By on June 1, 2011

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the “Detroit Three” automakers are once again on top of the charts, as a wild and wacky month of sales closed with some serious shifts in the volume-manufacturer landscape. Not only did Chrysler claw its way back to number three for the month, but Hyundai-Kia beat out all the Japanese competition save Toyota, which narrowly escaped with the top non-Detroit volume number. Detroit fans should savor the win, as the Japanese automakers should work through most of their inventory and supply issues by sometime this summer. Things should get back to (relatively) normal at that point, but for now it’s clear that literally anything is possible.

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85 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: A Month Of Mass-Market Madness Edition...”


  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    Suddenly it’s 1960!

    BTW – Hyundai & Toyota appear to be swapped in the chart.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    OK. Artists formerly known as the Big 3, please pay attention. Those 1/2 million in sales will tell another half million how fabulous their cars are if you step up your game in the service department. Otherwise, kiss them (as future and repeat customers) goodbye.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Exactly. The supply issues for the major Japanese companies will be a long term boon for companies like Hyundai, Ford, GM, VW if, and only if, they can keep them with good product and good service.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        Interesting that VW is mentioned as one of the main beneficiaries of the Japanese supply disruptions, yet they don’t even appear on this chart.

        Agreed that service will be key to keeping these new customers. This is a double edged sword – if a loyal Toyota buyer gets a Ford / GM / Mopar / Hyundai, and has a poor experience he is almost certain to be gone forever, and to tell world + dog about the lemon he bought “against his better judgement” during the supply disruptions…

      • 0 avatar

        VW sold 30,326 units last month. Not exactly a big-volume player.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        Fortunately, GM & Ford have acceptable product – at this point it’s down to the dealers to retain the customers…

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        @mike / Ed:

        VW/Audi and HKia both had an incredible month. This is a new high water mark for VW/Audi and HKia.

        As expected, HKia is the big winner.

        VW would claw back some share, if they hadn’t so aggressively de-contented their USDM offerings.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Traditional Ford and GM customers now think the cars are much improved, but people replacing Toyotas will be troubled by getting stranded due to loose ground wires, random gauge malfunctions, transmission failures and clunks, and vehicle-consuming gasoline fires. The bar is too high for people who’ve never owned a new Honda or Toyota to even conceive of it.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        @CJ: If that’s so, why is it when I Google “engine sludge”, Toyota is the first OEM name to come up?

      • 0 avatar
        SV

        @CJinSD: you put Toyota and Honda on quite a pedestal, don’t you? GM and Ford may have their glitches with new models, but the Japanese are hardly faultless. Besides, for every Fiesta buyer that has to deal with the bad ground TSB (and I think it’s been mostly solved by now anyway), there are several people that are very happy with their Fusions and Malibus, which have very good reliability scores – in the case of the Fusion, better than the Accord and Camry if you go by Consumer Reports.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Mr. CJinSD likes to cherry pick items to make his Toyota/Honda world go round. Then again, Big 3 supporters like to cherry pick Honda automatic transmission failures, among things…so be it. Neither of these extremes will change their buying habits no matter what the product is. That said, the large majority of the domestic lineup is good enough to stand on its own; pick whatever source of information you choose. The real proof will be how any problem that comes up will be handled by the dealer network. All makes will have some problems but if the dealers stonewall customers, that will be the end of any momentum that is building. Right now Detroit has a pretty good roll going, but it is a fragile point in the rebuilding process. Should a design defect appear, most buyers will be forgiving it the repair is made promptly and it is covered with no BS. Throwing in a loaner will help even more. Having been told to eat a $800 gasket repair that I damn well know millions of people had as well left a bitter taste. If that happens to a person who gave Detroit a second chance they will never come back.

      • 0 avatar
        Norma

        @SV,

        Since you mentioned CR, where would Ford’s Fiesta be ranked by CR? Could its reliability record be as good as Honda’s Fit or Toyota’s Yaris? Any bet?

        Golden wrote: “That said, the large majority of the domestic lineup is good enough to stand on its own; pick whatever source of information you choose.”

