Posts By: Timothy Cain

By on September 15, 2014

2015 BMW i3 orangeThis is not your local electricity provider’s Nissan Leaf. It is not your eclectic neighbour’s Chevrolet Volt. It is not your own personal Toyota Prius Plug-In.

The BMW i3 has a base price of $42,300 (destination and handling included) and is driven up to $46,150 with a range-extending 647cc 2-cylinder. To avoid the ghastly base wheels, you’ll move to either a $1700 or $2700 trim lines. BMW calls them Worlds – Mega, Giga, and Tera – although the base Mega clearly isn’t mega at all. It can be optioned like expensive German cars can always be optioned, with $1300 20-inch wheels and $550 metallic paint and a $1000 parking assistant and a $2500 driving assistant. Even on the high-end Tera, heated seats cost $350 extra, Harmon/Kardon audio is $800, and fast charging is $700. Along with BMW’s i charging station for $1080, this all adds up to $57,130.

It’ll be rare then, a car like this. And it was, in its first three months on sale in the United States. (Read More…)

By on September 14, 2014

2013 Mini Countryman Red53% of the Minis sold in America in August 2014 were Countrymans and Pacemans. The Countryman was Mini’s best-selling model variant, responsible for 50% more Mini sales than the company’s original model, the one they call the Hardtop.

Now in its third BMW iteration, the Hardtop’s launch has been a slow one. This isn’t necessarily a reflection on the car’s popularity, as many Minis are individualized models that take time to cross the Atlantic. We’ve yet to see the full impact of what the new Mini can do.

In the meantime, the Countryman is floating Mini’s boat. Granted, Mini’s boat isn’t sitting that high in the water: sales have decreased in each of 2014′s first eight months. Countryman sales jumped 48% in August even as the rest of Mini’s range slid 41%. Year-to-date, Mini Countryman sales are up 6%; the rest of the Mini lineup is collectively down 34%. (Read More…)

By on September 13, 2014

2014 Chrysler Town & CountryMinivan sales in America have grown 6% this year even as last year’s top seller, the Honda Odyssey, has suffered a 4.5% year-over-year volume decline. A slight uptick in Toyota Sienna volume has helped, but decreased sales from the Nissan Quest and now-cancelled Mazda 5 haven’t helped.

(Read More…)

By on September 12, 2014

In the corners of our brain where the abstract controls the synapses, trains run on time only if we allow a car to charm us, to woo and seduce and enchant. I find the sound of a Jaguar F-Type V8 S appealing and the wind-in-my-hair romanticism of a Mazda MX-5 captivating and I’m fascinated by the roofline […]

By on September 11, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe whiteGM’s market share in the full-size, truck-based SUV segment grew to 82.9% in August 2014 as the company’s four candidates grabbed the four top spots in the category. Not unpredictably, Ford Expedition sales declined as we approach the arrival of a revamped 2015 Expedition with EcoBoost V6 power, further enabling GM’s quest for world domination.

Or American domination. Domination in a specific vehicle category. In a category which, while expanding in comparison to the recent past, simply doesn’t amount to what it once did.

That’s not to say GM’s four full-size Chevy and GMC SUVs form a low-volume quartet. The Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, and Yukon XL were responsible for 8.1% of the volume generated by America’s largest seller of new vehicles in August. (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2014

Kia Soul SXLast year was a difficult pill to swallow for Kia in America. After claiming record sales in 2012, Kia volume slid 4% even as America’s auto industry grew 8%.

There were inventory issues, but there was also concern that the new Sorento, though revamped under the skin, didn’t appear new on the outside. The Forte launch didn’t send shock waves through the compact segment. The Cadenza was never expected to be a volume leader.

Explanations for the decline didn’t stop Kia from “restructuring” either, as Kia Motors America’s executive VP of sales, Tom Loveless, was replaced by Michael Sprague.

Through the first eight months of 2014, however, Kia is back on track. Compared with the same period last year, brand-wide sales are up 7%. Compared with the first eight months of that record-setting 2012, sales are up 4.5%. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2014

2014 Chevrolet SSThe Cadillac ELR flopped. Not because there wasn’t any for you to buy, but because there weren’t any buyers. This is what we knew back in April, and again back in May.

July volume, however, was double what General Motors managed in June, which was nearly double what the ELR managed one month before.

Now get this: August sales increased yet again. (There are no year-over-year figures available yet, as the ELR only arrived in December 2013.) 196 Cadillac ELRs were sold in the United States in August 2014, more than the total number of ELRs sold in December, January, February, and March combined.

196 sounds like a lot, right? Well, it sounds like a lot if we’re comparing ELR volume to the sales totals achieved by the Chevrolet SS.  (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2014

2013-Toyota-RAV4. Photo courtesy ToyotaDuring a month in which the Toyota Camry took a rare break from leading America’s passenger car sales results, the Toyota RAV4 soared to the top of the SUV/crossover leaderboard.

RAV4 sales hit record levels in July 2014, when 26,779 were sold, enough to make the RAV4 America’s second-ranked utility vehicle.

That record was smashed one month later, however, as Toyota reported 35,614 RAV4 sales in August 2014, enough to finish the month 1535 sales ahead of the Honda CR-V, which declined 2%, and 6618 sales ahead of the Ford Escape.

(Read More…)

By on September 7, 2014

2015 Honda Accord coupe and sedanHonda sold more Accords in the United States in August 2014 than at any other point in the model’s rather illustrious history, securing a place as the top-selling passenger car in America last month.

Year-to-date, the Toyota Camry leads the Accord by 35,045 units heading into September. For the Accord to overtake the Camry, the Accord’s margin of victory in each of the remaining four months on the calendar would have to be even stronger than it was in August, the first time since February that the Camry wasn’t America’s top-selling car. (Read More…)

By on September 6, 2014

U.S. auto brand sales market share chart August 2014As U.S. auto sales grew 5.5% to more than 1.58 million in August 2014, GM’s market share fell from 18.4% in August 2013 to 17.2% last month. Ford Motor Company’s share fell by seven-tenths of a percentage point, year-over-year. American Honda’s share of the total sales pie fell from 11.1% to 10.5% even as the Accord became America’s best-selling car with more than 50,000 sales.

Toyota’s share improved slightly to 15.5%, while the Chrysler Group/FCA shot up from 11% in August 2013 to 12.5% in August 2014. Nissan USA’s market share grew by one half of a percentage point.

Compared with July 2014, GM, FoMoCo, and Hyundai-Kia, all lost significant portions. Toyota USA moved up from 15%, American Honda jumped a full percentage point, and the Chrysler Group climbed from 11.7%.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States