Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , GM , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Mazda , Subaru , Toyota , Volkswagen What do the Dodge Dart , Ford Focus , Honda Civic , Mazda3 , Subaru Impreza , Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta all have in common? Well, actually, lots. They are all four-door sedans that fall into the so-called C-segment, and they are all trending downward in sales. This data comes courtesy of Wards Auto , and, while not all such vehicles are down – the Hyunai Elantra has been trending upward – the deficit reportedly rings in at six-percent overall for the segment. Where are all those compact sedan buyers going? To compact SUVs, at least in part. Wards cites data showing that sales of small SUVs and crossovers are up big over the last several months. Vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 are all showing sales increases as buyers shift from sedans to utility vehicles, says Wards . Still, it’s way too early for automakers to give up on C-segment sedans. Though down, sales of popular models like the Civic and Corolla are good enough to put them well into the top 10 sales chart (in ninth and sixth place, respectively).
Filed under: Car Buying , Audi , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Toyota , Design/Style The 2013 Ford Fusion is probably the latest, greatest example of a completely redesigned car that has evoked widespread calls of “Look at that!” Above its buzzworthy looks, though, Ford will be concerned about how the 2013 Fusion sells and by how much – if at all – it beats sales of the previous version. Cars.com has run the sales numbers on 61 models that have been redesigned in the past four years, ranking them as Winners, Underperformers and Losers depending on how a new-generation model is selling compared to the one it replaces. The rankings are sorted by sales class – small, medium and large sellers – so that the success of a niche sports car is weighted differently than the success of a popular midsize car. Compared to a four-year sales average for redesigned cars in each class, Winners were those who outsold the average, Underperformers didn’t make the average but did outperform the previous year’s (hence, the previous car’s) sales, while Losers couldn’t do any better anywhere. Among the most recently introduced winners were the Toyota Camry and the Honda CR-V . The Camry beat the Four-Year Category Average Redesign Increase for large sellers by 2.2 percent, the CR-V managed 0.2 percent. Underperformers included the Audi A6 / S6 which, even though it has outsold the previous generation by 58 percent, still isn’t getting near the small seller category average of 79.2 percent. The new Hyundai Accent is also considered an underperformer, the new model boosting sales by 5.5 percent – nowhere near the 61.5 percent of the medium seller category average. The only Loser listed in the chart is the Honda Civic , taking one last thrashing before the “honed” 2013 redesign gets a chance to right the ship. As for that Fusion, the 2013 model has strong numbers to follow: the 2010 Fusion was a huge winner, putting up a 55.1-percent increase in the large seller category, beating the average by 33 percent.
Filed under: Car Buying , Honda , Toyota , Volkswagen , By the Numbers Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota Post Big Gains If you want evidence that the economy is on the mend, look no further than the string of positive monthly sales reports coming from the auto industry this year. August continues the trend with the vast majority of brands and companies reporting improved sales numbers compared to the same month last year, Volkswagen (+62.54 percent), Honda (+57.88 percent) and Toyota (+47.5 percent) leading the way for major manufacturers. Honda and Toyota’s big gains are easy to explain. Just repeat the line we’ve been using all summer about these two Japanese giants enjoying the fruits of restored production capacity following last year’s onslaught of natural disasters in their home region. Volkswagen’s big jump, however, is harder to explain, and looks to be consolidated mostly in the Passat model line where sales jumped from just 314 last August (before the midsize sedan was redesigned) to 10,090 last month. Smaller sales gains from the Golf , Jetta , Beetle , Tiguan and Touareg also contributed. Another individual model that jumped out at us while compiling the numbers is the Ford Escape . The all-new 2013 Escape is a big departure in both style and content compared to the last generation, which sold very well even into its waning months. We’ve been curious to know if consumers would embrace the new Escape’s slicker shape and higher price. The answer is a resounding yes based on last month’s sales of the new model, which totaled 28,188 units, a 36.8-percent improvement compared to last August and a number high enough to make the new Escape one of the industry’s best selling models overall last month.
Filed under: Car Buying , Europe , Japan , Toyota Toyota has pushed ahead of General Motors and Volkswagen as the world’s largest automaker in the first half of 2012. According to a new Bloomberg report, the 4.9 million units sold by the Japanese automaker in the first six months of 2012 represents an impressive 34-percent jump. Toyota’s sales beat out GM by 300,000 units and VW by 520,000. Still, The General’s sales were up 2.9 percent to 4.67 million vehicles sold, while Volkswagen moved 4.45 units, an 8.9 percent increase. While Toyota has enjoyed success in its top markets, North America and Japan, GM and VW have struggled with the economic crisis in Europe. The Japanese automaker was able to accomplish this even in the wake of the disastrous tsunami in its home market and flooding that occurred in Thailand. According to IHS Automotive market analyst Rebecca Lindland, the strong start may be followed by a downturn in momentum: “they are still restocking dealerships, pulling in consumers who may have waited… but that positive impact will trail off as the year progresses.” Toyota previously took the top spot as the largest global automaker from GM back in 2008 amidst the American financial crisis, but General Motors reclaimed that title in the wake of Japan’s natural disasters. Toyota sales rebound to reclaim spot as world’s largest automaker originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Jul 2012 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Toyota Ask any sales and marketing executive from Chrysler , Ford or General Motors what their company’s greatest challenge is and they will unequivocally reply, “California.” The Golden State accounts for 12.5 percent of all new car sales in the United States, but even more importantly, it is seen as a bellwether for the nation. As the home of the entertainment and consumer electronics industries, California has an outsized reach into our nation’s popular culture – but Californians have historically been among the least receptive to domestic products. There’s some evidence that trend may be changing, as domestic market share has been improving in the recent years, according to Forbes . Ford has seen its Blue Oval brand improve from seven percent in 2008 to over nine percent last year. Chevrolet topped six percent last year after three years of growth. Even Chrysler, which had a market share of less than four percent in 2010, has seen growth – to five percent in 2011 and almost six percent so far this year. Still, those numbers are a pittance compared to the import brands. According to The Detroit News , domestic automakers have a combined 30.8 percent share in California, well below their 44.3 percent national average. The domestics’ recent growth in California – the Japanese and Korean manufacturers’ “home turf” – has certainly been helped by supply shortages at Honda and Toyota , companies beset by natural disasters last year. If domestic automakers are going to continue to take share from foreign competition, they’re going to have to have more success stories like the recent surge in Chevrolet Volt sales, a phenomenon spurred by the availability of High Occupancy Vehicle lane stickers for GM’s plug-in hybrid.
Filed under: Car Buying , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Toyota Domestic automakers have much to be happy about, with Chrysler , Ford and General Motors all gaining market share last year for the first time since 1988. Yet according to Bloomberg, 2012 won’t be as good to Detroit. Total sales are projected to grow from 12.8 million vehicles last year to 13.6 million, according to the report, but increasing competition from Korea and a Japanese recovery from the natural disasters of 2011 mean those extra sales aren’t likely headed to the Big Three. The news agency spoke to five analysts, and predictions have the U.S. automakers losing 1.3 percentage points this year. The analysts estimate that GM will drop 0.6 of a percent, Ford will lose 0.5 percent, and Chrysler will be down 0.2 percent. Toyota is seen gaining 0.9 percent, with Honda grabbing an extra 0.5 percent, while Hyundai and Kia are only projected to see their combined market share improve by 0.01. If all this comes true, GM would have the top market share in the U.S. at 19 percent, with Ford in second at 16.3 percent, followed by Toyota at 13.8 percent, Chrysler at 10.5 percent, and Honda at 9.5 percent. Analysts: U.S.