28 April 2017

Electric Car Road Show

New Zealand generates most of its power from hydroelectric so is a clean source. I don't think any major dams will be built in the country again as there are too many environmental hurdles to jump these days but I digress. It is a country that could clean up its vehicle pollution by encouraging electric but apparently doesn't have the money to do it.

A 10 cent per litre tax on fossil fuel would be a good way to fund it. The proceeds could be put aside to provide discounts on new vehicles and improve the inadequate electric charging infrastructure. However, increasing any tax is not always a popular move in a democracy.


So a privately run road show is travelling the country promoting electric cars. I popped along and soon got chatting with a Renault Zoe owner. He was going to switch to a newer, better virtually new model. An importer is bringing a batch in from the UK. I mentioned I'd never ridden in an electric car before so he asked if I wanted a spin in it. I was surprised bu agreed and he insisted I drove it. I enjoyed the quietness and the driving experience.

I then chatted to a Hyundai rep who brought along the new Ioniq. Larger than the Zoe, it still has a very limited range. As with all such cars, the purchase price is unrealistic compared to fossil fuel powered cars.


In summary, the problems are the initial purchase price and range (as I only need one vehicle). Around town it would be brilliant but wishing to drive long distances and the charging / range issue won't work for me. I was told in two years time the range will be competitive. As for pricing, maybe it will be longer for that to be realistic if not subsidised.

It was a good idea to bring a range of cars to places around the country. Nissan, Renault, Hyundai, Tesla, Audi and BMW featured in the road trip to where I am. I would like to go that way but I can't see it happening for me.

26 April 2017

VW LCV Global Production By Model : 2016


VW does light commercial vehicles too and nearly 470,000 were made by the company in 2016. Volume was down 3.3% due to fall off in pick up trucks. Over 40% was for the Transporter model, made up of seated and van variants. The smaller Caddy model accounted for a third of the total. The Crafter van is moving from Mercedes manufacturing to a VW plant in Poland and what is shown below is the initial start up production.

15 16 Model 2016 % +/-
2015 %


Total 469,507 -3.3
485,616







1 1 Transporter 199,486 42.5% 12%
178,850 36.8%
Caravelle/Kombi 117,554 22%
96,341
Van 81,932 -1%
82,509
2 2 Caddy 158,598 33.8% 5%
150,350 31.0%
Kombi 86,841 17%
74,302
Van 71,757 -6%
76,048
3 3 Amarok 63,367 13.5% -22%
81,019 16.7%
4 4 Saveiro 47,460 10.1% -37%
75,397 15.5%

  5 Crafter 596 0.1% n/a



Data source: VW Group.

SEAT Global Production By Model : 2016


SEAT needs to do better, that is to be bigger. It's not helped by it being mainly sold in Europe and late entry into the booming crossover segment. A 400,000 unit volume isn't enough for a mainstream brand, even when platform sharing with other makes within the VW empire.

Cost savings are made by the Toledo model being make in the Czech Republic, related as it is to the Škoda Rapid. Likewise with the new Ateca crossover sharing the Škoda Yeti platform and also made in the CR. The Mii mini car is made in Slovakia and is much the same as the VW Up! and Škoda Citigo. The large Alhambra MPV is built in Portugal using the same platform as the Volkswagen Sharan.

So what's made in Spain? The León and Ibiza in the Martorell plant circa Barcelona and over 75% of production in 2016 was for those two models. That is a somewhat lopsided spread, but the Ateca crossover should reduce that dependency when it achieves a full year of production.

As for profitability, 2016 signaled a breakthrough in that area, with a + €153 million result, or €279 per vehicle. All that sharing of technology and factories must be bearing fruit, as will the Ateca model's arrival.

15 16 Model 2016 % +/-
2015 %


Total 417,012 0.5
415,076







1 1 León 163,228 39.1% -4%
169,455 40.8%
2 2 Ibiza 149,988 36.0% -7%
160,451 38.7%
- 3 Ateca 35,833 8.6% n/a
-
5 4 Alhambra 31,214 7.5% 12%
27,925 6.7%
4 5 Mii 18,720 4.5% -24%
24,516 5.9%
3 6 Toledo/Altea 18,029 4.3% -45%
32,729 7.9%


Toledo 18,029
-9%
19,728


Altea -
n/a
13,001

Data source: VW Group.

