Ford, GM and Chrysler's Market Share Still Slip Sliding Away

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

You may recall (or continue to choose not to if you work in Motown) that 2007 marked the first year when more U.S. new car buyers shopped for Asian than American brands. The trend continues. Automotive News had a look at J.D. Powers’ recent stats on the subject and provide the takeaway: “The Asian edge grew in 2008, with 63 percent of buyers considering Asian cars and 55 percent American cars.” Yes, there’s overlap. And yes, “consideration” led to sales. “In a survey of nearly 30,000 new-car buyers conducted between May and July, J.D. Power found that Asian vehicles won out for 58 percent of buyers who considered both American and Asian new cars, up from 55 percent in 2007. Only 40 percent of consumers looking at cars from both regions chose American autos, down from 43 percent last year.” It gets worse. A lot worse. “Those who decided on American products cited a desire to buy American and the incentives that U.S. carmakers offer as their top two reasons for choosing an American brand. Those who bought an Asian vehicle cited better retained value, reliability and gas mileage as their top three reasons for choosing a car from that region, according to the survey.” And worse. “Consumers cited high prices, high monthly payments and low gas mileage as their top three reasons for rejecting a vehicle, the survey found.”

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Sep 26, 2008

    Campisi-while what you say is true you can always apply a historical scale like that. You could say that '60s Italian cars were so much better than French cars of 1910. Small comfort. These companies have to compete in the present. Keep in mind that on older cars many repairs were quick, simple and inexpensive. Today even relatively "minor" repairs can can run up $$$ fast. The public has voted with their $$$ in recent years and they increasingly go with reliability even with a substantial price premium. The Debt 3 has failed to see (the blinding obvious) criteria that the public wants with predictable results. Cheerio, Bunter

  • Campisi Campisi on Sep 26, 2008
    ... while what you say is true you can always apply a historical scale like that. You could say that ’60s Italian cars were so much better than French cars of 1910. Small comfort. I was thinking more along the lines of a GTV6 or a Series Three Spider (mid-Eighties cars), but my point remains valid. Nothing on sale in the U.S. market today is as unreliable as the sorts of vehicles that drove the domestics further into the ground even as recently as the mid-Nineties.
  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 05, 2008

    Campisi, So? Why do I want to settle for second-best? By the way, labor rates and parts prices are up. "Not as reliable" can easily become "much more expensive." And, more than ever, we rely on our cars. Sprawl has seen to that. Who wants something less than first-class reliability when you work 20+ miles from your home and the dealer is 15+ miles in a different direction? Add in the kind of warranty "service" that menno encountered and you've got a situation people will pay to avoid. And they do.

  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 05, 2008

    monkeyboy: "Honestly now people. Would most of the readers here really know if a Asian vehicle was indeed actually better than a domestic without the pontifornicators saying they were first?" What do you expect us to do? Operate a fleet of several hundred sedans before picking the winner and then buy that? I've had several different makes of cars... one - Toyota - has been solid value in the kind of car I want. Pure luck? Maybe. But it's the right kind of luck. I'm buying more of them. There's also independent agencies compiling stats on cars and this is valuable information. I have also discovered that I get more for my money if I take CR's advice. I plan to do it more often.