Category: Chart Of The Day

By on September 8, 2011

In a blog item bemoaning the likely imminent death of the Honda Ridgeline, Automotive News [sub] Product Editor Rick Kranz accuses Honda of “abandoning” its funky pickup by failing to update its styling or hardware since it was introduced in 2005. His point seems to be that the Ridgeline was a decent enough niche product that withered on the vine… and the sales numbers certainly seem to support that thesis. But if you compare Ridgeline to other Japanese-brand compact-midsized pickups, you find that Toyota and Nissan saw similar drops in volume over a similar time period… as did practically all non-full-size pickups. So could Honda have done more for the Ridgeline, or was its decline inevitable? While you’re pondering that mystery, consider this: Kranz points to the last sentence of a months-old piece for one of those zombie rumors that never really got any play:

Based on conversations with industry sources, the story said a smaller pickup is under consideration, derived from the CR-V platform.

Presuming less payload and towing capacity than the Ridgeline, I can’t imagine why a smaller pickup based on a front-drive platform would be a more successful product formula for Honda.

On the other hand, a CR-V-based pickup is something that hasn’t been tried for decades in this market… and it wouldn’t compete nearly as directly with the cheap full-sizers that are killing the “compact” (actually midsized) pickups. So, is Kranz’s logic sound, or could a CR-V-based pickup mix up the market? Faith springs eternal for me when it comes to efficient utility vehicles… but what say you?

By on September 7, 2011

NB: Chrysler 200 sold 3787 in August 2010, and Kia Optima sold 1714.

Well, it’s that time again TTAC fans: the Midsized wars roll on with Camry retaking the top spot to extend its advantage in YTD sales. Altima continued its consistent year with a second place showing, and improving over its August 2010 number better than any nameplate besides… the Chrysler 200? Yes, Chrysler’s updated Sebring stopgap outsold the freshly-chic Optima on the month, and passed it in YTD sales. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Sonata may still have been 10k off the Camry’s pace, but its August volume was a mere 37 units from tying Mazda6′s YTD volume (through August). All in all though, this wasn’t an incredible month for midsizers, as half of the best-selling nameplates failed to improve on their year-over-year numbers. But what this segment lacks in volume growth it makes up for in drama, as a falling Accord runs the very real risk of being passed by Malibu and Sonata. Camry may be back in control, but the fight for the rest of the podium is as tight as ever.

 

By on September 2, 2011

Well, you’ve seen a complete chart of sales by manufacturer and brand… now it’s time for some nameplate results. Here are your top-25 best-selling nameplates for August 2011. And yes, the Honda Civic barely made the list…

 

By on August 23, 2011

As Camry-fest rolls on, we found an interesting little chart over at Edmunds Autoobserver, which shows that this latest Camry has the lowest inflation-adjusted MSRP in the model’s history. Amid all the talk of record-high transaction prices, Toyota obviously thinks MSRP still matters, as Autoobserver reports

The current-generation Camry has a theoretical build of 1,246 combinations. The 2012 Camry will be available in a startlingly meager 36 combinations, because consumers have told Toyota they want a simpler ordering process… There will be four trim packages from which to choose, and despite the significant improvements in the model, any 2012 Camry will be priced close to or less than a comparably-equipped 2011.

The 2011 Camry L, the base model produced in very low volume and sold almost exclusively to fleets, starts at $20,195. The new 2012 Camry L will start at $21,995 (plus $760 for destination), the core 2012 Camry LE package for comfort and value will be priced at $22,500. The sportier Camry SE, currently priced at $22,965, will start at $23,000. The premium trim package Camry XLE ($26,725 for MY 2011), will start at $24,725, a $2,000 reduction. Toyota notes that comparably equipped, prices for all trim levels have dropped.

So, even though you need fewer inflation-adjusted dollars than ever before to buy a base Camry, very few of those models will be built. Toyota may be talking value, but in this market you need to shout it…

By on August 16, 2011

Sales of all car-based crossovers continue to climb, far outstripping demand for body-on-frame utes as well as pickup trucks. But strangely enough, a lot of the growth and volume among crossovers is in the compact-CUV segment, where the top-selling model last month beat July’s mid/full-CUV winner by some 10,000 units. This suggests that The Great American Downsizing, as we’ve called it, isn’t as simple as former SUV owners replacing their BOF beast with one of these comparable mid/full-CUVs. Still, this is an important segment because although the stakes aren’t wildly high, the competition is fierce. GM won by a whisker last month, but Ford’s got a strong one-two punch as well with its Explorer/Edge combo. Meanwhile, Honda’s Crosstour and Ford’s Flex have bombed all the way off our monthly volume chart. Hit the jump to find out their Year-To-Date numbers, and to find out who the somewhat surprising YTD volume winner is.

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By on August 15, 2011

In contrast to rapid changes in the compact and midsized segments, the subcompact segment is moving along established trendlines. Kia’s Soul has completely overtaken this segment’s previous champ, but that’s been a long time coming. A new Accent is arriving at dealers, and that model’s starting to take off… in fact, if there’s news here, it’s that the Accent appears to be outselling the segment’s next-freshest offering, the Ford Fiesta. Otherwise, Aveo and Rio are dropping off ahead of their replacement by new models, the 500 is getting closer to MINI’s monthly volume, and Mazda2 can’t quite get past the Cube The YTD chart doesn’t show too many changes either… but watch this space as the A/B segment heats up with new models later this year.