21 April 2017

Škoda Global Production By Model : 2016


Czech brand Škoda grew an impressive 12.3% in 2016. Considering the issue around VW for the year, it remained unscathed by any fallout. The upturn was centred around the large Superb model, which entered its third generation during 2015. However, all models did well except the Citigo mini car (flat) and Roomster MPV (defunct). One can safely assume the new Kodiaq crossover will ensure a production volume increase for 2017.

15 16 Model 2016 % +/-
2015 %


Total 1,152,308 12%
1,025,885







1 1 Octavia 445,415 38.7% 5%
425,629 41.5%
3 2 Rapid 216,773 18.8% 15%
189,187 18.4%
2 3 Fabia 203,308 17.6% 4%
195,349 19.0%
5 4 Superb 148,880 12.9% 76%
84,550 8.2%
4 5 Yeti 95,426 8.3% 6%
89,890 8.8%
6 6 Citigo 41,247 3.6% 0%
41,280 4.0%
- 7 Kodiaq 1,259 0.1% n/a
-
7 - Roomster -
n/a
11,166 1.1%

Data source: VW Group.

18 April 2017

Lamborghini Production By Model : 2016


I have to say I don't really have much interest in the marque. It screams 'excess' to me. That said, they sell in numbers that show that is what some people want and can afford to indulge that wish. 3,579 were made in 2016, down 3.5% on 2015's 3,707. With competitors such as Ferrari and Mclaren, the small super sports car market is tight and new models constantly required to keep the range fresh and appealing.

Of the two models Lamborghini have, the Huracán accounts for 68% of volume with 2,400 made (Coupé 1,300 and Roadster 1,100). The Aventador makes up the balance with 1,160 (Coupé 590 and Roadster 570).

The Lamborghini Urus SUV is finally about to surface. It's been dangled out there for some time and capacity at the plant is now ready to handle the volume required. I read somewhere about 3,500 units per annum is the target figure, with the two cars matching that.

16 April 2017

Audi Global Production By Model : 2016


I must say that Audi model designation is easy to follow. The brand also has a cookie cutter method for their design. You have no doubt which family they belong to. That has positives but maybe it's taken a bit too far.

Production was up 6% in 2016, which was sound without being spectacular. The premium segment is getting hot with competition so while overall sales are growing in the premium arena, manufacturers still have to keep on their toes.

Audi started making SUVs in 2006 and each year they represent a greater share of production volume. Initially there wasn't much impact but it took off from 2009, reaching a quarter of the total in 2012. For 2016 it was 34.3%, just over a third of all vehicles made. Historically the A4 has been the most produced model, but since 2014, the A3 has.

15 16 Model 2016 % +/-
2015 %


Total 1,899,680 6%
1,824,976







1 1 A3 361,996 19.1% -2%
369,604 20.3%
2 2 A4 357,997 18.8% 13%
318,208 17.4%
4 3 Q5 297,750 15.7% 11%
267,555 14.7%
3 4 A6 276,163 14.5% -6%
293,378 16.1%
5 5 Q3 231,451 12.2% 13%
204,801 11.2%
6 6 A1 105,252 5.5% -9%
116,250 6.4%
7 7 Q7 103,507 5.4% 26%
82,188 4.5%
8 8 A5 65,117 3.4% -18%
79,133 4.3%
9 9 TT 26,886 1.4% -24%
35,510 1.9%
10 10 A7 26,307 1.4% -10%
29,131 1.6%
11 11 A8 24,147 1.3% -11%
27,077 1.5%
13 12 Q2 19,419 1.0% n/a
67 0.0%
12 13 R8 3,688 0.2% 78%
2,074 0.1%

Data source: VW Group.
Picture source: Netcarshow.