The Truth About Cars » Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:31:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/sales/ Cain’s Segments August 2014: Full-Size SUVs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cains-segments-august-2014-full-size-suvs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cains-segments-august-2014-full-size-suvs/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 12:56:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909194 GM’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 […]

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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.

So far this year, they’ve managed to outsell all but three premium brands: Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus. 7.7% of the new vehicles sold by GM so far this year have been Enclaves, Encores, LaCrosses, Regals, and Veranos, Buicks all. 7.4% have been Suburbans, Tahoes, Yukons, and Yukon XLs.

In other words, these big SUVs play an important role in GM’s generation of sales in the company’s home market, and an essential role in GM’s generation of profit. We haven’t even taken into consideration the most costly SUVs that ride on the platform. Cadillac sold 2277 Escalades and 1257 Escalade ESVs in August, 89% and 64% year-over-year gains, respectively. Total Escalade sales, defunct EXT included, are up 21% to 17,884 in 2014.

Auto
August 2014
August 2013
% Change
8 mos. 2014
8 mos. 2013
% Change
Chevrolet Suburban
5,748 4,003 43.6% 34,487 31,847 8.3%
Chevrolet Tahoe
8,216 6,818 20.5% 64,837 54,794 18.3%
Ford Expedition
2,623 3,176 -17.4% 29,093 23,661 23.0%
GMC Yukon
4,715 2,345 101.1% 27,458 17,240 59.3%
GMC Yukon XL
3,319 2,779 19.4% 19,763 20,626 -4.2%
Nissan Armada
1,006 1,114 -9.7% 8,411 9,601 -12.4%
Toyota Sequoia
913 1,280 -28.7% 7,814 9,045 -13.6%
Total
 26,540
21,515   23.4%  191,863 166,814  15.0%

Even the so-called volume brand sport-utilities we’re discussing in this space can be viewed on dealer lots with frighteningly Cadillac-like MSRPs. (There’s no denying that with 21,998 sales between the GM products alone, they’re still volume vehicles, regardless of price. The Tahoe is America’s 20th-best-selling SUV/crossover, behind the Lexus RX and two-wheel-bases-included Hyundai Santa Fe, but ahead of the Dodge Journey and Jeep Patriot.)

The true premium brand contenders from Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz, for example, combine to sell approximately once for every three copies of these seven contenders.

Two of these contenders, however, sell less often than a number of the higher-end full-size SUVs. Sales of Nissan’s ancient Armada are down 12% to just 8411 units in 2014, just 4.4% of the segment. Toyota Sequoia sales are down even more sharply, falling 14% to just 7814 units during a period in which sales of its refreshed Tundra pickup stablemate have jumped 10% to 80,133.

Both Toyota and Nissan do a better job of selling higher-priced utility vehicles when they sell them through their Lexus and Infiniti outlets. Lexus GX sales, for instance are up 127% to 14,429 in 2014 – Lexus is on pace for its best GX sales year since 2007. (The RX is America’s top-selling premium brand utility vehicle, although its base price actually places the RX a few thousand dollars below the Sequoia.)

Infiniti QX80 sales have risen slightly, just 2%, to a near-Armada-like level of 8119 units in 2014. Infiniti generates more than a quarter of its volume with the Pathfinder-based QX60, formerly the JX.

Obviously those numbers pale in comparison to the figures achieved by GM’s full-size SUVs. And if you think these GM numbers are large, stretch your mind back to 2002 when General Motors sold more than 67,000 Suburbans, Tahoes, Yukons, and Yukon XLs in America during the month of August alone.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Washington DC http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/best-selling-cars-around-globe-coast-coast-2014-washington-dc/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/best-selling-cars-around-globe-coast-coast-2014-washington-dc/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:21:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910202  Toyota Corolla in Washington DC (these are from Maryland for illustration purposes) After managing to drive through Manhattan and escape unscathed, we are now travelling 250 miles Southwest to the country’s capital city, Washington DC. But first, I’ll answer a few of the questions you asked in my first article: I did parallel park my 236 inch […]

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1. Toyota Corolla Washington Toyota Corolla in Washington DC (these are from Maryland for illustration purposes)

After managing to drive through Manhattan and escape unscathed, we are now travelling 250 miles Southwest to the country’s capital city, Washington DC. But first, I’ll answer a few of the questions you asked in my first article:

  • I did parallel park my 236 inch long Ram pick-up in Manhattan on a crowded West Village street  and felt very proud.
  • With French being my mother tongue I never can get quite used to the American convention of calling my truck (or any vehicle) as a “she”. In French, a truck is a masculine word, so my Ram will be referred to as Albert from now on
  • As a lot of you have noticed, it is the Tradesman level, a trim that normally doesn’t get lent to the press.

Dodge Durango Lincoln MKZ WashingtonDodge Durango and Lincoln MKZ in Washington DC

The Ram 1500 crew cab 4×4 I am driving has a US$35,805 base price. Add-in the Tradesman package, including carpet flooring and satellite radio, 8-speed automatic transmission, 3.0-Liter V6 EcoDiesel engine and destination charge to arrive at US$40,495. Depending on the rebate you can negotiate with your dealer, you can potentially get that back down to the base price or below. A lot of you have rightly asked about fuel economy. A road trip across the US in a pick-up truck immediately conjures up images of an endless flow of dollar bills being sunk into overly thirsty fuel tanks. Not so here.

Ram 1500 WashingtonAlbert proudly posing before the Capitol in Washington DC

Aware of the lengthy trip I was embarking in, Chrysler smartly lent me an EcoDiesel, launched only last February and one of the main reasons behind the nameplate’s sales surge in 2014. Back in February the EcoDiesel trucks set a new Ram record with the initial allocation of 8,000 units filled by dealers in just 3 days. Over that period the EcoDiesel variants represented half of all Ram 1500 pick-up orders and overall Ram expects EcoDiesel models to account for 15% of 1500 Series orders this year. So my Albert is quite the popular new kid on the block.

VW Jetta WashingtonVW Jetta in Washington DC

The reason behind this success? The EcoDiesel delivers 28 mpg highway, currently the best fuel economy for a full-size pick-up truck, compared to 24 mpg for the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and 23 mpg for the current Ford F-Series. The 4×4 variant I have gives up one mpg to sit at 27 mpg. Ford launched a challenge to Ram’s mpg crown with its new generation aluminium-built F-Series which will start deliveries in February 2015, however at an estimated 27 mpg for the all-new 2.7-Liter Ecoboost V6, it doesn’t quite match the RAM EcoDiesel yet.

Chevrolet Silverado WashingtonChevrolet Silverado in Washington DC

I won’t reset the mpg average at all during the entire trip, which should provide me with an all-trip average assuming Chrysler reset it before lending the truck to me. After 3 days and about 500 miles the mpg average stands at 25.3  mpg, keeping in mind there were 3 hours of virtual standstill in Manhattan – and therefore atrocious mpg – to begin with. So we are in line with a best-in-class score so far, and Albert is turning out to be not so thirsty after all.

Buick Enclave WashingtonBuick Enclave in Washington DC

Back to Washington DC, and this being a very small and touristy state, please bear in mind that my observations may not be limited to cars registered within Washington DC even though I tried to discard cars not registered here. As always this is not an exact science, rather a feel for the changing vehicle landscape as I traverse the country. State by state data published by Business Insider indicates that DC is the only State in the country to crown the Toyota Corolla as its favorite car. And as it was the case in New York City, I am pleased to announce that street observations match sales data which is always a great validation. The new generation Corolla has already taken charge of Washington traffic: I saw more of them in the few hours I was in the (relatively small) town than I saw in New York in 3 days!

Toyota Prius C WashingtonToyota Prius C in Washington DC

Overall my impression is that passenger cars are smaller than they were in New York City with less Toyota Camry and Honda Accord and more Nissan Sentra, Versa, Hyundai Elantra and VW Jetta – and of course Corolla as described above. Case in point: I saw my first two Toyota Prius C of the trip here. Hyundai also seems to be enjoying very strong sales here: I spotted a few new generation Sonatas. Nissan is as solid as it was in New York with numerous Altima spotted but less Maxima – in line with the smaller car preferences.

