By on November 13, 2007

auto-dealer-sumo.jpgThe automotive spinmeisters were busy at the beginning of the month. They were either bragging about sales increases or suggesting that they didn't suck as bad as they could have. While it's easy to play fast and loose with sales numbers– estimated vs. actual, the effects of reduced fleet sales, etc.– inventory levels are a reliable indication of showroom reality. When you examine the number of cars a manufacturer's franchised dealers have littering their lots, you begin to know what's what. Let's take a gander at October's numbers.

[NOTE: a 60-day supply is generally considered ideal. Anything above 90-days indicates serious bloat.]

And the crown for lot queen goes to… the Hummer H1, with a 381-day supply. OK, that doesn't really count, but I couldn't resist calling a Hummer a queen. So pass the crown to the Chrysler Crossfire. Even though Bob Nardelli's mob finally whacked the Mercedes SLK-based two-seater, there are still 1100 units waiting for new homes. At the current rate, Chrysler dealers have a 248-day supply. If that isn't bad enough, there's actually a 2008 model on its way. 

The once super-nova Solstice is suffering a full lunar eclipse. Pontiac dealers are looking (and looking) at the second slowest selling car in America, with a 211-day supply on hand. Predictably enough, once the initial excitement for GM's niche model was satiated, sales plummeted. Unfortunately, pre-new UAW contract production didn't. Solstii are piling up on dealer lots, hoping that spring drop top sales increases are eternal. Pontiac's dealers could use the biz; they averaged nine sales per dealer during October.

Honda's next up (or down) with a 192-day supply of their unibody pickup truck, the Avalanche-a-like Ridgeline. Honda dealers are also sitting on a 169-day supply of S2000s, a 123-day supply of Pilots and a 103-day supply of Elements. Fortunately for their dealers, the new Accord's a well-stocked hit (45-day supply), the Fit is no longer hard to find (48-days) and the rest of the lineup sits below the 60-day inventory level (including the Odyssey). Overall, the brand ended the month with a 59-day supply of vehicles.

Jeep dealers wish they were so lucky. They're stuck with a 169-day supply of the [why haven't they killed it yet] Commander. Vindication for TTAC Ten Worst voters: there's a 150-day supply of the Compass, up from the previous month's 121-day supply. There's also a glut of Patriots (142-day supply) and Grand Cherokees (111-day supply). Jeep had 11 sales per dealer in October, the bulk of which were Wranglers (62-day supply) and Liberties (74-day supply). 

As you've no doubt heard, pickup trucks sales are slowing. You can see the stockpiles piling-up down at the dealers. GMC dealers are sitting on a 127-day supply of Canyons, with enough Sierras to last 116 days. GM's last next big thing, the Chevy Silverado, is hanging-out with the Colorado for 117 days. 

Dodges aren't flying off the lots either. The Ram languishes for 117 days, joined by a 110-day supply of Nitros, a 104-day supply of Dakotas and a 100-day supply of Durangos. The Dodge Boys' cars are doing a bit better, but there's still a 93-day supply of Calibers out there, somewhere.

Mercury dealers are struggling to unload the Sable (122-day supply), while customers are lined-up none deep for the old/new/I'm confused Taurus (110-day supply). Like the Solstice, the Mustang's shelf life has ascended (to 104 days). It's not lonely; Rangers clock-in at a 102-day supply.

GM needs to rethink rethinking American. Saturn dealers are holding 109 days' worth of the North American Car of the Year 2007: the Aura. And despite all the praise heaped on the Outlook, Saturn's got a 118-day supply of the Acadia's twin. On the plus side, if sales continue at the same pace, they'll be out of terminated IONs in 15 days.

Nissan dealers have a few slugs on their hands. The Titan and 350Z ooze out of the lots after 107-days. And while you might think gas prices have emptied Nissan lots of frugal Versas, not so. There's a 100-day supply, earning the Versa the dubious honor of America's slowest selling economy car.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, GM has a few fast movers. They only have enough Cadillac CTSs to last 24 days, and enough Enclaves to last 27 days. Chevy's done a good job of clearing out the old Malibu. Dealers welcome the arrival of the new version with a 39-day stock of the old model. 

