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...Read More »
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 OEMs and dealers...
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...Read More »
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...Read More »
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 U.S....
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 »
We hear all the time about the troubled U.S. economy. If it isn’t high unemployment, it's the sluggish GDP or a decline in manufacturing or something else. But, there is also frequent mention in the media about the positive trends in the car business. Car and light truck sales are up, the manufacturers are turning in hefty – sometimes record – profits and even adding jobs to keep up with strong demand. There seems to be a disconnect here. How could the car business be doing so well while the...Read More »
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 »
My global colleagues just prepared a brief analysis of the car market in Japan. While 2012 is certainly better than last year's struggle, the outlook for 2013 and beyond will be an uphill climb.
For you crystal-ball gazers, here are four automotive forecast views that Polk has about the Japanese auto market:
- In 2011, Japan sold 3.5 million new cars and for comparison's
sake, during the first half of 2012, new car sales rose by 57
percent compared to the first half of 2011.
- For the full-year 2012,...
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.
Non-luxury fullsize cars, once the mainstay of the U.S. car business, are losing their luster in the eyes of the U.S. consumer. This category’s share of the U.S. market has dropped by more than half over the last five years, and through the first three months of this year, it accounts for just 2.3% of all new vehicles sold. The number of fullsize models in dealer showrooms has declined dramatically as well, falling from 15 just five years ago to only seven now. The only large non-luxury cars now...Read More »
April auto sales continued at the strong pace set in the first quarter with a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.4 million light vehicles. This is the fourth month in a row that SAAR passed 14 million and it represents a real milestone in the auto sales recovery. Noting year-to-date sales strength, Edmunds.com, recently raised its 2012 forecasts. It appears that auto sales are accelerating at long last, but that does not mean that no speed bumps lie ahead. Between high gas prices, a...Read More »
This month, the Jacob Javits Center in New York is the focal point for the automotive industry as it hosts the 2012 New York International Auto Show from April 4 to April 15. Each year, automotive executives, dealers, suppliers, media, automotive consumers and simply the curious descend upon New York to check out the new cars, trucks, crossovers, hybrids, electrics and futuristic concepts.
On April 4, part of the Jacob Javits Center served as a launching pad for the first Annual NAMAD (North...Read More »
The non-luxury sub-compact car segment, home to such well-known cars as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Yaris, is one of the hottest in the industry. Consider the following facts:
- The segment’s new registrations in January increased 26% versus January 2011, the fifth highest increase among all 29 segments
- The segment’s share of the industry reached 4.73% in January, up from 4.12% last January and 4.0% in 2010
- This segment is now the third largest car segment in the industry,...
Gas prices have risen $0.40 on average for all grades 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...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 »
In the premium market, nine of 11 segments gained ground in 2011, with two small-vehicle segments and one upper-end category...Read More »
Trends of the last quarter of 2011 carried over to January. Chrysler, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Kia continued to outpace their...Read More »
I'm glad the automaker is still investing in the segment even though the minivan segment only represented 3.3% of CYTD November 2012 vehicle registrations and sales...Read More »