By on August 10, 2011

Chevy’s Cruze dominated the compact segment last month, racking up a 7k unit advantage over its next-closest rival, the Corolla. Corolla and Civic were the two biggest losers year-over-year, as tsunami related supply issues hold them back. Civic even dropped to sixth in its class, while Jetta (which could almost be classified as midsized) and Elantra snuck past it and towards the falling Corolla. Mazda3 beat Sentra, which in turn beat the Forte… so all in all, a strange month for a class that seemed to be lacking a real leader in the early months of this year. But if you look at the YTD numbers in the second chart (see gallery below, sadly not in “old codger-friendly” format), you’ll find that the Corolla is hanging onto first (for the moment), Civic is about 6k units behind the second-place Cruze and Elantra in fourth place. So there’s some familiarity left in the class that was once ruled by the Corolla and Civic… but don’t expect it to last too much longer, unless a lot of people are simply waiting for their Japanese brands to get restocked. In any case, the competition has never been more fierce.

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

97 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Compact Cars In July And Year-To-Date...”


  • avatar

    So, is the Cruze for real? Does it have the fundamental soundness that’ll keep it on top of the heap. Or will people flock back to Japs if they can get ttheir act together (pricing, options, design) after tsunami? I also find that with all the noise on the web that the Elantra is just 4th. Are some people still holding out on Hyundai?

    • 0 avatar
      SecretAznMan

      Maybe Guidos will make a comeback. But time will tell if Honkies in bowties have a hit on their hands. Any other ethnic groups we can offend???

      • 0 avatar
        dejal

        Just don’t say the N word about Germans and it’s all good.

        Ignorance is no excuse, contributor or not.
        Being a Brazzi (Abacax) is beside the point.

        I prefer Cracker to Honkie myself, but will answer to Polack.

      • 0 avatar
        SecretAznMan

        Well, this PSA was a complete failure…

      • 0 avatar
        blppt

        “Just don’t say the N word about Germans and it’s all good. ”

        Nah, they’re the Krauts. :)

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        So, anytime a GI came across North Koreans, they would hear them shout ‘Migook! Migook!’

        *****

        I think it had more to do w/ South Korean children pointing at GIs and shouting that.

        The Elantra is only spending on avg. 6 days on dealer lots, so I’d say that Hyundai dealers are moving them as fast as they can.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      “With all the noise on the web . . . the Elantra is just 4th.”

      I think the new Hyundai designs are polarizing. Conservative buyers would not want that radical styling, hence the success of new Jetta and Cruze. It would be interesting to see how the Elantra and Focus fare when they’re at full production.

      And what’s a derogatory term for Koreans? You guys insulted everyone except those kimchi-breath gooks.

      Respectfully yours,
      Knuckle Dragging Moran

      • 0 avatar

        How did I insult anyone in my post? By writing Japs? Ain”t that like Brits? Or Frenchie? If it’s insulting it sure wasn’t intentional…

        And you can calls Brazilians by the term Brasuca or Brasa. We take no offence. Now if you call us cucarachas…

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        @Marcelo

        Sometimes the B&B get their hackles up over the term. There was actually a mini war on a thread a couple of months back about the use of the term. Its been used a couple of times since then an not one peep, until today, of course. Don’t worry about it.

      • 0 avatar
        gogogodzilla

        The origin of the term ‘gook’ came from the fact that the Korean term for American is ‘Migook’.

        So, anytime a GI came across North Koreans, they would hear them shout ‘Migook! Migook!’

        And considering the average Joe didn’t (and still doesn’t) know Korean, what he heard was a bunch of North Koreans shouting ‘Me Gook! Me Gook!’

        And Joe went ahead and obliged them all.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        With all due respect, it’s properly spelled “moron”.

    • 0 avatar
      ppxhbqt

      Hyundai just doesn’t have the capacity to sell any more. Plus there was a model year changeover during this period, reducing inventory even more. There were only like 1,700 (excluding Tourings) in cars.com’s inventory on the first of this month (it’s up to over 2,100 now). So it’s the same issue Ford’s having with the Focus: building enough.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Focus is supply-constrained? That does seem shocking, given that the sales are DOWN compared to the paleolithic 2010 model.

        And the story doesn’t look so credible for Elantra, either, as sales are up only 20%.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The reason sales are down is because of the production constraint. The supplier who makes the dashboard has had some sort of equipment failure which has resulted in Ford having to import dashboards from Europe just to keep the line moving.

        There are also shortages on navigation systems on the Focus as well as many other Ford models (which may have something to do with parts coming out of Japan that were impacted by the tsunami).

