Monday, April 22, 2013 by
Ford and GM are now solidly profitable and Ford's credit rating has
moved out of the junk category, but the U.S. market shares for both
companies declined significantly in 2012. Whether share is
calculated by looking at the first two months of this year versus
the same time period a year ago or versus all of last year, the
results are the same. While these trends are discouraging in and of
themselves, they are particularly concerning right now because the
European operations of both companies...R...
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...
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by
Mainstream large cars, such as the Avalon, Maxima, Taurus and
Impala, continue to lose favor. Their combined share of the U.S.
market has retreated from 5.8% in 2008 to just 3.5% in 2012 (the
results were similar this past January, with the large car share
declining from 4.1% a year ago to 3.9% this year). Large cars now
account for a smaller slice of the U.S. market than minivans,
itself an endangered species. And the number of large cars
continues to decline, down from 14 in 2008 to 7 now....Re...
Thursday, January 31, 2013 by
The next 18 months are important for all OEMs, but perhaps
more so for GM than for any of its rivals. From mid-2012 through
mid-2014, GM will unveil the greatest array of all-new or
re-designed vehicles in recent memory, if not in the company's
history. In 2012, the company brought to market the Spark minicar,
Malibu midsize sedan, Verano compact car, XTS large luxury car and
the ATS compact luxury car. Coming in 2013 are new versions of the
Silverado and Sierra large pickups, the full-size... Re...
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...
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 by
There is a theory in professional baseball that if a team is strong
"up the middle" (i.e., in the positions in the middle of the field
from catcher through pitcher, second base and shortstop to center
field), it will have a competitive advantage. If this theory also
holds true for the U.S. automobile business, then Toyota should be
in good shape. A look at the product portfolios in the midsize
segments from the mainstream non-luxury makes shows Toyota is in a
strong position. Toyota offers...
Thursday, September 6, 2012 by
If you live in the Detroit metropolitan area, you may have noticed
that almost every other car on the road seems to be a Ford Fusion
or Chevrolet Malibu (if you're on one of the coasts, the same could
be said of the Camry or Accord). In fact, there is a boom in sales
of midsize cars. In the first six months of this year, 18% of all
new vehicle sales have been non-luxury midsize cars. This is more
than two points higher than the number two segment (non-luxury
compact cars) and the first time...
Friday, March 30, 2012 by
Sales of hybrid and electric vehicles remain modest. And, the
creation of the infrastructure to support the use of these vehicles
is proceeding in fits and starts. In January, hybrid registrations
accounted for just 2.29% of all new vehicle registrations in the
U.S., down from 2.51% a year ago. Looking at electric vehicle
registrations, the good news is that the January total climbed
eight-fold versus January 2011. The bad news is that the 2012 total
was just .8% of the industry. Nissan Leaf... R...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 by
Recently some friends and I were talking about the fact that
Mercedes-Benz and BMW are fierce competitors, and I mentioned that
Audi was making progress and should also be included in any
discussion about leading luxury makes. One of my friends
responded, “I’ve been hearing that for twenty years.” His
skepticism and sarcasm took me by surprise. I decided to look at
the registration data and see if Audi was in fact getting closer to
MB and BMW in this country, or not. Over the past five...
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 by
Dependence on foreign oil, increasing fuel costs and concerns for
the environment have forced OEMs to develop solutions to improve
the efficiency of new vehicles and their response could be seen at
the North American International Auto Show which was held in
Detroit from January 9 - January 22, 2012. For those consumers
wishing to stick with gasoline engines, Mazda's Skyactiv technology
is something worth considering. Skyactiv is the combination of an
efficient high compression gasoline engine,...
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by
When the automotive industry took a plunge in 2008/2009, the hybrid
market followed suit and took a plunge with it. Looking at calendar
year-to-date registrations (January to March) we see that both the
overall market and the hybrid market fell by about 37% from 2008 to
2009 in the first quarter. Hybrids had been steadily increasing as
new models of hybrids became available and gas prices were rising
up until the crash of late 2008.As gas prices fell and people
tightened their pocketbooks,...Read...