2002 Saturn Ion Washington2002 Saturn Ion in Washington DC

I would like to be able to tell you that I saw more pick-ups here but this is only marginally the case and we are still frankly in sedan and SUV territory. The Toyota RAV4 did come across more frequently, both as taxis and private cars. A couple of more Washington observations: the most popular and almost only Jeep seems to be the Wrangler, the current generation Buick Enclave is a success as is the Tesla Model S and the Washington region has a love for the defunct Saturn brand: whereas I had not picked one up yet during the trip before, I spotted three 2002 Saturn Ion in the space of a few blocks!

Next we will be driving through Virginia, North and South Carolina to Charleston. Stay tuned!

Matt Gasnier is based in Sydney, Australia and writes a blog dedicated to tracking car sales around the globe: BestSellingCarsBlog

Chevrolet Suburban Impala WashingtonChevrolet Suburban and Impala in Washington DC 

Toyota RAV4 WashingtonToyota RAV4 in Washington DC

Ford Fusion WashingtonFord Fusion in Washington DC

Hyundai Sonata WashingtonHyundai Sonata in Washington DC

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Ferrari Boss Steps Down As Marchionne Takes Control http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ferrari-boss-steps-marchionne-takes-control/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ferrari-boss-steps-marchionne-takes-control/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:30:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910106 Luca di Montezemolo, who has headed up Ferrari for over two decades and presided over record profits, has stepped down amid in-fighting with Fiat head Sergio Marchionne. After joining Ferrari in the early 1990′s, di Montezemolo led a campaign to revitalize Ferrari, bringing in a lineup of vastly improved products and putting their Formula 1 […]

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550x309xPCOTY-BestOf07-lg-550x309.jpg.pagespeed.ic.hG_dUe52Y8

Luca di Montezemolo, who has headed up Ferrari for over two decades and presided over record profits, has stepped down amid in-fighting with Fiat head Sergio Marchionne.

After joining Ferrari in the early 1990′s, di Montezemolo led a campaign to revitalize Ferrari, bringing in a lineup of vastly improved products and putting their Formula 1 team back on the road to success. Under his stewardship, Ferrari dominated the latter half of the 1990′s and early 2000′s, with Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and other motorsports all-stars working as one of the most dominant Formula 1 outfits in history.

In addition to their on-track success, Ferrari also found great financial success in the now ubiquitous merchandise licensing deals that were spearheaded by di Montezemolo, which has allowed Ferrari to maintain a lucrative revenue stream despite capping production of the cars at 7,000 units annually.

But that wasn’t enough for Marchionne, who publicly criticized di Montezemolo’s performance in Formula 1 this past week. Speculation is rife that Marchionne wants to expand Ferrari’s production volumes to help it compete with Lamborghini, which many fear would dilute the brand’s exclusivity.

On the other hand, the departure of di Montezemolo, who is credited with introducing milestone vehicles like the 355 (which replaced the dreadful 348), is being seen as a turning point in the brand’s history. Marchionne has never had experience running any premium brands, and Ferrari is one of FCA’s few profit centers. But many fear that this delicate balance will be permanently disrupted.

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Kuniskis: Dealers Must Prove Themselves Worthy Of Selling Hellcat Challenger http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/kuniskis-dealers-must-prove-worthy-selling-hellcat-challenger/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/kuniskis-dealers-must-prove-worthy-selling-hellcat-challenger/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910074 Dodge dealers wanting to help their customers destroy wannabes with the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat will themselves need to prove their worth to the brand before a single car leaves the carrier. Automotive News reports allocations of the 707-horsepower war machine will be based on the total number of all Dodges sold during the past […]

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI® Hellcat

Dodge dealers wanting to help their customers destroy wannabes with the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat will themselves need to prove their worth to the brand before a single car leaves the carrier.

Automotive News reports allocations of the 707-horsepower war machine will be based on the total number of all Dodges sold during the past 180 days, according to brand chief Tim Kuniskis, with a second allocation in December will focus on the previous 90 days of such sales and the traditional 30-day inventory turn.

Further, Dodge will measure how many days each Hellcat remains on the lot after the initial allocation, with the goal of moving them off the lot as quickly as possible if more are to be delivered later on. Kuniskis acknowledges this may be a headache for those who opt to make a market adjustment similar to the one performed at a recent Los Angeles Chevrolet dealership, where a Camaro Z/28 was priced to move at $106,165:

If you want to market-adjust the car, that’s your right. But if your days-on-lot goes above what the other guys that are selling them at MSRP is, they will end up earning the allocation because their days-on-lot will be lower. Some dealers are going to have heartburn with that.

Kuniskis adds that he wants to see each Hellcat out there on the road for all to enjoy instead of sitting in a showroom “with a rope around it” like the Viper, and that his brand “worked hard” to price the beast at an attainable $60,990 with shipping included.

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Imagine A Kia Without A Soul http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/imagine-kia-without-soul/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/imagine-kia-without-soul/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:35:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909178 Last 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 […]

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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%.

Admittedly, that pace is not in keeping with the pace of expansion in the overall industry (up 5.1% year-over-year, up 17.5% compared with the first two-thirds of 2012), but it’s a sharp turn in the right direction.

Credit is not owed to the brand’s best seller, the midsize Optima, sales of which are down slightly, just 0.6%, so far this year. Sales of the still-popular Sorento, Kia’s second-best-selling model in 2012 before last year’s 12% decline, are down 5% in 2014. Forte sales are recovering, but only marginally, and it trails ten different compacts in total year-to-date sales, including the Dodge Dart. Rio volume is down 11%. The Cadenza, K900, and Sedona – Kia’s three lowest-volume nameplates – have contributed an extra 3062 sales, not enough to overcome the Sorento’s losses.

Therefore, it’s the Sportage and Soul that are doing Kia’s heavy lifting; restoring the brand’s U.S. fortunes and reversing a trend that resulted in an 8% decline in the final four months of 2013.

The difference, of course, is that the Sportage is a minor player in a booming segment, and it in fact became increasingly minor over the last couple of years. Sportage volume is up 37% in 2014, and that’s no bad thing. But that year-over-year change masks the fact that Sportage sales in 2013 had fallen to a three-year low. Compared with the first eight months of 2012, Sportage sales are up just 6%; compared with the first eight months of 2011, Sportage volume is down 14%. Kia dealers surely appreciate selling more Sportages this year than last, but it’s not the vehicle they’d credit with fuelling Kia’s most recent resurgence.

Rather, the second-generation Soul, currently Kia’s second-best-selling model and the brand’s top seller during the month of July, is the source of this moderate surge. Through eight months, Soul sales have jumped 26%, equal to 21,569 extra units. Kia passenger car volume is up 7.7% with the Soul; slightly less than level without it. Overall Kia sales are up 6.9% with the Soul; just 1.5% without the Soul.

The Soul’s improvements have helped Kia’s market share rise slightly from 3.55% at this time last year to 3.61% in 2014. Had Soul sales only remained level, Kia’s market share would have fallen to 3.42%. Meanwhile at Kia’s Soul-less Hyundai partner, the brand’s market share has fallen from 4.63% to 4.48%, year-over-year.

The Soul was expected to be a niche success. It was, after all, a new introduction from a thriving brand in 2009. But how many observers predicted that Kia would abruptly stall, and that the Soul’s consistent success (volume has increased every single year even as it aged) would be followed up by a second-generation launch on which Kia would rely for big volume?

