30 December 2011

Car Market Switzerland: 1960's


Things were so different back in the 60's in the Swiss car market. GM Euro makes Opel and Vauxhall were both imported. Fords were from Germany, Britain and the US. BMC brands still had credibility and sold well. Chrysler sales were mainly Simca, but also newly acquired Sunbeam from Britain and US models too. NSU was still to be absorbed by VW into the Audi marque. Triumph were part of Leyland, soon to become the new BLMC conglomerate. The same applied to Rover/Land Rover. How things changed in the next few years.

Below is listed sales for 1964, brand/sales/share:

Opel-Vaux 24,473 18.3%
VW 22,604 16.9%
Ford 14,186 10.6%
BMC 11,427 8.6%
Fiat 10,019 7.5%
Chrysler 9,133 6.8%
Peugeot 6,172 4.6%
Renault 5,929 4.4%
Citroen 5,320 4.0%
Volvo 3,256 2.4%
Mercedes 3,055 2.3%
GM US 2,820 2.1%
Auto Union 2,705 2.0%
Triumph 1,799 1.3%
Alfa Romeo 1,761 1.3%
BMW 1,434 1.1%
Land Rover 818 0.6%
NSU 742 0.6%
Lancia 512 0.4%
Jaguar 500 0.4%
AMC 464 0.3%
Porsche 406 0.3%
Rover 358 0.3%
Saab 266 0.2%
Other 3,476 2.6%
Total 133,635

There are no Japanese makes in the above list. That invasion started at the end of the 1960's and quickly made strong inroads thereafter.

Data Source: Schweiz Bundesamt für Statistik (BFS)
Pics: Simca - http://sv.wikipedia.org
Opel - www.velocityjournal.com

26 December 2011

The Rover 600


This was a car I really liked, although it wasn't as successful as it deserved. The 600 was basically a Honda Accord, which wasn't a bad thing. It was tweaked so as to have a British feel to it, and that worked quite well. For European tastes it was probably too Japanese. When I was on holiday in the UK, I met an American chap who had a rental 600. I asked him his opinion of the car and he loved it. He wanted to buy one back home, but they were not exported there - at Honda's insistence.

I don't know if it replaced another car, but if it did, I'm picking it carried on from the Montego. The Rover 600 started to be produced in 1993, the Montego finishing in 1994. The six years of production figures are as below, followed by UK sales:

1993 30,394
1994 54,603
1995 61,518
1996 43,701
1997 40,291
1998 40,815
Total 271,322

1993 14,454
1994 23,397
1995 24,200
1996 19,900
1997 22,300
1998 ?

So it was a good car, but lacked in prestige and dynamics. It was replaced by the Rover 75, but that model came a bit too late and the 75 never even matched the 600's production volume.

Pics: www.autoplenum.de
Sales figures: http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/

25 December 2011

Car Market Spain: 1960's

Getting guaranteed car sales data for Spain is difficult. From what I did find, the market back in the 60's was limited to brands made within the country. In 1961, less than 70,000 cars were sold so not a market big enough to support many manufacturing plants. Sales grew well and by 1969, perhaps 380,000 cars were sold.

Below are the sales as accurate I could get for 1969:


Make/Sales/Share
1 Seat 222,000 58.8%
2 Renault 73,000 19.4%
3 Simca 28,500 7.5%
4 Citroen 22,500 5.9%
Others 31,800 8.4%
Total 380,000


Some may wonder about the brand Seat - pronounced 'say - at'. Well, when the Spanish government decided to have a local brand, both Fiat and VW sought to be the alliance partner. Fiat won and by 1950, the first Seat cars came off the assembly line. Then a falling out in the early 1980s between the Spanish government and Fiat led to Fiat leaving the venture and VW quickly moved to replace them.

Today, Seat fights with other brands for market leadership and its share is about 9%. The Spanish car buyer has plenty of choice in the car market now. No one brand can command even a 10% share, quite a unique situation.

