Even though I tipped the Audi Q3 to win the compact crossover sales race, a story in Automotive News highlights another problem that Mercedes, and other luxury brands, could face: a lack of inventory.
Here’s an interesting study in how two markets, with a similar affinity for small crossovers, will get wildly different products.
Back in May, we reported on the rather fat inventory levels of Cadillac’s products, examining through the context of the one product with less than 100 days of supply – the SRX crossover. A few months later, dealers are tight on the newly redesigned Escalade, but the inventory picture for Cadillac’s car lineup hasn’t gotten much better.
The topic of subprime auto loans has been a hotly contested one at TTAC, with numerous commenters defending both the practice and the stability of recent run-up in subprime lending.
In an interview with Edmunds, Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski spoke of a new vehicle that
“would be a vehicle that would be really designed for Gen Y, for new first-time younger buyers…Think of maybe something that looks like a Juke or something that has edgy, dynamic styling.”
Doesn’t Hyundai already have something like that?
General Motors’ U.S. market share held steady at 17.8% in July compared with the same period one year ago. In comparison with June of this year, however, GM’s portion slid from 18.8%. GM’s volume fell 4.2% from 267,461 in June to 256,160 units in July even as overall new vehicle sales grew 1%.
Moving ahead from June then, which automakers produced the gains at GM’s expense, at Ford’s and Chrysler/FCA’s expense, too? Toyota and Nissan, mostly. With a nearly one percentage point increase, Toyota produced a very high-volume July thanks to record RAV4 sales, predictably lofty Camry volume, and Lexus’ rise to the top of the premium pile.
Nissan owned 7.7% of the U.S. market in June; 8.3% in July. The Versa, Sentra, and Leaf combined for 36,228 July sales, up from 22,310 in July 2013 and 31,057 in June of this year.
Meanwhile, compared with the prior month, American Honda’s share of the U.S. market grew from 9.1% to 9.5% on the strength of the Accord and CR-V, America’s second-best-selling car and top-selling utility vehicle, respectively.
Automakers reported the sales of 1.4 million new vehicles in July 2014, representing a 9% increase compared with July of last year. Among volume brands, the biggest percentage gains were achieved by Jeep, Subaru, GMC, and Ram. Jaguar, Scion, Acura, Volvo, and Volkswagen all reported losses of at least 14%. Cadillac, Honda, and Mini also posted decreased July volume relative to the same period in 2013.
With pricing for the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA announced, the fight for the luxury compact crossover sales crown is officially on. It’s going to be the most important battle of the year for the luxury car market.
Despite repeated denials from all parties, I’ve yet to give up on the idea that Volkswagen and FCA will eventually come together in an, ahem, Auto Union of sorts. Tim Cain’s chart shows us why there are synergies for both parties.
Booming utility vehicle sales have boosted Canada’s new vehicle market to unseen highs in the first half of 2014. Despite falling car sales and a slight decline in overall pickup truck volume, Canada’s auto industry is up nearly 3% through the first six months of 2014, an increase of some 25,000 units compared with the first half of 2013.