The Soul is currently America’s 29th-best-selling vehicle overall, only a handful of sales behind the Subaru Forester and Volkswagen Jetta and ahead of the Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Prius liftback, Nissan Versa, and Chevrolet Impala.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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California Dominates US Plug-In Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/california-dominates-us-plug-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/california-dominates-us-plug-market/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910058 A shock that may come to no one among the B&B, California leads the way in sales of plug-ins with just over 100,000 units sold in the past four years. Bloomberg reports the figures, accounting for 40 percent of the plug-in market, were compiled by the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative from data gathered between […]

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2013 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid, Exterior, Charging Plug, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

A shock that may come to no one among the B&B, California leads the way in sales of plug-ins with just over 100,000 units sold in the past four years.

Bloomberg reports the figures, accounting for 40 percent of the plug-in market, were compiled by the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative from data gathered between December 2010 and August 2014 by the California Air Resources Board, Hybridcars.com and Baum & Associates. Baum also reported overall U.S. sales checked-in at around 250,000 units over the same period.

Though California has 40 percent of the plug-in market covered — thanks in part to legislation pushing automakers to bring more ZEVs to market — the milestone is a long way from the goal of 1.5 million plug-in vehicles by 2025, let alone the Obama administration’s target of 1 million such units by the end of 2015.

As for the present, Baum & Associates founder Alan Baum — who says 300,000 total units will hit the road by the end of this year — believes California’s stake in the market will likely shrink “as certain mass-market models that were initially sold only in state are introduced more broadly across the country.”

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Edmunds: 2014 SAAR May Best 2006 Peak http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/edmunds-2014-saar-may-best-2006-peak/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/edmunds-2014-saar-may-best-2006-peak/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910034 The surge in United States auto sales last month could push the final figures to a height not seen since 2006 when January 2015 rolls around. According to Automotive News, Edmunds chief economist Lacey Plache said that though the publication is holding at 16.4 million SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) for 2014, “there is definite […]

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Couple + Salesman Sign The Contract Of Blood

The surge in United States auto sales last month could push the final figures to a height not seen since 2006 when January 2015 rolls around.

According to Automotive News, Edmunds chief economist Lacey Plache said that though the publication is holding at 16.4 million SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) for 2014, “there is definite potential for numbers to hit higher than that.”

At present, the SAAR for 2014 is expected to hit 17.5 million, much higher than the previous peak of 16.6 million in 2006. August’s SAAR was fueled by strong Labor Day sales, which may have dinged September’s SAAR as consumers opted to make their purchases before summer drew to a close.

Meanwhile, Plache expects 2015′s SAAR to fall just short of 17 million, fueled by expiring leases. However, she and Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell warn a rise in interest rates in 2016 may put a drag on sales. Caldwell adds that automakers’ finance wings could counter this “by subsidizing lower rates.”

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A Look At Western Europe’s Most Popular Brands From 25 Years Ago http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/look-western-europes-popular-brands-25-years-ago/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/look-western-europes-popular-brands-25-years-ago/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:22:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904681   From The Machine That Changed The World and the Financial Times: a companion to our article showing a breakdown of the most popular brands in Europe today. While Volkswagen is still dominante, Both of PSAs nameplates have fallen from their former glory to be also-ran brands on the continent. Fiat, while strong regionally, has weakened significantly. […]

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westerneuropeautoshare

 

From The Machine That Changed The World and the Financial Times: a companion to our article showing a breakdown of the most popular brands in Europe today.

While Volkswagen is still dominante, Both of PSAs nameplates have fallen from their former glory to be also-ran brands on the continent. Fiat, while strong regionally, has weakened significantly. Rover no longer exists. Volvo is practically a non-entity.

On the other hand, the Japanese can no longer be lumped into a singular entity (Nissan is particularly strong in Europe, with the Qashqai and Juke), and the Koreans are wholly absent from this chart. Meanwhile, Hyundai and Kia are challenging some established European brands in their home markets?

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Cadillac ELR Outsells Chevrolet SS In August http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cadillac-elr-outsells-chevrolet-ss-august/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cadillac-elr-outsells-chevrolet-ss-august/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:33:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908737 The 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 […]

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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. 

Let’s not forget, GM had no expectations for the SS. Edmunds reported last year that Chevrolet’s John Fitzpatrick figured 1700-2000 annual SS sales would be a success. (2055 have been sold in the last eight months.)  Mark Reuss had hoped for 3000-5000 per year.

And with numbers like March’s, when 350 SS sedans were sold, that’s exactly what Chevrolet was going to do, around 4200 SS sales in 2014. Those are Porsche Boxster-like numbers, Honda CR-Z-like numbers, Audi Allroad-like numbers.

Yet after averaging 291 sales per month between January and May, the SS has averaged just 203 monthly SS sales over the summer. With only 152 sold in August, the SS fell to its lowest full-month total yet.

It takes a long time for the SS-carrying ship to cross the Pacific. Your local Chevrolet dealer does not have the kind of SS availability to which a repeat Camry buyer has become accustomed. And it’s not as though the SS’s most direct rivals – SRT versions of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, for example – are a dime a dozen.

Yet if you want to better understand just how rare the Chevrolet SS really is, take a moment to consider the fact that, for the first time, Cadillac sold more ELRs in August than Chevrolet sold SSs. (Say it with me, ess-esses.) Operating under the assumption that the ELR is becoming a popular car doesn’t alter this perception of SS rarity, of course, because the ELR is not becoming a popular car. Not by any standard.

Not by the standard of a really expensive Hyundai – Equus sales fell 42% to 253 units in August. Not by the standard of the most expensive SUV – Mercedes-Benz sold 248 G-Wagens last month. The defunct Acura TSX generated 240 sales. Mini sold 228 Pacemans, Scion sold 219 iQs, and Nissan sold 208 GT-Rs.

Here’s the thing, though: GM can sell expensive vehicles in very large numbers. Corvette volume more than quadrupled to 2679 units in August, and Corvette sales have totalled 23,483 units through eight months, more than twice the volume of the whole Jaguar brand.

Sales of the regular-wheelbase Escalade and long-wheelbase Escalade ESV are jointly up jumped 79% last month to 3534 units, more than the Mercedes-Benz GL and Lincoln Navigator lineups combined.

GM’s share of the volume-brand full-size SUV segment shot up to 83% in August as the company’s four nameplates grabbed the top four spots.

But Chevrolet sedans with base prices above $43,000 and Volt-based Cadillac coupes with $75,000 stickers? This is not how GM brings home the bacon.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Record Sales Position Toyota’s RAV4 Atop All SUVs In August http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/record-sales-position-toyotas-rav4-atop-suvs-august/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/record-sales-position-toyotas-rav4-atop-suvs-august/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:21:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908713 During 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 […]

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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.

Through the first eight months of 2014, the RAV4 trails the CR-V by nearly 38,000 units; the Escape by more than 29,000. The fourth-ranked Chevrolet Equinox (which ranked fifth in August, as sales fell 15%) is 11,806 sales back of the RAV4, having led the RAV4 by more than 25,000 units at this stage a year ago.

Toyota’s 35,614-unit RAV4 sales performance in August equals a 52% improvement, year-over-year. This follows gains in May, June, and July, as well as improvements in January, February, and March, and in the final nine months of 2013.

Annually, RAV4 sales have increased in each of the last two years, rising to a record-high 218,249 units in 2013, the same year Chevrolet Equinox volume climbed to record levels, the same year Ford reported record-high sales of the Escape, and the same year the best-selling CR-V reached its highest U.S. yearly sales total ever, as well. The CR-V, Escape, and RAV4 are also all on pace for record-setting sales results in calendar year 2014.

August 2014 YTD U.S. SUV sales chartThe RAV4, of course, isn’t the only representative of Toyota’s utility vehicle strength. Toyota sold 57,623 SUVs and crossovers in August 2014 (plus 2793 Venzas) and 14,316 Lexus LX570s, GX460s, and RXs. The RX is consistently America’s top-selling premium brand utility vehicle. Over the last eight months the RX has sold 58% more often than the Acura MDX, 81% more often than the Cadillac SRX, and 140% more often than the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

The still-fresh Toyota Highlander, sales of which fell 12% in August but are up 11% so far this year, is America’s second-best-selling three-row utility vehicle, and third-best-selling three-row vehicle overall, behind the Ford Explorer and Chrysler Town & Country. (Nissan has sold more Rogues, but the Rogue does not come equipped as standard with three-row seating. In fact, it’s only available on two of the Rogue’s three trim levels.)

