I always get a little dismayed whenever I hear a car company talking about sales volume targets.
Yes, sure, reasonable sales targets are OK. Acceptable sales targets. If Toyota wants to say they’re going to sell one billion Camry units this year because they sold 997 million last year, that’s fine with me. If Honda wants to say they’re going to sell 950 million Accords this year because they’re contractually obligated by a higher power to slightly undersell the Camry, that’s fine too. And if Dodge wants to say they’ll sell 100,000 Grand Caravans this year, of which 99,000 are going to Enterprise, and the remaining 1,000 are going to people who don’t know any better, I guess I can accept that.
But I’ve never really understood why automakers set insane volume targets that keep them desperately reaching for sales for the next few decades.
Whenever I talk to car shoppers, the Mazda6 comes up. No, it’s not because people are confused if it’s a “Mazda 6″ or a “Mazda6″ or a “Mazda Mazda6.” Although, it does top the Land Rover Range Rover Sport Autobiography for the strangest name on the market. (I prefer to call it a Mazda6.) The reason Mazda’s mid-sized sedan comes up, is because it seems to be a car often shopped, but rarely purchased. In June, it scored 14th in sales for the segment. Surprised? I was. Even the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger (9th and 12th place) outsold it by a wide margin. The low sales numbers piqued my interest enough that I hit Mazda up for a cherry red model to see why.
Because we are halfway through the year, we’re mixing things up a little by comparing June sales to six-month totals instead of to June 2009 sales.
Toyota takes the C-Segment crown with the one-two punch of its mixed Corolla/Matrix sales. A breakout here would be nice, but since Toyota’s not offering, we’ve included the HHR with Cobalt and the Jetta with Golf to even things up a little. Credit the Focus for selling with the best of them without a hatchback platform-mate, and note that the Elantra’s monthly number has improved considerably relative to its six-month average.