Thursday, June 20, 2013 by
One reason for the improved U.S. market shares for both GM and Ford
in 2013 is their rising shares of the non-luxury subcompact car
category. GM's share of this segment climbed from 8.6% in 2011 to
14.3% last year, and it should reach 15% this year. Both the
Chevrolet Sonic and Spark have sold well and represent improvements
versus the Daewoo-based Chevrolet Aveo. In 2012, the Sonic ranked
number two in the subcompact segment based on registrations,
trailing only the Versa. Ford did not... Read...
Thursday, June 6, 2013 by
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...
Monday, May 20, 2013 by
Just as the U.S. new vehicle market continues to fragment into
dozens of segments and hundreds upon hundreds of models, the
commercial van segment is splitting into two distinct categories,
each with a wide range of models. Back in 2008, the commercial van
customer had five models from which to choose, but by next year
there will be 11 models on the market. Prior to 2009, there
was one commercial van segment and it was perennially dominated by
Ford's E-Series (Econoline and Club Wagon). In...
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, April 22, 2013 by
Ford and GM are now solidly profitable and Ford's credit rating has
moved out of the junk category, but the U.S. market shares for both
companies declined significantly in 2012. Whether share is
calculated by looking at the first two months of this year versus
the same time period a year ago or versus all of last year, the
results are the same. While these trends are discouraging in and of
themselves, they are particularly concerning right now because the
European operations of both companies...R...
Monday, March 25, 2013 by
On the eve of the 2013 New York Auto Show, the media has noted the
irony that one of the largest auto shows in the country is taking
place in a location where many residents do not even own a car.
What is less frequently, if ever, mentioned in the press is the
fact that the mix of new cars purchased by New Yorkers who DO own a
vehicle is far different from the mix in the rest of the United
States. One of the most vivid differences between new vehicle
registrations in New York and the rest of...
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by
Mainstream large cars, such as the Avalon, Maxima, Taurus and
Impala, continue to lose favor. Their combined share of the U.S.
market has retreated from 5.8% in 2008 to just 3.5% in 2012 (the
results were similar this past January, with the large car share
declining from 4.1% a year ago to 3.9% this year). Large cars now
account for a smaller slice of the U.S. market than minivans,
itself an endangered species. And the number of large cars
continues to decline, down from 14 in 2008 to 7 now....Re...
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, 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...
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 by
Ford launched the C-Max hybrid vehicle in September 2012, and
dubbed it as America's most affordable hybrid utility vehicle. The
C-Max base model is offered at $25,200 and provides consumers with
estimated fuel economy of 47/47 (city/highway) MPG. By contrast the
primary competitor to the C-Max is Toyota's famous Prius which has
a starting price of $24,200 and fuel economy estimates of 51/48
MPG. With the launch of the C-Max, Ford has launched "The
" campaign which displays a...
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by
Every calendar year in the third quarter, the automotive industry
is filled with excitement as OEM brands launch new model year
products. These launches are comprised of new variants (engine,
drive types), product refreshes/facelifts, all new product
offerings and the next generation of existing models. In the third
quarter of 2012, two Japanese automakers (Honda and Nissan)
launched the next generation of their mid-size sedan models. The
all new Honda Accord and Nissan Altima boast... Read More...
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
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...
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by
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...
Thursday, January 17, 2013 by
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... Re...