22 December 2011

Saab Finally In Receivership

Four years ago I wrote an article 'Saab, Will It Survive?' You can see it on http://tiny.cc/pa0tc
In it I concluded: So while it would be a shame if they went the way of the Dodo, it's only GM that is keeping them from joining that hapless bird.

Well GM did indeed give up on it, yet a certain Mr Muller thought he could save it. Unfortunately, he didn't have nearly enough money to do so. I am not even sure if money could have got it back to profitability. It seems all over now anyway.

It deserved to end with the GM decision to pull out. All that is happened since is workers and suppliers have not often been paid, adding to their stress. New dealers have signed on and spent money doing up dealerships, only to be thousands out of pocket now. I get the idea it has cost the Swedish tax payer quite a bit also. Anyone trying to resurrect the marque now would be wasting their time unless it ended up in China, and GM do not seem to be allowing that to happen.

The brand did not keep up with the play and perhaps GM must take the responsibility for that. Some will mourn the passing of Saab, others will not notice or care. Saab's of earlier years were worth saving, the ones of today not so. RIP Saab.

Pic: http://www.mclellansautomotive.com/literature/items/saab/b20905-saab-1968-brochure.php

18 December 2011

Car Market UK: 1980's


The 80's set the pattern for the future until today. Ford made top spot secure, GM Vauxhall over doubled its share through the decade to take second spot in 1989 from what was now Rover Group. The former giant of the UK car industry BMC/BLMC was steadily losing its share, never to come back. Jaguar was sold to Ford too. Peugeot's take over of Chrysler UK had given it the impetus to go from 1.2% in 1981 to 6% in '89, from 13th to fourth.

Rank/Brand/Sales/Share
1 Ford 608,600 26.5%
2 Vauxhall 349,900 15.2%
3 Rover 312,600 13.6%
4 Peugeot 139,000 6.0%
5 Nissan 138,450 6.0%
6 VW 108,800 4.7%
7 Renault 88,100 3.8%
8 Volvo 81,700 3.6%
9 Fiat 70,175 3.0%
10 Citroen 66,400 2.9%
11 BMW 48,900 2.1%
12 Toyota 42,400 1.8%
13 Mercedes 28,350 1.2%
14 Lada 28,050 1.2%
15 Honda 27,000 1.2%
16 Mazda 22,725 1.0%
17 Audi 18,960 0.8%
18 Jaguar 14,250 0.6%
19 Skoda 13,600 0.6%
20 Saab 12,100 0.5%
21 Mitsubishi 10,850 0.5%
22 Seat 10,300 0.4%
23 Hyundai 8,600 0.4%
24 Zastava 7,900 0.3%
25 Proton 6,550 0.3%
26 Suzuki 6,000 0.3%
27 Subaru 4,875 0.2%
28 FSO 4,825 0.2%
29 Daihatsu 4,300 0.2%
30 Alfa Romeo 4,100 0.2%
Others 12,800 0.6%
Total 2,300,850

The UK market has been more stable of late after all the upheavals. Rover Group continued to go downward and BMW's purchase failed to stop its UK slide, in fact became effectively its death stroke. European brands benefited much over the ensuing years.

14 December 2011

allaboutcars 2011 Summary

This blog has had quite a year. When it started in September 2007, I had no idea how many people came to view it. In July 2010, Google started giving bloggers a hit count and for the latter six months of 2010, 4,636 hits were recorded, or 773 per month. However, for 2011, there will be about 49,000 hits, or nearly 4,900 per month. That is quite an increase.

What seems most
popular is car sales by country. Car Sales for both Singapore and Germany 2010 - which were blogged in mid January 2011 - were tops for the year.
Where do you come from? Since July 2010 as follows:

USA 19.2%
UK 10.6%
France 5.3%
Germany 3.9%
India 2.9%
Malaysia 2.1%
Others 56%

January 2012 will be a busy blog month for me, with 2011 sales being released in many countries. So please pop in during January (and before of course if you wish) for more of what you especially like.

An association I would especially like to say a big thank you to is Bilsweden for their helpful, efficient service. They are a model that other similar associations should aspire to.