      • 0 avatar

        Looking at a single month can be misleading. If sales for a model are slow for a few months, and inventories build up, then incentives are then bumped to clear out inventories–presto, big month. If inventories are high, it’s possible for sales to greatly exceed production for a month or two.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        In addition to what others said, you also have to consider that the 2010 Focus was cheaper with better incentives, both of which generally help move sales. I’m sure the suits up in Dearborn are more than happy to accept ~1000 less Focuses(Foci?)sold in exchange for a much higher transaction price (~$5000 higher according to a post here a few days ago)

      • 0 avatar
        ppxhbqt

        Uhmmm, no, Elantra sales are up 36% YTD over ’10. As for the Focus, for June, when inventories were better, it was 41% over ’10. For May the number was up about 32%. There’s plenty of evidence Elantra truly are in demand.

      • 0 avatar
        vbofw

        Thanks for clarifying Nullo. Pretty obvious answer but th009 seems to be getting his chicken and egg screwed up. (or is it the egg and chicken?)

        My local Ford dealer has had my contact information for 6 weeks, knowing full well that I’m going to pay MSRP or very close for a Titanium, as soon as he gets one in. In any color except yellow. He has not called me in those 6 weeks or even sent an email.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        And it seems every new model Ford introduces lately has availability problems and this really effects the sales number initially.

        Then, once everything is ramped up and production catches up with demand, or the weather or train problems (Fiesta Mexican problem), the cars begins showing up for purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      Marcelo, it’s an offensive term in the US due to its rather negative use in the past. If you’re not in the US then I understand the confusion. If you are then we can’t stop you, but arguing that it’s a logical contraction of “Japanese” won’t change the way it’s perceived by people on the receiving end of its darker uses.

      There’s also some disbelief that 8-letter words are too long to type in full. What should we use in lieu of “American”?

      • 0 avatar
        gogogodzilla

        Yank? Reb?

        The Germans say ‘Ami’ for American…

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        You know…it is very difficult to learn these PC rules.
        Almost as silly as the rules to English itself.
        I before E except after C…whatever.

        Nobody can use the N word…’cept some of the very people who find it hurtful.
        Ever listen to a black comedian?
        Awful!

        My friends, however, are allowed to call me any name as long as I know we are using them in humor.
        I am the Dago, Wap(never did know how to spell this), Grease Ball…it’s all good.
        They are terms of endearment when used properly.

    • 0 avatar
      SecretAznMan

      Marcelo,

      Please see carlisimo’s well written response. My post was just a half heartedly attempt to make folks aware that Japs is not considered an appropriate abbreviation. No panties were in a bunch. You seem to honestly be unaware. They key is to learn and not say it’s just too tough and not try.

    • 0 avatar
      smd1234

      when he wrote “Or will people flock back to Japs if they…”

      anyone w/ a brain read that as
      “Or will people flock back to Japanese cars if they…”

      too bad the PC police are ever ready to waste bandwidth.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    GM better hope the Cruz is good so some repeat orders come in it looks a winner with no Corollas around

  • avatar
    SV

    The Focus looks like it put in a poor performance this month, but I’m guessing it’s almost entirely due to the dashboard supplier debacle that’s been going on, seeing how strongly the new Focus was doing in previous months.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Ford dealers are now feeling what Hyundai dealers went through with the launch of the new Sonata – demand dramatically out-pacing production capability.

      It could be limited to certain markets, but what I’m seeing goes hand in hand with what another poster mentioned is happening in Texas – the high trim option Foci are the ones people want. SE models with the 203A spec (cruise, Sync, and Sirius) are the lowest spec that seems to be in wide demand, with many people wanting Sport package models, SELs, or Titaniums. It could have been the way my dealer ordered, or it could have been Ford predicting demand for more inexpensive models vs top spec, but we have a couple base SE sedans sitting on the lot while customers are happy to pay full sticker to order or have us dealer-trade in a Titanium or SEL hatchback.

      • 0 avatar
        John Horner

        I’m not surprised Ford got caught unawares if many compact buyers are going for loaded versions of the car. That certainly isn’t what any experienced product planner would have predicted in this segment.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        @NulloModo:

        <—raises hand
        I just checked the Ford site, and they have a very few SEs with the Sport Package that just came in earlier this week. The surprising thing is, there are almost NO 2012 Civics on the road here. And they have them in stock, they're just not selling. And with the Dallas area being as Honda-crazed as it is, I think that's a really bad sign for Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Every launch (for all automakers), there are usually production/mix contraints put in place so the supply base can catch up with phase 3 PPAP (run @ rates, etc). After every part is fully PPAP’d, you go straight to demand based production. There’s many contraints that can delay this and they’re usually all design related :)

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        I’m wondering if full-content Focus models are cannibalizing sales of bigger more expensive models. Any thoughts on this NulloModo?

