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...
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 by
Ford launched the C-Max hybrid vehicle in September 2012, and
dubbed it as America's most affordable hybrid utility vehicle. The
C-Max base model is offered at $25,200 and provides consumers with
estimated fuel economy of 47/47 (city/highway) MPG. By contrast the
primary competitor to the C-Max is Toyota's famous Prius which has
a starting price of $24,200 and fuel economy estimates of 51/48
MPG. With the launch of the C-Max, Ford has launched "The
" campaign which displays a...
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...
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
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...
Friday, November 2, 2012 by
The sales and registration data speak for themselves regarding the
success of the Prius. Its sales more than doubled in September, and
are up 92% through nine months. However, because three new
derivatives of the Prius have come to market in 2012 (the tall 'V'
version, the plug-in version and the smaller 'C' version),
comparing this year with last is not comparing apples to apples.
But even when you pull out the 2012 deliveries of these three
derivatives and look just at the original Prius,...
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,...
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...
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...
Monday, May 7, 2012 by
April auto sales continued at the strong pace set in the first
quarter with a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.4
million light vehicles. This is the fourth month in a row that SAAR
passed 14 million and it represents a real milestone in the auto
sales recovery. Noting year-to-date sales strength, Edmunds.com
raised its 2012 forecasts
. It appears that auto sales are
accelerating at long last, but that does not mean that no speed
bumps lie ahead. Between high gas prices, a...R...
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...
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...
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...
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...