Monday, November 25, 2013 by
The Porsche Macan, Porsche's all-new small crossover revealed last
week in Los Angeles and to be launched in the U.S. next spring,
should be a "slam dunk," given the landscape of today's new vehicle
market. The small luxury crossover segment is one of the
fastest-growing in the industry, with registrations more than
quadrupling since 2008 and share of industry up by almost the same
amount (see table below). The number of small luxury crossovers in
the market has doubled from four in 2008 to...
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by
Do you have the impression that the Brazilian president meets the
CEO of an automaker daily? Lately there have been a lot of
announcements that OEMs will start – or resume – production in
Brazil. This year, Honda and Mercedes-Benz announced new plants,
while Audi stated it is coming back to Brazil and making cars
in a VW plant where it built the A3 some years ago. VW confirmed it
is finally updating the locally made Golf (currently still in its
fourth generation). Last year, BMW announced its......
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by
Leasing is not just back; it has climbed to new heights in the U.S.
car business. Through the first seven months of 2013, leases have
accounted for 20% of all new vehicle transactions, the highest
annual lease penetration in at least 10 years if it holds for
the rest of the year. The Fed's bond-buying program, which has
suppressed interest rates, coupled with the higher quality and
residuals of new vehicles, has helped to make leasing more
attractive to the consumer. This industry-wide rise...
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by
August U.S. new car and light truck sales were not merely good —
they were extraordinary. Consider the following:
- U.S. customers purchased 1,503,151 new cars and light trucks in
August, the highest monthly volume since May 2007
- This August total converts to an annual rate (SAAR) of 16.1
million, the highest monthly SAAR since November 2007
- The August year-over-year increase of 17% was the highest
monthly change since June 2012
- Every manufacturer enjoyed a sales increase in August
- August Ford...
Monday, September 9, 2013 by
Seeing the Signs Every new vehicle sold is a signal to OEMs that
customers want more of that type of car or truck. In essence,
customers are voting with their wallets and with business
interests ever focused on customer loyalty and customer retention,
an OEM should be seeing the market signs. National Trend: Consumers
Continue to Buy New Through the second quarter of this year
(2013 Q2), new vehicle sales are once again on the
rise in Canada. New vehicle registrations indicate that...
Monday, July 22, 2013 by
If you follow my posts, you have read that there is not much logic
in Brazil's automotive market (if not, you can follow the link at
the bottom of the blog). Today, I will show that neighboring
Argentina faces the same problem. Argentina is struggling with
inflation. Last year, inflation was 10% according to the
government, but opposition in Congress says it was 25% – the
highest rate in South America and only behind Venezuela. The
government is known for reporting lower inflation and higher...
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 by
Tax incentives were very effective in 2012 and helped
Brazil reach a new sales record of 3,573,076 light vehicles.
With this success, Brazil remained the fourth largest
automotive market in the world, just behind China, the United
States and Japan. Polk's automotive forecast does include any
changes in this ranking in 2013 when sales in Brazil are
anticipated to reach 3.63 million light vehicles. However, Brazil's
importance declines when we analyze production numbers. Last
Monday, March 25, 2013 by
On the eve of the 2013 New York Auto Show, the media has noted the
irony that one of the largest auto shows in the country is taking
place in a location where many residents do not even own a car.
What is less frequently, if ever, mentioned in the press is the
fact that the mix of new cars purchased by New Yorkers who DO own a
vehicle is far different from the mix in the rest of the United
States. One of the most vivid differences between new vehicle
registrations in New York and the rest of...
Monday, March 11, 2013 by
Venezuela was all over the news last week because of the death of
its president, Hugo Chávez. President Chávez passed away after a
battle against cancer, which included several surgeries in Cuba.
What the international media did not pay attention is to a law
approved in January that affects the automotive industry. How would
you react if a law determined that all new vehicles from now on
should have a sticker price from the first half of 2009? Moreover,
could you, the dealer network, afford...
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 by
Three new cars are striving to gain ground in the huge non-luxury
small car segment. The 2013 Dodge Dart was launched last June, the
redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra last November, and the 2014 Kia Forte
sedan arrives later this month. This segment accounted for 16% of
all new vehicle registrations in 2012, second only to the midsize
cars 17.6% among the 32 segments tracked by Polk. The non-luxury
small car segment has been dominated for years by such well-known
models as the Corolla, Civic and...Re...
