Irish Car Market drops again in April 2013. Volkswagen consolidated the leadership.

April 2013 reported that the Irish new car market decline is going ahead, albeit at a slower rate than March, at a negative 9%, with a total of 6.121 registrations versus 6.681 in April 2012. April saw Nissan fall back to 10th position for the month at 467 units while retaining its YTD position of 5th. The top 20 saw new market entrant, Dacia, jumped from 19th position in March to 15th position in April.

With March figures somewhat distorted with the registration of hire-drive units, a certain level of normality returned to the market share distribution with KIA leaving the top 10 (246 units, 5.2%) and BMW re-entering (344 units, 5.6%).

Top ten brands that experienced negative market share growth in April 2013 as compared to April 2012 include Toyota, down 30.8% (9.5% Vs. 12.7%), Hyundai, down 30% (7.0% Vs. 9.2%), Renault, down 37% (5.6% Vs. 8.2%), Audi, down 24.4% (5.5% Vs. 6.7%) and Nissan, down 27% (9.7% Vs. 10.9%).

Looking at the top 10 brands performances:

Volkswagen sold 901 units with a share of 14.7%, up 2.0 points on March 2013. Year-to-date sales are 5,744 with a market share of 12.6% showing that the brand is growing stronger each month. The Golf held its number one slot in April and the Passat jumped from 11th in March to 4th in April. VW look like they are pulling away from their closest competitor, Toyota, with the unit gap now 998 units (5,744 Vs. 4,746). Many market observers will put this growth down to the finance offers available through VW bank for both retail and fleet buyers.

Toyota finished April in second place with 589 registrations giving them 9.6% of the market, a decline of 0.8 points on March 2013 and a massive 3.2 points down on April 2012. With several new models now well established in the market (Rav4 and Auris) this is a disappointing result for Toyota and it remains to be seen if they can claw back some of the lead that VW have taken on them. The brand is still holding its 2nd plate YTD with 4,746 units and a respectable 10.4% market share. Toyota only had one model in the top ten in April, the Auris with 132 units, 2.1% of the market.

Ford finished 3th for the month with 506 units and 8.2% share and also retain their 3th position YTD with 4,348 units and 9.5% of the market. Unlike Toyota, Ford recorded positive growth month on month with a share of just 6.4% in April 2012. The Focus range continues to be a strong seller, finishing in 2nd position for the month. Unlike February and March, Ford only had one model in the top 10 this month, with the Fiesta slipping out to 23rd place in the month.

Hyundai continued its crusade up the rankings with a 4th place finish in April, with 434 units and 7.1% of the market. They also consolidate their 4th place in the YTD stakes with 3,693 units and 8.1% of the market. The brand recorded a drop in share this month over April 2012 of 2.2 percentage points but this is almost certainly attributable to a later car rental season last year with hire drive registrations taking place in April last year as opposed to March this year. Their assault on the Irish market is nothing short of remarkable when one considers that three years ago the brand held less than the 5% of the market (4.72% YTD April 2010). The brand had no top ten models in the April rankings pointing towards a spread of model sales across the range leading to the 4th place finish for the month.

Skoda finished April in 5th position with 366 unit sales and 6.0% market share, showing a slight increase month on month of +0.5 percentage points on April 2012. YTD the brand is in 6th position with 6.8% of the market and 3,129 units. The new Octavia is performing strongly with 156 units in the month and 1,195 YTD but the new Rapid has had a lesser impact on the market with just 18 units sales in the month and 461 units YTD.

Renault came in 7th place in April 2013 with 348 units and 5.7% share, down 2.6 percentage points on April 2012. Year to date Renault are in 9th position with 2,153 units and 4.7% market share. It had two models in the top ten this month in the Fluence and Clio, with the Clio being a new model that will help grow market share as the year progresses.

BMW re-entered the top ten, in 8th place, in April with 344 units and 5.6% market share, helping the premium brand retain its 11th place overall YTD with 1,964 units and 4.0%. It also improved their share over April 2012 by almost 2.0 points, up from a 3.67% share in April last year. The 5 series finished a very strong 5th place this month up from 27th place in March 2013. A facelift 5 series is on the way which should help the brand boost their share even further as the year progresses.

Audi lagged BMW by just 3 units in April with 341 units and 5.5% market share. Compared to April 2012 Audi are down 1.2 points, with a 6.75% share recorded in April 2012. The brand is still Irelands leading premium vehicle with 2,405 units and 5.3% share placing them in 8th place YTD.

