I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 12 May 2017

USA SALES APRIL - AUDI - the German luxury brand is now running at 76 months of growth.

  • Q5 SUV sales increased 26 percent to 5,028 vehicles
  • Sales of Q7 rose 22 percent; Second-best month for flagship SUV
  • Consumer demand for A4 sedan increased 9 percent; A5 sales up 24 percent
Audi of America’s April sales increased 5 percent to 18,711 vehicles, a record. Demand was strong across the product lineup, with the Q5, Q7 SUVs and the A4 sedan leading the volume gains.
It was the best April sales result for Audi in the U.S., marking the brand’s 76th straight monthly record. The previous April record was set last year with 17,801 vehicles sold. Through the first four months of 2017, Audi sales have risen 8 percent to 64,358 vehicles.
April results were bolstered by strong demand across the brand’s SUV lineup, with total sales in the segment increasing 18 percent over last April and 19 percent year-to-date. 
The newly launched Q5 led the gains with 5,028 vehicles sold, an increase of 26 percent. Sales of the Q7 rose 22 percent over last year to 3,022 vehicles, the second-best month on record for the model. The Q3 posted 1,510 sales for the month.
Consumer demand for A4 and A5 models was also strong. The A4 sedan posted sales of 3,246 vehicles, a 9 percent increase for the month and a 20 percent gain year-to-date. A4 allroad sales jumped 61 percent to 236 vehicles. The A5 recorded 1,007 deliveries in April, an increase of 24 percent from last year.
“Customers are responding well to our new products,” said Mark Del Rosso, chief operating officer, Audi of America. “With the new Q5 in full force and the new A5, we have much cause to be optimistic that our product offensive will position us well for continued growth this year.” 

Model Line
Apr '17 Actual
Apr '16 Actual
Yr/Yr % change
Apr '17 YTD  Actual
Apr '16 YTD Actual
Yr/Yr % change
A3 e-tron
Total Audi Sales
Total CPO Sales

- A3 includes A3 Sedan, S3 Sedan and A3 Cabriolet, but does not include A3 Sportback e-tron.
- A4 includes A4 Sedan and S4 Sedan, but does not include A4 allroad.
- A5 includes A5 Coupe, S5 Coupe, RS 5 Coupe, A5 Cabriolet, S5 Cabriolet and RS 5 Cabriolet.
- A6 includes A6 Sedan and S6 Sedan.
- A7 includes A7 Sedan, S7 Sedan and RS 7 Sedan.
- A8 includes A8 Sedan, A8 L Sedan and S8 Sedan.
- Q5 includes Q5 and SQ5.
- R8 includes R8 Coupe and R8 Spyder.
- TT includes TT Coupe, TTS Coupe and TT Roadster.

UK SALES APRIL - KIA - The brand remained strong although it still dropped, but by less than half the market average.

  • Kia delivers 6,291 vehicles in April
  • Kia in Top Ten brands for month and year
  • Market down almost 20 per cent but Kia fall held to 8 per cent 
In a market down by almost 20 per cent during April demand from Kia customers allowed the brand to stay strong – seeing only an eight per cent fall compared to 2016.
With the brand’s popular Picanto model – its second biggest seller – in run-out ahead of the launch of the all-new model on 1 May, demand for Sportage, cee’d and the all-new Rio allowed Kia to deliver 6,291 vehicles to customers during the month – making Kia the ninth best-selling brand in the market.
And with sales for the year reaching 35,996 Kia also held ninth place in the best-selling list to the end of April. Although the April market fell dramatically Kia is still 16 per cent ahead of the 2016 performance for the year to date.
Paul Philpott, President and Chief Executive of Kia Motors (UK) Limited commented: “The vehicle excise duty changes coming into effect at the start of April was always going to have an effect on the month and because our ever-popular Picanto model was in run-out ahead of the all new model launched just this week, we expected our performance to drop off – but I am very pleased that demand for our other excellent vehicles remained strong amongst both retail and business customers.
“Initial response to the all-new Picanto is extremely positive and exciting and I expect our performance to come back strongly in the months ahead – especially as we have two other all-new models to launch this year. I was pleased to see that our year-to-date performance, up 16 per cent, is well ahead of the overall market’s one per cent improvement.
“And I am absolutely delighted that we are ninth in the best seller lists for both April and the year-to-date,” he commented.

WORLDWIDE SALES APRIL - MERCEDES - The brands show a whopping 10.1% growth over the month.

