New car sales climb almost 18% in 2018
New passenger car sales in Hungary rose 17.5% to 136,601 last year, according to data from Carinfo.hu based on figures compiled by DataHouse. Alone in the month of December, new passenger car sales fell 10.6% year-on-year to 9,685.
Sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased 14% to 22,725 in 2018, while sales of heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs) rose 6.7% to 6,245. Bus sales were up 2.8% at 663, while sales of motorcycles climbed 30.9% to 2,986.
In December sales of LCVs were up 18.7% at 2,780, while HCV sales fell 21.5% to 406. Bus sales plunged 63.3% to just 36, and motorcycle sales dropped 6.8% to 55.
Tractor sales dropped 28.9% to 3,026 for the full year of 2018, while December sales were down 75.9% year-on-year at 266, the data show.
Mercedes-Benz Hungária Kft. sold 2,018 passenger cars in Hungary in 2018. This is the highest value in the premium segment and represents a 25% increase over the previous year. The models related to the Mercedes-Benz factory in Kecskemét are also popular in the Hungarian market: last year the number of registered A- and B-classes as well as CLA and CLA Shooting Brake models increased significantly. The popularity of urban SUVs (SUVs) is unbroken, with this category delivering the strongest 46% growth in the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio. In 2018, a total of 1555 Mercedes-Benz SUVs were placed in our country, of which 506 were GLC.
The vehicles produced in Hungary also contributed significantly to the domestic sales of Mercedes-Benz. The A-Class has achieved an outstanding 95% increase with 321 units sold, the new generation of which will be manufactured in May 2018 in Kecskemét. With 421 cars sold, the other leading model of the compact category was the B-Class, even in the first half of last year – sold 19 percent more.
Balanced performance and uninterrupted customer interest show that in every month of 2018, Mercedes-Benz stood at the top of the official Datahouse list compiled based on the release data. Several Mercedes-Benz dealerships have undergone major changes over the past year. In Budaörs, one of the world’s most modern Mercedes-Benz dealerships was built with a $ 3.5 billion investment.
Toyota increased its sales by 20.2% on the 16.7% market in the Hungarian car and commercial vehicle market. With this, the Japanese brand increased its market share to 7.3% in a year when it introduced only one new model (Aygo). This year, however, real model invasion is expected from the brand, which may well rearrange the domestic market. In recent years, thanks to the popularity of its hybrid electric models, the Japanese automobile manufacturer has made good progress in the ranking of brands in Hungary. In 2018, 11,643 new Toyota found their home in Hungary, which proved to be the sixth most popular. The most popular Toyota in 2018 in Hungary was the Yaris with 2,693 units.
What makes the situation particularly exciting is that while domestic car sales still account for about 63.3% of fleet sales (corporate sales and public procurement), Toyota sales are only 47%, 7%. However, selling to private buyers is not only more profitable, but it will be the engine of market growth in the coming years. The biggest expectation from both private and fleet buyers has been the latest generation of Toyota Corolla, the world’s most popular car for many years, which simultaneously replaces the current Corolla and Auris. At least such a novelty is the arrival of the latest generation RAV4. For many years, Toyota has been the only car brand to have three of the top 10 cars in the world through Corolla, RAV4 and Camry.
These three models come with a new generation this year. Suzuki also dominated the year 2018 with confidence. Based on Datahouse’s new car sales statistics, in 2018, 19,292 Suzuki cars were registered in Hungary, representing 14,12% of the 136601 pieces of all passenger cars placed on the market. The total market grew by 17.5%, including a 27.24% based on Suzuki volume, and pushed up the car market. After 2016 and 2017, Suzuki finished the year for the third time in a row with record sales.
The market share of the brand in Hungary rose from 13.04 % in 2017 to 14.12 percent in 2018, leading the entire domestic car market. The brand has successfully introduced its new models with its global model-sensitivity program, while maintaining the popularity of domestic-produced models, and even further boosting the model with the largest number of units sold in Hungary. More and more companies are opting for brand car workers, making Suzuki increasingly competitive for traditional fleet brands. In 2018, the company was able to expand its fleet sales in such a way as to retain its market-leading position among private buyers.
App for damage claims
A mobile-phone app has been developed for reporting damage claims to insurance companies based on compulsory car insurance policies, Anett Pandurics, president of Mabisz announced recently.
The app is available for Android and Google operating systems, and the Apple version will be ready in a few days. Some 160-170 experts participated in the development of the app, which is a pioneer in the EU.
Using the app is equivalent to filling in the traditional so-called blue-yellow form. While the form is not always present at accidents, most drivers have smartphones. The app provides a time stamp and GPS location of the scene of the accident.
Insurance companies will send QR codes to their clients, thereby uploading details of their insurance policies to the damage claim reporting app.
New VAT on car rental
From January 1, 2019, the VAT on car rental has changed. So far, if you rented a car and could prove to what extent you use it for business purposes, you could deduct VAT to this extent. Now, the rule is that if someone uses his rented car for business purposes, he will immediately get the right to deduct 50 percent of the related VAT in the case of a lease or operating lease, said Sándor Hegedűs, Head of Tax Business at RSM.
That way, the compulsion to make road records disappears and businesses are financially better. There is still the possibility of road-based tax deduction: in the FMCG sector, for example, many customers visit the country; Since a significant proportion of company cars are utilized by operating leasing or long-term rentals, a lot of vehicles may be affected. According to Sándor Hegedűs, 70-80 percent of the company cars can be affected. There are a lot of company cars, as new vehicles are placed on the market much more than a private car, said the head of the tax business of RSM.
Safest cars in 2018
Euro NCAP has announced its annual “Best in Class” cars, with three of the vehicles tested in 2018 qualifying for the award (and all naturally scoring a full five stars).
Interestingly, the safety authority says some categories “may not be represented” as it has tested “too few cars of that class in 2018”.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class was the best performer in the small family car segment and scored the year’s overall best result. It garnered 96 percent for adult occupant safety, 91 percent for child occupant safety, 92 percent for vulnerable road-user safety and 75 percent for its safety assistance technology.
The Lexus ES, meanwhile, was the best all-round performer in the large family car category and also claimed Euro NCAP’s new award for best performing hybrid or electric car in the 2018 season of safety testing. It scored 91 percent for adult occupant safety, 87 percent for child occupant safety, 90 percent for vulnerable road-user safety and 77 percent for its safety assistance technology.
Lastly, the hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo was the best of the large off-roaders, scoring 94 percent for adult occupant safety, 87 percent for child occupant safety, 67 percent for vulnerable road-user safety and 80 percent for its safety assistance technology.
Interestingly, the Hyundai Santa Fe achieved the same overall score as the Nexo but didn’t qualify since Euro NCAP says it is “currently subject to a safety recall”.
“In 2018 we introduced tough new tests, with a particular focus on vulnerable road user protection. The three ‘Best in Class’ award winners this year all clearly demonstrate that car-makers are striving for the highest levels of protection and that Euro NCAP’s assessments are a catalyst for these crucial safety improvements,” said Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP secretary general.