The Toyota 4Runner is also returning to old form with sales rising 46% in 2014. Toyota USA has sold more 4Runners in the last eight months than in the full calendar years between 2008 and 2012, and before September is half way over, they’ll have sold more than in all of 2013, too.

But August was the RAV4’s month to shine, particularly as Camry sales, not unexpectedly, slid ever-so-slightly and as the Honda Accord stole the passenger car limelight.

The last time a Toyota was America’s best-selling utility vehicle was March 2010, when sales of the RAV4 surged 117% to 25,781, 6599 units clear of the second-ranked Ford Escape.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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America’s 10 Best-Selling Cars In August 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/americas-10-best-selling-cars-august-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/americas-10-best-selling-cars-august-2014/#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 12:55:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906713 Honda 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 […]

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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.

The leader in February, Nissan’s Altima, is America’s fourth-best-selling car so far this year and the fifth-ranked car in August. Altima volume rose 4% last month. Sales of the next-best-selling Ford Fusion jumped 20% in August, rising to 29,452. Ford is on pace to sell more than 310,000 Fusions in 2014, the first year in which Fusion sales will have climbed above 300,000 units.

Rank
Auto
August
2014
August
2013
%
Change
8 mos.
2014
8 mos.
2013
%
Change
#1
Honda Accord 51,075 38,559 32.5% 271,426 256,926 5.6%
#2
 Toyota Camry 44,043 44,713 -1.5% 306,471 287,119 6.7%
#3
 Honda Civic 34,032 39,458 -13.8% 231,167 230,578 0.3%
#4
 Toyota Corolla/Matrix 33,088 26,861 23.2% 238,275 210,296 13.3%
#5
 Nissan Altima 32,153 30,976 3.8% 235,260 228,297 3.0%
#6
Ford Fusion 29,452 24,653 19.5% 218,892 206,321 6.1%
#7
 Chevrolet Cruze 23,435 23,909 -2.0% 189,699 183,045 3.6%
#8
 Hyundai Elantra 22,845 24,700 -7.5% 157,555 174,902 -9.9%
#9
 Ford Focus 22,079 20,372 8.4% 160,759 171,921 -6.5%
#10
 Hyundai Sonata 21,092 16,917 24.7% 150,016 138,830 8.1%

America’s fifth-best-selling midsize car in August was the Hyundai Sonata, the tenth-ranked car overall. Sonata volume jumped 25% year-over-year and its year-to-date 8% improvement outpaces the gains made by all its better-selling rivals.

There is a faster-rising small car, however. Toyota Corolla sales shot up 23% in August and have risen 13% so far this year. The Corolla leads the Honda Civic by 7108 sales heading into September, a slight decrease from the lead it held a month ago after the Civic finished August with a 944-unit gap. Civic sales plunged 14% compared with August 2013. But it’s worth remembering that the Civic’s results at this time a year ago were an anomaly: August 2013 Civic volume was 22% better than any other Civic sales month in 2013.

With the Civic’s decrease and the Honda CR-V’s slight 2% drop, plus declines reported by the CR-Z, Fit, Insight, Crosstour, Pilot, and Ridgeline, the Accord carried Honda in August. Honda brand sales rose 1.5% year-over-year; 5.2% on a daily selling rate basis. The Accord generated 33.7% of Honda sales, up from 25.8% a year ago and 28.4% in July of this year. The Toyota brand relied on the Camry for a comparatively small 21.3% of its August volume.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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U.S. Auto Market Share – August 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/u-s-auto-market-share-august-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/u-s-auto-market-share-august-2014/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 12:45:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906657 As 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 […]

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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%.

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That Green Car: Winning And Losing At Your Own Auction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/green-car-winning-losing-auction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/green-car-winning-losing-auction/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 18:27:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906721 Jack Baruth has a very thoughtful post on selling his green stick, apparently an Audi. (See No Fixed Above: Stick it to ‘em.) Here I delve into his logic as a devil’s advocate. A key observation throughout his post is that most (newish) used cars move through dealerships, and for many there is an auction […]

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Jack Baruth has a very thoughtful post on selling his green stick, apparently an Audi. (See No Fixed Above: Stick it to ‘em.) Here I delve into his logic as a devil’s advocate.

A key observation throughout his post is that most (newish) used cars move through dealerships, and for many there is an auction through a Mannheim or Adesa in between the trade-in and the used car lot. The same is true in Japan: the graphic above is of a car auction in Osaka, though on-site buyers sit at computers with a huge display of the two virtual “lanes” with no audible action. (For more see my post on a June 2014 visit at Auto Auctions, Japanese Style.)

1. Now you and I may want a stand-out color, but I think if Jack talked to marketing people, this blandness comes from careful study of what color choices consumers make – not from dealers and auctions. After all, there remain regional differences in color preferences across the US, and particularly for high-end cars there’s a significant bespoke demand. Dealers only see a small and potentially unrepresentative slice of the market. Furthermore, color decisions have to be made well before the start of production, long before dealers get a chance to order. Things can and do go wrong in paint shops (I’ve been through BMW Spartanburg with PPG as guide, gloating over a problem their rival BASF was having). Things get tested in advance. Color choices must be made on a predictive basis.

As it happens, there’s a good history of the professionization of colorists, of how such predictions are made: Regina Lee Blaszczyk’s book, The Color Revolution, MIT 2012. She spoke at the Business History Conference a few years back at the Hagley Museum outside Wilmington; DuPont was central to mass-market cars being available in color, and their museum has some wonderful examples. Be warned, though: a lot of her book is about the fashion industry and about the technical side of developing color systems and color cards, and on experimental psychology with color perception, and not just the impact of wartime camouflage experts bringing their skills to Earl Harley’s design studios where they could play with DuPont’s new Duco paints.

2. Back to used cars. I think Jack argues that the variance of niche markets is high. Jack was fortunate in that he got a “high” draw, finding that match with someone else who really wanted a stick shift in a green package. High variance means that when you may have the opposite experience when you try to sell your pink Cadillac – wasn’t that a Mary Kay cosmetics thing? – and you may get a bad draw. Indeed, the only pink Caddy I know is used purely for its decorative value, such as that is, parked outside the Pink Cadillac cafe in Fancy Hill, Virginia. That use surely reflects a low market value, not a high one – be warned!

3. Jack is very correct in noting that dealerships need to turn their inventory. What he fails to point out is that he personally bore the same costs. So let’s detail those:

  • Jack surely continued to insure his car,
  • he accumulated (pro-rated) property tax and paid various annual registration fees,
  • he lost the use of the part of his garage in which it sat,
  • he lost the opportunity of having that new drive he wanted today rather than months from now,
  • he continued to face the slow but inexorable depreciation from which all cars suffer, and
  • he had to personally put in time first marketing his car and then acting as his own salesman.

Now personally Jack may have had fun being a used car salesman, and playing with Craigslist and similar services, so those weren’t costs, they were benefits. Would that be true for you? Particularly if it takes 6 months to sell your Pink Cadillac? And if you can’t sell your old wheels immediately, the other costs add up: the longer you wait, the lower the net price you are actually charging.

A dealer sitting on an inventory of 200 cars can’t ignore such costs. You shouldn’t ignore them either, and you may not be so lucky in making a good match.

4. Indeed, I suspect the buyer of Jack’s car must have had money to burn: if you are lusting after a lime green car, why would you tell the seller that? Instead you’ll make a lowball bid: when markets are thin, the buy-sell (ask-offer) spread is high. You can find a bargain if you’re patient as a buyer, and are good at bluffing when you’re holding a losing hand. You can lose a lot if you’re impatient as a seller, and not a good horse trader.