  • New best-ever unit sales with 180,599 vehicles sold worldwide and double-digit growth in April (+10.1%)
  • Continuation of strong sales growth in China (+35.3%)
  • More than 250,000 units sold of the new E-Class Saloon and Estate since market launch
Mercedes-Benz achieved record unit sales for the 50th consecutive month in April. In the first month of the second quarter, 180,599 vehicles with the three-pointed star were delivered to customers, which is 10.1% more than in the same month of last year. Since the beginning of this year, unit sales have increased even faster. 
Compared with the first four months of 2016, 14.5% more vehicles have been sold this year: a total of 741,224 units. Mercedes-Benz was the premium brand with the most new cars registered in April in markets including Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, the USA and Canada.
“April was very successful for Mercedes-Benz: We achieved our 50th consecutive record month for unit sales and once again a double-digit growth,” stated Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. 
“With the new S-Class, which had its world premiere at the trade fair in Shanghai in April, we want to continue the story of our successful luxury saloon car. So far, we have delivered about four million S-Class Saloons to our customers.”
Mercedes-Benz unit sales by region and market
In Europe, Mercedes-Benz increased its unit sales in April by 3.9% to a new high of 75,928 vehicles. This growth was driven not only by a new record for unit sales and double-digit growth in Great Britain, but also in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal and Poland. 
In Germany, the domestic market, the Stuttgart-based company with the three-pointed star achieved a 5% increase in unit sales in the first four months of the year; 95,171 Mercedes-Benz vehicles were handed over to customers in that period.
In the Asia-Pacific region, a total of 68,485 vehicles were delivered to customers in the fourth month of this year (+29.8%) – more than ever before in an April. In China, 47,627 customers were delighted to receive their new Mercedes-Benz, which is an increase of 35.3% compared with the prior-year month. This means that the company achieved best-ever figures in its biggest sales market both in April and in the first four months of the year. This is also true for the markets South Korea, Australia, Taiwan and India.
Since the beginning of the year, Mercedes-Benz posted new record sales in the NAFTA region. In the period of January to April this year, 126,191 vehicles were handed over to customers (+3.5%). In each of the United States (+1.0%), Canada (+13.2%) and Mexico (+37.7%), more customers received a new Mercedes-Benz than ever before in the first four months of a year.
Mercedes-Benz unit sales by model
The C-Class continued to be in strong demand and was the best-selling Mercedes-Benz model last month. A total of 33,666 customers took delivery of their new C-Class Saloon or Estate in April. The long-wheelbase version of the C-Class Saloon, which is sold exclusively in China, recorded best-ever sales figures once again in April.
The E-Class is as popular as ever. In April, 28,827 customers decided in favour of the E-Class Saloon or Estate, which is 52.4% more than in the prior-year month. This was a new April record for the two models. The success story of the new E-Class started a year ago with the market launch of the Saloon in Europe. Since then, more than 250,000 new E-Class Saloons and Estate models have been sold.
The SUVs from Mercedes-Benz posted best-ever unit sales in April and in the first four months of the year: 59,739 customers took delivery of their new SUV last month (+5.5%) and a total of 247,877 since the beginning of the year (+13.3%). The GLC made a major contribution to this success. Demand will be additionally boosted by the new GLA, which has been available from dealerships in Europe since April.
This April, 10,952 customers decided in favour of a two-seat or four-seat urban microcar from smart; the number since the beginning of the year is 45,108. The smart brand set sales records in the first four months of the year in China and Great Britain, two of its largest markets. Worldwide, the convertible version of the smart achieved particularly strong growth since the beginning of the year. Sales of the smart cabrio electric drive will now start in Europe this May.
Overview of sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars
April 2017
Change in %
Jan. – April 2017
Change in %
Mercedes-Benz Cars
Mercedes-Benz unit sales in the region/market
- thereof Germany
- thereof China
- thereof USA

Volvo announces that it has the achieved teh brands highest ever residules for the 90 Series.

