30 June 2015

Jaguar XE vs BMW 335i (video)

The XE has arrived and Jaguar has praised it's new car. Is it as good as they have trumpeted? There is nothing worse than not delivering on your promise. Let's see...

29 June 2015

New Zealand Car Sales By Brand : 1990-94

The GM Holden Commodore was a popular car

In the 1980's, New Zealand deregulated it's economy and the initial effects were extremely negative. We see that in the chart below as both new and used car sales tumbled until 1993. The market then benefited by the reforms and sales rebounded with gusto in 1994, especially used imports.

The fight for the top spot was intense at this time, with Toyota managing to stave off Ford. Japanese brands were dominating with European marques were largely ignored. Taking Russian cars in exchange for NZ dairy products had run its course and Lada was now on the way out.


Make 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994

Toyota 15,450 11,827 11,291 13,163 12,974

Ford 13,343 8,651 10,265 11,626 12,174

Mitsubishi 9,982 7,249 6,441 6,354 8,156

Honda 6,066 5,087 4,531 5,023 6,173

Nissan 7,829 6,419 6,356 5,009 5,648

GM 6,780 4,731 4,409 3,934 5,451

Mazda 4,520 3,069 2,936 2,454 3,175

Subaru 2,362 2,331 2,030 1,460 1,162

Peugeot 1,052 380 501 686 1,019

Suzuki 870 945 649 745 1,001

BMW 555 460 515 602 764

Daihatsu 1,047 1,347 955 723 760

Hyundai 615 399 301 322 520

Citroen 218 162 185 248 390

Mercedes 123 93 125 163 348

Audi 153 85 102 104 343

Fiat 712 388 158 156 282

Land Rover 105 81 92 100 226

Saab 19 10 64 206 214

Lada 1,037 649 293 195 175

Volvo 107 37 30 69 155

MG Rover 320 266 72 79 137

Alfa Romeo 226 207 134 85 112

VW 109 35 11 34 94

Proton 65 212 160 83 29

Isuzu 190 61 50 23 13

Renault 215 193 123 22 10

Others 352 241 185 154 260

Total 74,422 55,615 52,964 53,822 61,765

Used Imports 85,324 47,351 39,146 43,841 123,853

Picture credit: Wiki/Frahnie.
Data source: MIA.

For sales previous from 1984-89, just click here.
The following in the series 1995-99 can be found here

27 June 2015

Mclaren Sales By Model : 2014

The new 650 model 

The Mclaren sports car firm is doing well. It's first car was the F1 which was made from 1992 to 1998 with just over 100 made. Between 2011 and 2014 Mclaren produced the 12C (MP4-12C), which has been replaced by the 650 model. The P1 was released in 2013 as a plug-in hybrid sports car with a limited production run of 375, which was already fully subscribed by late 2013.

Below is a list of deliveries for 2014 with 2013 figures added based on a percentage increase and sales figure(s) provided by Mclaren. Numbers are up 18% with the new 650 driving up the main volume model 11%. The P1, which could be seen as a successor to the long departed F1, is now being made to meet the advanced orders with nearly 300 delivered.


Model 2014 % Inc 2013

12C/650 1,401 11 1,260

P1 248 n/a 36

Total 1,649 18 1,296

As for production numbers, I have the following. There were some made in 2011 I assume but I do not have that figure. It shows consistent increase and will no doubt continue to the anticipated ceiling of 4,000 units per annum, with new models such as the 570 below. 


Brand Total 2014 2013 2012

Mclaren 4,122 1,793 1,294 1,035

The goal of making superb cars that are easy to live with as well has been met by all accounts. I say 'by all accounts' because I personally haven't got one in my garage, nor even driven one (yet ... OK never). I rely in motoring journalists to reach that conclusion. I do think they are the most exquisitely designed and built sports cars. 

The 570 'entry' model, up against the likes of the 911 Turbo.
I know which one I would prefer

25 June 2015

Fiat Partnership Suggestion

Seeing little to praise in a merger between Fiat Group and GM, I thought about a partnership. One came to mind immediately, Tata/JLR. The issue with any collaboration is there must be a two way benefit of reasonably equal gain for both sides. So how would this prove good for both parties?