        Really? How about J D Power 2011 Dependability Studies? Where is Chevy? Behind Smart. How about Ram and GMC? 9th and 12th places BELOW industry average.
        Oh, never mind Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, right at the bottom next to VW, Land Rover and Mini.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Norma –

        The Fiesta has had a few initial model year teething pains. For a brand new version of a model being built in a brand new factory a few issues can be expected. Ideally QC and testing should find all of the problems before cars reach the lots, but in the grand scheme of things a couple problems that can easily and permanently be solved through either a transmission software reflash or scraping away a bit of paint to provide a better connection for a ground wire are hardly the end of the world. I wouldn’t expect the 2011 Fiesta to rank right up with the Fit in reliability reports, but given that the issues are now known and have been fixed on all of the Fiestas currently being produced, there’s no reason not to expect the 2012+ models to rank as highly as the Fit and Yaris.

        As far as JD Power goes, that same reliability study ranked Porsche in the top 5, which I think says about all that needs to be said.

      • 0 avatar
        Norma

        Nullo,

        “As far as JD Power goes, that same reliability study ranked Porsche in the top 5, which I think says about all that needs to be said.”
        May be you are not as updated as you think, POrsche is also highly rated by CR. Go check it.

        Can you show me evidence that Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris have ‘issues’ as severe as that of Ford fiesta in their early model years? If not, then just admit it, Ford Fiesta is still not up to the standard to beat the best of the industry.

        According to CR, Honda has NO vehicles rated below industry average, unlike Ford. The best Ford fanboys can cite is Ford Fusion, unfortunately, the quality of Ford is not evenly spread.

        Caveat emptor!

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Norma –

        Porsche might score well in CR, but if anything that just shows how far off base CR can be. Spend a little time in any Porsche owner’s forum and you’ll see a different side, or just ask Jack.

        As far as the Fit and Yaris go, I didn’t really follow their launch so I can’t point at what may or may not have happened. I wouldn’t call the Fiestas issues severe either – there may have been a lot of early production cars that had them, but at most they were an inconvenience and one quickly remedied. Ford has a number of models that are well above average in reliability, whether CR reports it that way or not. Honda also has some very well known issues with the transmissions in Odyssey vans, and Toyota Tundra was one of the most recalled vehicles released when the new model came out in ’07. The fact is no brand is perfect. Ford has come a long way, and while the reliability on every model might not be perfect yet, it has progressed to the point where you aren’t taking a risk opting for any particular Ford model vs. a Honda or Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        Norma

        Nullo,

        “Porsche might score well in CR, but if anything that just shows how far off base CR can be. Spend a little time in any Porsche owner’s forum and you’ll see a different side, or just ask Jack.”

        Is this just pot calling the kettle black? Haha.
        Those Porsche problems are ‘history’ if you listen to Porsche, just like what Ford says nowadays.
        Do you have a problem when CR says the reliability of Fusion is equal to or above Honda Accord or Toyota Camry? Sigh.

        Even Ford’s CEO admitted on May 31 that they had a few issues with the current products rolled out.

        So, do you think you know better about Ford than him?

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Norma –

        I’m not arguing that there aren’t a few issues, I even mentioned it myself. I am saying that a few minor issues that are being quickly fixed aren’t the end of the world.

        No one has perfect reliability, I do distrust CR a bit because I feel they use a bit of a double standard in regards to the domestic vs. import brands, i.e. always giving the imports the benefit of the doubt that minor issues popping up are an aberration while similar issues in a domestic product are evidence of a greater cancer.

        Yes, there are some Ford, GM, and Chrysler products that have shown some first year teething issues. Going hand in hand with that Ford, GM, and Chrysler have rolled out a lot more new product over the past couple years than the Japanese have. The more you change the more chance there are for some details to be overlooked, and reinventing your entire lineup is a major change. However, with the reliability trends all shooting way up for the domestic manufacturers, even if you do have to bring your vehicle in to correct a minor situation like a ground wire or transmission software bug, there is no reason not to think that after that one isolated fix your vehicle won’t serve you completely reliably for the next 200,000 miles or however long you plan to keep it.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      You betcha!

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        CJ – I own a 2008 Sienna so I am a Toyota owner (not much choice when twins came along as additions). I certainly wouldn`t put them, nor their dealers on a pedestal. The vehicle is good for its intended purpose but certainly no better than the MkIV Golf I have owned or 328i.
        A colleague has a 2011 Sienna has has also had issues. As all companies.
        I wouldn`t consider it a “step down” to buy a Ford or Chevy in the future having sat in them (the Chevy Traverse very nearly won the competition against the Sienna).

