Research

Millennials: Buying Fewer New Cars, but More Brand Loyal

A new study by the Pew Research Center on millennials (age 18-34, also known as Generation Y) provides financial data that support new vehicle registration data collected by IHS Automotive/Polk. According to the Pew study, millennials have more student loan debt, poverty and unemployment than both the preceding generations did at the same age, and, predictably, lower levels of wealth and personal income as well. With less buying power, millennials have been less likely to purchase a new...
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When Porsche Outsells Other German Luxury Brands in Brazil

Do you think a Jeep Grand Cherokee is a direct competitor of a Porsche Cayenne? Would you add the Volkswagen Touareg to the competitive set? Well, many Brazilian consumers do. And the results may be surprising. Let me start with the winner in the SUV/crossover segment. Land Rover is the preferred brand. The Range Rover Evoque sells over three times more than vehicle number two, the Volvo XC60. And the Freelander (LR2 in the U.S.) comes right in third place. Looking one length class above, the......
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Which Vehicles Topped Google's Search in Brazil?

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......
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Will Automotive Luxury Brands Succeed in Brazil?

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......
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Making Global Product Management Easier for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry

For those of you like me who have been in the automotive aftermarket industry for a number of years, you understand the common challenge that all of us have been facing for over a decade – how do you determine if parts being sold in the U.S. or Europe have applications that can generate revenue in other parts of the world? And how do you identify vehicles that are more likely to have the same components as those on the road in different countries? I've never found these questions to be easy...
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Exports Hurting Production in Brazil

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 year, production...
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Automotive Customer Loyalty - Who's Winning and How?

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...
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Toyota Lessons Not To Follow

As Toyota announced it has regained the global sales crown, it makes me think of how the Japanese OEM has wasted its chances in the world's fourth largest market. Not everyone is aware that Toyota opened its first factory outside of Japan within Brazil in 1959, a plant that is currently used to produce parts. For decades, the Brazilian market was closed to imports and Toyota only produced a version of its Land Cruiser. It was a great product for rural areas, but Toyota was far behind its...Read...
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Main Markets in South America Face Protectionism Wave

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...
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Threats to Upsell Opportunities in the Automotive Aftermarket

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...
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Americans are Holding their Vehicles Longer...is it Good for Loyalty?

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....
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Two Key Reasons Why Automotive Sales in BRIC Should Be On Your Radar

Welcome to a series of blog posts about the global automotive market based on a paper that I recently worked on with a set of colleagues that discusses important strategic questions for automotive business planners. For those of you interested in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), this blog focuses on the question, "Will BRIC countries continue to drive organic growth in the automotive industry?" Answer: Yes! Why? Of the 38 percent jump Polk expects to see for global light... R...
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Automotive Growth Challenges in Fast-Growing Regions

It was a national holiday in Brazil on October 12 and I went with my family to where my father was born, a small town where approximately 10,000 people live today. During the long weekend, my impression was that Chevrolet was the best seller in Brazil, but actually it falls behind Fiat and Volkswagen. However, I saw more of the Chevrolet Montana (a pick-up truck based on a passenger car, something that Brazil created decades ago) and the S-10 (the local name of the Colorado) than the Fiat...
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Two Hyundais, One Market

At this point in automotive history, nobody denies the importance of Hyundai. According to Polk data, the Korean OEM produced almost 3 million light vehicles worldwide in 2003 and we forecast that its output will reach 8.3 million in 2016. That's a growth of 183%, while on the other hand, GM's production is rather stable during the same period. Part of this growth will come from a brand new factory in Brazil. With an investment of $600 million, Hyundai will start producing a hatchback on... Read...
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Audi's Second Factory in the Americas

There is a lot of buzz about the Audi plant that will be built in San José Chiapa, Mexico. The press refers to it as "Audi's first car plant in the Americas," but this is not correct. Audi produced the A3 in São José dos Pinhais, Brazil between 1999 and 2006, in a factory now totally owned by Audi's parent company, Volkswagen. Golf (still in its fourth generation), Fox and SpaceFox are produced there. It was a joint venture between Audi and Volkswagen – Audi had 25% of the factory.The A3...
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Presidential Candidates: Support the Economy by Making Automotive a Priority

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...
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One Ford, Not Everywhere

As the July sales numbers were released, Ford and GM made the headlines for their drop, while Chrysler still enjoys its momentum. But Ford’s challenges are not only in the U.S. – and I am not talking about Europe. In Brazil, where the market enjoyed a 22% growth in July, Ford sold 12% less light vehicles compared to June. Its monthly market share slumped to 8.44% from 9.90% in the previous month. Ford, the first OEM to be established in Brazil (1919), has always faced challenges in Latin... Read...
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Assembly Allocation to Mexico will Grow at Canada's Expense

The Polk forecasting team is in a position to report good news as the North American assembly and sales volumes continue to improve year over year. This is the direct result of modest economic improvement and the satisfaction of pent-up demand. Polk anticipates North American assembly volumes will increase by 10% (14.4 M) in 2012, following a 10% increase in 2011 (13.1 M) and a 39% increase in 2010 (12M), following a dreadful fall to 8.6 million units in 2009. However, there is at least one...
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South America Light Vehicle Forecast Reduced

Polk has just finished updating its light vehicle sales and production forecast, which is made four times a year. For the South American market, the numbers are not as positive as one would expect for emerging countries. We've reduced the sales forecast by 2% for 2012, 3% for next year and 5% for 2014. Regarding production, the forecast was reduced by 3.4%, 2.9% and 1.6% for those same years. The main cause of these reductions is the Brazilian market, which represented 67.3% of the total...
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Asian Automotive Advertising Excellence Celebrated at 3AF Marketing Summit

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.
  • Nissan-Admerasia...
Rea...
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