Alright, so we’ve gone to South America (Argentina, Brazil), Africa (Libya) and Asia (North Korea). It’s now time to visit Europe, and why not start with Spain, a perilous but fascinating place at the moment.
If you can’t wait for the next update and want to know all about car sales in 154 countries around the planet, simply go here. Es mi blog y es impresionante, sí señor!
The Spanish car market was hit full frontal by the GFC: from 1,608,593 sales in 2007, it fell to 1,161,154 in 2008 (-28 percent) and 952,772 in 2009 (-18 percent). We thought the worst was over in 2010 when the market grew by 3 percent at 982,015 units…
Unfortunately, 2011 has been bringing really bad news so far, with car sales down 24 percent in January and 28 percent in February. Normally, Spain is the 5th biggest market in Europe behind biggies Germany, France, Italy and the UK. No more: In 2011 so far Spain was passed by the Netherlands and is threatened by Belgium, countries that have 3 and 4 times less inhabitants…
So this is for the context.
If you now look at the Spanish market by brand, this uncertain situation seems to have benefited the sole national manufacturer, Seat. Fourth best selling brand in 2009, it is #1 in 2010 at 89,392 sales and 9.1 percent of the market.
As you know manufacturers ranking is not mi taza de té, as I concentrate on models sales. However I trust you agree the context above is critical? Muchas gracias.
So in these troubled times, the Spanish consumer has been buying national more and more. And this shows in the models ranking, with the iconic Seat Ibiza the best-selling car in the country at close to 40,000 sales and 4.1 percent share in 2010.
The Ibiza nameplate is at its fourth generation and was originally launched in 1984. Over 4.5 million units of the Seat Ibiza have been produced in 26 years, making it by far the best selling Seat nameplate ever.
A smaller market often results in more volatility, and there have been a couple of interesting developments in the Spanish models ranking recently.
The Qashqai, a bold crossover launched by Nissan in 2007, had been progressively climbing the sales ranking in Spain as well as in many other European countries in the last few years. In 2010, Nissan had a great idea: while sales of the first generation were still growing, it replaced it with a facelifted model, giving it an impressive boost Europe-wide.
The Qashqai even broke into the overall European Top 10 last July. In Spain, it kept growing throughout 2010 to reach the first spot in December, taking advantage of a weak month for the Ibiza. It finished 2010 at an amazing 2nd place overall with over 30,000 sales and continued to improve its market share to 3.8 percent in January 2011.
So a very serious competitor for the Ibiza in 2011.
French manufacturers traditionally are extremely successful in Spain, and 2010 was no exception, with the 3 brands even sitting within 1,500 sales: Peugeot ranking 3rd(82,678), Renault 4th(81,558) and Citroen 5th(81,177).
Renault placed its new generation Megane on the third step of the podium in 2010 at 3 percent share, edging past the #2 of 2009, the Peugeot 207.
Another feature of the Spanish market is the prevalence of ‘compact’ cars. We saw the Qashqai and Megane leading the category in 2010, well six more compact models rank in the Top 12: the VW Golf is 5th, the Seat Leon 6th, the Opel Astra 8th and the Peugeot 308 9th, with the Citroen C4 and Ford Focus not far in 11th and 12th positions. That’s 8 compact cars in the 12 best selling models, in a region (Europe) traditionally fonder of smaller, cheaper ‘superminis’.
Spain’s Top 12 in 2010
So that’s pretty much all you need to know about the Spanish car market! Hope you enjoyed…
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.