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The only thing I see “wrong” is how well Chrysler did.

    • 0 avatar

      Very strange comment when one considers that Chrysler is a North American company with government investment from two countries.If the thought of business success at Chrysler is wrong, then I must be living on the Bizarro planet of Superman fame.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I guess you missed the ” ” around the wrong, I didn’t mean that Chrysler doing good was a bad thing just that Chrysler doing that well goes against the CW.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      What’s wrong is that you are subscribing the internet “conventional wisdom” about Chrysler. If you are comfortable in your present state I advise you to do nothing, otherwise I suggest a trip to a nearby showroom and couple of test drives.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    Chrysler has some competitive products: 300, Charger, Challenger, Ram Pickup, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, and Mini Vans.

    The big problem with their lineup is these are all larger vehicles, and likely sensitive to continued fuel price increases.

    The big gap in their lineup are competitive C and D class cars – hopefully Fiat can help them close this gap, as this product will be more important in a world of $100+ oil…

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    I had just seen somewhere else some numbers about GM month end dealer inventory. 584k at the end of May, up 7k from April and 177k from May 2010. This doesn’t look good but in a vacuum, it’s hard to say. I wish I could find figures for the other companies and compare them.

    And good for Chrysler, they seem to be somewhat overcoming the bailout stigma and their products are pretty good in some segments.

  • avatar
    Chiburb

    Before anyone asks, HKia fleet sales were 7% of total, 11% for the YTD.

    Quick question:
    With the Genesis selling 2700+, on which later chart will it appear?

    Note:
    Equus sold another 200 in May, 1100 YTD. Does it get charted?

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hyundai-motor-america-reports-its-best-ever-may-122956908.html

    Thx!

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I don’t think the big 3 should savor anything. It was an act of nature that really put the Japanese manufactures into this bind. But, it is a good opportunity for them to try to capture some lost ground if they have a good product to go to a family who can’t by a Toyota/Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Supply disruptions haven’t really hit Japanese brand sales very much yet. We should really start to see the effect this month.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        I suspect they have hit indirectly, as Japanese brand intenders may have read the news and assumed few cars were available, or that there would be no deals to be had on the remaining stock.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        I agree with Penguin. I think the media is helping people not buy because they think selection is poor and that discounts will be small. That is the only way to explain what happened with Detroit numbers being relatively the same. That, or everyone who wants to buy Japanese cars decided that May wasn’t the time to do so.

  • avatar
    Motorhead10

    @MikeAR
    total inventory at May 1 was 2.308 million units or 54 days supply, down from 2.484 million on April 1. June number is not out yet. US manufacturers were 1.27 million units or 64 days on May 1. US mfg truck inventory was 909,500 units and 78 days on May 1.

    can’t get the table of May 1 inventory by manufacturer to format in the post – but I have it if anyone wants to see it

  • avatar
    Mike Driehorst-Chrysler

    It’s nice to be among the “Big 3″ again but rankings come and go. Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne has said on numerous occasions that he’s not concerned about rankings.

    In earnings calls, he’s never emphasized the company’s market share and has said (paraphrasing) that it doesn’t tell the entire picture.

    Just last week, he said during the ceremony at our Sterling Heights (MI) Assembly Plant that Chrysler Group doesn’t want/need to be the biggest auto OEM; just the best.

    But, if anyone is checking rankings, Chrysler Canada is # 2 in that country (for May 2011 and year to date).

    It’s good to see the comments — all the comments.

    -Mike Driehorst
    Editorial Director-Online Media
    Chrysler Group LLC

    • 0 avatar

      Mike, thanks for adding your two cents, and for identifying yourself as a Chrysler employee. Welcome to the TTAC commentariat!

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Mike,

      Welcome! I have two words for you – diesel Wrangler. Ok, 4 words. diesel Wrangler and Wrangler pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Driehorst-Chrysler

        @Windswords: I hear you — and the many others chiming in with the same desire. Though for the pick up, you know…Mopar did come out with a JK-8 kit for four-door Wranglers.
        -Mike

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Welcome Mike. I do have a question for you. Since you’ve identified yourself as a Chrysler employee, are you speaking in an official capacity? Or are you commenting as an enthusiast? I don’t know if there’s a policy concerning this kind of thing on this site, I was just curious.