Sadly for armchair analysts, ToMoCo doesn't break down their inventories by model. Dealers have a 26-day supply of Lexus trucks, a 27-day supply of Lexus cars, a 44-day supply of Scion and Toyota cars, and a 53-day supply of Toyota trucks. With an industry-leading average of 141 Scions and Toyotas and 115 Lexii sold per dealer, ToMoCo is still the one to beat.

Draw what lessons you will from this report. One thing's for sure: too little inventory (Malibu, Enclave) and it's an opportunity missed. Too much and profits evaporate. As you might imagine, an automaker that can balance production against demand has an enormous competitive advantage. Game on!

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51 Comments on “Lots and Lots on Lots of Lots...”


  • avatar
    Pahaska

    I’m thinking about replacing my 2004 Silverado diesel. I had some time to kill last evening, so I stopped by a big GMC/Chevy dealer. I counted over 50 4WD Sierras on the lot, about 1/3 diesel, and about the same number of diesel Silverado with the same mix. Almost no 2WD diesel models in stock and that’s what I’m looking for.

    I avoided talking to anyone, but I’ll watch for the inevitable year-end fire sale. No dealer can carry that kind of inventory for long!

    In the mean time, my 45,000-mile 2004 diesel that has been used for nothing but pull my Airstream is like gold to all of the contractors that can’t afford the new diesel trucks.

  • avatar
    glenn126

    Nice article, Frank. My thoughts were – hmmm, it’s all a balancing act. Just like real life.

  • avatar
    trtl5000

    Whats the wait for a MINI?

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Wow, Saturn Ion production ended 10 months ago. Astra doesn’t go on sale until January, though.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    The local dodge dealer has an army of pickup trucks on the lot, I don’t see how he stays in business.

  • avatar
    Matthew Danda

    No, the H1 doesn’t really count. It’s already like a 15-20 year-old platform, right? I wonder how well Hummer dealers are doing lately. I haven’t read any reports of Hummer dealers foreclosing or anything, but they’ve gotta be hurting big time.

  • avatar

    Matthew Danda :

    I wonder how well Hummer dealers are doing lately. I haven’t read any reports of Hummer dealers foreclosing or anything, but they’ve gotta be hurting big time.

    They have a 76-day supply of H2’s and a 106-day supply of H3’s. They averaged 22 sales per dealer in October, down from 30 per in September.

  • avatar
    BostonTeaParty

    trtl5000, i got quoted at least 8 weeks (56 days+)for a mini once the order was put down when i was shopping for a fun small car last month. Strange though, the dealers i looked at for Solstices hadn’t got any on the lot, the only ones they had were sitting on the showroom floor.

  • avatar
    trtl5000

    right but was that the wait once you ordered it or how long it had been sitting on the lot? I got a 6 week (wait) estimate when i spoke with a MINI dealer about purchasing one.

  • avatar

    The local dodge dealer has an army of pickup trucks on the lot, I don’t see how he stays in business.

    Used cars.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    they should slap a sign`sold` to all the lonely 4wheelers daydreaming on vast prairie lots of rural west. That would flame some interest and the tightly like chinese in a Tibetan shed packed fuel guzzlers would have a higher chance than a pedigree-less yard dog waiting on an adoption list. slightly higher chances of getting those exhausts wagging their tails than winning an American Idol orchestarted by a purist brit. name the lot an international exhibition of look-alikes like one on Discovery channel. Add some rethink-american blue-red ribbons and put those cars on rollers so you could make a constant spin right out of american revolution. Instead of Discount or `clearance` nail a note reading `For saving rainforests reimbursement`! Even having a dealer lot bigger than the central square in Beijing with tightly packed Silverados worth of zillion light years of supply, murmur that you are selling the last ones, and the ones you see ,just incidentally popped in for a family reunion or Nation-wide Silverado days. let the customers waggle down the price , while you silently shrink the standard` list, and while signing the contract with the right hand, use your left hand to remove cd-player, i-pod hubs, leather upholstery, or chromed scuff plates. lie your bosses that the supply days is equal to the warranty and the longer the supply the longer the warranty:)))))))))))))))))))

  • avatar
    Ken Strumpf

    Jeep had 11 sales per dealer in October

    I don’t understand. How can any dealer make money on two sales per week? Even if service and used cars can support the dealership how does a salesperson survive? I’m wondering what would be a reasonable monthly sales total for a mainstream dealership.