I have kept the blog an advertisement free zone. It is a hobby and a pleasure, not a business. There is too much commercialism in the world as it is.

For those who do visit, it is nice to have you along. You don't have to be registered to leave a comment and your feedback - whether a positive thought or constructive criticism - is welcome. So please come again and enjoy.

13 December 2011

Car Market UK: 1970's


The 70's didn't see the end of the UK car brands, but they were feeling the strain of under investment therefore reduced competitiveness. BL's market share had over halved from 1969 to 1979. Ford was up slightly but both Chrysler UK and Vauxhall were down somewhat. Import brands were chipping away with much success, as can be seen below when compared with "Car Market UK: 1960's" two blogs ago.

Rank/Brand/Sales/Share
1 Ford 485,600 28.3%
2 BLMC 337,000 19.6%
- Austin/Morris/MG 275,100 16.0%
- Rover 32,150 1.9%
- Triumph 21,700 1.3%
- Jaguar 8,050 0.5%
3 Chrysl UK 119,400 7.0%
4 Vauxhall 112,400 6.5%
5 Nissan 102,400 6.0%
6 Renault 93,500 5.4%
7 Fiat 70,600 4.1%
8 VW 60,100 3.5%
9 Peugeot 38,0000 2.2%
10 Volvo 36,600 2.1%
11 Citroen 34,000 2.0%
12 Toyota 32,200 1.9%
13 Opel 27,200 1.6%
14 Lada 22,300 1.3%
15 Honda 17,850 1.0%
16 Mazda 17,800 1.0%
17 Audi 16,250 0.9%
18 BMW 14,050 0.8%
19 Alfa Rom 13,650 0.8%
20 Mitsubis 10,700 0.6%
21 Skoda 10,250 0.6%
22 Saab 8,975 0.5%
23 Lancia 8,950 0.5%
24 Mercedes 7,900 0.5%
25 FSO 6,525 0.4%
Others 11,750 0.7%
Total 1,716,275

Of the BL brands, Austin/Rover/MG fell from 29.9% to 16.0%, Rover 2.4 to 1.9, Triumph 6.7 to 1.3 and Jaguar from 1.2 to 0.5%. I guess it could be used as a template for managerial incompetence. Anyway, it certainly made for a changing market place.

Pics: http://gallery.brit-cars.com

11 December 2011

COTY Award 2011

For the first time, the all about cars blog is issuing a COTY (car of the year) award. I'm not convinced it will get international recognition or whether the manufacturer will publicly acknowledge this prestigious award. I will write to let the manufacturer know however.

The criteria are as follows:

Released during 2011.
Excellent design and execution.
Moves the car industry forward in some way.
Practical to own.
Other makers will follow.

The winner is:

The Range Rover Evoque.

It is not very often that vehicle comes along that excites, enthuses, looks fabulous and is yet is very practical also. It ticks all the boxes, except the one that says it is in my garage. Others will follow and hopefully car makers will realise that a new car can be much the same as the concept. Well done LR for having the boldness to do something that other companies would not risk. Yet is style really ever a risk?

Runner up: Daylight. Nothing else would get my car of the year if the Evoque had not come along and I expect there won't be too many COTYs from me in the future. Maybe Citroen tries to be a little out there, but not like it used to be. The motor industry is awash with 'play it safe' executives.

08 December 2011

Car Market UK: 1960's


The British car market was very different from today. There were numerous local car brands that dominated the scene. Most of them have gone in such a short time span. Management that lost the will or became apathetic. Workers who forgot how lucky they were to have a job. All sorts of reasons could be given, but the bottom line is a large, successful industry was wasted in a couple of decades. I won't depress you anymore, so here are the sales for the UK in 1969:

1 BLMC 388,500 40.2%
- Austin Morris 278,400 28.8%
- Triumph 64,700 6.7%
- Rover 23,400 2.4%
- Jaguar 11,800 1.2%
- MG 10,300 1.1%

2 Ford 264,000 27.3
3 Vauxhall 112,700 11.7%
4 Chrysl UK 93,400 9.7%
5 VW 20,900 2.2%
6 Fiat 20,800 2.2%
7 Renault 20,100 2.1%
Others 45,000 4.7%
Total 965,400

You can see that the top four were all British producers. So while I see the British car buyer of today as indifferent to what is locally made, back then was very different. They were domestic brands people were proud of and they made some good cars too. Of course it is easy to know what is a local car when the brand is known as such. It is not so easy today when Nissan, for example, is now the country's largest car maker.

