By on November 2, 2011

The auto sales game has only one rule: sell more cars this year than you did last year. By that measure, these seven brands are “losing” 2011 as we head into the final two months of the year. Of course 2011′s king of bellyflopping brands was Mercury, which went from 78,656 units in the first 10 months of 2010 to 248 in the same period this year. But because it was mercifully euthanized by Ford (not to mention the fact that its 99.7% decline ruined the rest of the graph), Ford’s erstwhile “entry luxury” brand  has been left off.

And what we’re left with is a sight to behold… the once-dominant Honda and Toyota (and even their luxury brands) laid low by floods, tsunamis, congressional hearings and a few poorly-received products. Even Subaru, a brand that grew 15 and 16 percent in 2009 and 2010 respectively seems in danger of not growing its volume this year… for less easily-explained (or is that superficially-explained?) reasons. Meanwhile, if Jaguar is falling behind with its freshest lineup in… well, you get the point. With the market up 10% compared to where it was in the first ten months of 2010, nobody wants to be losing volume right now…

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62 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Brands That Are “Losing” 2011...”


  • avatar
    littlehulkster

    It’s easy to explain why Subaru has declined.

    Their new cars suck.

    They’re bloated, ugly and lost that Subaru charm the owners loved.

    I don’t know how a company could go from the 05-09 Legacy and Outback to the new botoxed up heffalumps, but Subaru managed.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Based on this chart, I’d say the fact that the Big 3 has a LOT to do with this.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    I’m amazed Subaru isn’t lower than that. Their inventory has been pretty low as of late. They had to delay the new Impreza by at least 3 – 4 months due to supply issues due to the tsunami.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      My local Subaru dealer hasn’t had more than three cars visible on the lot at any one time.

      The funny thing is the row of cars along the front row aren’t cars at all. They’re used trucks!

    • 0 avatar
      Darth Lefty

      I had a hell of a time getting my new WRX in April. At the time I was pretty depressed about my chances and reading news stories about how the factory would be closed for weeks or months. Surely it’s the tsunami effect.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Quite interesting. As for the Asian brands, regardless of where they’re actually built, what effect did the Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami have on sales?

    I’m very happy the domestics appear to be growing, but that can’t be the whole story. I’m sure something is missing here.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      Did you miss the part where Japanese suppliers were wiped out, crippling production of even American-built Hondas and Toyotas?

      Walk into a Honda dealership and try to make a deal on the much-maligned 2012 Civic. Despite how awful every magazine and fanboy claims it is, good luck getting them to knock more than 100 bucks off MSRP (~$1500 over invoice, Edmunds TMV estimate for Dayton, Ohio), even 9 months after the tsunami. And the closeout ’11s sold out six months ago, at close to sticker. That never happens. Compare that the $700 under invoice my folks paid for their ’11 CR-V a year ago.

      Compare that to the “hot selling” new Focus (~$1000 under MSRP/~$500 over invoice) or Cruze (~$600 under MSRP/~$400 over invoice).

      I normally wouldn’t touch a Chevrolet with a 10 foot poll (although the Cruze is probably the least-ugly compact on the market right now, along with the Jetta, which I wouldn’t touch with a 20 foot poll). But I’m not going to submit to highway robbery, either. That’s why Nissan’s had a such a stellar year: supposed “Japanese reliability” without the shortages and markups (they were better prepared for shortages).

      The true test will be whether Chevy and Ford can hold onto the gains they made this year, rather than blowing it like they did every other time they made inroads in a foreign-dominated segment. Honda employees a helluva lot more people in my native Ohio than GM or Ford, so that influences I root for a whole lot more than name on the trunk lid or where the corporate headquarters are located.

      • 0 avatar
        SherbornSean

        FromABuick nailed it.

      • 0 avatar
        vbofw

        The Focus and Cruze have been out for a year. Prices naturally soften over time. The Civic, while undeniably crappy, is brand new, when cars typically sell for MSRP until the lots get filled. Honda owners seem especially likely to wait in line to pay-up, since they drink the quality of yesteryear Kool-aid more than anybody.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Here are the incentive spending figures for the imports brands in Oct.

        Subaru – $334
        Hyundai – $655
        VW – $671
        Honda -$1,260
        Kia – $1,354
        Toyota – $1,602
        Mitsu – $2,084
        Mazda – $2,327
        Nissan – $2,355

        So to say that the Japanese brands aren’t discounting isn’t exactly true.

