may prove more challenging for all car makers so what's in store for LR will be interesting to see. 

10 April 2024

Jaguar Model/Regional Sales : Q1 2023-24

One of my criticisms of JLR has been rather indifferent in its treatment of Jaguar over the last couple of years Well, now Jaguar is getting some love and the first quarter of 2024 is proof of that. Sales are up a very healthy 17%. So let's dig a little deeper.

Models: Some of the changes in just a year are sizable, more so than usual. The F-Pace medium SUV led the way with volume up a more than useful 23% increase over the comparable period a year before and taking 42% of total Jaguar sales. 

The XF medium / large passenger car was about the same as a year ago which is a reasonable result. The compact E-Pace SUV was up nearly 100% from an admittedly poor 2023. Supply was obviously the issue. The XE medium sized car dropped 22%, the soft Chinese market presumably having an effect there as that was its main market. 

The i-Pace was well up (+35%) which again was surely supply constraints being eased. Finally, the F-Type sports car is being retired and that may have spurred a sales increase (+16%) as the last ones are snapped up. 

Regions: Again some drastic changes here. The UK jumped from 21 to 37% of total sales, up 107%. China was clearly the biggest market in 2023 but not now with a drop of 10%. North America did well with a 19% gain. 

Europe became less important with a slump of 32%. That may change as the year progresses as only 2,000 sales over three months for that whole region is poor. Finally, the rest of the world was up 9%.

Summary: A really strong performance as Jaguar presumably gets a better stock supply. The styling of the cars is of a high quality so they remain good looking as time passes.   

Data source: JLR. Lower picture: Greencarguide.

08 April 2024

Nio Global Sales : Q1 2024

Nio has aimed its products at the premium end of the electric car market. The figures below show that 30,000 were sold in the first quarter of 2024. That seems to indicate a slight slowing of deliveries which isn't surprising when compared to other marques. However, it's still too early to be emphatic on that. 

What seems to be the consensus by most is that 2024 will be different from years previous. Sales volumes were climbing quickly and sufficient production capacity was the biggest headache. Now managing over capacity could be what most will now have to dal with. Things change rapidly in this modern world. 

To see 2020 to 2023 sales, simply click here or put Nio in the search box.

Data & picture source: Nio. The ET9 is above and the ES7 is below. 

07 April 2024

Rivian Deliveries/Production : Q1 2024

How electric vehicle sales go in 2024 will be watched with interest by many. Newbies like Rivian are entering an environment of uncertainty and greatly reduced growth. Still, if the product is desirable then there is no reason for pessimism. Below are the 2024 delivery and production figures for 2023 and 2024.  

Data & picture source: Rivian.

Deliveries are to the left and production to the right. In 2023 production was higher as inventory increased as expected. So far in 2024, numbers were much the same. The increase of 49% in production volume is very good but has to be tempered by the fact it is a new company. 

Rivian is estimating a production total of 57,000 which seems reasonable if not overly cautious. Perhaps a realistic reflection of the present electric car market. Whatever the outcome, at least the two current models passenger car models (SUV and pick-up) are in popular segments. I assume the data also includes a delivery van. 

03 April 2024

Tesla Deliveries/Production : Q1 2023-24

Tesla warned that 2024 was going to be a more challenging year for the company. One quarter in and it already looks that way. The electric vehicle market is getting model saturated and volume plateauing. Without incentives electric car sales would be falling as is what is currently happening in New Zealand.

Deliveries are down 14% in Q1 with some reasons given by Tesla for that. 2024 was always going to be tough regardless of unforeseen problems. Production is down 7% which would indicate inventory is climbing. That's normal with sales dropping but has to be addressed quickly if deliveries continue to be depressed. 

The Cybertruck would have been helpful at this time to increase deliveries but that has been plagued with issues that have held it up for years. That and the flatness of the electric car market in 2024 are making the year the most challenging for the company so far.

Data source: Tesla.

02 April 2024

BMW Group Plant Production : 2023

Production for BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce was up 12% in 2023. A new joint venture plant came online in China, at Zhangjiagang. It's in partnership with GWM and has started producing electric MINIs. It technically should go under Partner Plants but they are not separated by BMW and this one is so I put it under China .

Germany contributes 35.2% of the total, China 27.5% and the USA 15.4%. The contract plant in the the Netherlands, VDL Nedcar, was going to end its arrangement of assembling MINIs but it is now adding the BMW X1 as well to the MINI. 

BMW must need the capacity and the Oxford plant in the UK has been unable to manufacture all the MINIs that are required for many years now. 

Data source: BMW Group.

Rolls Royce Model Deliveries : 2023

As has been the case with many luxury marques, increase was challenging in 2023. Managing how many are sold is critical to maintain a balance with demand and supply. 6,000 may be the sweet spot for RR.

The Cullinan SUV made up nearly six out of ten vehicles delivered. The Ghost came in next with one in four. The Phantom (picture above) is very exclusive and performed strongly to increase 21%. The new Spectre electric model (pictured at the base of the article) is now up and running...very quietly. The two door Wraith and Dawn siblings have been discontinued, replaced by the Spectre. 

Data source: BMW Group.

BMW MINI Model Deliveries : 2023

The MINI marque has been in the doldrums for some time now, in terms of units delivered. MINI has been hugely successful since it hit the market in 2001. My take was that BMW was pushing volume too hard and then pulled back. The current level of around 300,000 units is about right for now. Of course, that could change as the brand and the car industry evolves.  

The traditional Hatch contributed just over half of all sales. The Countryman comes in at just over a quarter, with the Convertible and Clubman at about 20% when combined. 

Data source: BMW Group.

01 April 2024

Traton Global Model Production : 2023

The heavy vehicle division Traton is going very well for the VW Group. Data for this part of the vehicle industry isn't usually that accessible so here is an uncommon glimpse into it.

MAN is the largest part of this division with 117,000 units made and a 32% increase. That's just over a third of the total. It benefits from also manufacturing 26,500 light commercials but they are counted here. Included also is 5,800 buses.

Scania had a useful 16% increase but couldn't keep up with MAN. It actually sold more heavy trucks than MAN but doesn't have any light vehicles in its range. It made 5,200 buses. 

Navistar is the recently acquired truck brand that was once known as International Harvester. It transitioned through a difficult financial situation to become the Navistar company, a truck and bus maker. VW took full control in 2021. It mainly makes trucks but is also Traton's largest bus manufacturer with 13,500 assembled in 2023.

VW branded heavy vehicles are an exception to the success of Traton. Manufactured vehicles were down 45% after a healthy looking 2022. It seems that they are sold in Brazil and it is a strong player in that market. 

Data source: VW Group.

Regional deliveries:
A good spread of sales across the regions, the addition of Navistar helping in that regard. VW heavy trucks drop in volume is shown in the South American figure below. I haven't good 2021 regional figures, hence the blank column.