Fiat/Tata: There is already work between the two in India. A joint venture produces passenger cars for both brands, with engines and transmissions shared as part of that. Fiat has also provided diesel technology to Tata. This is an areas that a stronger partnership could explore further, with closer product sharing.

Fiat cars were marketed by Tata in India until recently, when Fiat took control of that itself. Indications are that the change hasn't gone as well as Fiat had hoped.

Alfa Romeo/Jaguar: Jaguar wants to go smaller but it is costly going it alone. AR wants a new range of sporty vehicles, full stop. There must be some mutual benefit here as both brands have a similar emphasis on good handling cars. There would be massive savings for Fiat if they could work with Jaguar. On the other hand the 'leaping cat' brand is well ahead of where AR is presently, so where is the equal gain in that? Jaguar sharing the cost of R&D, new technologies and receiving royalties from AR for all that would be passed over to them.

Jeep, Ram/Land Rover: These don't align ideally, with LR clearly a more premium offering. Jeep could do with taking it's larger vehicles more upmarket and Land Rover would help with that. LR would gain access to production facilities in the US, which it has been mulling over anyway. Ram could do a high quality truck for Land Rover with not that much cost associated with bringing it to market.

A little less bling and a bit more substance, and well, maybe

Summary: All this is from a layman, but from a distance it has the potential to work. Fiat wearing all the cost of AR's revival is almost certainly too much for FCA to stand. Muscling in on established premium marques is a long term proposition. Carrying the burden of AR while slowly eating away at other premium car makers sales does not seem viable, without some cost sharing.

The rest of FCA also needs plenty of money to move forward and the less AR takes, the more they will benefit. No wonder Sergio is concerned about FCA standing alone. A partnership seems the better solution than a merger as you can always extricate yourself quite easily if things don't go to plan. Tata/JLR is the best suggestion I can think of and there seems to be mutual benefit on offer.

23 June 2015

New Zealand Car Sales By Brand : 1985-89

Car assembly plant Petone, Wellington, NZ.
Hillman then Mitsubishi cars were assembled there.

Things were changing in the 1980's for the NZ car industry. Import duty on new cars started to be progressively removed and there was a relaxing of restrictions on used cars being imported. The bottom of the chart below shows used import numbers starting to impact on the market. The used cars were mainly from Japan who drive on the same side of the road.

Toyota muscled itself into top spot past both Ford and Mitsubishi. European makes started to make a bit of a comeback as fully built up tariffs were slowly being removed. Assemblers started to assess their operations and GM closed its plants in 1984 and 1990. Lada benefited with a deal between the NZ dairy board and Russia. Butter and meat was exchanged for vehicles. Peugeot was just about in the top 10 by 1989 and Fiat was close behind.


Brand 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989

Toyota 12,364 11,668 10,087 12,426 15,826

Ford 17,260 15,345 14,476 13,145 13,399

Mitsubishi 13,272 10,528 10,095 9,866 12,666

GM/Holden 9,813 9,008 13,342 9,003 9,678

Nissan 6,157 5,997 6,317 5,803 8,625

Honda 9,946 7,476 6,528 6,001 6,369

Mazda 4,904 5,171 3,855 4,055 4,491

Lada 210 424 961 1,387 1,843

Hyundai 187 964 1,616 1,582 1,699

Subaru 2,319 2,443 2,215 1,276 1,463

Peugeot 49 68 163 470 1,157

Daihatsu 1,098 998 937 838 1,136

Fiat 250 810 1,332 981 1,108

Suzuki 1,451 1,464 925 785 859

BMW 513 909 877 631 678

Rover Group 188 396 713 593 504

Alfa Romeo 128 392 414 326 274

Isuzu 151 47 130 231 273

Citroen 103 204 195 170 263

Renault 243 338 389 188 256

Audi 211 288 321 258 247

Mercedes 229 458 306 179 133

Volvo 170 320 263 149 132

Lancia 76 57 52 73 125

Proton

76 90 117

Jaguar 96 129 202 150 104

Others 128 173 712 562 437

Total 81,516 76,075 77,499 71,218 83,862

Used Imports 2,918 3,946 12,129 17,371 50,966

Data source: MIA.

For the start of the series, simply click here for 1975-84.
1990-94 can be accessed here.