      • 0 avatar
        damikco

        If said Civic was selling so great then why is honda quietly doing a hastily mid cycle refresh so soon? The cruze is having this car for lunch.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The cruze is having this car for lunch.

        Only if you ignore the rental and other fleet sales. Compare retail to retail, and the Civic still outsells the Cruze. Even the tsunami wasn’t enough to put GM over the top in this segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        As far as my memory takes me, Honda has always tried to stick it to all those who walk through their doors, that is why I will never, ever buy a Honda. They act like their stuff is the best in the world and if you want it you gotta pay. Period.

      • 0 avatar
        damikco

        Defend the Civic all you want, it all boils down to Honda’s quick refresh as an indicator of being beaten by the competition.

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        Like the Corolla?

      • 0 avatar

        “They act like their stuff is the best in the world and if you want it you gotta pay.”

        Well, because they can. And Honda keeps their resale value better too. If GM could they would do the same. People are naturally sheeps – it is scary for people to go for something unknown. How many years Big 3 had surprising high market share with crappy products – really for very long time until generational change.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “Defend the Civic all you want, it all boils down to Honda’s quick refresh as an indicator of being beaten by the competition.”

        OK, on the other hand NSX hasn’t been updated for 20 years, it’s eating Ferrari alive.

  • avatar
    rochskier

    Zackman – you raise a great point about the quake and tsunami. It can be hard to judge when something like that will ripple through the supply chain.

    In my own industry, we didn’t feel the full brunt of the fall 2008 financial crisis until the summer of 2010. I was also certain we’d be affected by the Japanese quake and tsunami, but amazingly we have seen next to no effect from it.

  • avatar
    jj99

    Honda and Toyota now has some cars to sell. Even though they still have limited availability, and discounts are difficult on many models, something happened this month which appears to be missed by the media. In October, Corolla is the leading seller in it’s class, and Civic is second. Honda Pilot is the leading seller in it’s class, ahead of Explorer. Accord and Camry lead their segment. This has been done on limited inventory.

    In the meantime, motor city dealers have lots of cars with big discounts, but they dropped down the list once Honda and Toyota got a few cars to sell. What this means is buyers prefer full priced Honda and Toyota vehicles over motor city vehicles. Furthermore, buyers will purchase motor city vehicles only when Honda and Toyota have nothing to sell.

    This is a very negative story for the motor city. What will happen when Honda and Toyota have good inventory? You know the answer.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Honda and Toyota had more inventory at the beginning of Oct. than either Hyundai and VW.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Perhaps the production stoppages at Honda and Toyota in NA this month due to the Thai flooding have escaped your attention?

      Even if the fates had been kind to them on the production side, the weak-kneed Corolla and the plastic doboy new Civic are having their lunches eaten by Ford, GM and Hyundai-Kia, as well as Nissan and VW. The times, they have changed.

      I guess by selling more, this is just bad news for Ford and GM…. in some alternate universe beyond the ability of mere mortal man to comprehend.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      GM and Ford have a steep climb ahead of them to convince some people that their offerings are as good if not better than the Japanese brands. I work in the IT sector and come across a lot of people from Indian descent. I have not seen one person drive a domestic. 40% drive a Toyota, 40% a Honda and the rest Nissan, BMW etc. They have this pre conceived notion that Japanese brands are vastly superior and keep buying Honda’s and Toyota’s time and again even though some of them have been burned pretty bad. GM will never change these people’s perception even if they tried. For these people it wouldn’t matter even if GM and Ford made superior vehicles. They hate domestics with a passion, though none of them has ever owned or set foot in one. For the rest of the populace that is open minded and cares about what they drive and how it drives, GM, Chrysler and Ford are best suited to grab them. Quality is now a given and that was the Japanese companies only strength. They are not known for style, design or driving dynamics. The tide is slowly turning.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        This religious belief in certain brands helps D2.5 more than any other brands. The total number of Indian descents is very limited. On the other hand, there are millions of Caucasians willing to buy from D2.5 even if their cars are slightly inferior (but not drastically).

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        Those Caucasians are mostly in Hicksville, though. Imports rule the wealthier states.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      GM and Ford have a steep climb ahead of them to convince some people that their offerings are as good if not better than the Japanese brands. I work in the IT sector and come across a lot of people from Indian descent. I have not seen one person drive a domestic. 40% drive a Toyota, 40% a Honda and the rest Nissan, BMW etc. They have this pre conceived notion that Japanese brands are vastly superior and keep buying Honda’s and Toyota’s time and again even though some of them have been burned pretty bad. GM will never change these people’s perception even if they tried. For these people it wouldn’t matter even if GM and Ford made superior vehicles. They hate domestics with a passion, though none of them has ever owned or set foot in one. For the rest of the populace that is open minded and cares about what they drive and how it drives, GM, Chrysler and Ford are best suited to grab them. Quality is now a given and that was the Japanese companies only strength. They are not known for style, design or driving dynamics. The tide is slowly turning.