5. Conclusion: Jack offered one anecdote of coming out well in a thin market. Here’s mine of doing not so well, shopping for a vehicle with niche specs on a Chevy Cruze early this year.

Sticks aren’t popular, and for a daily drive in DC they were less popular than dealers had hoped – I know why, having made a day trip from the mountains of Virginia into stop-and-go traffic in my Cruze. My guess is that the dealer may well have accepted them as part of their allotment (standard factory “push” marketing, where dealers must accept unpopular combinations of features). So even though we made it clear that a stick was what we wanted, we also made it clear that we weren’t going to hang around if they tried to get a premium from us. We got what appeared to be a very good price, I spent quite a bit of internet time checking things out. Our hand was weakened a little when we didn’t want black, not many in inventory, but we were OK with a couple different colors [green and blue but not dark blue] and there were enough around. So we didn’t have to give back anything at that point.

When we went to pick up the vehicle and saw the actual interior, it was clear from our faces that it was no go. Black. Not just black, but some sort of textured “cloth” surface. And all the cars they had were that same black. All our negotiating power disappeared: instead of getting a better price than with an automatic, we ended up handing back a chunk of the margin, though we still paid less that what any of the other dealers we visited asked for. (They had to make a dealer trade, so out of pocket costs may have eaten up that difference.)

So thin markets are thin markets, patience and negotiating skills matter.  But those niche cars are out there. You don’t have to pay to be bland, but it does carry risk.

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The Source Of August 2014′s U.S. Auto Sales Growth http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/source-august-2014s-u-s-auto-sales-growth/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/source-august-2014s-u-s-auto-sales-growth/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 12:28:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906633 Forecasts didn’t call for rain on August 2014’s auto sales parade, but there was definitely a general feeling of overcast heading into Wednesday as automakers prepared to release their monthly and year-to-date sales results. The rate of growth in the U.S. auto industry since the recession ended has been striking, but the chances of that […]

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U.S. auto sales growth by units gained August 2014Forecasts didn’t call for rain on August 2014’s auto sales parade, but there was definitely a general feeling of overcast heading into Wednesday as automakers prepared to release their monthly and year-to-date sales results.

The rate of growth in the U.S. auto industry since the recession ended has been striking, but the chances of that growth lasting forever – particularly when a month like August is compared with a very strong month like August 2013 – seemed slim.

Yet auto sales increased by 5.5% to more than 1.58 million in August 2014, an improvement of more than 80,000 units.

The forecasts weren’t all wrong. High-volume brands like Chevrolet, Dodge, and Volkswagen all reported losses, a 13% decline in Volkswagen’s case, the 17th consecutive month in which Volkswagen brand sales have decreased in the United States.

Jaguar volume fell 31%. Infiniti volume fell 23%. Fiat was down 20%. Scion sales likewise slid 20%. Cadillac volume was off August 2013’s pace by 18%. Sales at BMW’s Mini brand were down 17%. Buick and Volvo both lost 10%; Acura and Land Rover fell 9%. Lincoln was just south of level.

The bright spots, however, were particularly bright. Jeep, Ram, Subaru, Nissan, and Toyota were the biggest brands to post significant increases. Maserati, Porsche, Smart, Mitsubishi, and Audi were among the lower-volume auto brands to post meaningful improvements: 278%, 36%, 34%, 28%, and 22%, respectively.

Mazda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, GMC, and Lexus all grew by at least 10%. Toyota brand sales were up 7%. Hyundai grew 6%. (Kia, Chrysler, Honda, Bentley, and Ford improvements were all below the market’s 5.5% growth rate.)

Back to those five large and fast-growing brands, Jeep reported its best-ever sales month for the new Cherokee, America’s eighth-ranked SUV/crossover in August. Ram’s market share in the full-size truck category grew by more than four percentage points. Subaru sold more than 50,000 vehicles for the first time in a single month, and Nissan reported a car sales improvement of 18% in a car market that improved by just 2%. Toyota shot the RAV4 up to top spot among utility vehicles with record sales in a second consecutive month.

As for the fast-growing lower-volume brands, Maserati outsold Jaguar, albeit by just 49 units. Even with the Macan excluded, Porsche sales jumped 7.3%. Mercedes-Benz reported more than 1000 Smart Fortwo sales for the third time in five months, having not done so previously since September 2012.

Mitsubishi is not back to being a brand that can sell more than 300,000 cars annually in the United States, but sales have increased in six consecutive months and in ten of the last eleven months.

Audi reported its highest-ever monthly sales in the U.S. in August, generating 41% of the brand’s sales with Q models and the A4 Allroad, including the first 243 Q3 sales.

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Cain’s Segments: Trucks – August 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cains-segments-trucks-august-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cains-segments-trucks-august-2014/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:48:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906585 In an auto market which somewhat unexpectedly grew 5.5% in August 2014, sales of full-size pickup trucks jumped 8.8%. This increase occurred in spite of 3006 fewer sales from the segment’s best-selling vehicle line, Ford’s F-Series, which is fading slightly as ordering for the new 2015 F-150 begins. Ram’s truck range was up 33% to […]

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2014-Ram-1500-diesel-grille-450x337In an auto market which somewhat unexpectedly grew 5.5% in August 2014, sales of full-size pickup trucks jumped 8.8%. This increase occurred in spite of 3006 fewer sales from the segment’s best-selling vehicle line, Ford’s F-Series, which is fading slightly as ordering for the new 2015 F-150 begins.

Ram’s truck range was up 33% to more than 40,000 units, the second time in six months that the Chrysler Group/FCA has sold more than 40,000 Ram pickups in a single month. Not since 2003 have this many Ram trucks been sold during the month of August. Year-over-year, Ram’s share of the full-size truck segment grew by more than four percentage points.

How has the Chrysler Group’s fortunes changed? Not since January 2010 have Ram truck sales been in the four-digit range. Only 9957 were sold that month. Ram averaged fewer than 17,000 pickup sales in 2010, a figure which has risen 113% to more than 35,000 monthly sales in 2014 during a period in which the overall market grew by approximately 45%.


Truck
August
2014
August
2013
%
Change
8 mos.
2014
8 mos.
2013
%
Change
Ford F-Series
68,109 71,115 -4.2% 497,174 499,050 -0.4%
Chevrolet Silverado
49,201 43,603 12.8% 331,977 328,269 1.1%
Ram P/U
43,775 33,009 32.6% 283,256 234,642 20.7%
GMC Sierra
19,847 18,017 10.2% 130,526 122,232 6.8%
Toyota Tundra
11,834 11,365 4.1% 80,133 72,750 10.1%
Nissan Titan
1,231 1,261 -2.4% 8,719 11,281 -22.7%
Total
193,997 178,370 8.8% 1,331,785 1,268,224 5.0%

Jointly, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra outsold Ford’s F-Series by 939 units in August 2014. GM says they haven’t sold this many pickups during the month of August since 2008. Combined sales of the Silverado and Sierra were up 12.1%. GM’s market share in the full-size category rose to 35.6% from 34.5% one year ago and from 35.1% one month ago.

The Toyota Tundra’s growth rate has slowed noticeably now that we’re comparing year-over-year sales with a healthier period for the biggest Toyota pickup. The Tundra was up 13% in January, 8% in February, 25% in March, 24% in April, and 15% in May, before falling 8% in June (when total pickup truck volume slid 5%) and rising 5% in July. Tundra volume is up 10% through the first eight months of 2014.

Nissan, which sorely needs its new Titan to arrive to a warm reception of the brand is to ever again be thought of in the full-size category, is pickup up scraps leftover from the popular nameplates. Only 0.6% of buyers interested in a new full-size pickup opted for a Titan in August, down from 0.7% a year ago.

GM is reporting a relatively large number of orders for its new not-full-size pickups: 28,000 for the Colorado; 14,000 for the Canyon. Production of the smaller GM twins is underway. In August, however, small and midsize trucks (Tacoma, Frontier, Ridgeline) accounted for just 10.4% of the overall pickup truck segment, down from 11.6% one year ago.