  • avatar
    carguy

    trtl5000 – since the MINI offers a whole host of customizable options, many customers choose to have their MINI custom built rather than buy an existing unit from the inventory. Thus the dealers often quote the wait for a custom built unit – they also like to perpetuate the idea that MINIs are difficult to get hold of.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    How can any dealer make money on two sales per week?

    Service and used cars sales. Many domestic dealerships are really just glorified used car lots with repair shops.

  • avatar
    Ken Strumpf

    Service and used cars sales. Many domestic dealerships are really just glorified used car lots with repair shops. The sales people must be dying though.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The sales people must be dying though.

    Most do, regardless. They’re on commission and they tend not to last, irrespective of where they work. Longevity in car sales is a rare trait.

  • avatar

    Ken — Because Jeep dealers aren’t just Jeep dealers — they also tend to be Chrysler or Chrysler/Dodge dealers. And in these days of megadealerships, the guy who owns a J/C/D franchise might well own the Honda and BMW dealerships down the street.

  • avatar
    26theone

    Once the US holidays start hitting (next week) I would think car purchases would plummet. Most people are unloading their bank accounts for holiday gifts…

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Any data on the supply of the Corvette? I had always heard that they sell quickly once at the dealership, so I would assume a nearly just-in-time model?? I know that can’t be, because this is GM we’re talking here.

  • avatar
    68stang

    Maybe I can look forward too discounts on a new Mustang when I’m done school, if Ford hasn’t folded by then. Speaking of Solstices (Solstii?) I counted 7 at the local pontiac/gmc/ mega dealership while waiting for the skytrain the other day. And they haven’t moved in a while, but I usually see alot of Miatas, including new ones driving around the city.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    @Pch101

    Most do, regardless. They’re on commission and they tend not to last, irrespective of where they work. Longevity in car sales is a rare trait.

    True. I looked into a car sales job 12+ years ago (when I had more enthusiasm for cars than wisdom). A Mazda & BMW dealer had a car sales ‘consultant’ in to ‘screen’ applicants with a 2 day (free) sales course – I guess in order to get a better type of car salesman. He said there were 2 types of auto sales in the US – selling the ‘deal’ and selling the ‘car’. He drove an Accord.

    Nice guy, actually. I bailed after a 1/2 day – I knew it wasn’t for me. It was interesting though – he noted the oddness of local market – domestic UAW area – and the number one dealer in the area was a venerable large suburban Lincoln/Mercury dealership.

    That dealership just closed for good.

  • avatar

    jkross22 :
    Any data on the supply of the Corvette?

    At the end of October, they had 8900 units on hand. That’s a 93-day supply.

  • avatar
    dean

    68stang: was that the Brentwood station you were at? It’s the only station I can think of near a big GM stealership.

    Many of these inventory numbers aren’t surprising. Most of the bad examples are niche products, so it is to be expected that they might be slow moving.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Frank:Could you please post what the field stock is on the Impala and the Lacrosse?

  • avatar

    mikey:
    Could you please post what the field stock is on the Impala and the Lacrosse?

    Impala: 44,100 units, 55 days
    LaCrosse: 11,800 units, 98 days

  • avatar
    Eric_Stepans

    The broader picture painted by these numbers is that A) There is a major capacity glut and/or B) We’re headed for a recession.

    I suspect a *lot* of people are postponing new car purchases while waiting to see just how many limbs their ARM-reset will remove…:-P…

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “The sales people must be dying though.”

    Sales people generally make more money selling a used car than they do a new car. As for the Detroit dealerships, in generally they are still moving a respectable number of trucks and SUVs. So between used vehicles and trucks the few good Detroit branded salespeople are making an ok living.

    Just as in real estate, there is a small core of experienced professional automotive salespeople who do ok for themselves and have a loyal customer base. Then there is the revolving door of newbies who don’t last.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Thanks Frank, Impala production is moving into the Buick plant on a 3 shift basis Jan 1.Rumor had it we were gonna lose 3rd shift.With Dec being a down month for retooling inventory should balance out.
    With Impalas numbers like that we should keep 3rd,hey maybe even get some Sat. OT. Great info Frank.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    A 27-day supply of Lexus cars? What’s the story here? Does Toyota intentionally squeeze the pipe or are the cars selling faster than Toyota can build them?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    A 27-day supply of Lexus cars? What’s the story here? Does Toyota intentionally squeeze the pipe or are the cars selling faster than Toyota can build them?

