I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Toyota edges out VW to take the #1 spot in 2014, long time holder GM moves to third.

Toyota Motor Corp. defended its crown as the world’s biggest automaker in 2014, selling 10.23 million vehicles to keep a slim lead over German rival Volkswagen Group.
But the Japanese giant also forecast sales to slump 1 percent to 10.15 million in the current calendar year, on the back of slowing demand in Japan and emerging markets.
It would be the first time sales have fallen since 2011, when Japanese automakers were broadsided by the killer Japanese earthquake and tsunami that derailed production and sales.
Another retreat could open the door for VW to steal the lead in 2015.
Toyota sales, including deliveries from its Daihatsu minicar subsidiary and Hino truckmaking affiliate, climbed 3 percent to 10.23 million vehicles in calendar year 2014, the company said today in a release. Volume exceeded 10 million units for the first time at Toyota.

The total edged the 10.14 million vehicles sold by VW, which also crossed the 10 million-unit mark for the first time in 2014. General Motors Co., the biggest U.S. automaker, finished third in last year’s sales race, with global volume rising 2 percent to 9.92 million vehicles.
Both Toyota and VW had forecast sales to exceed 10 million in 2014.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn has been pursuing growth as part of a plan for the German automaker to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018. He had originally envisioned sales of 10 million units by then, but as shown by his company’s 2014 results, VW is far ahead of schedule.
Toyota has resumed its sales march after being thrown off pace in 2011 by the Japan earthquake-tsunami disaster that hit production hard for much of the year.
That year, GM edged Toyota to reclaim the top spot. GM had held the title for almost 80 years before Toyota moved ahead in 2008. Toyota led the world in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2012, the Japanese carmaker reclaimed the title from GM with sales of 9.75 million.
Last year, Toyota edged VW and GM with sales of 9.98 million.
Looking ahead, Toyota expects sales outside Japan to increase 2 percent to 8.06 million vehicles. But that will be offset by a 9 percent tumble in domestic sales to 2.1 million units.

The parent company expects home market volume to fall 7 percent to 1.45 million for its Toyota and Lexus passenger car brands. Daihatsu and Hino sales are also expected to fall.
The Japanese government raised the national consumption tax in 2014, crimping demand for big-ticket items such as cars. But tumbling oil prices are also sapping demand for fuel-efficient gasoline-electric vehicles, which account for a large portion of the Prius-maker’s sales.
Toyota forecast domestic production to fall 6 percent to 3.97 million vehicles in 2015. But globally, it expects output to advance 1 percent to 10.21 million, partly on robust U.S. demand.
Hans Greimel

JATO announces winner and losers for 2014, the usual suspects win again.

  • European new car sales grew 5.0% in December compared with the same month last year
  • Volkswagen remains the dominant brand by volume, 67% ahead of its closest competitor
  • Renault and Dacia gain most sales during the year
According to the latest new car sales analysis from JATO Dynamics, the world’s leading provider of automotive intelligence, annual new car sales in Europe increased by 5.3% in 2014, with monthly salesgrowth throughout the year compared to 2013. December sales were 5.0% higher than a year earlier,suggesting the trend remains positive.

JATO’s headline market analysis:
  • Volkswagen’s Golf consolidated its lead in the new car market, with sales up 11.1% for the year
  • Ford’s Fiesta took second place in overall sales for the year, while Renault’s Clio claimed second place inDecember
  • Volkswagen, Ford and Opel/Vauxhall were the best-selling brands for the year, while Renault achievedsecond place in December
The new car market ended 2014 at almost 13 million units, with sales 5.3% higher than in 2013. December sales totalled almost one million units, 5.0% higher than a year earlier. Of the 29 markets analysed, 24 recorded volumes higher in 2014 than in 2013. Portugal and Ireland recorded the greatest percentage increases, while the greatest unit growth occurred in Great Britain and Spain. 

The remaining Big 5 markets of France, Germany and Italy also recorded increased sales for the full year, although France grew only 0.3% and its December volumes fell below those of a year earlier.

European Monthly Sales Volumes Year-on-Year Comparison

All of the top 10 brands recorded greater volumes in 2014 than in 2013. Volkswagen remains the dominant brand by volume, recording just over 1.6 million units for the year and 67% ahead of second placed Ford, despite a small loss of market share. 

Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot and Renault complete the top 5 for the year. Renault claimed second place in December, and recorded the greatest annual increase in unit sales for the year of all brands thanks to the success of its Captur small crossover and fourth generation Clio small car.
Outside the top 10, Dacia came second only to sister brand Renault for increased sales, recording 72,057 (24.6%) more units sold than in 2013.

