Friday, January 17, 2014 by
When Google released its Zeitgeist 2013
, a compilation of the most googled
terms of the year, the Hyundai HB20 reached the top spot for
the Brazilian automotive industry. It was followed by the
Chevrolet Onix and Chevrolet Prisma. The new Volkswagen Golf and
the Volkswagen Beetle (locally called Fusca) rounded out the Top 5.
The HB20 hatchback, the Onix and the Fusca were launched late in
2012. There is no doubt the HB20 has written its success story in
Brazil’s automotive history. With 3,312......
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...
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...
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...
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...
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 by
The Luxury Compact Car Segment – with 27% of all luxury
registrations during the first 11 months of 2011 - is the largest
luxury segment. Therefore, it is no surprise that many of the
luxury marques focused on small cars in their presentations to the
media at the recent North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)
in Detroit.BMW unveiled the redesigned 2012 3-Series which offers
understated, evolutionary styling changes; later in the year, a
hybrid 3-Series will be available. Cadillac...Read...
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 by
It seems like there are a million different types of cars and
trucks on the road these days. I'm not a mathematician, but if you
were to calculate all of the different combinations of vehicles
available based on such vehicle characteristics as size, body type,
price and powertrain, there are probably a million
possibilities. Yet, even with such a wide choice of vehicles from
which the consumer can choose, four types of vehicles dominate the
marketplace. Midsize cars, compact cars, compact...Read...
Thursday, October 27, 2011 by
The BMW 3-Series continues to be the heart and soul of BMW. This
small BMW encapsulates in one vehicle the driving characteristics,
styling and image that define the BMW brand. The 3-Series
registration results illustrate its success. In the past 12
months (September 2010 – August 2011), BMW dealers have delivered
96,292 3-Series, 41% of all BMWs. This total is 66% more than the
Infinity G, the runner-up in the small car segment of the luxury
market.Determined to maintain the leadership...
Friday, July 22, 2011 by
Even though the U.S. new vehicle industry has had to weather a lot
of turbulence during the past few years, some things seem to pretty
much remain the same. One of these is the list of most popular
models. Nine of the 10 models with the greatest number of
registrations (through the first five months of this year) are
repeats from a year ago. Some other highlights of the list include:
- The Ford F-Series is a fixture at the top of the list. It has
been the number one, best-selling model of car...
Monday, July 11, 2011 by
The recently published half-year sales of the three German luxury
car brands (Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz) were quite impressive. All
three recorded sales performances that were considered better than
ever.However, the Year-over-Year (YOY) growth showed some
significant differences: while sales of Audi and BMW models
increased by more than 17 percent, the sales performance of
Mercedes-Benz (cars, without Smart) improved less than 10%. In
absolute terms, BMW is leading with sales of 690,000...Read...
Monday, June 27, 2011 by
My 10-year old daughter wrote an essay about what she wants to do
when she becomes a teenager. Of all the things she wants to do, one
item in particularl made me not only smile, but think. She wants to
drive a tiny purple car; tiny, because she wants to leave the
smallest bio-foot-print possible and purple because she is really
into it, "a royal color" as she describes it.She realizes there are
not that many tiny or purple cars out there. But it doesn't stop
her from wanting one. "I still...
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 by
There was recently a big hullabaloo about Dan Akerson, General
Motors CEO, voicing his support for an increase in gas taxes; an
opinion also shared by both Bill Ford and Alan Mullaly of Ford.
This was presented as an alternative to managing fuel consumption,
as opposed to increasing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
standards. The basic principle is to impact the demand side of the
economic equation, rather than the supply side.I don't disagree
that $4/gallon gas is quite an adjustment...
Thursday, June 9, 2011 by
Okay, this article
"Analysts Say Americans are Too Fat to Buy Small Cars in Big
is sad and humorous in my view. It's an assessment of
how misaligned OEMs may be with building or selling cars and trucks
for the American population which seems to be growing in personal
girth. While I'm saddened by Americans' obesity statistics that
reveal adverse "growth rates," I have to question the implied
correlation of overweight humans and the dislike for small cars.
One does not trigger the...
Monday, June 6, 2011 by
My wife swears she'll never drive a minivan. Whereas, I have a
teammate at Polk who takes every opportunity to boast about "how
cool minivans are." Based on these two disparate points, I decided
to conduct some research, using 1st quarter new vehicle
registrations (January - March for a given year) as my guide, to
determine if the minivan segment is still hot or not.Based on the
5-year trend of first quarter registrations below, the minivan
market is losing ground with U.S. consumers. The...Read...
Thursday, April 28, 2011 by
Given the current rising gas prices it does not take a forecasting
wizard to predict that small car purchases will increase in the
U.S. We have seen this trend many times in the past -- gas prices
increase, small car sales spike. However, we also see that within
days of gas prices beginning to fall, so do small car sales and
Americans flock back to large cars, SUVs and trucks.Can we get past
the point of Americans buying small cars only to save a few bucks
at the pump – but actually because...
Thursday, April 28, 2011 by
Sometimes hidden among all the setbacks the domestic OEMs have
endured in the past five years is one notable success: thwarting
Toyota's efforts to become a major competitor in the fullsize
pickup segment. With the launch of the re-designed Tundra in 2007,
Toyota hoped to gain a stronger foothold in this segment but the
model has fallen short. The Tundra's share of the half-ton pickup
segment jumped by almost five points in 2007 to 13.8%, but since
then it has retreated, and so far this year...
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by
I hate to admit this, but I'm old enough to have been driving
during the oil embargo in the mid-seventies. Among other effects
(the price of gas went up to more than 50 cents a gallon!), this
shock caused car buyers to seriously consider choosing to buy a
small Japanese import instead of one of the comfy domestic cars
that we were all used to. The oil embargo ended, but it was a long
time before we were all comfortable that gas would be available
when we needed it (at any price). Into this...Read...
Thursday, February 17, 2011 by
Flexible (gasoline/ethanol) vehicles, commonly referred to as "E85"
or "Flex Fuel," represent one of every 10 personal new vehicle
purchases year-to-date through November 2010. This represents a
market share increase of nearly 6 percentage points since 2006. As
a consumer who lived through the gas price crisis, I expected the
new wave of fuel efficient vehicles to push Americans into small
minicar like transportation. On the other hand, as a member of the
Polk analytic community, I was keenly...R...
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 by
So we are one month into the New Year, the North American
International Auto Show is behind us and everyone has put their
stake in the ground. From what I have seen, the expectation is a
market of around 12.5 million units this year – certainly better
than the last few but nowhere near the 16 million mark of a few
years ago. What's your guess? (Because let's be honest – that's
what they all are!)What are the big things that could impact this
year? Let's start with the obvious – the economy...
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 by
If you could increase the fuel efficiency of just one vehicle
segment by 10%, which segment would you choose? The table below
shows the number of vehicles bought new in each macro segment in
the last 12 months (personal registrations only), along with a SWAG
at the average mpg for that segment:Personal Registrations, Last 12
Months Vehicle Segment Count Est. MPG Entry/Economy Car 1,396,394
30 Midsize Car 1,805,962 28 Sporty Car 255,991 20 Luxury/Large Car
768,797 22 Minivan 296,526 20 Mini Sport...