    It’s called good inventory management. They don’t build product that they can’t sell. One of the benefits of operating flexible production lines is that it is possible to adjust production in response to demand, rather than just building it in the hopes that they will come.

    Lexus and BMW are both masters of efficiently managing inventories. It’s one of the key reasons that they are so profitable, and why their retail sales prices and residuals tend to remain high.

  • avatar

    Cicero : A 27-day supply of Lexus cars? What’s the story here? Does Toyota intentionally squeeze the pipe or are the cars selling faster than Toyota can build them? In the first 10 months of this year, Lexus sold 269,775 vehicles in the U.S. As a comparison, Cadillac sold 176,249 vehicles in the same amount of time and VW of America sold 271,577 VWs, Audis, and Bentleys combined.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    These inventory editorials are always interesting.

    Do you happen to have the numbers for the German automakers as well? I’m primarily wondering how VW is doing…

  • avatar
    Paul Milenkovic

    I went into a Ford dealership, gosh, it seems like 10 weeks ago, and I sat down with a sales person and said that I wanted a New Taurus that had 1) red color, 2) stability control, 3) backup sensor, and 4) FWD, not AWD. I gave the man my phone number and told him to call me if he could find that combination in inventory in Southern Wisconsin.

    Can you believe it, I am still waiting by the phone and no call. I guess Ford will sell you a car if your name is Phil or Greg, but they don’t have a Paul in their marketing profile.

  • avatar

    Qusus : Mercedes – 41 days supply (no model breakout) Audi – 73 cars, 35 trucks (Q7) VW – 110 days cars, 94 trucks (Touareg) BMW- 21 to 25 days Porsche – 46 cars, 22 trucks (Cayenne) VW – 109 total 

  • avatar
    confused1096

    Just a thought on dealers making money. Does it seem like domestic auto parts from the dealer have gotten a lot more expensive in the last two or three years? The last couple of times I’ve been to a Ford dealer the prices were just painful.

  • avatar
    RobertSD

    I haven’t really noticed a change in domestic auto part prices, but I constantly get ravaged by the prices at my Honda dealer, so I might just be desensitized at this point.

    This inventory data, however, highlights one reason why Ford and GM need to consolidate dealers. A 102-day supply of Tauruses based on sales numbers last month gives 4 Tauruses to each dealer. Whereas, say, an estimated 45-day supply of Camrys gives each Toyota dealer over 20 Camrys. The ability to find what you want is still a critical component. And I guarantee they won’t have your configuration among the 4 Tauruses or 1.5 Enclaves or 3 Acadias on the lot.

  • avatar
    bleach

    The VW numbers aren’t surprising. A few years ago when the prior generation of Passats and Jettas were attractive and reasonably priced, the local dealer sold about 40 a month. When I bought my GTI earlier in the year, they were down to 12 sales a month. That particular month on the last day of the month the manager was happy to hit double digits as I represented sale number 10.

    Touareg needs a refreshening, Passat and Jetta need to be rethought completely and not priced at a premium to domestics/japanese. Golf needs a more frugal powerplant.

  • avatar
    bleach

    RobertSD,

    I realize the lack of selection is a drawback when it comes to showing up and leaving with the car but is it going to keep people from buying? I haven’t driven away with the configuration/color I wanted with my last 3 purchases. They always involved a dealer swap with a final test drive of the actual vehicle.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Several weeks ago for grins I used carsdirect.com to price out similarly equipped FWD 2007 Ford Five Hundred Limited vs. a 2008 Taurus Limited. The price premium then for getting the newer version was over $3000. Today I did the comparison again and the 2008 was only $400 more than the 2007.

    I suspect that part of the reason for the slow launch of the 2008 Taurus was that huge discount for those who took the old version instead. Ford seems to have realized the error of their ways and has back way off on the incentives for the Five Hundred while putting some on the Taurus.

    It is a shame that Ford is doing such a horrible job of marketing it’s top sedan as the car represents one of the best values on the market today, just as the original Taurus did in 1985.

