Throughout the month, TTAC tries to go back to recent sales numbers in hopes of providing greater context for the industry’s day-to-day decisions. On the first of each month, however, we get so overwhelmed with volume numbers, we thought we’d take this opportunity to explore the price-volume frontier. Inspired by recent rumors of a 120k unit production goal for the $41k Volt and the ensuing discussion of the BMW 3 Series’ unique position on the price-volume frontier, we thought we’d feel around the data for this mythical plateau. Sadly our unsophisticated graphing software (and overworked editor) didn’t allow for a more full exploration of high-priced vehicles reaching near-mass-market volumes, so we put together a “basket” of higher-priced, strong-selling models. And though we obviously cherry-picked a little, we did use four manufacturers to indicate an approximate “delta” between price (base MSRP) and volume (2010 numbers). Are there outliers to our “price-volume frontier”? Possibly. Did we leave out the most interesting area of the graph (the mass-market vehicles) Definitely. But in the process we have hopefully proved that selling over 100k units of a vehicle costing $40k or more is not a goal to be taken lightly.
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