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 by
The introduction of hybrid, alternate fuel and
electric vehicles was supposed to signal the end for the large
people haulers (Pickups and SUVs) and a move to smaller more fuel
efficient minicar like vehicles, right? ...Not in America! Based on
new U.S. light vehicle registrations, gasoline powered vehicles are
down 6.1 percentage points year-to-date November 2010 (84.4%)
compared to the same time period in 2008 (90.9%). These owners
have moved to alternate fuel vehicles which represent the...
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 by
The August 31 Edition of "The Wall Street Journal" (page B1)
includes an article describing a proposed new labeling for
passenger vehicles sold in the United States. On the proposed new
window stickers, every new vehicle would include a
prominently-displayed letter grade reflecting its fuel economy,
emissions and estimated annual fuel costs.There is a general
consensus across the industry and among consumers that the current
window sticker is not as reader-friendly as it could be; a...
Thursday, April 29, 2010 by
At the American Truck Dealers Conference (ATD) there is revelry,
exhibiting and palm pushing in an exhaustive 4-day event that
covers all things a truck dealer could possibly be concerned with.
This offshoot of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
event boasts 'make' meetings, industry workshops and transportation
industry banter. This year, we found ourselves in sunny Orlando
where the weather was hot, and so was the competition for truck of
. All entrants were worthy...Rea...
Thursday, April 1, 2010 by
Is it just me, or was there one large, yet unofficial theme at the
show this year? Whether you were visiting the show's famous
pork sandwich stand or at one of the booths, a certain
subject seemed to work itself into every conversation. Of
course, there were the events we expect from the commercial vehicle
market's leading trade show. The product unveilings were just as
dramatic as ever with Kenworth's aerodynamic T700 taking center
stage. The overwhelming breadth and depth of the
Monday, February 8, 2010 by
After the EuroCar Seminar on 20 January 2010, we posted the
top ten questions
asked by OEM and OES
delegates in attendance. Today I will be answering questions
pertaining to hybrids. If you missed Norm Marks answers to the
Marketing questions, you can find them
. Tanja Linken will be answering questions aboout Network
Planning in the next blog entry.With regard to CO2 emissions,
hybrids and zero emission vehicles, do you have any insight into
vehicle whole life costs?This question...
Friday, October 2, 2009 by
I was driving North on I-75 in Metro Detroit the other week when I
saw my first Nissan Cube – I did the double take and then followed
it for a few miles just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. OK –
it really isn't symmetrical back there, is it? OEMs have been known
to release vehicles with minor differences from side to side, but
Nissan is the first one that stands out in my memory as delivering
a vehicle with intentional, significant, 'in your face', structural
differences. Why? I was...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by
Why don't small diesel cars get bought or sold in the U.S.? The
last time you were in Europe up to 40% of the cars driving next to
you were diesels. They were getting up to 60 MPG and didn’t have
complex recharging systems or heavy batteries. Could you tell? They
weren’t smoking, they didn’t sound like an F350, they were probably
going to last longer than the petrol version next to them and they
are great mid and small sized cars. This industry trend seems
almost absent in the U.S....Read More »
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 by
Everyone is talking about the market turbulences caused by the
governmental scrappage schemes in different European countries.
Much has been made of the fact that many consumers have
"pre-bought" in 2009, which will have a negative effect on the
sales trend in 2010. But, nobody is really talking about how the
scrappage schemes have changed the market structure. I decided to
look at the effect of the scrappage schemes on diesel-powered cars
to see what the effect on that important vehicle...
Thursday, August 13, 2009 by
The first vehicle from India will go on sale in the U.S. early next
year, several months later than its original 2009 launch date.
Mahindra & Mahindra will launch the yet-to-be named diesel
powered pickup through distributor Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc with
a 50,000 annual sales target. This sales goal seemed aggressive for
a compact pickup with no brand recognition, so I did some analysis
to find out how realistic it would be for the Mahindra pickup to
reach 50,000 units annually. The...