  • Volvo S90, V90 and XC90 have all received the brand's highest-ever residual values in their respective segments*
  • New XC60 also receives competitive figures from CAP HPI following UK pricing announcement
  • Figures underscore Volvo's transformation into a true premium competitor
Record residual values are helping establish Volvo's new 90 series cars in the highly competitive premium marketplace. 
As the first models introduced in the transformation of Volvo's product range, the premium S90 saloon, V90 estate and XC90 SUV all benefit from beautiful exterior and interior design, and feature the latest connected and semi-autonomous technologies as standard. According to automotive data experts CAP HPI, each model is benefiting from the strongest residual values Volvo has ever seen in its respective segment. 
The new XC90 continues to perform strongly within its segment, with CAP HPI's Gold Book in May reporting that the XC90 D5 PowerPulse Momentum will be worth 48.7% of its original price after three years and 60,000 miles. 
This puts it ahead of the 46.8%, 43.5% and 42.1% for the equivalent Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE respectively. 
The V90, meanwhile, is highly competitive against its premium estate rivals for both D4 Momentum and Inscription variants. CAP HPI forecasts that the entry-level D4 Momentum will be worth 41.2% of its original price after 36 months and 60,000 miles, compared with 42.5%, 40.5% and 36.1% for the equivalently specified Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant respectively. The V90 Inscription fares even better, at 41.8%. 
In the executive saloon segment, the S90 D4 Momentum, which has marked a giant step forward for Volvo in this area of the market, fares competitively against models that have previously dominated the sector. CAP HPI forecasts that the model will be worth 39.8% of its original price after three years and 60,000 miles, putting it right in the heart of its segment, with respective values of 41.8%, 40.9% and 36.2% for the equivalent Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. 
The news will be welcome for individuals and companies looking to run a new S90, V90 or XC90, with strong residuals translating into highly competitive monthly lease costs. 
Graeme Oswald, Remarketing and Total Cost of Ownership Manager, Volvo Car UK, said: "Residual values are the cornerstone for every car in the leasing sector. Every element of the 90 series has been developed with the corporate buyer in mind, and their ultra-competitive values have been helped by our listening and responding to feedback from fleet buyers and their drivers." 
This success looks set to carry forward to the firm's future models, too. Following the official announcement of UK prices and specifications, the long-awaited new XC60 SUV has already received strong values from CAP HPI forecasts, with a 10-percentage-point increase over its predecessor. The outgoing XC60 D4 SE Nav AWD is currently forecast to be worth 35.2% of its original price after 36 months and 60,000 miles, while the new XC60 D4 AWD Momentum receives an equivalent value of 45.6%. 

Matt Neal draws level with Andy Rouse to take his 60th BTCC Win at Thruxton.

  • Matt Neal claims 60th BTCC victory at Thruxton
  • Gordon Shedden is weekend’s highest scorer
  • Halfords Yuasa Racing sets pace in Hampshire
Halfords Yuasa Racing enjoyed a successful weekend on ‘home’ soil as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship sped into ultra-fast Thruxton, with Gordon Shedden outscoring all of his rivals on the same weekend that Matt Neal reached a major milestone.
In front of a host of Honda employees – with the brand’s UK manufacturing headquarters just up the road in Swindon – Neal and Shedden locked out the top two spots on the starting grid in qualifying, as the former snared his 16thBTCC pole position and the latter belied maximum ballast to join him at the sharp end of the field. 

Neal converted that into his 60th career triumph in race one – in so doing drawing level with tin-top legend Andy Rouse in equal-second place on the all-time BTCC winners’ list. Shedden followed his Halfords Yuasa Racing team-mate home for the runner-up laurels, as Honda cars secured all three spots on the podium.
A similar result looked to be on the cards in race two as Neal led away again, until a power steering issue sent him darting for the pits at the end of lap two. Upon rejoining the fray, the three-time BTCC Champion posted what was comfortably the fastest lap to underline what might have been.
An early ‘moment’ on cold tyres saw Shedden shuffled back to fourth, but the Scot immediately fought back and was sizing up Rob Collard for the lead when the red flags flew once more – this time for good – on lap seven.
In the day’s finale, from fifth on the reversed grid, Shedden had to dig deep to unseat Rob Austin’s lighter Toyota from fourth position and complete his weekend with another very strong finish, while Neal took no prisoners as he scythed his way through from 29th to tenth at the chequered flag – although he was subsequently demoted to 11th after being adjudged to have gained an unfair advantage in overtaking a rival.
Shedden’s excellent haul saw him vault from fourth up to second in the Drivers’ standings – just 17 points adrift of the lead – with Neal similarly in contention in seventh. Honda has gained ground in the Manufacturers’ classification, as Halfords Yuasa Racing maintains second spot in the Teams’ Table.

Gordon Shedden:

“To qualify on the front row with 75kg in the car definitely exceeded my expectations; every lap was an adventure as I tried to keep my foot in for as long as possible through the faster corners around the back of the circuit – there wasn’t much left in the tank! I got a slightly better start than Matt in race one, but he was a lot lighter than me so I didn’t force the issue too much. It was fantastic for him to take his 60th BTCC win, and a tremendous effort from the boys to get a one-two. 

It was disappointing that we didn’t have another five or six laps in race two because we were clearly quicker than Rob, and then race three was another good finish. You always want more of course, but we left with three very solid results and a strong points haul – and that gives us a lot of confidence going to Oulton Park.”

Matt Neal:

“After the disappointment of Donington, we needed to bounce back and I’m really going to cherish this 60th win. The Civic Type R has always been amazing at Thruxton – we work hard on the aero, and this circuit is primarily high-speed corners. 

