Friday, December 6, 2013 by
December brings to mind snow and cold, but for luxury dealers in
the U.S., this month will be the "hottest" of the year. U.S.
consumers purchase more new luxury vehicles in December than in any
other month of the year, according to monthly Polk new vehicle
registration data. This contrasts with the monthly tallies for the
non-luxury space, where March and August are the peak months.
Luxury registrations also rise in the spring, but not to the same
degree as non-luxury deliveries; rather,...
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, November 20, 2013 by
Monthly summaries of U.S. car and light truck sales focus on macro
results such as the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR),
corporate results and brand results. Micro outcomes get less
publicity even though they may be as noteworthy, if not more so.
For instance, there has been little mention given to the fact that
Mercedes-Benz dealers delivered 4,895 CLAs in October, its second
month on the market. This tally follows 2,310 sales in September.
The October figure is surprisingly strong and...R...
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 by
After two lackluster years, Jaguar is now thriving in the U.S. In
both 2011 and 2012, Jaguar suffered registration declines even
though the industry recorded double-digit growth. But this year,
Jaguar's registrations have jumped 25% through August when compared
to a year ago. This is the fourth highest year-over-year gain among
all makes (with 1,000 or more registrations) that were also on the
market for all of 2012, after Porsche, Cadillac and Subaru.
Jaguar's gain is almost three times the...Re...
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...
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 by
When car owners either trade their vehicle for a new one or add a
vehicle to their household fleet, 55-60% of them choose a vehicle
from the same corporation as their existing vehicle. But what about
car owners whose brand has been discontinued (frequently referred
to as "orphan" owners)? This is now a topical question since GM and
Ford together have recently discontinued five brands. As of April,
there were over 14.4 million orphan owners in the U.S. (including
owners of vehicles from all...Read...
Thursday, June 6, 2013 by
It's not always about who has the largest market share or the
broadest product line. Sometimes repeat sales for OEMs and dealers
are fruitful when you're a small player, too. Yesterday, Polk
issued a press release of customer loyalty on automakers who beat
the industry average by looking at first quarter results.
What did we find?
- Thirteen brands exceeded the average industry increase for make
loyalty when we compared buyer behavior from Q1 2012 and Q1 2013.
The first three months of the...
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...
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...
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 by
With the economy continuing to strengthen, more and more vehicle
owners are in the market and actively shopping for new cars. With
automotive sales approaching pre-recession levels, I wanted to
review the Designated Market Areas (DMAs) displaying the
highest brand loyalty. For this question, I decided to focus on
DMAs that had the highest level of owners that returned to market
and acquired a new vehicle during 2012 (through November). The
chart below shows the results with the grey bars... Read...
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...
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
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....
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...
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 by
An analysis of new vehicle buyers shows that their average age was
51 years old in 2011, three years older than buyers in 2007. In
2011, 40% of all buyers were aged 55 years or older, up from about
30% just four years earlier. And, in keeping with much commentary
about today’s youth, in 2011, only 11% of all new vehicle buyers
were aged 34 years or younger, down from almost 16% four years
earlier. Perhaps today’s young people indeed do have less interest
in cars or perhaps they don’t have the...R...
Thursday, March 29, 2012 by
In my last post, I discussed the importance of retaining young
vehicle buyers. In this blog, I thought I would share some 2011
calendar year-end findings regarding owner loyalty and age. The
chart below shows the distribution of owners returning to market
based on age. Owners between the ages of 35-64 account for more
than 70% of all return to market activity. Yet as seen in the
graph below, less than 50% (46.6%) of these owners are loyal to
their given brand. It is clear from the graph above...
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 by
One of the byproducts of the recent collapse of the automotive
industry has been a renewed and some might say "zealous" focus on
keeping customers loyal to the brand. There is nothing like a
near-death experience that some car manufacturers experienced to
shake up any complacency and force a reordering of priorities. And
what has risen to the top of the list for almost all OEMs is the
question of, "How do we do a better job of keeping our customers
loyal – and what causes customers to be...
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by
Last month, I had the opportunity to speak at the Digital Market
Strategies Conference, an event hosted by First Class
. If you are focused on the retail side of the
automotive industry and haven’t attended an event hosted by First
Class Educators, I highly recommend it. The staff, venue and
speakers are top notch. I co-presented during the afternoon
keynote address with Matt Murray from Dealer.com. Our session
focused on the impact of social media on initial vehicle purchase
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by
Last week, I attended Online Marketing and Media Association's
(OMMA) two-day Metrics &Research and Data events. The
conversations around data and metrics were extremely high level,
which is counter-thetical to the typical rhetoric at big
conferences. Often, speakers and panels dance the platitude shuffle
and never say anything really controversial. This particular set of
conferences was completely different. The first day consisted
of the Metrics and Research portion of OMMA's content....