  • avatar

    I’ll second that, jthorner, the new Taurus is quite possibly the best value-for-money American sedan out there. The badge on the front, though, there’s the real scary part of it.

  • avatar
    hltguy

    This explains why I see so many freakin’ new cars sitting on dealer lots in Bakersfield, Ca. where I live. There are just acres and acres of metal, stuffed in front lots, back lots, across the street from dealers etc. I have wondered aloud to people how in the world will they sell all those cars, particularly when there must be fifty used car lots not affiliated with new car dealers, in this town. And yes it seems the domestic dealers have the largest stockpile. I drive by one particular dealership nearly daily as part of my normal drive, they have had the same new trucks collecting dust in their back lot for months.
    A smart buyer who won’t fall for the crap lines of the sale people can cut a deal and a half on a new car now.
    On a side note, a humorous bumper sticker I saw on the back of a Honda Element this morning:
    “Hummer Escape Pod”

  • avatar
    Seth L

    But where are these stocks? Last summer I was shopping for a truck, looking for models with high supplys, but was consistently told
    “We can’t that”
    “We only have [these few] on the lot.”
    “They’re not in the computer.”

    Sure the slaesguys were probably lying or couldn’t care less, but it seems like in the Pacific NW, supplies are better controlled.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    I plan on ordering my next car from the factory – unless they can work out a dealer trade for the exact car I want.

    Most dealers are geared towards the instant gratification crowd – I tend to keep my cars a long time, so I can wait for exactly what I want.

    Of course, a huge discount could change my mind.

  • avatar
    Point Given

    Ken St…As a former car salesman yes, it’s tough when things are slow. The dealership I was at (Nissan) was fast paced and sold tons of new cars. Most were given away at a few hundred over invoice which earned a “flat” commission of $150. I was selling 15ish per month, maybe 3 or 4 were used (I was really bad with used cars) but I made most of my money on those few used. Some sales people were consistently earning 10k/month on used cars. Typical markup on an altima was about 2,000 and that almost always got beat down in negotiation. Used cars typically had 4000 in markup in them.

    The reply that said that the sales floor is made up of a couple of true professionals and lots of newbies that don’t last is completely accurate.

    I think that the numbers for the sports cars/convertibles might be seasonally higher as the dealership I was at really backed off them for winter. SER’s and 350z’s were almost never in stock during the winter months. It’s never easy to accurately predict demand and those days in stock number is all dependant on the sales rate at the moment. If they slapped a rebate of 5k on an Element do you think it’d still be 100+ days?

  • avatar
    AGR

    All manufacturers shipped vehicles to dealers in October. The overall inventory went from a 59 day supply on Oct 1, to a 69 day supply on Nov 1, the day supply increased by 10 days during Oct. for a total of 3.29M vehicles on the ground.

    Certain manufacturers have a rational supply chain, others have a less rational supply chain.

  • avatar
    Jason

    I guess all the quality issues Toyota is struggling with as of late on V6 Camrys, Avalons, some Lexus car (model?) and the Tundra are not having an effect on their dealer supplies? I live in the Tidewater (Hampton Roads metro area) region of VA, and I’ve haven’t seen any of the new (fatty) second gen Scion xBs or new xDs on the road (I don’t know about the lot – I avoid car dealers as much as possible!). The old xB is everywhere (on the road), but no new Scions are anywhere to be found (lot or road). Also, starting to see a few ungodly jumbo Accords on the road, but the revised version of the last gen with the square butt is still the one seen everywhere. But, Fits started appearing everywhere a week after it debuted in America, and it was supposed to be scarce since it was imported from Japan. What’s amazing is that the prehistoric Toyota Corolla jellybeam-mobile is still selling like crazy, I don’t understand that one…

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    The Corolla formula is very simple….

    40 mpg + 250,000 miles + comfortable ride = 300,000+ sales

    Now most of the Corollas won’t ever actually reach a 40 mpg level, and most will sell well before the driver ever even sees 150k…. but, the Corolla is still seen as a top value when it comes to reliable and comfortable transportation.

    The current generation Corolla, and the late generation Camry, are also two of the most widely accepted car designs of the last ten years. There are very few cars that can appeal to certain 25 year olds and 80 year olds, and these just happen to be two of them.