Truck
August
2014
Share
August
2013
Share
8 mos.
2014
Share
8 mos.
2013
Share
Ford F-Series
35.1% 39.9% 37.3% 39.4%
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
35.6% 34.5% 34.7% 35.5%
Ram P/U
22.6% 18.5% 21.3% 18.5%
Toyota Tundra
6.1% 6.4% 6.0% 5.7%
Nissan Titan
0.6% 0.7% 0.7% 0.9%
Full-Size Share Of
Total Pickup Truck Market
89.6% 87.6% 89.2% 87.2%
Full-Size Pickup Share
Of Total Industry
 12.2% 11.9% 11.9%  11.9%

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U.S. Auto Sales Results: August 2014 YTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/u-s-auto-sales-results-august-2014-ytd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/u-s-auto-sales-results-august-2014-ytd/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:55:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905753 Against less lofty expectations, the U.S. auto industry generated more than 1.58 million new vehicle sales in August 2014, a 5.4% improvement compared with the same period last year. The biggest gains came from Nissan and FCA/Chrysler Group, which jointly raised their August sales total from 286,050 to 332,767 units. Jeep and Ram were the […]

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2013 Honda Accord, Exterior, Picture Courtesty of Alex L. DykesAgainst less lofty expectations, the U.S. auto industry generated more than 1.58 million new vehicle sales in August 2014, a 5.4% improvement compared with the same period last year. The biggest gains came from Nissan and FCA/Chrysler Group, which jointly raised their August sales total from 286,050 to 332,767 units. Jeep and Ram were the only two brands to top 30% in terms of year-over-year growth.

Honda set a sales record with the Accord by topping 51,000 units, but the Honda brand was up just 1.5% as the Civic and CR-V slid back from their very high August 2013 performances. The Toyota RAV4 – not the Honda CR-V; not the Ford Escape – was America’s top-selling utility vehicle. Pickup truck sales jumped 6% as the full-size GM twins combined to outsell the declining Ford F-Series.

Automaker August 2014 August 2013 Change 2014 YTD 2013 YTD Change
Acura
15,487 17,051 -9.2% 105,918 109,182 -3.0%
Audi
 17,101 14,005 22.1% 116,066 101,346 14.5%
BMW
 27,214 24,523 11.0% 211,005 188,997 11.6%
Buick
 22,143 24,650 -10.2% 153,298 141,880 8.0%
Cadillac
 16,650 20,255 -17.8% 114,008 119,586 -4.7%
Chevrolet
 185,930 187,740 -1.0% 1,388,993 1,365,544 1.7%
Chrysler
 29,762 28,678  3.8% 194,285 212,495 -8.6%
Dodge
 49,895 52,858  -5.6% 399,937 413,258 -3.2%
Fiat
 3,362 4,190  -19.8% 32,141 29,585 8.6%
Ford  213,227  212,212  0.5%  1,637,666  1,649,821  -0.7%
GMC
 47,700 43,202 10.4% 328,152 303,254 8.2%
Honda
 151,551 149,381 1.5% 936,464 944,267 -0.8%
Hyundai
 70,003  66,101  5.9%  501,448  493,116  1.7%
Infiniti
 9,164  11,884  -22.9%  77,043 71,879  7.2%
Jaguar
 1,184 1,723  -31.3% 10,688 11,134 -4.0%
Jeep
 68,766 46,239  48.7% 461,156 317,921 45.1%
Kia
 54,667 52,025  5.1% 403,389 378,380 6.6%
Land Rover
 4,489 4,938  -9.1% 35,318 31,972 10.5%
Lexus
 32,809 29,792 10.1% 198,831 171,238 16.1%
Lincoln
 8,146 8,192 -0.6% 60,531 53,399 13.4%
Maserati
 1,233 326 278.2% 7,807 1,862 319.3%
Mazda
 31,305 28,106 11.4% 216,973 198,027 9.6%
Mercedes-Benz
 27,078 24,761  9.4%  205,894  190,359  8.2%
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
 1,880 1,390  35.3%  15,577  12,788  21.8% 
Total Mercedes-Benz
 28,958  26,151  10.7%  221,471  203,147  9.0%
Mini
 5,006 6,023 -16.9% 34,969 44,329 -21.1%
Mitsubishi
6,786 5,281 28.5% 52,807 40,847 29.3%
Nissan
 125,224 108,614 15.3% 883,274 782,369 12.9%
Porsche
 4,540 3,327  36.5% 31,759 28,456 11.6%
Ram
 46,594 33,587  38.7% 298,650 240,727 24.1%
Scion
 6,186 7,698 -19.6% 41,949 48,959 -14.3%
Smart
 1,334 993 34.3% 7,332 6,312 16.2%
Subaru
 50,246 41,061 22.4% 333,968 281,652 18.6%
Suzuki
 — 5,946 -100%
Toyota
 207,105  194,047  6.7%  1,386,729  1,313,525  5.6%
Volkswagen
 35,181 40,342 -12.8% 244,878 282,913 -13.4%
Volvo
 4,960 5,518 -10.1% 39,184 44,005 -11.0%
 —
BMW-Mini
 32,220 30,546 5.5% 245,974 233,326 5.4%
Chrysler Group/FCA
 198,379 165,552 19.8% 1,386,169 1,213,986 14.2%
Daimler
 30,292 27,144 11.6% 228,803 209,459 9.2%
Ford Motor Company
 221,373  220,404  0.4%  1,698,197  1,703,220  -0.3%
General Motors
 272,423 275,847 -1.2%  1,984,451 1,930,264 2.8%
Honda Motor Company
167,038 166,432 0.4% 1,042,382 1,053,449 -1.1%
Hyundai-Kia
 124,670  118,126 5.5% 904,837  871,496  3.8%
Jaguar-Land Rover
 5,673 6,661  -14.8% 46,006 43,106 6.7%
Nissan Motor Company
 134,388  120,498 11.5%  960,317 854,248 12.4%
Toyota Motor Corporation
246,100 231,537 6.3% 1,627,509 1,533,722 6.1%
Volkswagen Group *
 56,822  57,674  -1.5%  392,703  412,715  -4.8%
Industry Total **
1,586,374
1,503,665
5.5%
11,191,068
10,651,957
5.1%

* Volkswagen Group includes sales figures for Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and Volkswagen brands

** Industry total includes Automotive News sales estimates for ultra-low-volume automakers and their 1800-unit (August) Tesla sales estimate.

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Japanese Auto Industry, Economy In Danger Of Hollowing Out http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/japanese-auto-industry-economy-danger-hollowing/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/japanese-auto-industry-economy-danger-hollowing/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905697 Just like the player character after dying several times in the “Dark Souls” series, Japan may find itself hollowing out as a result of the country’s declining auto market. Bloomberg reports 333,471 deliveries were made in August, the fewest since the same month in 2011, with sales of kei cars leading the way down at […]

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Kei Vans

Just like the player character after dying several times in the “Dark Souls” series, Japan may find itself hollowing out as a result of the country’s declining auto market.

Bloomberg reports 333,471 deliveries were made in August, the fewest since the same month in 2011, with sales of kei cars leading the way down at a decline of 15 percent after cushioning demand for the past few months; the overall decline for August 2014 was 9.1 percent.

The decline may only be the beginning, however, according to analysts at IHS Automotive, Advanced Research Japan and Barclays Plc. Despite a weakened yen, recent increases in Japan’s consumption tax knocked down demand for new vehicles. In turn, automakers are keeping annual production at low levels for the local market, while capital expenditure will fall 7.9 percent for FY 2014, 1.3 percent in FY 2015.

Should the trend continue, the Japanese economy as a whole could follow the automotive industry into a hollowed out new “lost decade,” undoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempts to revive it, such as the aforementioned weakening of the yen. Production is predicted to decline by 1.6 million units in the coming decade while global production climbs to 22 million by 2021, according to IHS Automotive.

