Chart Of The Day: Does Age Matter? Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
chart of the day does age matter edition

Ignore the commas in the X-axis labeling, and you’ll see that this graph compares total sales volume for last year against each model’s year-of-introduction as we hunt for the missing links between product cadence and sales performance. Above, you can see that none of the major D-Segment competitors was introduced before 2007, and that newness alone is not linked to sales volume. In fact, in the D-Segment, volume seems to decrease with newness (although historical data indicates that this is a brand-loyalty issue rather than a consumer preference for older vehicles). Moreover, it appears that more recent introductions are merely narrowing the competitive gaps in the midsized sedan segment (although we’ll need new Accord and Camry replacements to tell if that trend is for real).

The compact segment, on the other hand, shows a far less surprising correlation between year-of-introduction and sales, as sales grow in a fairly consistent manner as you move across the x axis from older to newer nameplates. The major lesson from these graphs: Honda and Toyota continue to enjoy a “reverse perception gap” in which their aging models tend to most dramatically defy volume expectations relative to the age of the competition. But with more competition coming this year, as Chevy’s Cruze, Hyundai’s Elantra and Ford’s Focus come into the market, the consumer’s tendency to give Honda and Toyota “the benefit of the doubt” could well be tested. And once perceptions start shifting, there’s no telling where they might end up.

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  • Slance66 Slance66 on Jan 24, 2011

    I agree with John Horner. The other fact missing here is the effectiveness of the new model. 2008 Accord was a nice improvement over the prior. The 2010 Fusion fixed a very ugly front end on the prior and an outdated interior. The Malibu got better, but was just less far behind than before. The 2007 Camry? It got bigger and uglier. The Altima just got bigger and looks the same. The Sonata change was truly dramatic in every way, inside, outside, drivetrain. New only helps when it helps. Ford was smart. The shape and size was good. The headlights and interior were not. So they fixed what was broken. There are few innovations needed now. You can no longer buy a new car because it has ABS and your old one doesn't. Maybe the iPod connection is similar, but for the most part, cars today have everything needed and then some.

  • Bufguy Bufguy on Jan 24, 2011

    For the record, the Altima actually got slightly smaller in exterior dimensions from the previous generation. Other than that the years appear to be meaningless. The Camry and Accord have been sales leaders for years...When they introduce new models this will probably continue. What the graph fails to note because of its short time duration is that 5-6 years ago Chevy and Ford were hardly players....The vastly improved Malibu and the second generation Fusion have proven the Americans are now players.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