Every month we post a list of the best selling cars in South Africa based on car registrations. The outcome is generally the same however; there’s either a Toyota Hilux, a Ford Ranger or a Volkswagen Polo at the top, and then the rest. Our local market has been dominated by Toyota and Volkswagen for decades, but is it the same story in other countries?
On a global scale it would seem accurate, Toyota is the global leader with around 10.23 million vehicles sold. VW is second with 10.14 million and General Motors third with 9.92 million deliveries in 2014. But when we dig a little deeper into model specifics in certain countries, it’s interesting to see what brands other markets favour.
Much of the world is experiencing good vehicle sales growth in 2015 – South Africa not included. Australia is heading for an all-time sales high in 2015 and leading the charge down under is Toyota. Hyundai and Mazda are also firm favourites and round out the podium spots for total car sales. Just like our market, the Hilux is the top seller in Australia, with the new generation Hilux already topping sales charts in October 2015. Australia also seems to be a strong market for sedans as Corolla and Mazda3 are among the top three sellers every month.
As of October 2015, Fiat is the biggest seller of cars in the Brazilian market. Like our market, Brazil's car market on a whole is in decline this year (23% down), but has sold over 2 million vehicles so far. Chevrolet has the second biggest market share with Volkswagen in third. Strangely, the top three selling cars in Brazil are not even sold in SA. Check out this Chev Onix below that was the top-selling car in October 2015. Other cars that sit on top of the sales charts are the Hyundai HB20 (Brazil-specific i20) and the Fiat Palio.
As you would expect, the French models top the sales chart in their local market. Peugeot and Renault consistently vie for top spot with Citroen in third. It is the Renault Clio that is the sales chart topper ahead of the Peugeot 208 and then the 308. The French really do love their small cars as the next three top selling cars are the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Citroen C3.
Japan is one of the other markets that is struggling globally with sales down around 9% year-on-year. This appears to be due to increased tax on ‘Kei cars’ (small cars). The Japanese are extremely loyal to their local brands as the top three sales leaders are Toyota, Honda and Suzuki. There are some very strange cars roaming about in Japan that are specific to the local market; the top seller for example is the Toyota Aqua (pictured below). Strong players are the Honda Jazz, Mazda Demio (Mazda2) and Nissan Note.
Ford and Volkswagen remain perennial favourites in the UK with the Fiesta, Golf and Focus in the top three most months. Other interesting cars to make the top 10 chart includes the Opel Mokka (Vauxhall), Hyundai Tucson and the Ford Ecosport.
The USA has long been a market that buys and produces bakkies (pick-ups) by the hundreds and thousands. This year, the USA is set to break all records for car sales, a record that has stood since the year 2000. Apparently the sales growth is down to cheap fuel and low interest rates. At the top of the pile is GM, followed by Ford and Toyota in third. The Ford F-Series (pictured below) ranks as the top seller in the States followed by GM’s Chevrolet Silverado. Third place is another bakkie in the form of the Dodge Ram. There are also strong sales from the Toyota Camry, Honda CR-V and the Nissan Rogue (X-Trail).