      • 0 avatar
        fred schumacher

        A few years ago, I took a drive across the wealthy, southwest suburbs of Minneapolis. Most cars were imports, leaning heavily on SUVs and CUVs. When I crossed the Minnesota River into working class Shakopee, the cars were overwhelmingly domestic. Although imports have a reputation for reliability, people on a tight budget recognize that the lowest cost vehicles to own and operate are domestics.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        People on a tight budget tend to look at the sticker price and available discounts first, and make their choice based largely on that factor.

        I’ll also bet that more than a few of those working class people are union members. Except for members of the teachers union, they tend to drive domestics out of “Buy American” loyalty and nothing else.

        Sorry, but in my experience, with one exception, the domestic cars owned by family and friends require FAR more unscheduled repairs than the Hondas and Toyotas. My parents just shelled out a fair amount of money for new front end bits on their 2004 Oldsmobile Bravada, which has about 70,000 miles on it, and has never seen any real off-road action. (This repair was hot on the heels of a transmission repair.)

        My mother-in-law’s 2004 Malibu with 64,000 miles on the odometer is more troublesome and feels junkier than my 2003 Accord with 164,000 miles on the odometer.

        In too many cases, domestic vehicles simply are not as well-engineered for quality and long-term durability.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        alluster: For the rest of the populace that is open minded and cares about what they drive and how it drives, GM, Chrysler and Ford are best suited to grab them.

        Except that the Consumer Reports initial reliability ratings don’t bode well for their long-term efforts.

        alluster: Quality is now a given and that was the Japanese companies only strength. They are not known for style, design or driving dynamics. The tide is slowly turning.

        No, it’s not a given for all brands (see the recent Consumer Reports ratings) and the top-tier Japanese brands were also known for refinement and superior comfort, too. Not to mention better all-around engineering.

      • 0 avatar
        fred schumacher

        Re: Geeber and reliability

        High reliability combined with high repair costs is more expensive than lower reliability with lower repair costs. The drivers of Edina and Eden Prairie buy expensive, high reliability imports new, which they will trade in before the warranty expires; the drivers of Shakopee buy used, easy and cheap to repair domestics which they will drive into the ground.

        My most reliable cars have been a number of 3.3 liter powered used Dodge Caravans, which have cost me between 5 and 8 cents per mile to own and operate — 300,000 miles with no timing belt to replace. My lowest cost vehicle was a 1998 Neon, which cost me $3,000 to buy and repair and which I drove for 95,000 miles before donating it at 210,000 miles. That’s barely over 3 cents per mile.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        High reliability combined with high repair costs is more expensive than lower reliability with lower repair costs.

        Not necessarily. Depending on how somebody values their time more expensive but less frequent repairs could easily be more efficient overall. Does it make sense for a $200/hr lawyer to spend 3 of his hours repairing a car when he could pay a $40/hr shop to do it instead, or even better not have to do it at all?

        Beyond that, if a cheap-to-fix “lower reliability” vehicle negatively impacts your ability to reliably get to work or school on time the costs can rapidly exceed what you pay for repairs on a pricier car.

        Also, having your car break unexpectedly is inconvenient and unpleasant, even if the problem is something straightforward and relatively cheap like a flat tire.

        When I was a student I wound up stranded at night in the middle of nowhere because the cheap-to-fix radiator on my cheap domestic car failed. The fact that a replacement was $50 and an hour to put in was absolutely zero consolation to me there by the roadside.

        Breaking the whole ownership equation down to strict money-out-of-pocket costs is misleading, as it ignores the other monetary and quality of life aspects that are harder to capture on a spreadsheet.

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        Sucks that Chrysler is an import now huh?

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43843822/ns/business-autos/

        “The purchase of the U.S. and Canadian governments’ stakes gives Fiat 53.5 percent ownership of Chrysler. That’s likely to rise to 57 percent before the end of the year when Chrysler begins producing a 40 mpg small car in the U.S.”

