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Sales of diesel cars continue to drop in Europe, as per International Energy Agency

It was just several months ago when European commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska called diesel-powered cars as the technology of the past, even giving a prediction that these vehicles will completely disappear in the near future. While it is still too early to say whether her statement will come a true or not, but carmakers are facing a harsh reality for now – public demand for diesel cars are dropping in a fast pace in Europe.

Public sentiment towards diesel cars in Europe has been dropping for the past years, with more and more consumers in the region looking to purchase cleaner, more environment-friendly vehicles. While Europe has been considered as the largest market for diesel cars since the 1980s, but the hunger for such vehicles has been waning lately. It was really evident from how carmakers across Europe has been shying away from diesel cars and pursuing electrification. Nonetheless, the latest available figures on sales of diesel cars are a better proof.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), there is really a huge decline in the demand for diesel cars. Since its statement is backed by numbers, it is really quite hard to deny the fact. As per IEA, diesel cars hold a large chunk of the automotive market in Europe, accounting for 42.5 percent of all sales as of start of 2017. But a year after at the start of 2018, the market share of diesel cars in Europe had shrunk to 36.5 percent. Overall during the period, carmakers manage to just move 3.12 million diesel cars to customers in Europe, for a huge decline of 16 percent, according to IEA.

Read the entire article Sales of diesel cars continue to drop in Europe, as per International Energy Agency

Renault Alaskan enters the European market

For those who are into pickup trucks, there’s good news as the new Renault Alaskan can now be yours as they expand to more countries in Europe. It had entered the South American market last year followed by its Colombian debut. The French automaker developed this model as an alternative to the Nissan Navara and the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, and it will be offering the one-ton pickup in Europe.

Under the hood of the Alaskan pickup is a 2.3-liter dCi diesel engine. Customers could either go for the base model with 160 horsepower (119 kilowatts) or the 190 horsepower (141 kilowatts) option. Both engines can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic. It has a towing capacity of 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms) and can haul up to 1,630 pounds (739 kilograms). The pickup is available in three driving modes including a two-wheel drive, a 4LO, or a 4H full AWD.

The functionality and performance of the Renault Alaskan are at par with competitors like the Ford Ranges and the Toyota Hilux, which are both currently out in the European market. Believe it or not, this truck can hit the 0 to 60 mile-per-hour (96 kilometers per hour) speed in only 12 seconds, before it reaches its top speed of 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour).

Read the entire article Renault Alaskan enters the European market

2018 VW T-Roc will be exclusive to Europe and China, not in the United States

Volkswagen recently revealed their first ever compact crossover, namely the T-Roc. This model goes right below the Tiguan in the company’s lineup, as its smallest subcompact ever. This model is like a hybrid of an SUV and a compact hatchback, and what we know is that it will be sold in Europe before the year ends. The CUV will make its first public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

When the T-Roc becomes available in Germany and the rest of Europe, customers will be able to choose from a number of engine options - for both gasoline and diesel. This includes a 1.0 liter, a 1.5 liter, and 2.0 liter TSI units, with 114 horsepower (85 kilowatts), 148 horsepower (110 kW), and 188 horsepower (140 kW), respectively. The first two can be had with six speed manual giving power to the front wheels, while a seven-speed dual clutch can be an option for the 1.5 liter unit. The 2.0, on the other hand can be paired with the dual-clutch box. For those who prefer driving a diesel, the T-Roc will be available in a 1.6 liter or a 2.0 liter TDI motor with the same output as the gasoline engines. For the T-Roc, entry-level models will be available in front-wheel drive, while larger engines can get an all-wheel drive option.

Initially, the company considered a plan to bring the model to the United States after the European release, but it seems like the company has changed their mind. Because now, reports say that the model will only be limited to Europe and China, and that piece of tidbit apparently came from VW insiders. This means that the United States will only be limited to the Tiguan if they want a compact model. But even with this statement, US fans should not lose hope at all, as there is still chance for a US-spec T-Roc, said Automobile Magazine. It is just a matter of when we will see one. Who knows, maybe the T-Roc’s future successor will head to North America.

Read the entire article 2018 VW T-Roc will be exclusive to Europe and China, not in the United States

Ford Mustang marks first full year of sales in Europe by being named best-selling sports car

Amongst all sports cars on the planet, which one is the world’s best-selling model? Would you have guessed that it is the Ford Mustang? According to IHS Markit’s global automotive registration data, it is. Just last year, 150,000 units of the Ford Mustang were sent out globally from its factory, making it the world’s most popular sports car.

The Mustang was first released in the 1960s for the US market, and it had always been at the top in terms of sales in North America. But the company thought that the model would not sell well in European and Asian countries because it’s a left-hand drive vehicle. Therefore, it took them sometime before deciding to push through with releasing an international edition of the Mustang.