      There were some GM employees on here who were speaking in an unofficial capacity, but they seemed to have moved on. Hopefully you will be treated well, whether or not you are posting officially. I personally find the insights from the folks who work “in the trenches” much more credible than folks who don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Driehorst-Chrysler

        @Geozinger: Thanks for the welcome. It is Chrysler Group policy that any employee speaking about company matters online identify himself or herself as being an employee, contractor, etc. So I’m just following policy.

        For my comment above, I am (or was) speaking in an official capacity, as part of my role being involved in the more corporate social media activities.

        I don’t really offer any inside scoop. Just trying to re-echo what Mr. Marchionne, et al, have publicly said in the past.
        Take care,
        -Mike

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @Mike Driehorst – there’s a lot of guys named “Mike” on this board! Good to know about your posting, and glad to see that Chrysler is taking enough interest in it’s reputation to post in blogs like this.

        Although I haven’t owned any Mopars recently, I have had a few in the past. Contrary to popular perception, they all ran pretty well. One of my all time favorites (so far) was my 87 Dodge Lancer ES Turbo. A nice sized car with a hatchback! What a great concept! Having owned that car, and a Chevy Malibu Maxx, I’m sold on the idea.

        Best wishes to you.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      Welcome Mike!

      Although it has been many years since I’ve owned a Chrysler product, I like the path your company is on these days.

      I have driven many SUVs to travel to remote regions for work in the past two years, and the new Grand Cherokee gets my vote for “most improved player” after two 1000+ km trips, one of which included ~300km of unpaved roads in January.

      I don’t need an SUV for my personal vehicle, but if I did the Grand Cherokee would be at the top of my list.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Driehorst-Chrysler

        @PenguinBoy: Thanks for the feedback (and the plug for the Jeep Grand Cherokee). The 2011 Grand Cherokee has turned quite a few heads since being introduced about this time last year. Glad you like it.
        -Mike

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      MD of Chrysler wrote: “It’s nice to be among the “Big 3″ again but rankings come and go. Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne has said on numerous occasions that he’s not concerned about rankings.

      In earnings calls, he’s never emphasized the company’s market share and has said (paraphrasing) that it doesn’t tell the entire picture. [...] Chrysler Canada is # 2 in that country ….”

      Aren’t u naughty, Mike?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Mike Driehorst,

      Welcome to TTAC and I was just wondering the reasoning behind Chrysler’s branching off of RAM Trucks from the Dodge division other than to create a truck-free, Mercury-like image for Dodge when ‘Chrysler’ already was that. RAM Trucks will always be Dodge at heart and still wear Dodge emblems on the inside.

      I’m guessing Cummins wouldn’t or couldn’t move forward with Dodge or Chrysler post bailout/bankruptcy but technically, as long as RAM is hammering the checks, a new contract could be signed.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The Japanese brands had a higher “days to turn” rate than the domestics or the Koreans.

    The fall in Japanese sales had more to do with the cut in incentives than any actual supply issue.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      The Japanese cut incentives because they knew they had a supply issue.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Not everyone cut incentives the same amount.

        Nissan didn’t cut their incentives as much as Toyota and thus, only saw about an 8% decrease in sales, unlike Toyota’s 32% decrease; plus Toyota saw a pick-up in sales (from the 50% drop at the beginning of May) once they increased incentives.

        Also, Scion saw a 24% increase in sales and Scions are imported from Japan.

        And according to Edmunds – Toyota had a 35 day supply of the Corolla at the END of the month.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      Toyota and Honda new car lots around Boston don’t have much to pick from. But Detroit new car lots are jam packed.

      • 0 avatar
        Roundel

        Oh enough troll…
        Expressway Toyota is always packed to the brim and loves to throw cash on the hood.
        You and CJ are getting tiresome with your anecdotal domestic hating garbage.

  • avatar
    jj99

    GM Sales … DOWN. Ford Sales … DOWN. Chrysler sales … DOWN.