Nissan finished April in 10th place with a disappointing 325 units and 5.3% share, down 1.4 points on the same month last year. This weaker performance drops them from 4th place YTD in March to 5th YTD this month, still a respectable position in a fiercely competitive market, with 3,686 units and 8.1% market share this year.

In the table below the Top 25 Brands ranked for the year to date position:

In the model rankings for April 2013, the VW Golf holds its number one position for both the Month and YTD, with 355 units sold in April (5.8%) and 2,385 sold for the year to date (5.2%). The popular model jumps 0.8 points on April 2012 when it held a 4.95% share.

The Ford Focus retakes number 2 position in April with 229 units and 3.7% share. The Focus is no longer Ireland’s bestselling model, having to settle for 3rd place YTD in 2013, with 1,724 units and 3.8% share.

In 3rd place is the Nissan Qashqai with 205 units, a 3.3% share in the month. YTD the Qashqai is in a strong 2nd place with 1,724 sold so far this year giving the model a 4.7% share of the market. Month on Month the Qashqai is up 1.4 points, with 127 units sold in April 2012 when it had a 1.9% share.

The VW Passat jumps from 11th place in March to 4th place in April with 177 units sold this month giving the model a 2.9% share. This strong month helps the Passat jump to 8th position YTD with 1,154 sold so far this year, yielding a 2.5% share of the market. Month on Month the Passat is down 0.2 points from 3.02% in April 2012.

In 5th place this month is the BMW 5 Series, with 173 units sold and a 2.8% share of the market. Overall the 5 Series is in 13th place for YTD with 840 sold and a 1.8% share. The imminent facelift 5 series will help the executive car gain further momentum in the market when it launches soon. BMW will also be happy with the 5 Series Year on Year performance, with its share increased by 1.2 points on April 2012, when it sold 109 units, giving it 1.63% of the market.

6th place goes to the Skoda Octavia for both the month and YTD. April 2013 saw 156 Octavia’s reach new homes giving it a 2.5% share and YTD 1,195 have been sold for a 2.6% share. However despite a new model being launched this year, the Octavia lost share on a Year on Year basis, falling 0.18 points from 2.72% in April 2012.

In 7th place for April 2013 is the Renault Fluence with 139 units and a 2.3% share, up a considerable 1.2 points from 1.1% in March 2013 but down 0.9 points on April 2012 when it sold 211 units for 3.16% of the market. The Fluence is one of two Renault models in the top ten this month, with the Clio joining it in 10th place.

The KIA Sportage continued to perform strongly on the Irish market, finishing in 8th position this month, with 137 sold this month for a 2.2% share, a gain of 0.75 points against 99 units in April 2012 for a 1.5% share. KIA, along with its cousin Hyundai, continues to gain a stronghold on the Irish market, especially in the small to medium SUV sectors where buyers like both their modern styling and affordable pricing.

Toyota only manages one place in this month’s top 10 with the Auris finishing in 9th position with 132 units for a 2.1% share. On a better note, YTD the Auris is in 5th place with 1,357 sold, a 3.0% share of the market. It is notable that neither the Avensis nor Yaris feature in this month’s top ten, but both models still hold places in the top 10 YTD with the Yaris in 9th position, selling 1,142 units for a 2.5% share and the Avensis holding 10th place with 1,097 units and a 2.4% market share.

In 10th place in this month’s top 10 is the Renault Clio, giving Renault two places in this month’s top 10, with Clio sales reaching 122 units this month yielding a 2.0% share. The Clio is also up 0.4 points year on year, thanks to a new model, with 106 units sold in April 2012.

Not in the top 10 but worth noting is the new (to Ireland) Dacia Duster which finished the month in 13th position with sales of 113 units in the month, a 1.8% share of the market. The pricing point and value offering of Renaults sub-brand seems to be earning a place in Ireland’s value led market and it will be interesting to see if the recently launched Dacia Sandero small hatch gains the same traction as its bigger SUV sister.

The table below lists the Top 50 best-selling models, ordered by position in the month:

Rank April

Rank March

Rank YTD 2013

Model

April 2013

YTD 2013

Feb

Mar

Apr

YTD 2013

1

1

1

Volkswagen Golf

355

2,385

5.0%

6.0%

5.8%

5.2%

2

8

3

Ford Focus

229

1,724

3.2%

2.8%

3.7%

3.8%

3

2

2

Nissan Qashqai

205

2,147

6.4%

5.2%

3.3%

4.7%

4

11

8

Volkswagen Passat

177

1,154

2.3%

2.2%

2.9%

2.5%

5

27

13

BMW 5-Series

173

840

0.9%

1.1%

2.8%

1.8%

6

12

6

Skoda Octavia

156

1,195

2.6%

2.1%

2.5%

2.6%

7

29

19

Renault Fluence

139

709

2.1%

1.1%

2.3%

1.5%

8

13

12

Kia Sportage

137

941

2.1%

2.1%

2.2%

2.1%

9

6

5

Toyota Auris

132

1,357

3.3%

3.3%

2.1%

3.0%

10

19

14

Renault Clio

122

794

3.8%

1.4%

2.0%

1.7%

11

20

10

Toyota Avensis

119

1,097

3.0%

1.3%

1.9%

2.4%

12

23

17

Peugeot 208

114

719

1.4%

1.3%

1.9%

1.6%

13

15

39

Dacia Duster

113

367

0.1%

1.7%

1.8%

0.8%

13

15

16

Opel Insignia

113

771

2.0%

1.7%

1.8%

1.7%

15

10

11

Hyundai ix35

106

1,023

2.4%

2.3%

1.7%

2.2%

16

3

7

Opel Astra

101

1,156

2.1%

3.5%

1.6%

2.5%

17

3

9

Toyota Yaris

100

1,142

2.1%

3.5%

1.6%

2.5%

18

30

24

Audi A4

99

619

1.6%

1.0%

1.6%

1.4%

19

25

18

Volkswagen Polo

98

710

1.4%

1.2%

1.6%

1.6%

20

47

34

Hyundai Santa Fe

97

440

0.7%

0.6%

1.6%

1.0%

21

33

54

Toyota Rav 4

93

212

0.0%

0.9%

1.5%

0.5%

22

37

25

Toyota Corolla

88

602

1.1%

0.8%

1.4%

1.3%

23

5

4

Ford Fiesta

84

1,421

2.9%

3.5%

1.4%

3.1%

24

24

22

BMW 3-Series

83

662

1.1%

1.3%

1.3%

1.4%

25

36

35

Ford Mondeo

82

404

1.1%

0.8%

1.3%

0.9%

26

34

36

Audi A3

79

398

0.8%

0.9%

1.3%

0.9%

26

35

27

Audi A6

79

560

1.2%

0.9%

1.3%

1.2%

28

56

59

Seat Mii

74

176

0.1%

0.3%

1.2%

0.4%

29

61

41

Mercedes E Class

71

329

1.0%

0.2%

1.2%

0.7%

30

43

31

Renault Megane

70

481

1.3%

0.6%

1.1%

1.1%

31

18

26

Skoda Superb

69

590

1.5%

1.4%

1.1%

1.3%

31

60

46

Mazda 6

69

261

0.6%

0.3%

1.1%

0.6%

33

7

15

Nissan Micra

67

780

1.1%

3.0%

1.1%

1.7%

33

32

33

Volkswagen Jetta

67

459

0.6%

0.9%

1.1%

1.0%

35

17

21

Hyundai i40

65

680

1.6%

1.5%

1.1%

1.5%

36

22

28

Kia Cee’d

64

553

1.6%

1.3%

1.0%

1.2%

36

39

38

Skoda Fabia

64

376

1.0%

0.7%

1.0%

0.8%

38

63

62

VW Caddy Pass

63

80

0.0%

0.1%

1.0%

0.2%

39

38

49

BMW 1 Series

61

254

0.3%

0.8%

1.0%

0.6%

40

31

37

Honda Civic

55

390

1.0%

1.0%

0.9%

0.9%

41

9

23

Opel Corsa

54

625

0.7%

2.5%

0.9%

1.4%

42

14

20

Hyundai i30

51

681

1.2%

2.0%

0.8%

1.5%

42

21

30

Seat Ibiza

51

507

1.2%

1.3%

0.8%

1.1%

44

40

40

Hyundai i20

49

345

0.5%

0.7%

0.8%

0.8%

45

59

51

Opel Mokka

42

234

0.4%

0.3%

0.7%

0.5%

46

41

43

Seat Toledo

36

286

0.6%

0.7%

0.6%

0.6%

46

44

44

Hyundai ix20

36

279

0.4%

0.6%

0.6%

0.6%

46

48

50

Volkswagen Tiguan

36

249

0.5%

0.5%

0.6%

0.5%

49

51

42

Seat Leon

35

318

1.1%

0.4%

0.6%

0.7%

49

53

60

KIA Venga

35

155

0.3%

0.4%

0.6%

0.3%

51

62

63

Ford KA

34

77

0.1%

0.1%

0.6%

0.2%

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This report was written by focus2move Automotive Expert for Ireland, Niall Cunningham.

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