Wednesday, April 30, 2014 by
Even though IHS Automotive divides the U.S. automobile industry
into over 30 segments, one segment – mainstream midsize cars - has
been the most popular category for ten years in a row. The
traditional four-door sedan provides the combination of size,
functionality and range of features that appeals to the American
family. Yet, since the launch of the Forester, CR-V and RAV4 in the
mid-90s, crossovers have continually gained traction with the U.S.
consumer. Crossovers have climbed the charts... R...
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 by
The competition in the luxury part of the U.S. new vehicle industry
has perhaps never been as intense as it is right now, and, in a
related trend, new product activity in this space is as frenetic as
ever. BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz continue to vie for luxury sales
leadership with Audi and Cadillac aggressively trying to move up.
Many of the luxury makes have been expanding into new segments,
with such products as the Evoque, F-Type and CLA. There are other
examples of this trend coming...
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...
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...
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, April 29, 2013 by
Given that U.S. new vehicle registrations in 2012 were spread
across 52 makes and 331 models, it's difficult to summarize the
results concisely. This leads to a focus on the larger makes that
dominate the industry. Yet one smaller make has been outperforming
the industry for years and deserves some recognition. Subaru's
recent performance in the U.S. has been remarkable. Two facts stand
out. Subaru is the only make in the entire U.S. industry that has
had five consecutive year-over-year sales...R...
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...
Thursday, January 17, 2013 by
For the U.S. automotive industry, superior customer loyalty was
recognized this week. I had the pleasure of watching our customers
receive the annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards
in Detroit as
part of the overall activities surrounding the 2013 NAIAS (North
American International Auto Show). It's a great feeling knowing
OEMs and their dealer networks are working like crazy to make the
buying and vehicle ownership experience richer, truer and highly
relevant for their customers. As in past... 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
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by
I rely on some form of a "mileage countdown" system when tracking
the time to change the oil in my car. Whether it's an electronic
display on my dashboard or a sticker in the upper lefthand corner
of my windshield, I'm regularly comparing my current mileage
against the target that commands a visit to my local lube/oil shop.
Unfortunately, it's kind of like waiting for your alarm clock to
hit the magical point when the buzzer goes off early in the
morning. You know it's coming, but you really...Re...
Monday, December 17, 2012 by
As someone who works in the auto industry, knowing how long
Amercians hold onto their car or truck gives me a sense of what
future sales demand may look like--"demand" in terms of selling
replacement parts and service as well as understanding factors that
impact new vehicle sales. We're all looking for "demand signals,"
right? Polk's research shows that as of the second quarter of 2012,
the average number of months that both new and used vehicle owners
hold onto their vehicles is climbing....
Thursday, October 4, 2012 by
We hear all the time about the troubled U.S. economy. If it isn’t
high unemployment, it's the sluggish GDP or a decline in
manufacturing or something else. But, there is also frequent
mention in the media about the positive trends in the car business.
Car and light truck sales are up, the manufacturers are turning in
hefty – sometimes record – profits and even adding jobs to keep up
with strong demand. There seems to be a disconnect here. How could
the car business be doing so well while the...Re...
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 by
It is a presidential election year, which is creating a flood of
advertisements along with politicians pounding on podiums to
convince voters they are the best candidate for the job.
Politicians present their plans to turn the United States economy
around and create jobs. Both parties discuss plans to invest in
small companies and sexy high tech companies such as Facebook, and
mobile devices including phones and tablets. Too often,
they fail to discuss plans to attract and retain...
Monday, August 6, 2012 by
My global colleagues just prepared a brief analysis
of the car market in Japan.
While 2012 is certainly better than last year's struggle, the
outlook for 2013 and beyond will be an uphill climb. For you
crystal-ball gazers, here are four automotive forecast views that
Polk has about the Japanese auto market:
- In 2011, Japan sold 3.5 million new cars and for comparison's
sake, during the first half of 2012, new car sales rose by 57
percent compared to the first half of 2011.
- For the full-year...
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 by
The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas served as host to the 3AF (Asian
American Advertising Federation) The 2012 Annual Asian Marketing
Summit on May 16-17. The goal of the annual summit was to share
marketing best practices and celebrate the leaders in Asian
marketing. With Asian Americans representing one out of every 20
new vehicles purchased in the U.S., it's easy to see why automotive
market leaders including Toyota, Honda and Nissan were well
represented at the conference.
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...
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...