 

By on August 12, 2011

Domestics rule the compact crossover segment this month, with the ageless Escape standing above the crowd (albeit without weighting for fleet sales). Again, Honda and Toyota show bigger drops than Nissan’s Rogue, reinforcing the perception that Nissan has done a remarkable job recovering from the tsunami. Intriguingly, Jeep’s Patriot is essentially flat year-over-year, while the Compass has bounced back on the strength of its redesign… but only to about the Patriot’s rate. Meanwhile, Hyundai has yet to find the disruptive success in this segment that it’s enjoying in the C- and D-sedan segments.

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By on August 11, 2011

With signs of change appearing in the midsized segment, I thought we would look at our archived sales results for the “Big Six” sedan nameplates in hopes of some historic context. And here it is: competitive convergence is turning what used to be Toyota and Honda’s wading pool into a bloody knife fight.

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By on August 11, 2011

Like yesterday’s Compact chart, today’s look at the midsized (D) segment shows either profound changes afoot or a lingering tsunami hangover, depending on how you look at it. Accord, Prius and Camry were the biggest year-over-year losers last month, although the Malibu also lost a small amount of volume as well. Nissan, which has clearly weathered the tsunami aftermath better than its competition, took advantage and added to the Altima’s volume. But once again, the changes look less profound when you look at YTD numbers, with Camry remaining on top by a healthy margin, Altima and Fusion close behind, and Honda falling just out of the top three. Meanwhile Chrysler’s midsizers just barely beat the Prius… in combined volume. Yikes! [NB: Optima's July 2010 volume (which is invisible in the codger-friendly chart above) was 1,857]

 

By on August 10, 2011

Chevy’s Cruze dominated the compact segment last month, racking up a 7k unit advantage over its next-closest rival, the Corolla. Corolla and Civic were the two biggest losers year-over-year, as tsunami related supply issues hold them back. Civic even dropped to sixth in its class, while Jetta (which could almost be classified as midsized) and Elantra snuck past it and towards the falling Corolla. Mazda3 beat Sentra, which in turn beat the Forte… so all in all, a strange month for a class that seemed to be lacking a real leader in the early months of this year. But if you look at the YTD numbers in the second chart (see gallery below, sadly not in “old codger-friendly” format), you’ll find that the Corolla is hanging onto first (for the moment), Civic is about 6k units behind the second-place Cruze and Elantra in fourth place. So there’s some familiarity left in the class that was once ruled by the Corolla and Civic… but don’t expect it to last too much longer, unless a lot of people are simply waiting for their Japanese brands to get restocked. In any case, the competition has never been more fierce.

 

By on August 9, 2011

Honda, long a fixture in the upper reaches of rolling YTD sales charts, has been well and properly knocked off its pedestal by now, with its best-seller, the Accord, just barely making it into the top ten at number nine. Civic came in at 11th, while CR-V was 14th. And Honda’s not the only long-reigning volume champ that’son its way down: compared to last year, Toyota’s Corolla and Camry have shed about eight percent of their volume, and right below them the Altima and Fusion are both growing at around 17.5%. By the end of this month, Toyota could easily have only one vehicle in the top five (and could even be knocked out altogether), Honda could be completely out of the top ten, and Ford, Chevy and Nissan could be dominating the upper reaches of our YTD chart. Ch-ch-ch-changes…

[UPDATE: Old Codger-friendly version in gallery below]

 

By on July 14, 2011

A year ago I put together a chart comparing the first-half performance of America’s “big six” most popular midsized sedans. Then, the graph seemed to show promising growth and a tightening segment. Now we seem to be looking at an up-and-down but ultimately more stagnant market… and a segment that is still battling it out in some of the closest competition in recent memory. But this chart alone doesn’t tell the whole story… hit the jump for the same chart, only with sales plotted cumulatively by month.

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By on July 4, 2011

In the battle for market share, Detroit is making something of a comeback. After decades of decline, the unprecedented taxpayer investment in Detroit seems to be yielding dividends in the form of solidifying signs of recovery. Of course, these firms still have a long ways to go before they’re done reversing their long declines, and the turnaround has doubtless been fueled by temporary phenomena like the Toyota recall and the Japanese tsunami. Still, these are some of the first big-picture signs of a serious change in fortunes for Detroit, and deserve the attention of market watchers (graphs can be found in the gallery after the jump, along with a graph of June and Y-T-D market share).

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By on July 4, 2011

While I was celebrating my independence from TTAC on a camping road trip through the wilds of Eastern Oregon this weekend, it seems that quite a little debate was stirred up by Bertel’s publication of the top 10 best-selling American-market cars in June. In hopes that more information will lead to a stronger debate, I’m dedicating a good chunk of my Independence Day to an overview of the American car market in the first half of this year, starting with this chart of the top 25 Year-To-Date performers. I’ve omitted year-ago numbers in the interests of chart cleanliness, but a snapshot of last Summer’s sales studs can be found here. The contrasts are… well, I’ll let you fill in that blank. With the exception of incentive and fleet sales mitigation, the numbers speak for themselves…

By on July 1, 2011

2011 started promisingly enough, with sales soaring above a 13m unit SAAR for the first four months of the year. Halfway through the year, however, what looked like a solid recovery is proving to be less than entirely reliable, as SAAR looks to drop below 12m units for the second month in a row. While the macroeconomists fight over whether this mid-year stumble is a sign of fundamental weakness or minor hiccup in a strong market “backstopped” by a seemingly endless “pent up demand,” it’s time for us to look at the sales numbers from each firm. Check back regularly as we update our developing table of sales, and be sure to watch for  more mid-year sales analysis as we get a handle on who is best positioned to take advantage of the market, whether 2011 proves to be an up, down, or sideways year.

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