28 April 2012

Car Sales Wales: 2011


In Wales, car sales have fallen for the past two years. Fords are popular in the Principality (see pic above), as are the cars, with a 20% market share. It must be all the Ford engines thay make in Bridgend. The last column shows how brands rank differently to the UK in total. Notice the big three French brands (Renault and both PSA brands) do better in Wales, while the three German premium brands do much worse. Nissan and Audi were the only brands in the top ten that actually increased sales.

Below are listed rank, brand, sales, increase or decrease % and finally rank difference with the UK.

1 Ford 13,559 -10% ( - )
2 Vauxhall 7,594 -3% ( - )
3 Volkswagen 4,991 -11% ( - )
4 Citroen 4,009 -2% (+6)
5 Nissan 3,205 1% (+1)
6 Peugeot 3,151 -8% (+1)
7 Renault 2,808 -34% (+4)
8 Toyota 2,380 -27% (+1)
9 Audi 2,374 12% (-4)
10 BMW 2,343 -2% (-6)
11 Hyundai 2,138 -6% (+1)
12 Kia 1,990 -19% (+1)
13 Fiat 1,891 -9% (+4)
14 Mercedes 1,742 0% (-6)
15 Skoda 1,677 -1% (+1)
16 Honda 1,634 -20% (-2)
17 Suzuki 1,483 -4% (+5)
18 MINI 1,433 7% (-3)
19 Mazda 1,226 -36% (+2)
20 Land Rover 1,225 -3% (+2)
21 Volvo 1,112 -20% (-1)
22 Seat 945 12% (-3)
23 Mitsubishi 716 -13% (+3)
24 Chevrolet 504 -22% ( - )
25 Jaguar 339 -28% (-2)
Others 1,258
Total 67,727 -10%

Data Source: DFT.

Pic: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/677427 - John Davies

For other years, please click on the year: 200920102012201320142015,

25 April 2012

China & JLR


Jaguar Land Rover are entering a joint venture deal with Chinese car maker Chery. I wonder why JLR feel the need to build cars there. They are doing well as it is, unless this move guarantees access to such an important market. Below are some amazing facts about JLR in China.

JLR sales between 2004 and 2010: 39,000.
2011: 42,000. 2012: First 3 mths 18,000.
Estimated 2012: 70,000.

Jaguar XJ sales 2009: 400. 2011: 4,000 plus.

A web marketing campaign for Evoque quickly had 7,000 orders for the car. Nearly 4,900 Evoques were sold in the first quarter of 2012.

Number of dealers: 89. A new dealer opens each week.

That is a staggering improvement in sales, even by Chinese market standards. It will be interesting to see if the joint venture will achieve greater things for JLR. I'm sure it will add much to Chery's reputation and possibly its own branded products.

PS. JLR now accounts for 20% of all the UK’s exports to China.

Pic: http://carandvannews.co.uk

Car Sales Scotland: 2011

Scottish car sales are included in the UK figures, but looking at them separately does show up some differences with the rest of the nation. For a start GM Vauxhall is top here, while second nationally, the reverse being so for Ford. Renault managed 5th spot in Scotland for 2011 but 11th overall for the UK. BMW is 4th in the UK but only 8th in the land of the tartan. Premium brands are not as strong here, especially BMW and Mercedes. Sales have been down 5% for the past two years, but I don't have figures before that.

To show all this and more is the chart below. The first column is the Scottish ranking, followed by brand and sales. The last number in brackets reveals the ranking difference with the UK to Scotland. A plus figure means stronger in Scotland.

1 Vauxhall 24976 14.9 -8% (+1)
2 Ford 20515 12.2 1% (-1)
3 Volkswagen 12659 7.5 -2% ( - )
4 Nissan 9948 5.9 -22% (+2)
5 Renault 9418 5.6 -4% (+6)
6 Audi 7777 4.6 10% (-1)
7 Peugeot 7608 4.5 9% ( - )
8 BMW 7224 4.3 4% (-4)
9 Kia 6402 3.8 -6% (+4)
10 Toyota 6107 3.6 -9% (-1)
11 Honda 6032 3.6 -6% (+3)
12 Citroen 5718 3.4 -8% (-2)
13 Fiat 4632 2.8 -24% (+4)
14 Hyund 4515 2.7 -25% (-2)
15 MINI 4329 2.6 -3% ( - )
16 Mazda 4161 2.5 -4% (+5)
17 Merced 4112 2.5 7% (-9)
18 Skoda 3621 2.2 -1% (-2)
19 Land Rover 3168 1.9 4% (-1)
20 Seat 2763 1.6 -8% (-1)
Others 12079 7.2
Total 167764 -5%

Source: DFT. For 2010 sales, please click here.

For other Scotland sales posts just click on the years: 2009201020122013 and 2014.

24 April 2012

2012 Honda CR-Z


Honda have created the Honda CR-Z as a sporty hybrid. Except it isn't strictly speaking such, but uses an electric motor to boost its petrol engine when more power is required. It has three buttons you can press for the desired driving. Econ for cruising for economy but little urge required. Normal which gives more umph but still sluggish. Then Sport for thrust. It certainly enlivens up the driving, in fact it is the only way to get going with urgency. I was invited by Honda NZ to take a drive which I took them up on, and the conclusions are as follows:

Plus points are 1) Nice handling and a fun drive in 'Sport' mode. 2) Good build quality. 3) Economical.

Minus for 1) Only two seater unless small children sit aft. 2) Hard to get out of. 3) Poor rear visibility. 4) Poor performance overall. 5) Expensive in NZ and maybe elsewhere also.

Conclusion: A car I wanted to like and if it was inexpensive, I would say a lot of fun for your money. The problem is it isn't, I could not recommend it. Unless they slash the price...

