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...
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 by
I attended the 43rd edition of the Miami International Auto Show at
the Miami Beach Convention Center. This is truly regarded as the
official kick off for auto show season. Miami's show is sponsored
by the South Florida Automotive Dealers Association, which boasts
over 175 dealers. My experience began with a media launch party on
November 7th at the well-appointed Raleigh hotel on Collins Avenue.
This event boasted many local dealers, product specialists, show
event planners, members of the...
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by
Do you have the impression that the Brazilian president meets the
CEO of an automaker daily? Lately there have been a lot of
announcements that OEMs will start – or resume – production in
Brazil. This year, Honda and Mercedes-Benz announced new plants,
while Audi stated it is coming back to Brazil and making cars
in a VW plant where it built the A3 some years ago. VW confirmed it
is finally updating the locally made Golf (currently still in its
fourth generation). Last year, BMW announced its......
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 16, 2013 by
Brazil is waving goodbye to some of its oldest vehicles. Not
because OEMs have decided to drop them or because customers were
not going to the dealer network looking for them, but because all
vehicles sold in Brazil beginning January 1, 2014 must
have ABS and airbags. And some last-longing models simply
cannot comply with the rules. That is the case of the Volkswagen
Kombi, known as the Transporter T2 in the country. Made in
Brazil for the past 56 years, it was the first vehicle assembled...
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by
August U.S. new car and light truck sales were not merely good —
they were extraordinary. Consider the following:
- U.S. customers purchased 1,503,151 new cars and light trucks in
August, the highest monthly volume since May 2007
- This August total converts to an annual rate (SAAR) of 16.1
million, the highest monthly SAAR since November 2007
- The August year-over-year increase of 17% was the highest
monthly change since June 2012
- Every manufacturer enjoyed a sales increase in August
- August Ford...
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...
Friday, July 12, 2013 by
At the brand level, the structures of the U.S. marketing and sales
operations of all the major automakers are similar with the
exception of one. The OEMs operating in the U.S. have one dominant
make accounting for at least 60% (and much higher in most cases) of
all its U.S. registrations while Chrysler's registrations are
spread more evenly across five makes (see chart below). Chrysler's
U.S. structure is the result of both acquisitions and a different
marketing strategy. Chrysler purchased...
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by
Several protests took place in Brazil during the month of June.
Everything started with public transportation fares that were
increased, although the increases were less than $0.10. And even
after the increase was cancelled, protests kept going on, focusing
on corruption, the amount spent to build stadiums for the World
Cup, poor educational and health systems despite high taxes,
amongst other things. (For more about the protests, see the links
at the bottom of the blog.) Ironically, protests......
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 by
Tax incentives were very effective in 2012 and helped
Brazil reach a new sales record of 3,573,076 light vehicles.
With this success, Brazil remained the fourth largest
automotive market in the world, just behind China, the United
States and Japan. Polk's automotive forecast does include any
changes in this ranking in 2013 when sales in Brazil are
anticipated to reach 3.63 million light vehicles. However, Brazil's
importance declines when we analyze production numbers. Last
Friday, May 10, 2013 by
Since January, Mexico has been able to import American and
Canadian vehicles that are Model Year (MY) 2007 or older. Up until
December, the limit was MY04 or older and in 2009, it was MY99 or
older. In 2019, any used vehicle can be imported from the U.S. and
Canada, regardless of its age. This is not a new problem: in 2006
and 2007, Mexico imported more used vehicles then it sold new cars.
Although the imports cooled down last year, they gained strength
again earlier in 2013. There was an...
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by
It is no secret that Toyota owes much of its climb in the U.S.
market to the success of the Camry. This sedan has been the most
popular car in the U.S. every year since 1997, with the exception
of 2001 when it was edged out by the Accord, and Toyota has not
hesitated to stress the Camry's leadership position in its
advertising. The Camry and Corolla represent the core of Toyota's
car lineup in the U.S., though obviously there are other successful
Toyota cars. The Camry's position at 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...
Monday, March 11, 2013 by
Venezuela was all over the news last week because of the death of
its president, Hugo Chávez. President Chávez passed away after a
battle against cancer, which included several surgeries in Cuba.
What the international media did not pay attention is to a law
approved in January that affects the automotive industry. How would
you react if a law determined that all new vehicles from now on
should have a sticker price from the first half of 2009? Moreover,
could you, the dealer network, afford...
Friday, March 8, 2013 by
The automotive industry achieved nearly 14.5 million new vehicle
sales in 2012, which resulted in a sales improvement of 13.4%
versus 2011. There are many contributing factors to this sales
achievement. The following all played a part in the industry
- Stabilized inventory levels from the Japanese automakers
- Several new product introductions from all OEMs
- Strengthening consumer confidence in the U.S. economy and
- Lower unemployment rates
Also in 2012, we began to witness OEMs placing...
Thursday, March 7, 2013 by
How would you react if a law determined that all new vehicles, from
now on, should have a sticker price from the first half of 2009?
Moreover, could you as a dealer network afford to give back to all
you customers what they paid beyond those prices between then and
now? This can sound like an unrealistic scenario, but is a law
approved in Venezuela. The law was create after Congress inspected
and questioned OEMs, dealers and independent stores and got to the
conclusion that vehicles are...
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...
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