        I suspect that this might be a real trend, Focus capturing Fusion customers, Fusion capturing Taurus customers, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        Oddly, this is what I would expect from the Focus. If you want a stripper, get an Elantra or Cruze. But if you want an upscale small car, with good mileage and driving characteristics, the Focus is the car you’ve been waiting for. Europeans have purchased upscale small cars for years, the U.S. is just catching on.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    With hatchbacks finally gaining ground in the US market the disparity between the Golf and the Jetta on these charts is all you need to see how VW’s decontenting and upsizing gamble worked out for them.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    A woman at work has a new Jetta. From a “decontented” standpoint it is still a heck of a lot nicer inside than even the larger Camry’s in the parking lot. The 2.5 is an odd engine, but people who buy a new Jetta probably don’t care too much, one way or the other.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Chevrolet on top, VW at number three and Honda way back at number six. Wow, this segment of the market has undergone a radical shake up!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      That shaking was the tectonic plate under Japan. The Cruze and Jetta are only better than the Sentra in this class.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        How many more months are we going to be subjected to the “tsunami excuse” before it’s universally recognized as an intellectually bankrupt position?

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Probably until Japan gets its power grid to the point where factories aren’t going through rolling blackouts.

        By the way, if you want to show a position as being “intellectually bankrupt”, try producing data rather than a pithy one-liner.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yes but that Tsunami is also holding back Focus production since the models in demand are those with the screens that come from a Japanese supplier that was affected. So that “it’s because of the Tsunami” sword cut a pretty wide swath. Ford also stopped production of the Fusion Hybrid due to supply issues.

    • 0 avatar
      jplew138

      @CJinSD:

      That shaking you hear is the chickens coming home to roost for Toyota and Honda getting by on reputation for years now. This story, although about Chevy in the late sixties/early seventies, does a fine job explaining what’s happening at those two companies right now.

      http://ateupwithmotor.com/family-cars/147-mister-average-chevy-impala.html

  • avatar
    ppxhbqt

    Why isn’t the Soul in the YTD chart yet the Cube and xB are? All are in the same EPA size class and at 65,118 it’d be in 8th place.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The Cruze is very sharp looking car in white. From the side I thought it was a 1-series BMW!

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I fully expected to see something big happening with the Cruz sales numbers…it is everywhere here in SE MO.
    I am glad as well…I think it realy looks clean and sharp.
    When I get time I will try to test the turbo.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Around W WA I’m just not seeing them. I’ve seen very few on the streets. I work very near the rail yard where GM and Chrysler vehicles are unloaded and stored till they go out on trucks and I’m not seeing them there either. A couple of times I’ve see a 1/2 dozen or so but that’s it.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The sales of the Cruze show that Chevy dealers still know how to sell cars if you give them a competitive car to sell. Heck, they sell pretty good quantities of of the models that aren’t so competitive.

    I test drove the Cruze and I liked it. The Eco model is especially competitive. (I got 41 mpg mixed in the manual when I was driving for fuel economy.) Later I test-drove a 2012 Focus, but traffic was so heavy that day that I got a better feeling for how it crawled than how it moved.

    Give some credit to those GM workers in Lordstown for cranking Cruzes out at a rapid pace, and as far as I can tell, keeping the quality up.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    Apparently, I have greatly underestimated Americans obsession with 2 inches of extra rear seat legroom and sedans. VW did not make this over site. The sales success of the new Jetta over the old GTI/Golf/Sportwagen is depressing. I was literally appalled at how cheap and plasticy the interior of the new Jetta is, not to mention it’s completely anonymous styling and mediocre performance.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Although, on the other hand, the Cruze and Focus both have rather small rear seats for their class and have been selling quite well (excepting the Ford’s supply-constraint issues). The Focus is reportedly even selling something like 40/60 hatch/sedan. So it’s not all bad.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I’d wager a lot of the new Jetta enthusiasm also comes from the lower price (or at least the price that’s perceived to be lower).

        Ford and Chevy are putting out ads focusing on the quality and feature improvements in the new models, while the Jetta ads all seem to boil down to ‘it’s bigger and cheaper!’. The success of the Focus and Cruze show that a lot of American buyers are willing to pay for a high quality small car, but the success of the Jetta goes hand in hand with the US love of AYCE buffets and McMansion tract homes.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        It should also be mentioned that when Volkswagen talks about a lower price, it really only applies to the base 2.0 5-speed models. The SELs are roughly the same price as last year’s Jetta.