    Looks to me like Toyota and Honda buyers are waiting till Toyota and Honda has more cars. They are not switching brands. How can you blame them? Last thing a Toyota or Honda loyalist needs is a Detroit vehicle with the “Check Engine” light on.

    I want a new Camry SE, but I decided to wait until the 2012 is available late this year. No switches for me.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      If you look at the FACTS, GM and Ford retail sales are UP, so they took sales from Toyota, Honda, etc.

      GM & Ford overall are down, because both cut back on fleet sales.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        And looking at the numbers, even though GM and Ford declined slightly, it was nothing compared to the nosedive that Honda and Toyota took. I’m sure supply issues, lack of incentives, and customers thinking this isn’t the time for a good deal on a Japanese car are all part of it, but a significant number of people who would have otherwise bought the Japanese imports drove away with domestic cars this month.

        Expecting the D3 to usurp all of the import marketshare overnight is ridiculous, but the trends have been more and more people who were previously pure import buyers now considering, and in many cases buying, domestic vehicles. As long as the quality of the domestic vehicles continues to match or exceed what’s available from the imports this will lead to continually increasing marketshare for Detroit. Hearing how great the Fusion is in a TV ad or in a magazine review is one thing, but hearing how great it is from an old friend who just replaced his Camry with one is the kind of buzz that really sells more cars.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      If you’re considering a Camry, the Fusion has better reliability, at least according to Consumer Reports.

      (To anyone else other than jj this would not be a facetious post)

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I don’t really agree, the 4-cylinder models (the volume sellers) are both rated as above with each car having better/worse reliability in certain aspects. Toyota seems to be somewhat stronger in the most expensive core components (i.e. powertrain) but does worse with other components (i.e. brakes) so it’s not really possible to straight up answer which car is “more reliable”. The only Camry I’d avoid is the 07+ V6 which seems to have more issues, though oddly the V6 FWD Fusion also has more issues than it’s 4-Cyl counterpart.

        They’re both reliable cars and frankly anybody claiming one or the other as being far more reliable is just being a fanboy. I’d be happy with either car, though it’s a bit of a bummer that the Camry’s reliability does seem to have dropped a bit since the 2002-2006 generation though I assume part of this is related to the pedal recalls which would automatically give them a worse score in at least one category.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “Last thing a Toyota or Honda loyalist needs is a Detroit vehicle with the “Check Engine” light on.”

      Brand loyalty is rarely repaid over the long term by the company one is loyal to. Loyalists often get taken advantage of. Something to think about.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good anti Detroit rant.

      Chrysler was up 10% in May. GM and Ford cut fleet sales with increases in retail share. Yep, they are doing the right thing here, but apparently it is too much trouble for you to post factual information.

  • avatar
    mjz

    jj99: Chrysler sales are UP. Why wait for a 2012 Camry? Sears is having a sale on appliances this weekend.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    Wow. Who would have imagined only a year ago that Toyota would be a distant blip in GM’s rearview mirror?
    “Toyota Recalls Prius for Steering Fix” Or maybe Toyota buyers are waiting for the next recall?

  • avatar

    I’m sorry windsword, I don’t actually get your point, but I assume that you are suggesting that Internet information about Chrysler is biased toward the company and that a test drive of a Chrysler product would vaporize any notion that Chrysler products are quality products.Am I in the ballpark here with my interpretation of your post?

  • avatar
    obbop

    If the Yellowstone caldera blows the auto sales world will reel in shock and awe and major disruptions will ensue affecting some firms more than others.

    I wonder if any firms have planned for such an event.

    My Chevy has the heavy duty air filter but I doubt that will allow me happy care-free motoring.

  • avatar
    jogrd

    Just replaced a Civic with a Fiesta. Tried a Fit first, and I could care less if it’s more reliable, as no repair could fix the ugly or make the seats comfortable. Twenty five year Honda or Toyota guy before this as well. Now those brands’ cars seem like the market dominating Olds Cutlass of my youth, which the herd of the time made into the best selling car.

  • avatar

    The Detroit 2.1 have reason to cheer their good fortune… up to a point. If history is an indicator, though (and it usually is) I suspect consumers flush from their recent purchase of a Daewoo Cruze or Fiasler Durango* stand a very good chance of being soured on their decision within record time.