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A Look At Europe’s Top Selling Brands By Country http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/look-europes-top-selling-brands-country/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/look-europes-top-selling-brands-country/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:30:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904657   From the Twitter account of Bob Flavin comes this map of Europe, overlayed with each country’s best-selling auto brand. Volkswagen, along with Skoda (and to a lesser extent, SEAT and Audi) are far and away the dominant force in Europe, with Fiat, Renault (and Dacia) trailing behind. Regionally, Audi is popular in wealthy enclaves […]

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BweQfPuCIAA4d7B

 

From the Twitter account of Bob Flavin comes this map of Europe, overlayed with each country’s best-selling auto brand.

Volkswagen, along with Skoda (and to a lesser extent, SEAT and Audi) are far and away the dominant force in Europe, with Fiat, Renault (and Dacia) trailing behind.

Regionally, Audi is popular in wealthy enclaves like Monaco, while Skoda dominates in Central Europe. Dacia is abundant in developing countries as diverse as Romania, Moldova, Morocco and Algeria while Fiat is tops not just in Italy, but Turkey and Serbia as well – countries where Fiat builds vehicles locally.

Popular brands in North America, like Ford, Toyota and Honda are much smaller players in the continent. While the Fiesta, Focus and other nameplates enjoy widespread success throughout Europe, Toyota and Honda are much smaller players. And most tellingly, none of the PSA nameplates (Peugeot and Citroen) are present. Or Hyundai/Kia, for that matter.

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Ide: Apathy, Not Policy, Is Behind GM’s Japanese Blues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ide-apathy-policy-behind-gms-japanese-blues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ide-apathy-policy-behind-gms-japanese-blues/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904801 Though General Motors is finding big success in China among its brands, the automaker is still a bit player in Japan, and not because of so-called nontariff hurdles. Automotive News reports Yanase & Co. CEO Takeyoshi Ide proclaims internal apathy, not external policy, as the reasoning behind GM’s current status in Japan. As one example, […]

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Cadillac in Japan

Though General Motors is finding big success in China among its brands, the automaker is still a bit player in Japan, and not because of so-called nontariff hurdles.

Automotive News reports Yanase & Co. CEO Takeyoshi Ide proclaims internal apathy, not external policy, as the reasoning behind GM’s current status in Japan. As one example, Ide — whose Cadillac and Chevrolet dealerships number at 13, down from a peak 114 — says if the automaker would consider building more RHD vehicles suited for the Japanese market, especially Cadillacs, sales of 5,000 units annually would be “not so difficult.”

He has hope that a few moves affecting Cadillac, such as the hiring of former Infiniti chief Johan de Nysschen, would make the change “GM’s original people” from Detroit haven’t been able to undergo to bring success to the automaker’s premium brand. It’s also the reason why Ide hasn’t let go of his remaining GM dealerships despite also being the nation’s No. 1 Mercedes dealer, as well as one of its top sellers of Audi and BMW vehicles.

As for external issues affecting GM, Ide says policy is not among them — Japan imposes no tariffs on imported vehicles — and is just an excuse for the United States government to maintain its tariffs, including the infamous Chicken Tax.

That said, hope may be fading as it is. The sales forecast for 2014 remains flat at 1,200 units for GM’s efforts in Japan, higher than its nadir of 700 for all of 2009, yet lower than its zenith of 47,000 units in 1996. Additionally, while Mercedes moved 31,291 vehicles onto the streets of Tokyo through July 2014, Cadillac saw its sales fall 27 percent to 425 units compared to the same period in 2013.

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Volvo Readying Chinese Made S60L For North America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/volvo-readying-chinese-made-s60l-north-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/volvo-readying-chinese-made-s60l-north-america/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:41:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904393 Canada may have already received its first mass-produced Chinese car in the form of the outgoing Honda Fit. Now, it’s America’s turn. According to Automotive News, Volvo will introduced the Chinese-made S60L, a long-wheelbase version of the S60, sometime in 2015. The S60L will replace the slow-selling S80. The main change will be a 3.2 inch […]

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5

Canada may have already received its first mass-produced Chinese car in the form of the outgoing Honda Fit. Now, it’s America’s turn.

According to Automotive News, Volvo will introduced the Chinese-made S60L, a long-wheelbase version of the S60, sometime in 2015. The S60L will replace the slow-selling S80. The main change will be a 3.2 inch extension to the S60′s wheelbase. Like the S80, the car will be similarly low volume, though it will function as a gauge of the overall quality and level of acceptance that consumers will have for Chinese cars.

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Chart Of The Day: Will The CR-V Eventually Be Honda’s Accord? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/chart-day-will-cr-v-eventually-hondas-accord/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/chart-day-will-cr-v-eventually-hondas-accord/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:15:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=893858 In a manner of speaking, this chart is nothing more than anecdotal evidence. But it’s also evidence that’s been collected nationwide over the span of  a decade from one of America’s largest auto sellers. Proof that America is gradually moving away from traditional passenger cars to “crossovers” is better seen in a glance of the […]

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Accord CR-V sales chartIn a manner of speaking, this chart is nothing more than anecdotal evidence. But it’s also evidence that’s been collected nationwide over the span of  a decade from one of America’s largest auto sellers.

Proof that America is gradually moving away from traditional passenger cars to “crossovers” is better seen in a glance of the complete numbers for all vehicles. But the CR-V/Accord relationship is a useful one for telling a story.

As recently as 2006, American Honda sold more than two Accords for every CR-V. The CR-V’s reign as America’s favourite utility vehicle, suspended only briefly in 2011, began in 2007, a year in which Honda sold 1.8 Accords per CR-V. Fast forward to the first seven months of 2014 and Honda sells 1.2 copies of the Accord, America’s second-best-selling car, for every CR-V.

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Russian Government Moves Ahead With Revived Cash For Clunkers Program http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/russian-government-moves-ahead-revived-cash-clunkers-program/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/russian-government-moves-ahead-revived-cash-clunkers-program/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=903274 A few days ago, we reported the Russian government was considering bringing back its cash for clunkers program to help spur domestic auto sales in the face of Western sanctions. The government as since decided to go forward with the scheme. Reuters reports the Kremlin will pledge P10 billion ($273 million USD) for the program, […]

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Lada Coupe

A few days ago, we reported the Russian government was considering bringing back its cash for clunkers program to help spur domestic auto sales in the face of Western sanctions. The government as since decided to go forward with the scheme.

Reuters reports the Kremlin will pledge P10 billion ($273 million USD) for the program, which is expected to subsidize over 170,000 new vehicles at a minimum discount of P40,000 ($1,086) for scrapping a passenger car, and P350,000 ($9,506) on up for commercial vehicles. Additional discounts from P40,000 to P300,000 ($1,086 – $8,148) will be made to consumers who trade-in vehicles six years of age or older.

The new program begins September 1, and will run through to the end of the year. A decision to revive the program in 2015 will be made no earlier than the middle of September of that year, according to Industry Minister Denis Manturov, and will be based on market conditions at that point in time.

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The Honda Insight Is Dead: Here’s Why http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/honda-insight-dead-heres/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/honda-insight-dead-heres/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:32:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=900858 More than two years after American Honda last produced meaningful sales volume with its first Insight, a second Insight arrived to tackle the Toyota Prius head-on. Only it didn’t, because it couldn’t. The Insight’s death was reported here at the end of last month. There was no accompanying shock, surprise or horror. Though it has […]

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2012 Honda Insight greyMore than two years after American Honda last produced meaningful sales volume with its first Insight, a second Insight arrived to tackle the Toyota Prius head-on.

Only it didn’t, because it couldn’t.

The Insight’s death was reported here at the end of last month. There was no accompanying shock, surprise or horror.

Though it has competed with a much lower base MSRP than the core Prius model, the Insight is a 42 mpg car fighting against the hybrid, a 50 mpg Prius.

