Filed under: Car Buying , Marketing/Advertising , Ford , Honda , Toyota Consumer Reports has released its annual Car-Brand Perception Survey, and the list looks awfully familiar. The top six brands are identical to last year’s results, with Toyota , Ford and Honda continuing to occupy the podium. All told, Toyota walked away with 133 points, putting it 15 ahead of second-place Ford. Honda jumped 26 points this year, narrowing Ford’s lead to just four points in total. Consumer Reports polls buyers from across the country on how they see multiple brands in seven categories, including quality, safety, value, performance, design/style, technology/innovation and environmentally friendly/green. Researchers then combine the findings to come up with the total brand score. While value and performance remain important to buyers, CR found quality and safety are still on top when it comes to significance. Scion and Mitsubishi found themselves at the bottom of the pack with the worst score of all, tied at just six points. Ram , Fiat and Mini filled out the lowest five with scores of seven, eight and 10 points, respectively. You can read the full press release below for more information, or head over to the Consumer Reports site .
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , Audi , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Honda , Toyota , Humor , Fiat , TV/Movies Who would have ever thought there’d be a day where people are able to skip television commercials only to go to websites to watch them later? Such is the joy of a DVR and YouTube. AdWeek tabulated the 20 most-watched ads on YouTube, and found that nine were car-related including eight coming from automakers. Volkswagen continued its Star Wars theme with two ads in the top 20, including the highest-ranking car commercial The Bark Side spot at number three with almost 18 million views, which doesn’t even have a single car in it. Some of our favorites are from Chrysler with Clint Eastwood in It’s Halftime in America and House Arrest with Charlie Sheen for the Fiat 500 Abarth . Chevrolet , Honda , Audi and Toyota were the other automakers in the top 20, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention one of the coolest ads on the list, the Hot Wheels corkscrew jump . Of all the car videos, only the Fiat ad wasn’t played during a Super Bowl. Check out all eight videos – in order – after the jump . Nike took the top spot with its My Time is Now ad that has been seen online more than 20 million times with Pepsi’s Uncle Drew posted up in the runner-up; some of the other videos include four Old Spice commercials and an ad in which Snoop Dogg is pedaling Hot Pockets. Continue reading Automakers score 8 out of top 20 most-watched ads on YouTube [w/videos] Automakers score 8 out of top 20 most-watched ads on YouTube [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:02:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , China , Chevrolet , Ford , GM , Honda , Nissan , Toyota American automakers that conduct business in China have benefited from growing anti-Japanese sentiments among Chinese buyers, as most recent sales numbers indicate. According to Automotive News , a territorial dispute over uninhabited islands have resulted in Chinese consumers rejecting vehicles from Toyota , Honda and Nissan in increasing numbers. Meanwhile, sales of General Motors cars and minivans in its largest market grew 14 percent in October, to 251,812. Ford moved 60,518 units in China, representing a 48-percent increase in sales compared to the same month a year ago. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda and Nissan sales have all taken nosedives. Toyota reported that its sales fell 44 percent last month, following a 49-percent drop in September. The latter two companies both announced their worst month-to-month decline in sales, dating back to 2007 for Honda and 2008 for Nissan. Still yet to be announced are Volkswagen sales in China. The German automaker has been battling GM for the top sales spot in China this year, and it outsold GM last quarter for the first time in eight years. When we last checked in on the two companies, GM had a slight year-to-date lead of 77,000 units.
