After studying how Chinese brands may finally find their mojo at home and before I hit you with a few impressive sales figures for April let’s take a bit of time for our much anticipated World Roundup for March.
This month the worldwide star is the Nissan Qashqai…
Alright so France is under the spotlight this month, not so much for the market’s performance, struggling as much as the rest of Europe, but for two historical events: in the Light Commercial Vehicle ranking, not usually the subject of much talk in my monthly roundups, an import takes the lead for the first time ever: the Fiat Ducato is #1 with 2,777 sales and 8.4% share. In the Passenger Cars ranking, the Nissan Qashqai is only the 2nd Japanese model to manage to ever crack the monthly French Top 10 at #9 with 3,381 sales and 2% share. The only other one is the Toyota Yaris which did so in January and March 2007.
So yes, the Qashqai is once again the star of the month, and is actually even more impressive in March than it was in February. It takes the lead year-to-date in Spain, breaks its ranking, volume and share records in Italy at #6 with 4,142 sales and 3.1%, climbs onto the podium in Austria for the very first time and lodges a 2nd consecutive month at a record #5 in the overall European models ranking with a massive 29,116 sales. Told you.
The third hero of the month is Italian, making it 2 in 3. For the first time, the Fiat 500L outsells its ‘inspiration’ the Fiat 500 at home in Italy, ranking at an outstanding 4th place.
Finally the last big event worldwide happened in Australia. For the first time in the history of automobile there, the Top 4 manufacturers are 100% Asian this month (Toyota-Mazda-Nissan-Hyundai), with local manufacturer Holden relegated to 5th place and passed by Hyundai for the first time. It would be like Renault ranking 5th in France below Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota and Ford…
In other worldwide news:
Dacia is starting to make some waves in Ireland where it launched last January simultaneously with the UK, placing the Duster at #15. The Duster for its part breaks into the Indian Top 10 for the first time at #10 with a record 6,313 sales
In India, the Maruti Dzire becomes only the third model to ever sell more than 20,000 monthly units after the Maruti Alto (in March 2007 for the first time) and Swift (in February 2012).
In Brazil the Hyundai HB20 is up a further 23% on a record month of February to reach an unbelievable 12,537 sales but remains #4, in Norway the Mazda CX-5 stays at a world-best 2nd place but is now only 0.6% behind the VW Golf while the Nissan Leaf improves on February to hit a (new world-best) #4 spot.
The new generation Toyota RAV4 threatens traditional leader the Corolla in Taiwan while in Japan, the Toyota Aqua lodges its 6th month in a row in pole position and breaks the 30,000 monthly unit barrier for the first time ever at a record 33,693 sales.
In Turkey the Renault Symbol is back in charge thanks to the radically different new generation, in Poland the Toyota Yaris tops the ranking for the first time in 5 years (since August 2008 exactly), in Romania the Dacia Dokker breaks into the Top 10 for the first time in any country in the world at #9 and the Mercedes A-Class lodges a fantastic 9th place in Portugal.
Finally in the US, the Ford Fusion breaks the 30,000 monthly unit mark for the first time and finishes Q1 at a record 80,558 sales while the Ford Escape also breaks its Quarter record at 72,943 units.
Previous World roundups:
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars Blog, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.