Pics: http://gallery.brit-cars.com

06 December 2011

Car Market Germany: 1970's

In the 70's things were changing steadily in the German car market. The top three brands lost ground, especially Ford. Meanwhile, the three premium brands closed in as more affluent German buyers could afford to move up a level of quality. Japanese brands were starting to feature and import European car makers were feeling their presence. In 1979 sales and market share were as below:

1 VW 580,575 22.1%
2 Opel 471,900 18.0%
3 Ford 311,925 11.9%
4 Audi 246,650 9.4%
5 Mercedes 242,850 9.3%
6 BMW 153,925 5.9%
7 Renault 129,750 4.9%
8 Fiat 83,200 3.2%
9 Citroen 50,700 1.9%
10 Talbot 43,950 1.7%
11 Peugeot 41,150 1.6%
12 Toyota 32,500 1.2%
13 Mazda 32,400 1.2%
14 Nissan 32,000 1.2%
15 Honda 28,700 1.1%
16 Volvo 25,000 1.0%
17 Alfa Rom 22,750 0.9%
18 Mitsubishi 20,725 0.8%
19 Porsche 12,000 0.5%
20 GM US 11,425 0.4%
21 FSO 11,275 0.4%
22 Lada 10,650 0.4%
23 BLMC 9,700 0.4%
Sonstige 17,750 0.7%
Insgesamt 2,623,400

Since then, the three German premium brands have taken an even stronger hold while the Asian threat faltered as Japanese brands failed to increase their market share. Overall the German market now seems to be rather predictable, strong support for local product and foreign makes largely on the periphery.

Source: VDA

03 December 2011

Car Market Germany: 1960s


Car purchasing in Germany in the 1960's reflected the growing prosperity. Sales in 1960 were 970,000 but had almost doubled to 1,840,000 by 1969. VW was the biggest brand, capturing 32.5% of the market in 1965. GM Opel was a stable second and got a respectable 25.5% in 1964. Ford kept third spot warm and obtained an 18.3% share in 1966. Mercedes was a regular at 4th, until the merger of NSU and Auto Union into Audi in 1968 pushed past the three pointed star. Fiat and Renault were popular back then and top ten regulars. BMW only had 2.3% of the market in 1965, but in 1966 it purchased the Glas car company and seemed to strengthen after that. The top 20 as best I can determine in 1969 was as follows:

Rank/Brand/Sales/Share
1 Volkswagen 470,000 25.5%
2 Opel 350,000 19.0%
3 Ford 288,000 15.6%
4 Audi 134,500 7.3%
5 Mercedes 127,300 6.9%
6 Fiat 123,500 6.7%
7 Renault 112,500 6.1%
8 BMW 77,000 4.2%
9 Simca 54,000 2.9%
10 Peugeot 26,800 1.5%
11 Citroen 21,700 1.2%
12 NecKar 13,800 0.7%
13 Alfa Romeo 8,800 0.5%
14 DAF 8,500 0.5%
15 Volvo 4,000 0.2%
16 Skoda 3,500 0.2%
17 Porsche 3,100 0.2%
18 Honda 1,700 0.1%
19 Autobianchi 1,200 0.1%
20 Hanomag 1,050 0.1%
Sonstige (Other) 11,000 0.6%
Insgesamt (Total) 1,841,000

The 1960's started with virtually all German cars, but imports made inroads over the decade - mainly French and Italian. I'm unsure as to why British cars didn't figure. Mind you, with a 11,000 others, anything could be lurking there.

Quelle: VDA