North America’s romantic entanglement with the sport utility vehicle is not limited to retail consumers, as police fleets in the United States and Canada have been getting in on the action for a while now. Valuing durability and flexibility above all else, law enforcement’s gradual shift toward SUVs seems to have been inevitable.
Ford said that sales of its Explorer-based Interceptor Utility surpassed its Taurus-based Interceptor Sedan in 2014, claiming that the SUV had “officially” become North America’s most popular police vehicle. While that might not be entirely accurate until current fleets retire the horde of large sedans that proved so popular in the past, the utility trend is growing and departments have plenty of praise for them — especially departments rife with oversized officers. (Read More…)
With nearly a third of its volume heading to businesses and government agencies, Ford is a bit of a fleet queen. However, the Blue Oval has been fairly uniform with General Motors in terms of volume when it came to selling its vehicles in bulk.
Not so this year.
General Motors is gradually pulling back from fleet sales, leaving FCA and Ford with a larger piece of the pie. GM’s total U.S. sales in November were up more than 10 percent from the previous year, giving it a larger share of the retail market and the confidence to abandon some of its fleet dependance. Meanwhile, Ford’s seems happy staying the course so long as the endeavor remains vaguely profitable. (Read More…)
Front-wheel-drive, soft top, four-cylinder engine, hefty curb weight— the ideal car for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot at Miami International Airport?
On sale since January, the Buick Cascada has attracted 6,154 individual U.S. buyers over the last ten months.
According to Buick, General Motors has only seen three Cascadas make their way into fleet use, for a total of 6,157 Cascada sales through the end of October. (Read More…)
Debt-heavy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could do with some more spending money, so why not try something new?
Figuring it can squeeze more money out of its products — and boost its stock — if it focuses less on volume, FCA has embarked on a new sales strategy that isn’t new in the industry. Call it the General Motors Approach.
Imitation, as they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. (Read More…)
The next-generation Ram 1500 is still expected to trundle out of Sterling Heights in January of 2018, but don’t expect a familiar face to go away just yet.
As it readies a new full-sizer to better challenge Ford and General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to keep the old Ram 1500 in production for the 2018 and 2019 model years, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)
Nissan is closing in on its goal of owning 10 percent of the North American market, but it opened itself up to plenty of risk along the way.
The surging automaker beat rival Honda in sales during the first half of this year, but only because of boosted incentives and increased fleet sales, Bloomberg reports. Big volume doesn’t always mean big profits. (Read More…)
The brain trust of yet another artificial intelligence technology startup has been snapped up as automakers prepare for our terrifying, dystopian future.
That, Sergio Marchionne has a sure-fire recipe, jury selection begins in ignition trial, Tesla doesn’t need no stinkin’ successful low-priced car, and GM goes big on commercial sales … after the break!
If you live in the north, you might consider taking your kids tobogganing on Tesla’s NASDAQ trend line.
That, GM wants less rentals, “Imported from Detroit” becomes “Deported from Auburn Hills,” automakers fear the Brexit, and rage grows around pointless concept cars … after the break!
The Wall Street Journal reported that Jeep’s remarkable sales pace may be fueled in part by a significant increase in fleet sales through the first 10 months of this year.
According to the newspaper, which cited R.L. Polk’s sales figures, Jeep through October increased its deliveries to rental companies by 57 percent compared to the same period last year.
Through October, 11.2 percent of Jeep’s overall sales were to fleet buyers, according to the report. A Jeep spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the fleet increase was due to Cherokee deliveries to rental companies that weren’t reported until this year.
One month after Toyota began sales of its Mirai FCV in Japan, around 1,500 have been ordered thus far, well over the 400 the automaker thought it would sell for the entirety of 2015.
The esteemable Jack Baruth backed one up toward an odd-looking statue back in March. Sales then boomed in April and May.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
In truth, Jack was no fan of the Chevrolet Captiva Sport he rented earlier this year, saying, “It won’t strike the desirability chord in anyone’s heart,” and, “This is a car to avoid at all costs.”
Fleet buyers, including most especially the rental car companies in the United States, did not avoid the Captiva Sport. They flocked to the reclothed Saturn Vue in large numbers. (Read More…)
Though diesel rules the delivery fleet in Europe, Nissan would like fleet managers to leave oil-burning behind for the all-electric e-NV200.
Although the Honda Accord finished second to the Toyota Camry in the official sales rankings, Honda is touting the Accord’s dominance in retail sales, which accounted for 98 percent of overall Accord sales. By contrast, Bloomberg reports that Toyota’s retail mix for the Camry was 84 percent, with 342,007 Camrys ending up in the hands of retail customers. The Accord sold 360,089 units at retail.
While the all new 2014 Impala is impressing reviewers, like Consumer Reports calling it this year’s highest scoring sedan, General Motors has decided to keep the outgoing Impala as a low cost option for fleet customers until 2016. According to Automotive News, the automaker had originally planned to keep the old Impala, branded the Impala Limited, in production for rental operators as well as government and corporate fleet customers, into next year. “The Impala Limited has done extremely well. Our fleet customers know the car and like it,” a GM spokesman said last week. “It’s a business opportunity that we want to continue to fulfill.”
The continued production of the Impala Limited means that the Oshawa Car Assembly plant in Ontario will remain open until at least 2016.
TTAC has a long tradition of digging deep into manufacturer sales data, frequently focusing on retail versus fleet sales. It’s become commonly accepted that high fleet percentages are a sign of weakness in product lines, at least as far as retail consumer preference goes. The traditionally low fleet percentages of Japanese brands have been singled out as evidence of those companies’ ability to attract crucial retail dollars, or at least their superiority in matching production to demand. And they were right. For many years, Toyota and Honda in particular could count on strong retail sales of premium-priced products in a way that the Big 3 couldn’t. Changing trends in the American vehicle market are undermining this model, though.