Thursday, February 6, 2014 by
Given all the attention recently focused on Tesla, I thought it
would be interesting to see who is buying the Model S.
Specifically, what are customers trading in for the Model S, or
what other vehicles do Model S buyers have in their garage if they
are adding to their fleet? The Model S conquest data, derived from
Polk new vehicle registration data, are fascinating. There are two
ways of looking at the data. First, the pure conquest data show
that the Model S is conquesting owners of... Read...
Friday, January 3, 2014 by
Given the complexities of the global and U.S. economies, inevitably
there are going to be economic and/or industrial trends that run
counter to one another, but it seems to me that we are now
experiencing two movements that are particularly inconsistent. Last
month, The New York Times ran a story about the surge in U.S.
oil production, saying local oil output will increase by 800,000
barrels a day annually for at least the next three years (Dec. 17
page B1). Imported oil's share of total... Read...
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...
Monday, February 11, 2013 by
January 2013 U.S. new light vehicle sales climbed 14% from a year
ago and sales for the rest of the year are expected to climb as
well, though at a more modest rate. There are several drivers of
this growth, both at the macroeconomic level and within the
industry itself. Consider the following:
- Interest rates remain exceptionally low, and with the Fed
promising to keep them there until unemployment declines to 6.5%,
we can expect to see low rates for quite awhile. This means that
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...
Friday, December 21, 2012 by
The mix of new vehicle powertrains varies as much among the
different regions of the United States as does the mix of makes and
models, if not more so. The 15 Designated Market Areas (DMAs)
with the highest percentage of hybrid powertrains together account
for almost 30% of all hybrid registrations nationally, yet these
same 15 markets include just 12.5% of all new vehicle
registrations. Nine of these 15 hybrid-rich areas have a
hybrid penetration greater than 6%, while the national...Read More...
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 by
Non-luxury fullsize cars, once the mainstay of the U.S. car
business, are losing their luster in the eyes of the U.S. consumer.
This category’s share of the U.S. market has dropped by more than
half over the last five years, and through the first three months
of this year, it accounts for just 2.3% of all new vehicles sold.
The number of fullsize models in dealer showrooms has declined
dramatically as well, falling from 15 just five years ago to only
seven now. The only large non-luxury cars...
Thursday, April 12, 2012 by
This month, the Jacob Javits Center in New York is the focal point
for the automotive industry as it hosts the 2012 New York
International Auto Show from April 4 to April 15. Each year,
automotive executives, dealers, suppliers, media, automotive
consumers and simply the curious descend upon New York to check out
the new cars, trucks, crossovers, hybrids, electrics and futuristic
concepts. On April 4, part of the Jacob Javits Center served as a
launching pad for the first Annual NAMAD (North... R...
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 28, 2012 by
With the recent upturn in gas prices, I thought I would look to see
if there has been a noticeable impact on the kinds of vehicles that
people are buying. Gas prices have been flirting with the highs
seen in 2008, but it has been a more gradual increase this time
around. Nonetheless, I was curious to see if the elevated gas
prices were starting to impact vehicle choices. The truth is that
with the registration data through January 2012, there is not
a clear correlation between gas prices and... R...
Thursday, March 22, 2012 by
The non-luxury sub-compact car segment, home to such well-known
cars as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Yaris,
is one of the hottest in the industry. Consider the following
- The segment’s new registrations in January increased 26% versus
January 2011, the fifth highest increase among all 29 segments
- The segment’s share of the industry reached 4.73% in January,
up from 4.12% last January and 4.0% in 2010
- This segment is now the third largest car segment in...
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...
Monday, March 19, 2012 by
Gas prices have risen $0.40 on average for all
in the past six weeks, igniting consumer interest in
more fuel efficient vehicles. Small car market including hybrids,
electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)—soared almost
30 percent to 3.2 percent, its fifth highest month ever. The stars
would seem to be well-aligned for EV and PHEV sales to take off,
but that has not yet happened. Hybrid sales—particularly Toyota Prius
—accounted for the bulk of
February's momentum. EV/PHEV...Re...
Friday, March 16, 2012 by
On Friday, March 9, I had the pleasure of joining executives from
across Michigan and a few from as far as Ohio at the quarterly
Cornerstone Schools partner morning event in Detroit. Cornerstone
Schools is a model "higher learning incubator" in the city of
Detroit where over 500 well-dressed young ladies and men in
Pre-Kindergarten through 10th grade learn the skills they need to
become successful, contributing adults and possibly the next
automotive engineer, designer, purchasing executive,...Re...
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by
From 2006 through 2009, large vehicles as a percentage of total new
vehicle registrations declined 10 percentage points to 20%, though
this proportion has stayed constant in the last two years. Going
forward, most automotive forecasts predict that large vehicles will
retreat even further as gas prices rise and OEMs launch smaller,
more fuel efficient vehicles (including hybrids and electric
vehicles) to meet the upcoming CAFÉ standards.Looking at the nine
non-luxury mainstream makes, all of...
Thursday, February 16, 2012 by
According to my friends at Auto Week
(@AutoweekUSA on Twitter), Honda
is working with Google, the City of Torrance, CA and Stanford
University to conduct tests on a fleet of Honda Fit EVs. In what is
being dubbed the "Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program," it
sounds as if the goal is to conduct research to understand the
challenges and opportunities associated with advancing the Electric
Vehicle market. (Image source: Auto Week.) In a recent blog post
The Road is a Vehicle Charger
Friday, February 10, 2012 by
One could hardly argue that oil has provided America, and the
world, an increased quality of life for roughly a century. In the
same breath, that statement can be turned around in admittance that
obtaining and controlling this finite resource has caused an issue
or two between the covetous nations. Administrations and
environmental activists alike have accusatorily pointed toward
major consumers of the substance as profiteers, when attempting to
make a point for political or social reasons....Rea...
Thursday, January 26, 2012 by
My business associate, Marc Bland, has provided insightful blogs on
the female automotive market over the last several months. During
the holiday break, I came across coverage of this topic that peaked
my interest. I was intrigued by the first annual two day "2011
Heels & Wheels" event in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. It is a
gathering of female automotive bloggers, engineers, journalists and
other automotive professionals who get together to discuss subject
matter and issues as they relate to...Re...
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,...