Ford tumbles to second worst in Consumer Reports reliability survey, list dominated by Japanese [w/video]
Filed under: Acura , Ford , Honda , Lexus , Mazda , Scion , Subaru , Toyota It’s no secret that MyFord Touch has had its share of problems since being introduced, but the most recent reliability survey from Consumer Reports shows just how much this infotainment system has affected Ford . Just two years ago, the automaker was in the top 10 for the institute’s reliability rankings, but since then, it has tumbled to the second-lowest rung just above dead-last Jaguar . In addition to MyFord Touch, CR also attributes a handful of new products that have had issues right out of the gate. Compiled from 1.2 million subscriber surveys, this year’s auto reliability survey heavily favors Japanese automakers, with eight of the 10 spots hailing from Japan. Toyota brands grabbed the top three spots ( Scion , Toyota and Lexus – in that order) with Mazda , Subaru , Honda and Acura filling the next four spots. The only non-Asian automaker cracking the top 10 was Audi at number eight. Audi climbed a total of 18 spots from last year, and Cadillac and GMC round out this year’s top gainers breaking into the top 15. Helping Cadillac’s upward movement, the CTS Coupe was named the most reliable domestic car. Lincoln , Volvo and Chrysler join Ford on this year’s biggest loser list. Scroll down to watch a video and see where some of the other brands rank for reliability this year.
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials According to a Reuters report, the Japanese government and several of the country’s largest manufacturers are joining forces to rescue troubled electronics manufacturer Renesas Electronics. Toyota , Nissan , Honda , Panasonic , Canon and Denso are set to contribute a combined $637.9 million to a $2.55 billion deal that will see the group gain control of the company. Robert Bosch GmbH is also considering investing in the electronics manufacturer. Why are so many varied corporations interested in Renesas’ future? The company is the world’s leading supplier of microcontroller chips. Even so, the strengthening yen and heavy competition from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Company has seen Renesas suffer through five years of financial losses. As a result, the company has laid off 12 percent of its workers and currently has plans to either sell or consolidate more than half of its domestic manufacturing facilities. Toyota, Nissan, Honda to assist in $2.55B bailout of chipmaker Renesas with Japanese gov. originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Oct 2012 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: China , Government/Legal , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Mazda , Toyota
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: Sedan , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Belts and pulleys will continue to replace traditional gears in the coming years as more carmakers turn to Continuously Variable Transmissions to suck the fun out of future machines increase fuel economy. According to a new Automotive News report, by the numbers, about one percent of new vehicles were equipped with a CVT in 2005. By 2010, that number of new vehicles in the U.S. grew to seven percent, thanks largely to Nissan , not to mention an increase in the number of hybrid models sold in America (most of which are fitted with the technology). Experts at IHS Automotive now predict that percentage will more than double by 2016 to 16 percent. The belt-and-pulley transmission can adjust to an engine’s torque in an infinite number of ways, making it more efficient than traditional gearboxes. But CVTs have become the bane of many enthusiasts and critics because of a number of undesirable characteristics – namely the unpleasant ‘rubber band’ sound they emit under hard acceleration. According to Automotive News , Japanese carmakers appear especially interested in adding CVTs to their lineups. Honda is widely expected to offer a CVT on its next-generation four-cylinder Accord , Toyota may include a CVT on its future Corolla , and the CVT stalwarts at Nissan introduced its 2013 Altima earlier this year with an upgraded CVT that helps it achieve 38 miles per gallon on the highway. While CVTs continue to improve, some providing faux programed “shift points” through sport programs or paddle shifters, they remain a non-starter with most enthusiasts we talk to.
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 , Etc. , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Lexus , Toyota ALG reports both Ford and Hyundai have seen substantial jumps in their respective perceived quality, with the Blue Oval enjoying a 37 percent jump since 2008. Hyundai, meanwhile, has seen its figures increase by 25 percent over the same five years. For industry watchers, the news should offer no real shock. Both manufacturers have been on a new-product warpath, offering models laden with fresh design, efficient drivetrain options and plenty of technology while steadily increasing quality. The increase has been enough to push Ford to fourth on the list of brands with the highest perceived quality with a score of 70.5. That score puts Ford just behind Subaru with a score of 71.1. Ford and Hyundai may have had strong showings, but Honda has snagged top honors among mainstream brands with an 81.3 perceived quality score, followed by Toyota with 80.1. Lexus walked away with the highest rank among luxury brands, followed by Mercedes-Benz and BMW . Cadillac , Lincoln and Jaguar , meanwhile, all fell below the luxury average of 71.2 points.