Filed under: Sedan , Videos , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Eleven months after Toyota claimed the 2012 sales crown a couple of months early thanks to the Camry , the headlines this year have been quite a bit different to last. Even though the Camry remains the best selling car so far in 2013 and its volume has increased year-on-year, it has lost market share due to the 20-percent sales explosion in the midsize segment. That means people are buying more of the competitor offerings like the Honda Accord , Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion – the Altima, in fact, outsold the Camry by 100 units in March. In July it was reported that Toyota was upping Camry incentives and fleet sales to keep its lead and that dealer inventory was climbing as, again, competitors got better at fighting the champion. In August Ford doubled down on production of the Fusion, adding a line in Flat Rock, MI to keep up with demand. Bloomberg has a report looking at the numbers behind the Camry’s dominance, as well as what appears to be a recorded group interview with Toyota USA CEO Jim Lentz, and wonders aloud whether the Camry will be able to hold its top spot in 2014. Barring catastrophe it has this year locked up, being more than 30,000 sales ahead of the next-best seller as of the end of August, but it has done so with higher incentives and lower transaction prices than its competitors. According to Strategic Vision the Camry’s consideration rate among consumers has also declined by a percentage point, while the consideration rate for the Accord and Fusion has increased by one point and two points, respectively. Analysts, and Toyota, cite better competitor products as well as the fact that the Camry is a year older than any of them to explain what’s happening, but a year from now the three major competitors won’t be as new either, and Toyota knows a thing or two about moving cars. Still, the Camry has been number one for 15 of the past 16 years, its only second-place blip coming in 2001, so it’s way early to be talking about the fall of the champion.
Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Toyota Two of the hottest-selling cars in America aren’t quite as hot as they used to be. The Toyota Camry and Honda Civic are both seeing dealer supplies increase in the face of renewed competition from the much-improved Detroit Three. According to a report from The Detroit News , the Camry’s dealer inventory is 15 days higher than its seasonal average, while the Civic is 25 days above average. Things aren’t expected to get better for Toyota and Honda , as RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak marked the two Japanese offerings as “at risk for reduced output.” The Detroit Three, meanwhile, are seeing supplies dwindle as demand increases, especially for the Ford Fusion , which has seen an 18-percent increase in 2013 sales, and the Chevrolet Cruze , which was second only to the Camry in June 2013 sales. Ford currently produces the Fusion at its Hermosillo, Mexico, factory, but to cope with demand, it has added a second shift at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, which will begin production of the Fusion later this year. Toyota Camry, Honda Civic inventories mounting as US automakers make inroads originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Jul 2013 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Etc. , Ford , Honda , Toyota It may not be fun, but we all know that slower driving speeds are a good way to maximize fuel economy on the highway. To help prove this point, Consumer Reports did a series of tests to see exactly how much better a vehicle’s fuel economy is at varying speeds. CR used five cars ( Honda Accord four-cylinder, Toyota RAV4 and three different Ford Fusion models), which were each tested at 55, 65 and 75 miles per hour to determine the variations in fuel economy. Not surprisingly, each car surpassed its fuel economy estimates at the slowest speeds. Econ for each also drops off considerably as the speeds increased. Driving the extra 20 mph will knock about an hour off of a 200-mile highway drive, but the test shows that it will also burn an extra two gallons of gas. Calculated out for a 1,000-mile road trip, we see up to 10 gallons of gasoline could be wasted. It would have been interesting to see how a diesel performed in this test, or even how Texas’ new 85-mph toll road plays into this topic. A couple interesting side notes in this tests include the four-cylinder Accord getting the same highway fuel economy at 55 mph as the Fusion Hybrid.
Filed under: Etc. , BMW , Ford , GM , Infiniti , Mercedes-Benz , Toyota , Specialty , Tesla , Racing Popular Science has named the winners in its Best of What’s New awards, the victors coming in the categories of aerospace, automotive, engineering, entertainment, gadgets, green, hardware, health, home, recreation, security and software. The automotive category did not go wanting for lauded advancements: Tesla Model S : the Grand Award winner for being “the standard by which all future electric vehicles will be measured.” BMW 328i : it’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gets called out for being more powerful and frugal than the six-cylinder it replaces. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta : towering power, towering top speed, 30 percent more fuel efficient than the 599 Fiorano it replaces. Toyota RAV4 EV : the all-electric SUV accelerates better than many conventional SUVs, goes 100 mph and actually beats EPA mileage estimates. Porsche Cayenne Diesel : 406 pound-feet of torque, 33 highway mpg, up to 800 miles from a single tank and Cayenne style, give ‘em a trophy. 2013 Ford Fusion : its three flavors – standard, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid – “are the most efficient models in their classes,” that latter one expected to outdo the Chevrolet Volt’s EPA mileage rating. The DeltaWing : gets kudos for being “the most efficient racecar in history.” Mercedes-Benz Magic Vision Control : a holistic solution to keeping your windshield clean and clear year-round. General Motors ‘ MyLink : takes the in-car computer out of the car, puts it in the driver’s smartphone. Infiniti Back-Up Collision Intervention: rear-mounted radar and sonar keep track of what’s behind you and brake automatically if an obstacle is detected so you don’t hit things when you back that Infiniti up.
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 , Budget , Sedan , Technology , Ford , Toyota , Design/Style As 2013 Ford Fusions begin rolling into dealerships, Ford can say that it has finally created the mythical Toyota Camry fighter. It’s something we’ve heard again and again from Detroit’s carmakers, always poised but never able to deliver a midsize sedan that will outsell the venerable Camry. This time, however, Ford may have a case. Offering five powertrains, including a 47 mpg gas-electric hybrid, a powerful 2-liter model, all wrapped in a sexy exterior, the Fusion makes a strong case that it deserves a spot at the top of America’s most cutthroat segment. But numbers don’t lie. Last year, Ford sold 248,000 Fusions. This year, sales are up 7.7 percent through August at 181,000 cars, making the Fusion Detroit’s top selling midsize car in America. But it’s not even close to the top selling midsize car in the U.S., it’s not even the third best selling midsize sedan. The Camry is on a big rebound. It has sold 280,000 cars this year alone, and sales are up 37 percent.
Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Sedan , SUV , Truck , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials The figures have been tallied for the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2011, and not surprisingly, the Ford F-Series pickup truck is king of the heap once again. Dealers sold a total of 584,917 F-Series units in 2011, beating out the second-place Chevrolet Silverado by 169,787 units. The Toyota Camry filled out the podium with 308,510 sales, which left the top three unaltered from their 2010 rankings. Fourth place went to the surging Nissan Altima , which jumped from its seventh place position last year. Likewise, the Ford Escape enjoyed a jolt in popularity as well. While the aging CUV took the 13th spot last year, the Ford sold 254,293 units to take fifth place in 2011. That bumped the Honda Accord and its Crosstour variant to sixth place. Interestingly enough, the Honda duo just barely beat out the Ford Fusion by 5,000 units. Were the two Honda models to be split, the Fusion would have easily knocked the Accord further down the list.