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Maybe Chrysler has foreign ownership now, but they’re still a USA! brand even if many of their vehicles are built in Mexico or Canada and engineering talents will be leveraged from Europe, as was the case when Mercedes owned them too of course, not to mention when Chrysler really was a US company, and even if the profits will ‘go overseas to the owners’ because Chrysler is still beholden to the UAW! That’s all that matters. They’re American because they fund collectivists that own our current regime! Yippee! Patriots can still buy Chryslers!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “people on a tight budget recognize that the lowest cost vehicles to own and operate are domestics.”

        People on tight budgets also recognize that renting to own appliances is a bargain and that payday loans are like having your own Ben Bernanke.

      • 0 avatar
        fred schumacher

        An extended conversation has started here on reliability and operating cost. This would be a good subject for TTAC to investigate in detail.

        When people ask me for advice on what used car to buy, I tell them to find a good mechanic who works for a reputable shop and buy a car he repairs. I’m a retired farmer and millwright, and my experience is that everything breaks. It’s not a matter of if but when.

        No, a $200 an hour lawyer is not going to work on his car himself to save money, and there are no $40 an hour shop-time repair shops that I know of. But that lawyer is going to do what most people with money do. They buy a new car with a warranty as a substitution for having a personal relationship with a mechanic. My mechanic works 300 miles from where I live now, and I continue to take my cars to him. It’s worth it.

        I presently have one domestic car, a 2000 Dodge Caravan, and one import, a 2000 Subaru Forester. The Forester is supposed to have higher reliability, but repair costs are much higher. A timing belt replacement cost twice as much as on my Neon and a water pump was ten times more. My son has had two Subarus blow head gaskets. On the last one, he opted to drop a 2.2 in to replace the 2.5, an engine he no longer trusts. A Subaru head gasket job costs $2,000. For comparison, my mechanic once charged me $100 to replace the head gasket in a Dakota.

      • 0 avatar
        eldard

        Too slow, actually. Pray tell, what if the LFA’s engineering starts to trickle down to Toyota’s lesser offerings? If Toyota was able to humiliate almighty Daimler-Benz back then, it’s easy pickings to do the same to silly Detroit. lolz

  • avatar
    alluster

    raw numbers for all brands

    http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/6887203/img/6887203.png

  • avatar
    carguy

    While the disruption in supply chains have definitely had a major impact for Japanese sales, no one can deny that all of these brands are simply not generating much excitement with their products.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Jaguar should have just kept building the Series III until no one wanted to buy the company anymore.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe so. The Jag numbers are disturbing. Good looking cars, fairly new to the marketplace…and these figures are before CU went to print with the reliability story.

      • 0 avatar
        salhany

        The cars are 50K and 70K, the “entry-level” X-Type is no more, and the economy is still in horrible shape. I dunno, it’s not shocking that Jag sales are down.

        I love everything about the new Jags except the reliability reports. Here’s to hoping someone at Tata figures out how to build these things properly.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Ever-growing number of USA working-poor and unemployed.

    Mass media not covering reality (perpetuating the facade created to protect elite class) and outright lies from politician figureheads on behalf of their masters.

    Those Occupiers are not there without good reasons to them.

    Many USA resident unaware or fail to see or purposefully ignore or are so well-brainwashed…….

    Your resident Old Coot has tried to warn the USA citizenry for many years what was coming.

    I was correct and made similar declarations to Buffet long before he spoke:

    “There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

    “There has been class warfare going on,” Buffett, 81, said in a Sept. 30 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS. It’s just that my class is winning. And my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them.”

    “Things” will likely get worse.

    Y’all ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

    • 0 avatar
      damikco

      I blame this guy http://www.nndb.com/people/428/000022362/

    • 0 avatar
      fred schumacher

      After WW II, wages and benefits for middle-class Americans went up in parallel with productivity gains. After the early 70s, total compensation flat-lined while productivity continued to increase, with 90% of the value of those productivity gains being absorbed by the top 1% income bracket. American families compensated by increasing female employment and hours worked and by borrowing more. We hit the wall with the Great Recession. See http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/income-inequality-is-not-a-myth/247389/

      The implication for auto manufacturers, I think, is that the market for cars in the $20,000 to $40,000 range will soften. Above $40,000 will do OK, since those are vehicles bought by the wealthy. But the real growth will be in sub-$20,000. Ergo, Carlos Ghosn’s Dacia Logan reconfigured for the American market as a $12,000 Versa or the new, cheaper VWs.