      • 0 avatar
        vbofw

        No doubt the Jetta success is price-based. A lot of lower income buyers for years have considered VW a premium product, out of their reach. Then voila, the new version is bigger, and priced within their reach.

        Like I think Baruth wrote about a month or two ago, how long does this last, before VW is considered a cheaper brand in the US, and people no longer percieve the car as excellent values? Or do enough Americans just not sweat the little details so it’s a perma-value?

    • 0 avatar

      A few days ago, there was a short segment on CNN about stuff that is actually cheaper these days vs everything else that is more expensive, they did mention the VW lowering price on some models, they did not specify that VW is degrading car quality.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Nah, they’re the Krauts. :)

    It’s Jerrys, silly.

    Yay for the Jetta, Cruze and Focus. And where some see the Jetta as boring and derivative, others see simple and classy. Ought to age well. That they gave more rear legroom is commendable; that was certainly a criticism of the previous gen. VW’s albatross is going to proving their reliability is up to snuff.

    Personally, with all the screaming about the bland new Passat, I see a very stoic, simple euro design. Works for some.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      See…I agree.
      I think the new look of the Jetta is clean, almost Audi like in the rear.
      In fact, I often mistook it for an Audi initially when I caught the rear look.

      It seems trying to design a car, you damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
      It too clean…
      It too complicated…

      Back seat is very small.
      The back seat doesn’t have enough room!
      The last reminds me of the poor Mazda6.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Have you personally sat in the new Jetta? There is nothing “classy” about Tupperware shiny interior bits, hard plastic where your elbows go, visible casting edges on plastic trim pieces, flimsy levers for the seat recline, etc…

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @Ubermensch, have you sat in the new Focus SE? I have had two for rental cars so far, and in spite of the buzz about the upscale interior, I’d swear that it has just as much hard plastic as the new Jetta.

  • avatar

    With all the noise on the web the Elantra is just 4th.

    i really thought the Elantra would do way better than the Cruze and the Focus but here in NYC, I see way more Focuses and Cruzes than Elantras.

    I guess those Conservascum talking points about the Big 3 are pretty much null huh?

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Check the Cruzes and even a fair number of the Focuses for rental bar stickers. Then check out the number of Civics, for example, sold to rental companies and get back to us.

      And any company can succeed if, a. the federal government wipes out all of the debt and hands over large sums of taxpayer money to it, and b. two of the major competitors have a fair amount of their production capacity crippled by a natural disaster. Hardly proves that the critics of the bailout are wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        “RENTALS!!!” has now taken on the level of a Pavlovian response for critics of most domestic makes. Show them data indicating increased sales or increased market share for any domestic maker and “FLEET SALES!!!” will immediately be shrieked, regardless of reality. The other thing is that if rental car companies don’t want to buy your products, it’s nothing to be proud of. The reason rental companies don’t buy Civics is because they are terrible value for the money, not because they are some kind of golden idol.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        “RENTALS!!!” has now taken on the level of a Pavlovian response for critics of most domestic makes. Show them data indicating increased sales or increased market share for any domestic maker and “FLEET SALES!!!” will immediately be shrieked, regardless of reality.

        The reality is that, so far, the Cruze has relied more on fleet sales than the Civic has. Some number crunching has been done – and not by critics of domestics – and it generally agreed that, so far, at least 15 percent of Cruze sales are to fleets.

        PintoFan; The other thing is that if rental car companies don’t want to buy your products, it’s nothing to be proud of.

        No, you have it backwards. If a manufacturer has to sell a large portion of production to rental car companies to keep the lines running, it shows that model is not as desirable as it could be among RETAIL buyers, who tend to be choosier and harder to please.

        PintoFan: The reason rental companies don’t buy Civics is because they are terrible value for the money, not because they are some kind of golden idol.

        The reason that rental car companies don’t buy Civics in large numbers is because Honda has pursued a policy of aligning production closely to RETAIL demand, and not using fleet sales to pick up the slack. Civics have represented great value for the money, being that, in the past, they have been superior to their domestic competitors in depreciation rates, reliability and overall refinement.

      • 0 avatar
        kenzter

        My daily commute is within a few miles of LAX. I spot many rentals, especially in the afternoon crawl on the 405. I have yet to see a Cruze rental. I do see lots being driven by their owners though. (Tinted windows, dealer plate frames, etc.) In SoCal, where everyone supposedly drives foreign.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        “at least 15 percent of Cruze sales are to fleets”

        Says who? As far as I can tell, all of the “fleet sales” numbers I have seen are based on various forms of mathematical voodoo, and not actual statistics. At best, it’s a slightly educated guess. At worst, it’s another attempt at denialism. Even if its true that the Cruze is at 15% fleet, then that means its at 85% retail, which is none too shabby anyway. And besides, you’re completely wrong about the true meaning of fleet sales anyway, as are a lot of people.