But when the company finally decided to produce a European-focused Mustang, it instantly seemed like the world can’t get enough of it. In the first year of its release, the company already got 15,000 orders of the sports car from Europe. Four thousand five hundred of those units were sent to the United Kingdom alone. The Mustang is also the most popular model in France, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Greece, and Finland.

Read the entire article Ford Mustang marks first full year of sales in Europe by being named best-selling sports car

When Volkswagen unveiled the VW Atlas, it declared that this SUV is being developed for the United States and is set to arrive as a 2018 model. It also unveiled its Chinese version – the VW Teramont. Essentially, VW developed the Atlas to further penetrate the auto markets in the US and China. But now, it seems VW is seriously considering selling the new SUV in some markets in Europe.

To note, the German carmaker has already disclosed it would sell the Atlas – powered by a diesel engine -- in Russia, confident that this SUV would be popular in the country. However, selling the Atlas in other parts of Europe is another thing. Before doing so, VW has to carefully study first if bringing the Atlas to European markets is worth it. Elmar-Marius Licharz, the chief for full-size product lines at VW, told Autocar that the smaller Touareg SUV might be a better product offering for most of the markets in Europe because of its size.

Underpinned by VW’s Modular Transverse Matrix architecture, or MQB, the 2018 VW Atlas employs the brand’s current design language. It measures 198.3 inches in length, 77.9 inches in width and 69.6 inches in height – making it much larger (plus 121 mm longer, 38 mm wider and 35 mm taller) than the Touareg. In fact, the 2018 VW Atlas is the largest SUV from the company to be built in the US. However, Licharz noted that the new Atlas might be too big to be parked in many European garages. Because of its large size, there is a need to determine first if there would be any demand for the Touareg in certain markets in Europe.

Read the entire article VW may bring seven-seater Atlas SUV to Europe

BMW reported a 3% drop in operating profit in the second quarter to 2.53 billion euros ($2.77 billion) compared to the previous year despite the recovery in European car demand as China’s sales slowdown continued to pummel sales.

In a statement, BMW said that revenue climbed by 20% to 23.9 billion euros. The earnings of the automotive division fell 3.4% to 3.61 billion euros.

The company said that the profit decline was a "minor dip" that came as the result of bigger personnel costs, higher expenditure on new product start-ups and a bigger proportion of sales of lower margin compact vehicles. BMW said that even if the earnings pace is slowing, it still predicts that it will achieve new heights for sales and pretax profit in the full year.

Read the entire article BMW posts 3% decline in operating profit for Q2

As more automakers expand their lineup of plug-in hybrids, it’s likely that sales of plug-ins will soon exceed that of full-electric vehicles in Europe. In 2014, there were more deliveries of the full-electric units than plug-ins. Industry association ACEA said that last year, 58,244 battery-powered vehicles were sold in the EU and EFTA markets, standing for a 73% increase.

Meanwhile, the volume for plug-ins and extended-range vehicles increased by 26% to 39,547 units. The best-selling EV in 2014 in Europe was the Nissan Leaf, with a 38% increase from the year before to 15,134 units, according to a JATO Dynamics report.

The top-selling plug-in hybrid in the region was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with a 141% increase in sales to 19,855 units. Norway was the biggest market for EVs last year, with a 130% increase in sales to 18,090. Coming in second is France with a 20% increase to 10,561 units sold.

Read the entire article Europe sales of plug-ins are predicted to surpass full-electric vehicles

Sales in Germany of new cars climbed 9% in March 2015 due to an extra sales day and a strong optimism experienced by the largest economy in Europe. Sales in key markets in the region, including France and Italy, also went up last month. It appears that the gradual recovery in this region is continuing.

German motor transport authority (KBA) said last Thursday that in Germany, registrations increased to 323,039 vehicles.

Consumer morale is robust – evident in the 4.6% increase year-on-year of sales to private customers (which make up 35.8% of the market). Sales in the first quarter grew 6.4% to 757,630 units. KBA records also show that the 9% sales boost in March is the widest monthly jump in at least the last 15 months.

Read the entire article Germany new-car sales up by 9% in March, improvements also seen in rest of Europe

New car sales in Europe surged 7 percent in February 2015 to 958,100 vehicles, thanks to a recovering economy, lower fuel prices and dealer incentives, according to the Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA. For the first two months of 2015, sales jumped 6.6 percent to 1.99 million cars.

Euro countries have seen economic confidence surge to a seven-month high in February, thanks to the expected European Central Bank monetary stimulus and a drop in oil prices. The ECB recently revised its euro-zone gross-domestic product growth forecast upward to 1.5 percent for 2015.

“The start of the year is clearly above expectations,” remarked Sascha Gommel, an analyst at Commerzbank AG. Gommel noted that the ECB’s interest-rate policy makes refinancing cheap and encourages consumers to purchase cars.