      • 0 avatar
        obbop

        I concur wholeheartedly with thine writing and ample graphs and charts based upon reliable sources prove thine assertions.

        Though some folks will assert such comments are “off-topic” the economic ramifications of the present and possible future increasing growth of USA working-poor and unemployed HAS to have impacts upon major purchases such as new vehicles and the used vehicle market with a possibility of used vehicles conducive to “mobile domiciles” actually increasing in value.

  • avatar
    niky

    Subaru… maybe people are finally realizing that… no… they don’t need AWD after all? Especially if it’s going to cost them that much in gas?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Subaru… maybe people are finally realizing that… no… they don’t need AWD after all?

      Subaru’s US sales CYTD 2011 are down by 703 cars in comparison to 2010.

      Percentages in a vacuum can be misleading. It would help in this case to also look at the number of units sold, not just the percentages.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Also Subaru is coming off of a few years of better or much better than industry sales growth rates. Look at a little longer time period and Subaru is still leading the pack. So this tiny downward blip isn’t a big concern.

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      Of course they need AWD. It’s their niche and they’d be crazy not to continue to fill it. A buddy of mine sells Subies up here in Maine and he’s inundated with customers.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I’d call that difference statistically non-significant. Call it a dead-even year for Subaru (assuming the year finishes as it’s going now), and see what happens in 2012. At that point, they’re either going pick up, go down, or stagnate.

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    [quote]The Jag numbers are disturbing. Good looking cars, fairly new to the marketplace…and these figures are before CU went to print with the reliability story.[/quote]

    I saw several Jags on the road in the last few days. It took me a while to figure out what they were. Not that they were bad looking, just that I had to see the leaping cat to figure out what I was looking at. For those dollars, I would want something that will stand out a lot more.

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      They do stand out on the road, just not in a traditional “couch on wheels” way. Familiarity with their new shapes will only grow over time.

      I can always spot an XF on the road instantly.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Honda and Toyota will bounce back regardless of the car reviews. The proliferation of independent service shops that have worked with these two brands… sometimes exclusively…is reason enough to stay aboard.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The reason that they are profitable for mechanics to specialize in them is a reason they’ll bounce back?

      More like the opposite, the fact that they are so profitable for the repair industry is something consumers are finally figuring out.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        Are you kidding me? First find a honest mechanic,m then find one that’s honest and competent…. your chances are so much if you start out with the largest installed base of cars. Even if Subaru jumped to the front of the line for durable quality, there are so many independent shops out there with experience on Hondas and Toyotas… and servicing isn’t expensive for exactly this reason.

  • avatar
    VA Terrapin

    Something else about Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Acura and Infiniti is that many of their current models are older than many of their competitors. The current Corolla is years older than the Cruze and the current Elantra, Focus and Jetta. The current Accord faces a similar situation against the Sonata, Optima and Passat. Current Lexus, Acura and Infiniti models have been around for years.

    The new Civic came out just in time for the disasters in Japan. The new Camry and Yaris are just starting to come out. It’s too early to tell how well these cars will ultimately do, but if favorite whipping boys like the previous Camry and current Corolla and Jetta are any indication, the Civic and Camry should continue to do very well.

  • avatar
    edriveautos

    After reviewed this complete comparative report for automotive for sale companies list from above chart is really diminished for me .. I really thankful to owner of this blog who providing me this option. Thanks a lot !

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Jag won’t be too disturbed. Their sales increases in the far east are accelerating at a pace which makes the us less relevant. Sales at home have also recovered because they are no longer making cars for Americans but for their core Market.

    Meanwhile Land rover is growing so fast that Jag has plent of time to develop all those new models we are hearing about to grow Market share. Jags Suv will also help sort us sales out a bit.

  • avatar
    bud777

    I sort of expected SAAB to be here somewhere

  • avatar
    gasser

    Look at the horror show numbers that Lexus put up. Small surprise. I’ve owned five of them over the last twenty years. At first the LS400 was a MBZ S class size and V8 at the price of the E class or less. Now its priced like a an S class, but doesn’t have the cachet to carry it off here in California. The majority of sales are from the RX and ES, both of which are not exactly flying out the door. The ES is an old design, and worse for Lexus, is seen as an old man’s car by the thirty year olds with whom I speak. The RX also skews to an older demographic, and for families lacks the third row. For others, they have nothing to downsize to in the Lexus line. The larger Lexus SUVs have stiff competition from both Audi and BMW. My nephew, forty years of age, looked at the GS and ran to but a new Infiniti M. It’s all about the product!!!


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