‘Flash’ certainly made me work for pole, and to come away with a Halfords Yuasa Racing one-two and a Honda podium lockout on home soil in the first race was a dream – a fabulous result to reward all the guys and girls from the factory who came down to support us. 

I felt a bit wounded after race two, because that was another win in the bag – ‘Flash’ and I could really have made hay out there – but the car was magnificent in race three. The team said to me, ‘why don’t you drop back and see if you can go for fastest lap’, but I thought ‘stuff that’ and had a lot of fun. I just wanted to keep going at the end...”

Drivers’ Standings

1. Tom Ingram 131 points

2. Gordon Shedden 114 points

3. Colin Turkington 112 points
4. Rob Collard 103 points
5. Adam Morgan 96 points
6. Jack Goff 89 points

7. Matt Neal 73 points

Manufacturers’ Standings

1. BMW 259 points

2. Honda 225 points

3. Vauxhall 188 points
4. Subaru 159 points
5. MG 127 points

Teams’ Standings

1. Team BMW 209 points

2. Halfords Yuasa Racing 181 points

3. Speedworks Motorsport 127 points
4. Eurotech Racing 110 points
5. Ciceley Motorsport 96 points
6. Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 65 points

Honda announces pricing and specification for the new Civic Type R Hatchback.

  • Entry level model comes in at £30,995 with GT version an additional £2,000
  • PCP pricing to be under £300 a month for entry level version
  • Cars to hit retail forecourts in July
Honda UK has today announced pricing for the hotly-anticipated next generation Civic Type R. Set to hit retail forecourts in July, the entry level model will cost £30,995 and the GT version will cost an additional £2,000 at £32,995 on the road and will come with a host of extras. 
PCP pricing has also been confirmed for the new car, which is built at Honda’s UK manufacturing plant in Swindon; with monthly payments in line with the current car and starting at £299 a month on a three year 5.9% contract for the entry level version of the new Civic Type R. 
As with the outgoing model, GT drivers will benefit from blind spot information including cross traffic monitor, dual zone climate control, auto dimming rear view mirror, Honda CONNECT with Garmin Navigation, wireless charging, high power audio, and LED front fog lights. 
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the 2017 Civic Type R shares the same fundamentals as the new Civic hatchback and has been engineered from the ground up to deliver the most rewarding drive in the hot-hatch segment – both on road and on the race track. 
The 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO of the previous generation Civic Type R has been optimised and refined to produce 320 PS with peak torque of 400 Nm, while the six-speed manual transmission is further improved by a rev match control system. 
Phil Webb, Head of Cars at Honda UK, commented: “As with the previous generation, we are fully expecting a huge demand for the Civic Type R. The order bank is already open and we are experiencing strong interest off the back of the launch at the Geneva Motor Show in March – and this is before our customers have even taken a test drive.” 

Harley-Davidson® and the Jeep® brand join forces for the 4th year throughout Europe.

  • Two iconic brands renew and extend partnership
  • Jeep® to have a larger experience-driven presence at three major European Harley-Davidson events
  • Exciting Jeep driving Experiences will be available on the brand’s entire lineup
  • Limited offer of preferential purchase rates on new Jeeps for H.O.G members 
Harley-Davidson® and the Jeep® brand have renewed and strengthened their European partnership for the fourth consecutive year. The Jeep brand will now be a key partner and official sponsor of major Harley-Davidson events and rallies throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 
Brands don’t come much more iconic than either Harley-Davidson or Jeep and both feature long histories that have played their part on the world stage. And both today produce vehicles that encapsulate the very essence of freedom and the spirit of adventure. 
Building on the success of the last three years Jeep will have a larger presence at three major Harley-Davidson European events, kicking off with Euro Festival in Saint-Tropez, France (11-14 May) followed by the European H.O.G Rally in Lugano, Switzerland (29 June -2 July) and culminating in European Bike Week™ in Faaker See, Austria (5-10 September). 
Jeep will also attend other Harley-Davidson events in the year including Africa Bike Week™ in South Africa (27-30 April), Thunder in the Glens in Scotland (25-28 August) and the Benelux H.O.G Rally in the Netherlands (2-4 June). In addition, the Jeep brand will showcase vehicles at local events in Ukraine, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Estonia and the Czech Republic. 
Event visitors will be given the opportunity to experience up close – and test drive – the entire Jeep lineup, purchase official Jeep Merchandise and enjoy Jeep hospitality at the Jeep Lounge. H.O.G members can also take advantage of a limited offer with preferential rates to purchase new Jeep vehicles. 
The newly strengthened relationship builds on the success experienced over the past three years and on the core values the two brands share: freedom, adventure, and a passion for the open road, with all of the experiences it brings. Owners of the two brands share something very special – a sense of belonging that often translates into highly customized vehicles that reflect their owners' creativity and individuality.