Those are the numbers that mattered most to potential customers, not cargo capacity or horsepower or airbags. (The Prius, incidentally, has more cargo capacity behind the rear seats and with seats folded, more horsepower, and more airbags.)

Think of this way. The Prius was akin to the establishment candidate for the ruling party, a guy who’d led the country for years, a policy wonk with a certain charm. In comes Insight, somebody who was once known as a revolutionary politician but disappeared for a few years before returning with fewer baby kisses, less foreign affairs awareness, and no real plan for reducing the deficit.

In 2008, the Toyota Prius was America’s tenth-best-selling car. In 2009, the Insight arrived to take on this hugely popular car but brought with it significant on-paper disadvantages.

The results were as anticipated. Honda sold 20,572 Insights in 2009; Toyota sold 139,682 Prii. Prius sales rose slightly to 140,928 in 2010; Insight volume rose to 20,962 units. Insight volume plunged 26% to 15,549 in 2011; Prius volume fell 9% to 128,064. Prius volume then jumped 15% to 147,507 units in 2012 while Insight sales plunged again, falling 62% to just 5846. Insight sales fell again, 18%, to just 4802 units in 2013. Prius sales slid slightly, just 2%, to 145,172 in 2013.

Through the first seven months of 2014, Insight sales have fallen 6% to 2624 units. Prius sales have fallen 18% to 75,903 as we approach its turn into a fourth-generation iteration.

There won’t be an immediate, overlapping replacement for the Insight. It’s not that Honda needed to sell the Insight at Prius-like levels for the model to succeed. Honda doesn’t sell as many Accords as Toyota does Camrys, and there’s no one implying that the Accord ought to be killed off.

Yet during the time period in which the Insight has steadily waned, Toyota has expanded the Prius lineup. There’s a plug-in variant of the regular Prius that has sold 10,671 copies this year, quadruple the volume Honda has done with the Insight. Toyota USA has also sold 101,715 Prius C hatchbacks since February 2012 and 101,276 copies of the Prius V wagon since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Toyota is trading off the Prius’s name brand to generate genuinely high U.S. sales. There was equity in the Insight name, but by introducing an underwhelming half-measure in 2009, Honda may have extinguished that equity along with the car itself.

The Insight, of course, isn’t the company’s only hybrid. Honda has reported 8250 U.S. sales of the Accord Hybrid through the first seven months of 2014, 221 Accord Plug-Ins, 2904 Civic Hybrids, 263 Fit EVs, 306 Acura ILX Hybrids, and 2355 CR-Zs.

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The Mazda 5 Is Dead: Here’s Why http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda-5-dead-heres/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/mazda-5-dead-heres/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:58:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=900834 There are two ways of understanding why it was Mazda USA decided to extinguish the Mazda 5 from their lineup beginning with the 2015 model year. First, we could look at the root causes. Then we could check out the symptoms. The root causes are numerous, but it’s worth keeping in mind that for thousands […]

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Mazda5 front quarter 2There are two ways of understanding why it was Mazda USA decided to extinguish the Mazda 5 from their lineup beginning with the 2015 model year. First, we could look at the root causes. Then we could check out the symptoms.

The root causes are numerous, but it’s worth keeping in mind that for thousands of buyers, the reasons many would point to as cause for ignoring the 5 been overmatched by reasons to purchase a 5.

Compared with conventional minivans, it’s obviously small, but that’s exactly why many people have turned to the Mazda: it’s not a maxi-van. Fortunately, it doesn’t drive like one either, and it’s even available with a manual transmission. Yet it is far closer to being underpowered than it is to being overpowered. Compared with discounted Grand Caravans, it’s not necessarily more affordable for a growing family who simply needs more seating capacity. Speaking of which, it only seats six in North America, not seven or eight.

From the beginning of its tenure, the reasons many buyers would have for veering away from the Mazda 5 have combined to create sales figures which suggested the 5 wouldn’t remain in America for long. As Derek mentioned on Monday, only 22,021 were sold in the 5’s best year, 2008. Its share in the minivan market that year? 3.4%.

Kia sold 28,645 Rondos in 2008, and the Rondo was basically gone from the U.S. market in 2010, with 47 lingering sales to collect in calendar year 2011.

Mazda’s share of the minivan market rose to 4.1% in 2009 as the segment plunged 30% and 5 sales dropped by just 16%. In 2010, 5 volume slid 15% year-over-year as the top four big vans (Town & Country, Odyssey, Grand Caravan, and Sienna) surged forward at a combined 17% clip.

Mazda’s share of the category slid to 3.3%. 2011 saw Mazda 5 sales jump 22% to 19,155 units, its second-best year on record. The 5’s slice of the minivan pie climbed to 3.9%.

5 sales then plunged 24% to just 14,640 units in 2012, as Mazda claimed just 2.6% of the segment. Last year, a 5% decrease in 5 sales (and a 4% decrease in total minivan sales) meant 5 sales slid to 13,884 units, but its market share basically stayed level.

Mazda 5 U.S. sales chartThrough the first seven months of 2014, Mazda 5 sales are down 13% to 8762 units, and it has once again claimed 2.6% of the minivan segment.

Volume-wise, the 5 has not been a hugely important piece of the Mazda puzzle in the United States, accounting for slightly less than one out of every 20 Mazda sales. Mazda USA has sold nearly seven CX-5s for every 5 sold during the last seven months. The 5 generated 8.3% of Mazda’s volume in 2008.

The MPV, on the other hand, averaged nearly 30,000 sales even toward the end of its reign between 2002 and 2004. Another 17,634 were sold in 2005 and 11,600 in 2006, years in which Mazda sold 4761 and 17,109 5s, respectively. 13.3% of the Mazdas sold in America in 2002 were MPVs.

The 5 clearly wasn’t a direct replacement for the already-small MPV when it landed in the United States nine years ago. It has grown old during a period in which many expected Americans would be turned off by larger gas guzzlers and the anticipation of high fuel prices. By and large, however, fuel prices have not intimidated new car buyers, and buyers have turned to increasingly efficient crossovers in large numbers.

Moreover, the 5 is now a sliding-doors front-wheel-driver with EPA ratings of 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. That’s a problem, as it’s competing with utility vehicles like the all-wheel-drive Nissan Rogue (rated at 25/32) and Mazda’s own all-wheel-drive CX-5, which is rated at 24/30 in its least efficient format.

Had the 5 panned out, a feat which would have required more significant design updates and improved efficiency, we would now be praising Mazda for thinking outside the box. Instead, Mazda didn’t hit the nail on the head, something we could say about the brand overall, too, at least when it comes to their sales performance in the United States.

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Russian Government Considering Revival Of Cash For Clunkers Program http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/russian-government-considering-revival-cash-clunkers-program/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/russian-government-considering-revival-cash-clunkers-program/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=899986 In an effort to combat plunging auto sales, the Russian government is deliberating on a decision to bring back its cash for clunkers program, last seen sending Ladas, Volgas and GAZs to the crusher back in 2010. Just-Auto reports current geopolitical conditions — Ukraine, Crimea, sanctions by Western powers — are leading the path toward […]

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russias-cash-finished-programme-511.si

In an effort to combat plunging auto sales, the Russian government is deliberating on a decision to bring back its cash for clunkers program, last seen sending Ladas, Volgas and GAZs to the crusher back in 2010.

Just-Auto reports current geopolitical conditions — Ukraine, Crimea, sanctions by Western powers — are leading the path toward a 25 percent to 30 percent fall in auto sales to date. Thus, the Kremlin is considering bringing back the program, through nothing more has come according to a Ministry of Trade and Industry representative.

The delay of action is also delaying many a consumer’s decision in buying a new vehicle, especially since the original program paid P50,000 ($1,680 USD in 2010 dollars) for a vehicle 10 years old and over. Consumers are also wondering what vehicles would be available under the new program, as well as engine size.

The 2010 program proved successful, though the Russian government spent up to $2 billion back then for 200,000 vehicles to be replaced with newer models. Whether it wants to do so again may not matter as sales continue to fall.

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