Over the last couple of weeks, we have stopped in Canada, Romania, South Africa and Zimbabwe. And I will continue to surprise you because this week our stopover is New Caledonia. Now before the geeks among you raise their voice, I know, I know, technically this is not a country but a French Territory (and I would know, as I am French oui oui).
If you are not into paradisiac islands with white sand beaches currently in the middle of Northern Hemisphere summer, I don’t believe you but hey that’s still ok because I have prepared 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, so don’t be shy and click away!
Now this French Territory located East of Australia is actually 12,000 miles away from Metropolitan France, and therefore its car market behaves very differently from France.
So differently that a landmark event happened there last month…
Traditionally in New Caledonia the Ford Ranger dominates car sales in New Caledonia. It was the best-selling model there in 2009 and 2010 and is en route to reiterate the same feat in 2011. It had been #1 there each month since April all the way through to October…until a landmark event happened last month…
A commonality with the French market, New Caledonians have fallen for Dacia’s low cost 4WD, the Duster. It even managed to lead the market in April and has grabbed the second spot three times since: in May, June and November. That’s because a landmark event happened in November…
Alright I have made you wait long enough. In November and for what I believe is a world first, a Chinese model lead sales outside China! We are talking here about the Great Wall Wingle. Fair enough, it’s a tiny market, not a real country and only 56 units sold were enough for it to grab the pole position, but still, it’s a landmark event.
It almost certainly makes New Caledonia the first territory/country in the world outside of China where a Chinese model is in pole position of the monthly ranking. The Wingle’s previous best in New Caledonia was #6 last July. And very interesting that this would happen of all countries in … France given no Chinese model is on sale yet in Metropolitan France.
A few countries have approached this feat but as far as I know none had managed it thus far (if you know otherwise please let me know): Uruguay with the Chery QQ possibly going up to #2 for a month and Madagascar with the JAC Tojoy on the podium at launch are the other two locations where Chinese models have already made their way towards the Top 3 selling models. Now it’s done: a Chinese export has managed to beat all other models on sale for the space of a month in one territory. It will be interesting to see which country will be next.
|1||Great Wall Wingle||56|
And now you can be proud to have witnessed… (hint: start with landmark)
Until next week!
If you want to check monthly rankings since April 2011 for New Caledonia click here.
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.