America’s record-breaking new vehicle sales volume in calendar year 2015 was powered in part by better-than-average growth from premium automakers.
Yet after BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, and Cadillac all failed to match the rate of industry-wide expansion in 2015, the first four months of 2016 have revealed that even more top-level premium brands are fading as the market for new vehicles continues to expand. U.S. auto sales are up 3.4 percent in 2016. Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW (the three top-ranked premium auto brands), Acura, Cadillac, and Infiniti posted declining sales in the first-third of 2016.
Largely at fault are the passenger car divisions at each brand, but a number of high-volume SUVs/crossovers that are failing to match last year’s first-third sales pace, as well. (Read More…)
Acura is turning 30, and to celebrate, it’s turning its attention away from the yuppy Gen-Xers who first discovered the brand to the hopeful, car-buying Millennials of today.
It’s not pandering for vehicle sales, it’s a relationship, see?
Honda’s luxury marque just launched a marketing campaign that seems perfectly designed to lure in the largest-growing segment of car buyers. Called “30 Years Young,” the ad plays up Acura’s status as the leading luxury brand of this age demographic, while stroking the ego of the Millennial buyer. (Read More…)
Based on internal platform codes, sources are telling us Cadillac is working on a Delta-based Mercedes CLA rival.
General Motors has spent significant time and effort refining the Delta platform – as noted in our Cruze review, this platform is well worthy of premiums above the Cruze’s $17, 495 MSRP.
Based on what sources are sending our way, it looks like General Motors is planning exactly that, a premium vehicle based on the new D2XX platform. (Read More…)
The refreshed Lexus IS bowed today at the Beijing Motor Show, presenting an even hungrier face than before.
Lexus kept the well-defined proportions of the entry-level sedan intact, but went to town on the front end. The corporate spindle grille now sports a higher cinch point and spacetime-bending three-dimensional mesh. (Read More…)
The shopping center had seen better days.
Most of its smaller spaces were vacant, long since abandoned with only the leaves left scuttling about on the breeze to give the empty storefronts the illusion of life. Now, only the anchor stores remained. On one end of the complex, a dollar store. It somehow managed to look even more run down than most and had perhaps a dozen cars parked out front. At the other end, a cut rate supermarket — one of those places that sell mostly canned food and dried goods on the verge of expiry — had a dozen more cars sitting at its doors.
Much to my disappointment, a Chrysler 300M was among them. (Read More…)
Through the first one-sixth of 2016, U.S. sales of passenger cars sold by so-called premium brands plunged 17 percent. That year-over-year loss of nearly 25,000 sales occurred over the course of the auto sales calendar’s two lowest-volume months.
Lost in the story of booming auto sales volume in February 2016 — the highest-volume February since 2001 — was the underachieving premium market. Auto sales jumped 7 percent in February, a gain of 86,000 units, but 19 premium brands — from sector-leading Mercedes-Benz to one-model Alfa Romeo — combined for only a 1-percent year-over-year uptick during the same period.
Why, in such an apparently healthy market, are premium auto brands collectively losing market share? (Read More…)
Examples of the Chrysler Cordoba continue to show up in the self-service wrecking yards I frequent, though I tend to skip the ones that are particularly wretched and break out my camera only when I’m in the presence of a Cordoba that still has a certain personal luxury aura.
So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’76, this ’78 (which provided me with a classy Corinthian Leather couch), this ’79, and this ’80, and now we have this fairly straight ’79 that I saw in an icy Denver yard last week. (Read More…)
One slimy thing that unscrupulous junkyard shoppers do is to lock all the doors of a car with interior parts they want to save for themselves on a later visit (presumably after they’ve done a few smash-and-grabs to get the money they need for the parts). They’re banking on the reluctance of more ethical junkyard shoppers to destroy a junkyard car’s window or punch out a door lock, and that’s the case with today’s Junkyard Find. Still, I was able to get some decent through-the-glass shots of the gloriously yellow and nicely preserved interior of this 1987 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. (Read More…)
Mr. Mehta, lover of all things Ford (except, apparently, the Lincoln Mark VI), was quite put out by my failure to include the “Sajeev’s Bitter Tears” tag in the 1980 Mercury Capri Junkyard Find post last week.
Not wanting to put him in a bad mood for the upcoming Houston 24 Hours of LeMons race, I have since retrofitted that post with the appropriate weepiness, and as an added bonus I photographed this amazingly Sajeevian Town Car in a Denver self-service yard. (Read More…)
Forget the SUVs for a moment. Cadillac sold more than 100,000 cars in 2013 with similar totals achieved by the ATS, XTS, and CTS. The market has expanded since then, albeit not nearly as much on the car side of the ledger as in the light-truck portion.
Nevertheless, Cadillac will likely sell fewer than 70,000 cars in calendar year 2015.
Is the upcoming CT6 the answer the Cadillac’s car woes, or just another big Cadillac that will do little more than generate all its showroom activity by stealing sales from the CTS and XTS? (Read More…)