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by
As Toyota announced it has regained the global sales crown
, it makes me think of how the
Japanese OEM has wasted its chances in the world's fourth
largest market. Not everyone is aware that Toyota opened its first
factory outside of Japan within Brazil in 1959, a plant that is
currently used to produce parts. For decades, the Brazilian market
was closed to imports and Toyota only produced a version of
its Land Cruiser. It was a great product for rural areas, but
Toyota was far behind its...Read...
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 by
South America is a very diverse continent. Brazil, its main
country, forbids diesel passenger cars and speaks Portuguese, but
is surrounded by Spanish speaking countries. French Guiana still
belongs to France, something not very common nowadays. Consumer
behavior is also different: Toyota, for example, is the market
leader in Peru and has a higher share in the countries closer to
the Pacific Ocean, while customer loyalty in Brazil and Argentina
goes toward brands from Europe and the United...Read...
Thursday, January 3, 2013 by
Many of you may be returning to work this week after an extended
vacation around the holiday season. Welcome back! I'll keep this
blog short and informative. It's 2013 and the world didn't end last
month as the Mayans
(supposedly) predicted. Given this, we
can officially remove Mayan prognosticators from the category of a
legitimate forecasting entity. However, Polk has a few predictions.
They go something like this:
- New auto sales for 2013 will jump 6.6 percent over last year. Our
Thursday, December 20, 2012 by
Late in June, Argentina canceled the free-trade agreement it has
had with Mexico since 2002 (as noted in my prior blog
). Argentina wanted to negotiate the
agreement, as Brazil successfully did with Mexico, assigning quotas
to imports but Mexico did not concede. Argentina has been
consistently the fifth main market for Mexican exports since 2009,
although volumes jumped 177% between 2009 and 2011. Brazil went
from the fourth spot in 2009 up to second place this
year, even with limits to...
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by
Automotive marketers continue to covet the young buyer and this
holds true in the luxury market as much as in the mass market. The
luxury marque that captures the young buyer then merely has to
retain him/her and move him/her up the ladder, while the luxury
brand that fails to appeal to the young demographic is faced with
the more expensive task of conquesting from a competitor. This is
not to imply that customer retention is "easy," but it is generally
acknowledged to be less expensive to...Read...
Monday, December 10, 2012 by
Welcome to a series of blog posts about the global automotive
market based on a paper that I recently worked on with a set of
colleagues that discusses important strategic questions for
automotive business planners. For those of you interested in
the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), this
blog focuses on the question, "Will BRIC countries continue to
drive organic growth in the automotive industry?" Answer: Yes! Why?
Of the 38 percent jump Polk expects to see for global light...
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by
It was a national holiday in Brazil on October 12 and I went with
my family to where my father was born, a small town where
approximately 10,000 people live today. During the long weekend, my
impression was that Chevrolet was the best seller in Brazil, but
actually it falls behind Fiat and Volkswagen. However, I saw more
of the Chevrolet Montana (a pick-up truck based on a passenger car,
something that Brazil created decades ago) and the S-10 (the local
name of the Colorado) than the Fiat...
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 by
I arrived in my hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil yesterday and thought
for sure that I would see a couple of Volkswagen Gols with their
new facelift, which was announced in July. The Gol has been the
best-selling vehicle in Brazil for 30 years and in the past, I have
always seen a new generation or facelift on the streets as soon as
they were announced. However, to my surprise, yesterday was
different: I didn't see a new Gol. At the airport parking lot,
there were two EcoSports – the crossover...
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 by
It's difficult to overstate the importance of the Accord to the
Honda franchise. The Accord is to Honda as the F-Series is to Ford,
the Caravan is to Dodge, and the 3-Series is to BMW. The Accord is
the heart and soul of Honda. Launched in 1976, the Accord has been
at or near the top of the midsize sedan segment ever since. There
are 11 million on the road. Car & Driver magazine has named the
Accord one of the Ten Best Cars some 26 times, more than any other
vehicle. Mr. Takuji Yamada,...
Monday, September 17, 2012 by
At this point in automotive history, nobody denies the importance
of Hyundai. According to Polk data, the Korean OEM produced almost
3 million light vehicles worldwide in 2003 and we forecast that its
output will reach 8.3 million in 2016. That's a growth of 183%,
while on the other hand, GM's production is rather stable during
the same period. Part of this growth will come from a brand new
factory in Brazil. With an investment of $600 million, Hyundai will
start producing a hatchback on... Read...