    Thanks to the bailouts, a whole new generation of consumers may now (re)discover why they didn’t rush out and buy domestic-branded, UAW-built products just a few years ago. We’re already seeing ominous signs from Ford (ChiCom transmissions in the Mustang, dual-clutch issues in the Fiesta) and I’m eager to see the next major malady to befall the Cruze. You just know it’s coming… and thanks to the Internet, it will be very difficult to stop word-of-mouth when the next steering wheel falls off.

    Sorry to sound so sour on domestic cars… but there’s a very good reason why the market determined a few years back that at least two out of three of those companies should have died.

    *This morning I followed a new Durango on the freeway. It’s the first one I’ve seen on the road, and I admit it looked pretty good… but all I could think about was “what an idiot” for the buyer taking a chance on a first-year, completely unproven Fiasler.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      How about more Prius recalls. That doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

      The Chinese transmissions are definitely having problems in the Mustang. That is a definite problem. The dual clutch issue you speak of, isn’t a dual clutch issue at all. It was electrical, it is a grounding issue from too much paint.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        I think the sudden increase in the Toyota recalls has to do with the fact that the unintended acceleration fiasco (which it MOST CERTAINLY was) shined a bright light on Toyota more so than perceived quality issues. The fact that the DOT refused to actually come out and say that driver error caused the fiasco didn’t help any. Toyota’s major problem is the fact that they build boring cars for boring people, which isn’t a recipe for success. Just ask Buick and Cadillac.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        I guess the 2 recalls that were associated with SUA don’t mean anything? Killed one family for sure and could have caused other accidents as well.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The Fiesta is not built with UAW labor…

      • 0 avatar

        Right you are, geeber. Whoops.

        Steve-O, I tend to believe the sudden increase in Toyota recalls has everything to do with the current political climate, and less to do with a sharp dropoff in Toyota’s overall quality. I’m not saying Toyota hasn’t slipped a bit there — it absolutely has, and is now taking steps to rebound — but the company is also under a very harsh microscope, held over them by one Ray DaHood and his incompetent White House enablers.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        I disagree. The increase of Toyota recalls is due to Toyota not issuing recalls correctly when they needed to in the past. No recalls looks better for quality.

      • 0 avatar

        I disagree.

        Imagine my surprise.

  • avatar
    Michel1961

    Toyota and Honda sales may also be down because they are not trying very hard. Uninspired salespersons, high in-house interest rates, little to no incentives, no demonstrators available on certain models and trims in the whole region (that’s pre-Tsunami), long delays for delivery on some models, no salesperson call-backs (not necessarily a bad thing…but it shows some interest). Not to mention Honda’s apparent laziness in terms of design (very little has changed since 2007 in there) and Toyota’s declining built quality (especially interior materials).

    I bought a Hyundai in April. Toyota couldn’t be bothered to sell me a Highlander, even though I was willing to pay more to get one. Might explain the Big 3 and Hyundai/Kia numbers.

  • avatar
    jplew138

    I’ve been watching this space for awhile, and I’ve noticed that like death and taxes, it’s almost certain that CJ and jj will come up with some Detroit-hating, because it’s just in them and it can’t be washed out. As for myself, I’ve owned both foreign and domestics, with varying degrees of reliability. For example, I have a 1994 Cadillac Deville, with 289,000 miles on it, still runs, and is used as a second car – no overhauls or anything of the sort. I’ve also owned a Mitsubishi Mirage, that may well have been the worst car I’ve ever owned, as it started breaking down at 30,000 miles, and got progressively worse until I finally had to junk it in favor of a Ford Contour.

    If the aforementioned gentlemen had actually driven something like a new Focus or Fiesta, I might actually be inclined to take their rants seriously, but as it’s rather obvious that they haven’t, I’ll pass, thank you. Those two cars are quite possibly the best in their respective classes, and as I’m actually looking for a car, I’ve actually driven them and their Japanese competition. The Japanese competition doesn’t compare as far as driving dynamics, interior quality, or power combined with fuel economy. Face facts, guys…Toyota and Honda are turning into the GM and Ford of this generation – fat, happy, and totally unconcerned with what their customers think. And they’d better watch their backs…not only the domestics, but the Koreans are gaining on them.


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