    BTW, I think the Corolla in particular has done an awful lot to make economical cars more appealing to the mass of car buyers. Most folks don’t think of compacts as little tinny cars anymore. The Corolla, and other well designed compact vehicles such as the Elantra and Civic, come with a level of safety and features that were equivalent to most midsized vehicles of five years ago. That’s an amazing achievement given hhow decontented all these vehicles were back in 2002.

    Overall, the Corolla is arguably the most mainstream compact in America today and in time, it may even outsell the Camry if Toyota decides to push the later model to a higher price class. As time goes on, Camrys are now becoming more like the Buicks of days yore and the Corolla is gradually becoming the equivalent to a Chevy.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    The Corolla is the perfect car for people who don’t really care much about their car other than that it do it’s job well, cheaply and with minimum hassle. For many people the car is for getting to where things are going to happen, the journey is just something to put up with.

    Hopefully Toyota doesn’t make a mess of the Corolla with it’s next redesign. The last two generations of Camry have been worse vehicles than their predecessors. De-contented like crazy.

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    Hey Jason,

    I live in the same area, I’ve seen a few new xB’s and one xD in the Ghent area of Norfolk. Ironcially, they are all being piloted by middle aged or older individuals. THe only scion I see many young people in is the Tc. I do see a few more yarises and fits running around though and a lot of Honda Elements.

    On a side note, I think that the corolla will continue to sell well as many people think the yaris is too small to be safe and don’t look at Scions.

  • avatar
    ApexAlex

    Steven Lang:

    BTW, I think the Corolla in particular has done an awful lot to make economical cars more appealing to the mass of car buyers. Most folks don’t think of compacts as little tinny cars anymore. The Corolla, and other well designed compact vehicles such as the Elantra and Civic, come with a level of safety and features that were equivalent to most midsized vehicles of five years ago. That’s an amazing achievement given how decontented all these vehicles were back in 2002.

    Good analysis Steven, and imo, you are completely correct!
    in 2002, i considered trading my ’00 focus for a new corolla. finally decided against it, due to the design being decent but meh! and the dealer not willing to deal very much. i basically just dismissed corollas then.

    in 2005, it just happened that my bank was auctioning a 2003 corolla LE, and i picked it up after getting a great price.

    it quickly GREW ON ME. it looked A WHOLE WORLD BETTER than the ’02. altho’ i knew the “wood trim” was fake plastic, it DID look good. and IT DOES impress passengers who don’t know it’s fake. along with the dash lighting and other features, the car actually looks like a mini-Lexus! (not true of ’04 and later models, with re-positioned logo and cheaper looking grill).

    unlike ALL other compacts that focus on boyracerish style, this corolla looks far more mature and UPSCALE. the classy C-pillar directly links it to larger Camries and even (yes)Lexuses. (this holds true even with the later models)

    and yes, i did get 40 mpg, in MIXED driving. (which does drop to low/mid-30s on trips when i can’t keep it below 75-80 mph.)

    the ONLY thing the focus had this car didn’t, was superior handling on the twisties. but a mere tire and wheel upgrade not only fixed that, but put my corolla AHEAD now! (granted, the stock focus would’ve benefited too with a like upgrade.)(and the fat tires have cost me a few mpg.)

    people who diss the corolla simply DON’T UNDERSTAND. they assume everybody wants a small car to be a boyracer. and/or LOOK like an econobox.

    the corolla is the super econobox that LOOKS LIKE a mini luxury car. an unbeatable combination that explains its sales success, DESPITE being ‘long in the tooth.’

  • avatar
    ApexAlex

    jthorner:

    …the car is for getting to where things are going to happen, the journey is just something to put up with.

    WRONG!

    as i said, this corolla actually HANDLES BETTER than the ford focus now!

    the fact that in slate gray, my corolla truly does look like a mini-Lexus from the front and in profile makes me PROUD to drive it too. i DO ENJOY driving it, ALL THE TIME.

    after deciding against the ’02 model, i briefly considered the mazda3. with a platform that superceded the german designed focus’, it supposedly handled even better.

    but the looks of the mazda3 did not really turn me on. and mazdas do not have the bulletproof reliability of toyotas.

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