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 More »
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 More »
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...Read More »
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. Among...Read More »
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?"
Why? Of the 38 percent jump Polk expects to see for global light...Read More »
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 Strada...Read More »
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 More »
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 brought...
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 manufacturing...Read More »
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 More »
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 fly...Read More »
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 South...Read More »
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.
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 loyal...Read More »
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...Read More »
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. Among...Read More »
Americans continue to hold on to their cars and trucks longer than ever before. Nearly six years (71 months) among new vehicle owners is the latest trend. New Polk consumer research shows the opportunities for professionals managing OEM aftersales and the automotive aftermarket operations should have a lot to look forward to given this trend. It's about parts and service business, folks.
Two years ago, I posted a blog on the same behavior and when we started to see a real incline in the average...Read More »
According to my friends at Auto Week (@AutoweekUSA on Twitter), Honda is working with Google, the City of Torrance, CA and Stanford University to conduct tests on a fleet of Honda Fit EVs. In what is being dubbed the "Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program," it sounds as if the goal is to conduct research to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with advancing the Electric Vehicle market. (Image source: Auto Week.)
In a recent blog post The Road is a Vehicle Charger, I...Read More »