Posts By: Timothy Cain

By on September 30, 2014

In the very recent past, six-cylinder midsize sedans were often the cars consumers acquired because the basic four-cylinder powerplants were insufficient devices. As fuel efficiency became more of a concern, as economic concerns prompted families to consider less costly purchases, and as larger four-cylinder engines became more refined and powerful, the six-cylinder option gradually became […]

By on September 29, 2014

2015 Lincoln MKC whiteCanadians continued to buy new vehicles at a record-setting pace in August 2014 as the market expanded in all corners, SUVs and crossovers; pickup trucks; commercial vans; minivans; and even passenger cars.

The industry’s 8% year-over-year improvement equalled more than 12,000 extra sales in the Canadian market for automakers of virtually all stripes, from Ford and General Motors to the Volkswagen Group and Toyota. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2014

2015 Infiniti Q40Infiniti’s G37 sedan continues to attract a meaningful amount of attention from entry-level luxury car buyers in the United States, long after it was replaced by the Q50.

It’s still a fast car. It may be the better driver’s car. And it’s the cheaper of the two, as well, with a base price (including destination and handling) of $33,855, $4200 below the price of the least costly Q50.

11,327 G sedans have been sold in the United States over the last eight months, almost precisely one G37 per two Q50s. (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2014

Jeep USA sales chart 2014Outside of Maserati, which sold more cars than Jaguar in August 2014, Jeep is America’s fastest-growing auto brand in 2014. Through the first eight months of 2014, Jeep’s U.S. volume is up 45%, an increase of more than 143,235 sales.

Total FCA/Chrysler Group sales are up 14%. That’s no small feat, but it’s abundantly apparent that Jeep is motivating much of the Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat/Jeep/Ram gains. (Ram brand sales are up by nearly 58,000 units year-to-date.)

As FCA/Chrysler Group car volume plunges, sliding 18% this year according to the automaker, Jeep’s massive improvements are all the more important.

And it’s not all Cherokee-derived. Sales of Jeep’s other models, the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass, are up 11% in 2014. The Chrysler family now relies on the brand for more than three out of every ten sales, well up from fewer than two out of every ten in 2004.

By on September 26, 2014

2012 Fiat 500 AbarthWe can look at this two different ways. “Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 198,379 units, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in August 2013 (165,552 units), and the group’s best August sales since 2002,” their press release said at the beginning of this month. 

Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram combined for an industry-leading 19.8% year-over-year improvement. With 198,379 sales, Chrysler Group LLC eclipsed their previous 2014 best (May) and reached a twelve-year August high and marked the 53rd consecutive month of year-over-year growth and climbed to the highest sales level since May 2007, when 199,393 vehicles were sold by Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands.

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2014

2015 Nissan MicraNissan Canada markets their new entry-level car with a $9998 base price. (It’s $11,398 with destination, $14,698 with a 4-speed auto and air conditioning.)

The Micra is a sub-Versa car in a small car lineup that includes the Sentra and Juke, but no longer the Cube. It is the cheapest car in Canada. Its most obvious direct rival, aside from the Versa, would be the Mitsubishi Mirage. Our managing editor, a certain Mr. Kreindler, says the chassis is “promising” and “shockingly adept.”

You might also be shocked to see the level of popularity achieved by the Micra so early on in its Canadian tenure. (Read More…)

By on September 24, 2014

Lotus assembly plantBrits love British cars. Even if the vast majority of traditionally British brands are now foreign-owned – Tata runs Jaguar and Land Rover, for example, and Rolls-Royce and Bentley belong to BMW and Volkswagen, respectively – the loyalty carved out by these famous automakers is tangible.

Lotus’s forthcoming departure from the American market is of little surprise to enthusiasts familiar with the company’s situation. Malaysia’s Proton owns the company, but unlike the aforementioned British brands, Lotus has not held on to any meaningful trace of the UK car market. (Read More…)

By on September 23, 2014

Back in June when Ford delivered a conventionally-powered 2014 Ford Fiesta to our driveway for a week-long visit, I realized that, “The subcompact buyer who wants to chase fast cars on twisty roads must move the Fiesta to the top of the list.”  With its direct and interactive steering, back-road handling chops, and surprising ride […]

By on September 22, 2014

2015 Acura TLX SH-AWD V6U.S. sales of passenger cars at the Acura brand are down 32% through the first eight months of 2014, yet total Acura brand volume is down just 3%, a loss of 3264 units. Acura’s trio of crossovers, including 66 sales from the cancelled ZDX, have improved 20%, a gain of more than 12,000 units, not quite enough to offset the car division’s 15,552 lost sales.

It’s a tough year on which to judge Acura’s car output. Acura is replacing the TL sedan, TSX sedan, and TSX wagon with a single model, the TLX sedan. The TLX operates in a broad and rather affordable price spectrum, with four and six-cylinder powerplants, front or all-wheel-drive, and eight or nine-speed transmissions.

But this year’s car sales decline at Acura is nothing new. Moreover, it stretches beyond the disappointing sales of the disappearing TL and TSX. (Read More…)

By on September 21, 2014

porsche-macan-2013-la-auto-show-02You’ve closely tracked the Porsche Cayenne’s success by scanning parking lots outside fancy restaurants. You understand that the Cayenne’s omnipresence in Orange County translates directly to the mere presence of a 918 Spyder in Porsche’s lineup, which is important to you, the owner of a Buick Verano Turbo, just like every other TTAC reader.

As a result, you know that the Macan is simply the next rung on Porsche’s ladder. Oh, it’s the lesser of the two SUVs; smaller in size and price and probably status, too. But this is the vehicle which moves Porsche from niche luxury player closer to the mainstream premium arena. Three sports cars won’t do it, not even with the addition of an SUV and a massive four-door hatchback. (Read More…)

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