By on September 13, 2010

Contrary to English, “azul” or blue has positive connotations in Portuguese (yes Brazilians speak Portuguese not Spanish – close, but no potatoes). “Tudo azul” means everything is fine, the road is clear. Maybe a close equivalent would be that line in that old song, nothing but blue sky. According to the giant Brazilian web providers UOL’s site, August has again recorded record car sales in Brazil. The market was up 3.99 percent on the month (good for a total of more than 296 thousand), but better yet, it was up 19.82 percent on August of 2009. Year-to-date, the market is up an even more impressive 27.68 percent!

As you’ve been reading my columns, you all know we’ve been watching closely the Gol versus Uno fight for first place. Can you guess who came out on top? (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2010

India’s population is right up there with neighboring China. Only a few hundred million less, nobody really knows. In car sales, India dwarfs against China. In 2009, Indians bought 1.43m units, compared to 13.6m units bought by the Chinese. Nevertheless, the market is growing, the potential is huge, and sales are at a record high. Monthly car sales in India surged to an all-time high in August, climbing 33 percent to 160,794 cars. That according to data issued by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), and reported in The Nikkei [sub]. August sales outpaced July’s record of 158,674 cars. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2010

Throwing caution of top government officials in the wind, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) expects car production in China to reach 30 million by 2015, with 5 million units earmarked for exports, China’s Global Times reports.

The CAAM calls the estimate “conservative.” China’s 21st Century Business Herald cited sources that are betting on 34 million annually in five years. The surprising part is not the total. 25m sold domestically by 2015 is lowballed. At the rate the world’s second largest economy is growing, anywhere between 30 to 40m units annually is doable.

What is surprising is the export number they have in  mind. (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2010


As I wrote a few days ago, European car sale figures aren’t looking too great. In fact, for want of a better phrase, they’re bloody awful. (Detailed numbers to follow at around Sept 15.)  The reason behind this drop is the detox from the high of “Cash For Clunkers”. Now that the artificial boost has gone (or is slowly dissipating) the market is coming back down to where it should be. And where it should be isn’t good news for auto manufacturers. In the UK, it’s just as bad. The SMMT reported a drop of 17.5 percent in new car registrations compared to August of last year. This is in line with the SMMT’s prediction that the second half of the year would be tough, to put it mildly. “New car registrations were down 17.5 percent in August and conditions will remain challenging through the rest for the year,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, “The industry enjoyed a better than expected first half of the year and despite the difficulties, SMMT is forecasting that new cars registrations will close just ahead of 2009 figures.” Shall we take at look at the winners and losers in the UK market for August 2010? (Read More…)

By on September 3, 2010

GM, Toyota, and Ford reported subdued August sales numbers for China today. This rains on the parade of the China Automotive Technology and Research Center. It said yesterday that August sales in China rose 55.7 percent. Did we say “don’t take it as gospel?” (Read More…)

By on September 3, 2010

Seasonally, August is never a great sales month in Germany. People don’t buy cars in August. They drive cars. They are out of the country and on vacation. This August was an exceptionally crummy one in Deutschland.  Only new 200,885 passenger vehicles (or Personenkraftwagen as they call them over there) were registered in August. That is 27 percent below the Abwrackprämien-addled August of 2009. But that’s only part of the story. (Read More…)

By on September 2, 2010

Don’t take it as gospel. The China Automotive Technology and Research Center is known for its early, but not always its most precise numbers, although their precision has improved lately. If they have their act halfway together, then a new revolution is underway in China.  According to the CATRC’s numbers, August sales in China rose 55.7 percent over a year earlier to 1.21 million vehicles. This is absoNSFWingly mindblowing, because in August 2009, sales had been up 95 percent. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2010

This was the Ooops month, previously called August. Before you get a heart attack from looking at the numbers, keep in mind that they are comparing with “Crazy August” of 2009, U.S. light vehicle sales were driven nearly up to the good old days of 2008 by Cash for Clunkers, only to drop 23 percent the next month. What we see this month is  a flashback of the withdrawal effects of 2009. All of this had (hopefully) been factored-in by analysts, but the numbers are coming in worse than expected.

If you don’t want to be sidetracked by the base effect of one crazy month, look at the rightmost column for the bigger picture: Up a bit for the year, but not by a whole lot.

The following list is complete. All precincts have reported. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2010

Japanese citizens raced to showrooms in August and bought cars as if they are going out of style. Domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses increased 46.7 percent from the same month in the year prior. There is a reason to this: Cars will be going out of style in Japan any moment now … (Read More…)

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