19 April 2012

New Zealand Top 50 By Model: 2011


I'm not big on sales by model, but for the NZ market, I'll make an exception as it isn't that readily available elsewhere. For some notes on the top of the list, the Corolla is top because of fleet sales. The Swift is next because it works well as a second car and is well priced, but there are more practical small hatches to be had. The Commodore was top until 2008 ans is still as high as third because some NZers like to have a big car. As fuel goes up in price, sales will fall.

In the list below, the first number is the 2010 position on the market and the second is the 2011 one.

1 1 Toyota Corolla 4166
2 2 Suzuki Swift 2892
3 3 Holden Commodore 2381
9 4 Hyundai i30 2300
5 5 Mazda 3 1977
11 6 Toyota Yaris 1897
16 7 Holden Captiva 1704
10 8 Toyota Rav4 1599
4 9 Ford Falcon 1416
7 10 Holden Cruze 1353
15 11 Toyota Highlander 1292
6 12 Mazda 6 1238
8 13 Toyota Camry 1224
13 14 Ford Mondeo 1176
17 15 Ford Fiesta 1149
18 16 Hyundai Santa Fe 1117
22 17 Ford Territory 1044
14 18 Mitsubishi Outlander 1039
12 19 Ford Focus 1017
27 20 Honda Jazz 1013

25 21 Hyundai iX35 837
23 22 Nissan Qashqai 818
38 23 Kia Sportage 786
19 24 VW Golf/Jetta 776
24 25 Mazda 2 753
53 26 Mitsubishi ASX 638
54 27 VW Polo 637
30 28 Mazda CX7 630
37 29 Nissan X-Trail 611
41 30 Hyundai iX45 590
26 31 Suzuki SX4 589
29 32 Holden Barina 555
28 33 Mitsubishi Lancer 550
35 34 Honda Accord 524
78 35 Honda Insight 523
34 36 Toyota Aurion 508
58 37 Holden Epica 480
21 38 Toyota Prado 457
43 39 Kia Cerato 450
64 40 VW Passat 447

New 41 Suzuki Kizashi 438
33 42 Subaru Legacy 435
32 43 Nissan Tiida 429
20 44 Hyundai Getz 416
31 45 Subaru Outback 406
56 46 Nissan Micra 374
49 47 Kia Rio 344
36 48 Subaru Forester 341
46 49 Suzuki Gnd Vitara 333
42 50 Kia Sorento/R 324


Source: Thanks to LTSA NZ

18 April 2012

Milan Design Week & The XF Sportbrake

How Italians lived and how they live now is the theme of this huge multimedia and interactive exhibition entitled AD - La Casa degli Italiani dal 1861 al 2011 (AD – the Italian house from 1861 to 2011), which celebrates 30 years of AD, the Architectural Digest, a monthly Condé Nast publication that focuses on architecture, furnishing and design. (quote: vogue.it @ http://tiny.cc/juxxcw ).

Part of this is the showing of three Jaguar models, including the soon to be released XF Sportbrake. The exhibit is classy, as you would expect. Italians love design as do the British (surprised at that?) They appreciate car design from the UK just as the British appreciate Italian design. Below are a few pics of the XF.







For more on this exhibition and pictures of the Jaguar cars, go to:
http://tiny.cc/hmxxcw

13 April 2012

New Model At Nissan Sunderland

Nissan UK keeps on growing. Back in 1986, Nissan UK assmebled 5,000 Primeras. Local content increased, as did numbers. In 1991, the 100k figure was passed with 125,000 Primeras made. The Micra was added in 1992 and 246,000 cars were produced in 1993 at the plant. The Almera joined the production line in the year 2000, when the 300k mark was passed (327,000). 2010 was the first time 400k was reached (423,000) with the Qashqai, Micra, Juke and Note models all contributing.


The Micra has now gone, but Sunderland will build the new Invitation model from 2013. Now a new hatchback model that will compete with Ford Focus sized cars (which has not yet been named), will be added in 2014. The additional 80,000 new hatchbacks along with the 100,000 Invitation cars will bring the annual output up to more than 550,000 vehicles. Both assembly lines will have to run 24 hour shifts to meet the production requirements.

Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga said: "In Europe, Nissan has achieved record growth in recent years by providing innovative, customer-focused models like Qashqai and Juke that are designed, developed and produced within the region."

Nissan Europe is on a roll and so is Nissan Sunderland. It is a great boost to the region which needs investment. With a depressed European market, is good to see Nissan not talking plant closure but growth. Make cars people want and the sales will follow.

For more info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-17657611
Pic: http://uk.autoblog.com

09 April 2012

World Car Design Of The Year: 2012


Slightly late news but I only just heard that the Range Rover Evoque has been crowned World Car Design of the Year 2012. The announcement was made at the 2012 New York International Auto Show and sees Evoque's awards tally total more than 100 global accolades.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director said: "We are honored that the Range Rover Evoque has been named 2012 World Car Design of the Year. This prestigious accolade recognizes the overwhelmingly positive response that we have received to the Evoque's bold and dramatic design. It is a car that truly resonates on an emotional level."

The original 46 nominations were whittled down to the Evoque, the Citroen DS5 and the Volkswagen Up!. A design panel of five came up with the shortlist, which was then voted on by 66 jurors that came from 25 countries.

Juror Sivia Baruffaldi observed regarding the Range Rover Evoque "True to the concept car it derives from, it is a contemporary automotive design masterpiece. Besides not having equals on the markets, it is able to deliver the Land Rover DNA in a more compact, sporty body style. A premium product without the bad habit of showing off.”

Nothing more to say really....except well done.