The REAL Big Three: Toyota, Chevrolet, Honda

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Does the average American consumer know or care that GM owns Saturn? Or Toyota Scion? Nope. TTAC has been arguing since ever that brands are the heart and soul of any and all car companies; it's how people perceive the products vying for their patronage. Automotive News [AN, sub] has run an analysis of U.S. car sales by brand for the first nine months of '07, and there's blood all over the carpet. A cataclysmic shift leaves Toyota the undisputed king of cars. "The Japanese juggernaut slashed the retail sales gap with GM by 40 percent during the first eight months of 2007… GM's retail advantage dropped from 487,235 vehicles for that period last year to 282,677 vehicles this year. If current trends continue, AN predicts ToMoCo will wrest the overall number one spot from GM within four years (by 2011). In fact, the Chevrolet Impala is the only domestic vehicle that appears in the nine-month top-10 automotive list, trailing the Toyota Camry by over 100k units. (Take fleet sales out of that equation…) Meanwhile, "Honda has quiely risen to number three in U.S. car sales, looking at achieving 10 percent of the U.S. light-vehicle market by year's end. Ford has tanked. The Blue Oval Boyz' overall sales are down 13.3 percent. They've lost sales every month this year and dropped nearly two points of market share. In the upmarket automotive arena, Lexus is set to topple Cadillac as America's favorite luxury brand, heading for '07 totals that will beat Cadillac's best ever sales year.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Oct 15, 2007

    @ geeber Didn't mention Mr Bush, that was another poster. Since the tour guides are swamped with requests by tourists from other nations, and the US dollar is worth a lot less, I don't think the guides are foregoing a meal. But anti-Americanism isn't solely connected to Bush - there's a general backlash against the domination of US franchise presences around the world, and against the cut-to-the-bone quality presented by these when they go to market. It used to be that Made in the USA was a hallmark. No longer - which means that launching a US "luxury" car in Europe is probably not the best bet.

  • Dave M. Dave M. on Oct 15, 2007
    It boggles my mind that people voted for him the first time, when he so obviously didn’t know what he was talking about in the debates, but to vote for him the second time was beyond belief. I'm not going to get into a political argument (this is not the place), but keep in mind that a majority put him in office. Twice. Against a sitting, relatively popular vice president, and a relatively popular U.S. Senator. What does that tell you? The 'war on terrorism' (v. fundamental fanatics) has been centuries in the making.
  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Oct 15, 2007

    Sorry but I don't buy it. Almost everyone knows Saturn is a GM division. The fact that many Scion buyers turned out to be old farts like me, rather than the hip young target market, means that lots of people of all ages know where Scion comes from. As for Lexus, I've yet to meet a life form in this galaxy that doesn't know it's made by Toyota - I mean, that's the whole point of Lexus.

  • Starlightmica Starlightmica on Oct 15, 2007
    The ‘war on terrorism’ (v. fundamental fanatics) has been centuries in the making. I'd say in progress, and that current events are payback for the Crusades.