Mitsubishi increased its annual volume by 24.4%, with the Space Start/Mirage, ASX and Outlander all contributing. Jeep saw its volume increase by 67.9% due to new product offerings of the Cherokee and Renegade. 

Tesla sales grew by 121.2% as the number of outlets and market acceptance of its all-electric Model S increased. Maserati recorded growth of 267.7% as the new Ghibli and latest Quattroporte models attracted new customers to the brand, helped significantly by the availability of the brand’s first diesel engine. MG’s new MG3 model widened the brand’s appeal, leading to 357.6% more sales.

Top 10 Brands – FY 2014
MakeYr_14Yr_13% change

Top 10 Brands – December 2014
MakeDec_14Dec_13% change DecYr_14Yr_13% change Yr

The Volkswagen Golf consolidated its lead of the market, held since 2008, and increased full-year sales by 11.1% over 2013. Second place was more closely fought, with the Ford Fiesta taking the position for the full year, ahead of the Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, while the Clio and Polo placed ahead of the Fiesta in December.

Only two of the year’s top 10 models, the Ford Focus and Peugeot 208, recorded lower sales than in 2013, with the 208 slipping out of the monthly top 10 chart in December. Meanwhile Peugeot’s newer and larger 308 model continued its climb up the chart in December, demonstrating the demand for new products and the continued strength of the Peugeot brand. 

The Renault Captur’s appearance in the December top 10 shows how strong the market for small crossovers has become, this being backed up by strong sales throughout the year of the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka and Peugeot 2008.

Seat’s Leon, with the addition to the latest generation of both 3dr hatchback and estate body types to the previous 5dr hatchback, has recorded sales up 57.4% on 2013. Dacia’s Duster SUV increased sales by 46.1%, while the brand’s Logan saloon and estate recorded an increase of 92.2%.

Citroën’s C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso family of MPVs recorded sales up 36.3% on 2013 as the second generation models enjoyed their first full year in the market. Other new-generation products that recorded much stronger sales in 2014 than their predecessors did in 2013 include the Nissan Note (+94.2%), Mazda3 (+89.2%) and BMW X5 (+122.4%).

Top 10 Models – FY 2014
Make & ModelYr_14Yr_13% change
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF520,958468,850+11.1%
FORD FIESTA308,999293,398+5.3%
RENAULT CLIO300,924286,453+5.1%
VOLKSWAGEN POLO280,378266,484+5.2%
OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA252,420239,872+5.2%
FORD FOCUS222,834224,139-0.6%
PEUGEOT 208215,312237,968-9.5%
SKODA OCTAVIA206,362169,075+22.1%
NISSAN QASHQAI204,200201,784+1.2%
AUDI A3/S3/RS3200,157167,779+19.3%

Top 10 Models – December 2014
Make & ModelDec_14Dec_13% change
Yr_14Yr_13% change
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF37,26536,969+0.8%520,958468,850+11.1%
RENAULT CLIO25,65323,842+7.6%300,924286,453+5.1%
VOLKSWAGEN POLO21,05721,489-2.0%280,378266,484+5.2%
FORD FIESTA19,54721,804-10.4%308,999293,398+5.3%
OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA19,52618,010+8.4%252,420239,872+5.2%
SKODA OCTAVIA17,33815,888+9.1%206,362169,075+22.1%
FORD FOCUS15,87815,845+0.2%222,834224,139-0.6%
PEUGEOT 30815,4128,748+76.2%162,127100,332+61.6%
RENAULT CAPTUR15,35913,497+13.8%165,60086,715+91.0%
NISSAN QASHQAI14,96612,247+22.2%204,200201,784+1.2%

“The Golf’s continued domination of the European new car market is impressive and it was the best-selling car for the 7th consecutive year,” commented Brian Walters, Vice President of Data at JATO Dynamics, “but the market is still receptive to new entrants, as the strong performance of small crossovers such as Renault’s Captur has demonstrated. Meanwhile, a full calendar year of growth in the market shows there is continued consumer confidence in Europe. “

Sales by Market

CountryDec_14Dec_13% change DecDec YtD_14Dec YtD_13% change YtD
Czech Republic16,68814,539+14.8%192,314164,733+16.7%
Great Britain166,198152,918+8.7%2,476,4352,264,737+9.3%
The Netherlands36,51339,162-6.8%393,512420,739-6.5%
Grand Total997,210950,094+5.0%12,995,39712,340,650+5.3%

NOTE: * denotes estimated data included for December 2014