27 February 2016

NZ Pick Up Truck Sales By Model : 2013-15

Suitable for the outdoors lifestyle in New Zealand. The Ford
 Ranger has taken top spot in the NZ  market with surprising ease 

The pick up truck is called a ute (utility) down under and is getting more popular. Most that sell in NZ seem to be the double cab versions that are quite car like. The rear tray has been compromised to allow so much passenger room. They are big vehicles but that isn't an issue here.

Total ute sales keep rising faster than the market as a whole and now account for nearly 28,000 sales out of 134,000 vehicles, including heavy commercial. The Toyota Hilux has been the top selling ute for decades and still was in 2013, just. The Ford Ranger then pushed the Hilux aside in 2014 and increased its lead the following year. It now has just under a quarter of all sales and I get the impression TNZ gasped at the ease and speed in which it happened.

The Holden Colorado is now ahead of the Nissan Navarra while the Mitsubishi Triton and Isuzu D-Max had strong increases of 52 and 38% respectively. The VW Amarok and Ssangyong Actyon Sport have struggled in the intense competition. Chinese brand Foton have done rather well but Great Wall have dropped off my radar.

The dark blue is USA, salmon Japan, light blue Europe and yellow other Asia. The colours show where the brand is associated but not where it is made.

13 14 15 Model 2013 % 2014 % +/- 2015 % +/-
2 1 1 Ford Ranger 4,928 23.2 6,342 24.9 29% 6,832 24.6 8%
1 2 2 Toyota Hilux 5,046 23.8 5,778 22.7 15% 5,632 20.3 -3%
4 3 3 GM Colorado 2,462 11.6 2,955 11.6 20% 3,594 12.9 22%
3 4 4 Nissan Navara 2,695 12.7 2,522 9.9 -6% 3,147 11.3 25%
5 5 5 Mitsubishi Triton 1,282 6.0 1,599 6.3 25% 2,432 8.7 52%
7 7 6 Isuzu D-Max 816 3.8 1,232 4.8 51% 1,699 6.1 38%
6 6 7 Mazda BT-50 1,279 6.0 1,462 5.7 14% 1,382 5.0 -5%
8 9 8 VW Amarok 799 3.8 779 3.1 -3% 826 3.0 6%
9 8 9 Ssang Ac Sport 448 2.1 894 3.5 100% 687 2.5 -23%
? 10 10 Foton Tunland ? 416 1.6 467 1.7 12%

Other 1,481 7.0 1,456 5.7 -2% 1,113 4.0 -24%
Total 21,236
25,435
20% 27,811
9%

Data source: NZ Autofile.

23 February 2016

Jaguar XE vs BMW 3 Series Dynamic Challenge

BMW AG calls it 'driving pleasure unmatched' on its website. A big call

I guess many car enthusiast put driving dynamics as the benchmark of a car, especially men. If you only own one car, then you have to take practical considerations into account too. For the pure pleasure of driving, then how it delivers on that front is everything. The NZ Autocar magaine put the XE up against the 3 Series, the latter being the accepted drivers car in this segment for many years.

Road & Track said "game over for anything else in this class"

Audi fancies its A4 and while it has its strengths, it cannot match the Munich missile. Mercedes accepts it has a differing image and Lexus isn't good enough on that front. Jaguar hasn't ever tried to go for the mantle of the best driving car...until now. Nailing it on a first attempt would be amazing.

Good looks are important too

Road & Track recently and already almost famously said "Once enthusiasts drive an XE, it's game over for anything else in the class". That's quite a call. So did NZ's Autocar magazine come up with he same opinion in its head to head in the January 2016 edition?

The decision was that the new Jaguar XE was the new Ultimate Driving Machine. The 3 Series was roomier and for some that is what is needed. The XE doesn't have a wagon variant either yet. However, for driving pleasure the Jag aces the Bimmer. If you are looking for a dynamic drive and it's in your price spectrum, then the XE is your car. Jaguar has arrived.

The command centre

19 February 2016

UK Top 20 Models : 2010-14

GMV have high hopes for the new Astra, shown here the Sports Tourer variant

The Ford Fiesta became the clear favourite of the UK public by 2014. However, a trend of a diversified car buying was well established. The Top 10 were now just 26.6% of all sales, a record low. The USA had seven of the best ten sellers as recently as 2008, but now had four. Four of the top five mind you. Germany now had three in the Top 10 and another four in the next ten.

The last time a Japanese brand made the Top 10 was in 1983, a Datsun Sunny. Now the Qashqai was at a record high 6th for the brand, two had made it. Admittedly both are designed and built in Europe, so have European appeal but still quite a feat. Nissan is the only Japanese brand ever to reach the Top 10.



Model 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

1 Ford Fiesta 131,254 121,929 109,265 96,112 103,013

2 Ford Focus 85,140 87,350 83,115 81,832 77,804

3 Vauxhall Corsa 81,783 84,275 89,434 77,751 77,398

4 VW Golf 73,880 64,951 62,021 63,368 58,116

5 Vauxhall Astra 59,689 68,070 63,023 62,575 80,646

6 Nissan Qashqai 49,909 50,211 45,675 39,406 39,048

7 VW Polo 48,004 42,609 41,901 45,992 45,517

8 Audi A3 45,581 32,030 29,428 27,122 33,395

9 Fiat 500 44,005 37,918 34,161 25,607 26,920

10 Nissan Juke 39,263 37,488 28,862 21,900









11 BMW 3 Series 38,649 43,494 44,521 42,471 42,020

12 Vauxhall Mokka 32,918




13 BMW 1 Series 31,848 41,883 34,488 28,664 31,996

14 Mercedes C 31,525 30,991 37,261 30,039

15 Vauxhall Insignia 31,313 28,383 32,610 46,324 37,281

16 Peugeot 207/208 31,215 38,616
31,793 42,185

17 Toyota Yaris 31,160 31,153 29,961


18 Vauxhall Zafira Tour 31,092 27,202 21,716
30,360

19 BMW MINI 30,000 29,781 36,839 35,845 41,883

20 Mercedes E 28,707 28,833 23,594 24,526


Audi A1
24,088




Hyundai i10

23,135
23,565


Honda Jazz

22,192
24,210


VW Passat


22,565


Renault Clio


23,156 34,243


Audi A4


21,042


Ford Mondeo



30,115


Renault Mégane



26,114


Top 10 658,508 643,388 613,055 591,676 607,630


% of Total 26.6 28.4 30.0 30.5 30.0


Total 2,476,435 2,264,737 2,044,609 1,941,253 2,030,846

Data source: SMMT.

Summary: In the series, massive changes have taken place. From a country with strong sales of local brands, to one where German brands abound. US makes have had a constant presence, especially Ford. On a personal level it would be nice to see the UK public take the 'local' Qashqai to another level, but it isn't easy to get into the top few selling models. I cannot see anyone knocking Ford off the top rung anytime soon.

Other years in the series:
65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90-94, 95-99, 00-04, 05-09.

The Vauxhall Mokka came in at 12th for an impressive start