Read the entire article European new car sales jump 7% in February 2015

Ford Motor Co. logged a 9.8-percent jump in January vehicle sales in its core 20 European markets to 88,700 units in January, boosted by strong demand for the latest Mondeo midsize car, its compact and subcompact SUVs and the Fiesta subcompact. Ford said in a statement that its market share in the region hiked 0.2 percentage points to 7.7 percent.

According to Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe's sales and marketing chief, the market share surge came as the carmaker posted more retail sales. The carmaker said that sales in higher margin channels – like private retail and fleet customers – generated 77 percent of its passenger car sales in the month.

The American carmaker disclosed that its Kuga compact SUV posted its best sales month in January since it was introduced in 2008 launch while the EcoSport subcompact SUV had its highest monthly sales since its rollout mid-2014.

Read the entire article Ford hikes core Europe sales by 9.8% in January 2015

After six years in the red, the European auto industry is now alive and kicking – at least as what figures say. Sales in Europe jumped 5 percent to 13,006,451 units in 2014 as over 80 percent of the brands in the region posted a year-on-year increase. Sixteen of the 31 brands tracked by ACEA automakers association posted growth higher than the market’s.

Only five brands posted a drop in sales last year. Surging the most in terms of growth were Jeep (plus 70 percent), Lexus (plus 30 percent) and Mitsubishi (plus 25 percent). Jumping the most in terms of volume were Renault (plus 73,231 vehicles), Skoda (plus 70,968) and Dacia (plus 68,668).

Renault, Skoda and Dacia accounted for 32 percent of the overall market's growth of 669,568 vehicles. Analysts expect another surge this year with EY expecting sales to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent and IHS Automotive forecasting deliveries to jump 2.5 percent to about 13.3 million.

Read the entire article Auto sales in Europe jump 5% 13,006,451 units in 2014

Renault is expecting its Kadjar compact SUV to become one of the best-selling models in the segment in Europe with foreseen sales of 118,000 units in 2016, which is its first full year of sales. That places the Kadjar just behind the Nissan Qashqai and the Volkswagen Tiguan compact SUVs, according to data from IHS Automotive.

Renault disclosed the SUV’s name but didn’t divulge technical details and photos, which would be presented on a Feb. 2 press event. The Kadjar will be unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March. According to Renault spokesman, the Kadjar will be underpinned with the same platform that underpins the best-selling Qashqai.

In 2014, the Nissan sold 203,549 units of second-generation Qashqai while VW sold 150,300 Tiguans in Europe. At third is the Kia Sportage, with sales of 96,333 units, according to data from JATO.

Read the entire article Renault Kadjar expected to become a top-seller in Europe

Honda plans to stop selling the Accord midsize sedan in Europe as the carmaker continues to suffer sales in a segment where premium ones from German groups are preferred. Leon Brannan, Honda’s UK car division’s boss, told Automotive News Europe that the midsize segment is dominated by corporate sales to German premium brands, which makes the cost to compete is “eye-watering.”

Honda started selling the Accord in Europe in 1977 and commenced production at its Swindon site in the UK in 1992. Back then, the Accord’s main selling points are its reliability and affordable technology.

When Honda shifted the production of the vehicle from the UK to Japan in 2000, Honda was unable to offer similar discounts provided by its European rivals, especially when the Japanese yen gained strength against local currencies.

Read the entire article Honda to stop Accord sales in Europe over falling volume

For the first time in seven years, the auto industry managed to post a surge in sales in Europe at 5 percent to 13 million cars, according to industry association ACEA. That growth, however, was not brought about by genuine recovery of consumer confidence, according to analysts, who said that the surge should be attributed to discounting, state-backed incentives and fleet sales.

Leading the charge in Europe is the Renault group, which posted a 13-percent surge in 2014, with the Captur crossover helping its namesake brand grow 9 percent. Renault’s Dacia meanwhile, saw its volume jump 23 percent as boosted by the Duster SUV and Sandero hatchback.

The Volkswagen group, on the other hand, logged a 7-percent gain in Europe. Both the group’s Skoda and Seat brands logged a 14-percent hike in sales, with namesake VW brand and Audi posting a 4-percent and 5-percent surges, respectively.

Read the entire article Carmakers log 5% jump in sales in Europe in 2014

The new Opel Karl entry-level car will have starting price of just EUR9,500 ($11,100), including sales tax. The pricing is aimed at winning over European customers of the Chevrolet brand General Motors has decided to stop offering in most markets in the region Europe by the end of the year.

The Karl, which will be sold as Viva by sister brand Vauxhall in the United Kingdom, will replace the Agila as Opel’s new entry-level model. According to the brand, Karl will feature safety and driver systems usually not found in minicars like lane departure warning, a reversing assistant, as well as heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Opel chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a statement that the Karl is the ideal car for buyers who are not only price-conscious but also seeks comfort, fuel efficiency and modern technology. While the Karl is slightly shorter than the Adam (3,680mm vs. 3,700mm), it offers a more spacious interior and could carry one more passenger.

