Posts By: Timothy Cain

By on October 7, 2015

All-new 2015 Jeep® Renegade Limited

Total Fiat Chrysler Automobiles volume is up six percent this year thanks to record sales at Jeep, FCA’s top-selling outlet. However, despite that wave of Jeep-directed affection in the U.S., sales at the company’s other brands have fallen two percent through the first nine months of 2015.

Even in September, an extraordinarily high-volume month for the U.S. auto industry, a month in which sales shot up 15 percent compared with the same period one year earlier, FCA’s non-Jeep marques posted only a modest one percent increase. Jeep’s 40 percent surge to more than 77,000 sales produced a 14 percent overall uptick for FCA’s U.S. operations, which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram plus Fiat and Alfa Romeo. (Read More…)

By on October 5, 2015

2016 Scion iA

The FR-S did not turn out to be Scion’s savior. Doubts regarding the ability of a conventional hatchback and a subcompact sedan — the brand’s first sedan — to rescue a brand that was built on unconventional cars have been expressed in many corners.

Yet with the arrival of those two cars, the iA and iM, Scion was the fastest-growing car brand in America in September 2015 and the second-fastest-growing brand overall. (Read More…)

By on October 2, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

Twelve days after early reports revealed that Volkswagen Of America’s TDI Clean Diesels weren’t so clean after all, Volkswagen reported a one-percent U.S. sales increase for the month of September 2015, the month in which the emissions fraud was revealed.

But did Volkswagen’s U.S. volume truly rise? And if so, what kind of extra volume is generated by a one-percent uptick? Moreover, while Volkswagen trickled forward with just its fourth year-over-year U.S. monthly sales improvement in 2015, what was the rest of the auto industry accomplishing? (Read More…)

By on September 23, 2015

Der neue Volkswagen Passat (USA Version)

The year was 2012, and everything was going according to plan at Volkswagen of America.

After years of languishing as an also-ran in the midsize car category, U.S. sales of the Volkswagen Passat rose to their highest level ever. After generating just 8 percent of VW USA’s volume between 2008 and 2011, the Passat was responsible for more than one quarter of Volkswagen’s volume in 2012. (Read More…)

By on September 21, 2015

The new Tiguan. Picture courtesy VolkswagenLong before Volkswagen tasked itself with overcoming the expenses of a developing dirty diesel scandal and the harm it caused to the brand’s already lackluster image in the United States, Volkswagen Of America was struggling to sell its small SUV during a small SUV boom.

Incidentally, that vehicle – the first-generation Tiguan – was never available in the United States with a diesel engine, a rarity in a Volkswagen lineup that provides diesel options to buyers of the Golf, Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Touareg.

Perhaps the option of a diesel would have made the original Tiguan more popular in the United States, but there were other profound problems that Volkswagen hopes to resolve when a stretched version of the second-generation Tiguan eventually arrives in North America late next year or in early 2017. Yes, Tiguan Mk2 is still a ways off. (Read More…)

By on September 17, 2015

USA subcompact SUV sales chart August 2015

Led by the Subaru XV Crosstrek and Jeep Renegade, U.S. sales of subcompact crossovers jumped 104 percent to nearly 43,000 units in August 2015, a year-over-year gain of 22,000 sales. August marked the second consecutive month in which segment-wide sales more than doubled.

The addition of new candidates certainly provides a massive boost to the nascent category, but most established players produced gains last month, as well. The subcompact CUVs which were on sale a year ago combined for a 7-percent increase in August and a 7-percent increase through the first eight months of 2015.

But five new competitors, including three of the segment’s five top sellers in August, produced 48 percent of all subcompact crossover sales in the United States last month. (Read More…)

By on September 15, 2015

2015 Dodge Charger V6

Only weeks after TTAC’s managing editor publicly declared his yearning for a V8-powered Dodge Charger, I was driving the same V6-powered Charger that got Mr. Stevenson’s motor running.

His response, the response of a young man whose lifestyle necessitates no firm requirements from his transportation device: I want this car.

My response, the response of a slightly more aged man whose lifestyle necessitates the frequent carriage of strollers, the frequent installation of a Diono Radian RXT, and the frequent responsibility of ferrying lanky individuals in the rear seat: Big family cars ain’t what they used to be. (Read More…)

By on September 14, 2015

porsche scion

Only seven years removed from selling more than 100,000 cars in the United States, Scion’s current woes are more easily understood by looking at the brands which now outsell Toyota’s “youth” brand.

One such Scion-besting automaker: Porsche.

Rewind just one year and Scion, through the first eight months of 2014, was outselling Porsche by 10,000 units. Yet in the first eight months of 2015, Scion only outsold Porsche three times — in February, March, and May — and trails Porsche by nearly 2,200 sales heading into September.

Porsche is certainly not a Scion rival. Even the FR-S, Scion’s most costly car, costs only half as much as Porsche’s least expensive car, a basic, un-optioned Boxster. (Is there even such a thing?)

But the change in order speaks volumes about Porsche’s steady climb to record highs and the fall of Scion, the latter of which saw its share of the U.S. market fall by 73 percent, from 1.04 percent in 2006 to 0.28 percent in 2015. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2015

2015 Honda Odyssey Bothwell PEI

We’re kidding. Yes, Odyssey sales were falling. Then we used our own money to pay for a new 2015 Honda Odyssey. Forthwith, Odyssey sales increased.

You know better than to connect the two, of course. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, and all that. But I can dream about the power of and the sway of a single Jalopnik-recommended article on our Kinja page.

In July and August, 26,274 Americans registered new Odysseys, 12 percent more than in the same period one year ago. This is a strong end-of-lifecycle follow-up to the Odyssey’s 14 percent plunge in the 2014 calendar year and a 1 percent drop in the first half of 2015. Yet even to the sales-stats-obsessed founder of GCBC, the U.S. sales story is secondary, if only in this instance.

As of June 2015, we have a minivan, and I’m too busy loading ten-foot-long 2x4s in the back of my people carrier to care about the Odyssey’s best-selling status or the reasons for the uptick. (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2015

2016 Cadillac ELR red

As the U.S. auto industry technically lost a small amount of new vehicle sales volume in August 2015, sales of the unappealing Cadillac ELR plunged 77 percent to the car’s lowest monthly total yet.

In fact, August 2015’s collapse of the Volt-based ELR’s sales comes precisely one year after the ELR reached its best-ever monthly volume.

196 ELRs were sold in America in August 2014, a figure which decreased by 85 units the very next month and by 151 units a year later. (Read More…)

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