Read the entire article Opel Karl aims to win European customers of Chevrolet brand

Sales of the Nissan Leaf are expected to surge 25 percent in Europe this year and another double digits in 2015, according to Nissan Europe's electric cars director, Jean-Pierre Diernaz. The Leaf is currently the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe with sales of 12,655 units in the first 10 months of 2014 for a 40-percent jump, according to data from JATO Dynamics.

The strong gains are attributed to lower sticker prices and leasing rates since Nissan launched the Leaf in Europe in 2010. Diernaz told Automotive News Europe that said the average lease rate for the Leaf in Europe has fallen to around EUR250 a month from EUR400 in 2010. In fact, the Leaf can be leased in France for just EUR169 a month once government incentives are counted.

The Leaf is also heavily discounted in some markets. For instance, Nissan is offering a Leaf Visia in the United Kingdom at GBP18,290 following a price cut of GBP3,200 (EUR4,066) – which means that it has a tag similar to compact cars such the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

Read the entire article Nissan expects double-digit surge in Leaf sales in Europe

BMW Group is expecting a surge in luxury car sales next year despite lethargic economy in core European markets and some geopolitical risks. BMW sales chief Ian Robertson remarked that the carmaker is seeing more opportunity for growth than downside risks next year, even though the “world has got a few bumps in the road at the moment."

He cited growing demand from the United States, China and parts of Europe for BMW’s optimism. The German luxury carmaker is reiterating its target of topping 2 million cars in sales this year, but is now expecting a "solid" increase instead of a "significant" one. In the first 10 months of 2014, BMW Group logged a 7-percent jump in sales to 1.71 million units with the core brand jumping 9 percent to 1.47 million.

BMW is planning to top 20,000 in sales of its i3 electric four-seater compact in 2015, a figure initially set a goal for this year. For the first 10 months of 2014, the carmaker sold around 12,000 i3s, boosted by demand Norway, the United Kingdom and California.

Read the entire article BMW expects sales growth in 2015 despite bumps in Europe

It appears that Europeans like supercars, in fact they love them so much that IHS Automotive forecasts an increase of more than 60 percent by 2017. According to the forecast, around 21,000 supercars will be sold by 2017 and the most popular vehicles are expected to be the BMW i8 and the Audi R8.

Things are not quite good in Italy where the finance police started to stop people who were driving supercars in order to catch those who made their money from tax evasion. According to Lamborghini CEO, people were feeling hunted.

Regarding the BMW i8, the stylish plug-in hybrid supercar is expected to outsell all other supercars next year and there is a forecast of 1,700 units. Next year, McLaren will also introduce its entry-level model, codenamed P13, which is expected to go on sale for about 160,000 euros.

Read the entire article Europeans expected to buy more supercars by 2017, segment to increase by 60 percent

General Motors is seeing its transformation in Europe getting completed on a good pace, as most of its dealers who used to carry Chevrolet vehicles are now selling only Opel-branded units. GM pulled out Chevrolet in Europe in 2014 to focus on building up its Opel/Vauxhall units.

The decision was lauded as it brought to an end a rivalry between two brands that had cannibalized each other’s sales while rendering them less profitable. Michael Lohscheller, Opel’s chief financial officer, remarked that the dealer transition from Chevrolet to Opel is working well, with 85 percent have converted to selling only Opel.

He said that in the past, a customer visits a dealership looking for an Opel but buying with a Chevrolet. He added that Opel will be developing a range of models aimed at former customers of Chevrolet.

Read the entire article GM says most Chevy dealers in Europe now selling only Opels

It appears that the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine developed by Ford is getting more and more popular as one in five all-new vehicles sold in Europe in the first half of 2014 are equipped with the mentioned powerplant. According to Ford, compared to the first six months of 2013 it sold 15 percent more vehicles equipped with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost petrol engine.

In the first half of 2014, 47 percent of the B-Max models sold were equipped with the 1.0-liter engine. Meanwhile, in the same period, 33 percent of Focus sales and 30 percent of Fiesta sales left the dealerships with a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.

For those who don’t know, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is available on the Ford Fiesta, EcoSport, C-Max and Grand C-Max, Tourneo Connect, Grand Tourneo Connect, Transit Connect and Transit Courier. The engine was available in two power versions, delivering 100 hp and 125 hp, but recently Ford introduced the Fiesta Red Edition and Fiesta Black Edition models, which use the same engine delivering 140 hp.

Read the entire article Ford says 1 of 5 models sold in Europe are equipped with the 1.0-liter EcoBoost petrol engine