        “it shows that model is not as desirable as it could be among RETAIL buyers”

        Says who? Once again, we come up against an article of faith that has not been tested often enough. Most fleet sales are built to order; they aren’t the result of excess production, dumped off at a loss. If Honda can’t sell to fleets, then that means they can’t attract orders, or don’t have the production capacity to fill them. It does NOT mean that their vehicles are automatically more popular with consumers, because they don’t have what it takes to crack the fleet market. It only means that fleets don’t find them desirable.

        “policy of aligning production closely to RETAIL demand, and not using fleet sales to pick up the slack.”

        This what Honda says, but what is the truth? “Corporate policy” and the truth are two quite different things. My guess is that Honda knows that it simply can’t compete in this market, because its vehicles are overpriced and don’t offer what fleets are looking for: value, comfort, and utility and practicality. So then Honda hides this behind a “policy” of only selling to retail customers, while covering up the truth that Honda doesn’t sell to fleets because fleet buyers don’t consider them to be good cars. And for some reason, nobody ever questions this.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Fleet percentages (which include company and government cars as well as daily rentals) in the 15-20% range are pretty typical for most of the major compact and midsize sedans. Honda is the big exception as they don’t have a fleet sales department, so any fleet Hondas have to be purchased individually from the dealer rather than being ordered on the corporate level.

        Fleet percentages much over 30% are usually a good indicator of inventory dumping, and anything near or over 50% is almost always a result of the retail market for the product evaporating before the manufacturer is ready to drop the model.

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        http://www.avis.com/car-rental/content/carGuide.ac?navId=T4M01S00

        Intermediate selection has a nice shot of the Snuze.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        PintoFan: Says who? As far as I can tell, all of the “fleet sales” numbers I have seen are based on various forms of mathematical voodoo, and not actual statistics.

        Wrong. Using GM’s own press releases, people on this site have calculated that at least 15 percent of Cruze sales are to fleet buyers. And they aren’t GM bashers, either.

        PintoFan: At best, it’s a slightly educated guess. At worst, it’s another attempt at denialism.

        Wrong. See above.

        PintoFan: Even if its true that the Cruze is at 15% fleet, then that means its at 85% retail, which is none too shabby anyway.

        Only problem is that the Civic has been at about 4 percent, which, last time I checked, is lower than 15 percent.

        PintoFan: And besides, you’re completely wrong about the true meaning of fleet sales anyway, as are a lot of people.

        Really? Please share this special insight with us.

        PintoFan: Says who? Once again, we come up against an article of faith that has not been tested often enough. Most fleet sales are built to order; they aren’t the result of excess production, dumped off at a loss.

        Really…then I guess GM was making money hand-over-fist when it dumped as much as 50 percent of the old Cobalt and Malibu production on rental car companies, and Chrysler was rolling in the dough when it was sending as much as 50 percent of its total production to fleet buyers. Oops! Didn’t turn out that way. You apparently are not too well informed of the domestic auto industry’s recent history.

        PintoFan: If Honda can’t sell to fleets, then that means they can’t attract orders, or don’t have the production capacity to fill them.

        Wrong. The company has a policy of not pursuing large-scale fleet sales.

        PintoFan: It does NOT mean that their vehicles are automatically more popular with consumers, because they don’t have what it takes to crack the fleet market. It only means that fleets don’t find them desirable.

        Your assignment today is to compare retail sales of the Civic and Cobalt when they were both on the market, and their respective resale values.

        PintoFan: This what Honda says, but what is the truth? “Corporate policy” and the truth are two quite different things.

        Well, yes, but if you want us to accept your version of the truth, don’t post this:

        PintoFan: My guess is that Honda knows that it simply can’t compete in this market, because its vehicles are overpriced and don’t offer what fleets are looking for: value, comfort, and utility and practicality.

        You are entitled to your “guess,” but not entitled to have us accept it as fact, particularly when it is well known that fleet buyers are driven much more by price and deals than retail buyers, who tend to be more demanding.

        PintoFan: So then Honda hides this behind a “policy” of only selling to retail customers, while covering up the truth that Honda doesn’t sell to fleets because fleet buyers don’t consider them to be good cars. And for some reason, nobody ever questions this.

        Please show me proof where fleet buyers have stated, on the record, that they don’t consider Hondas to be good cars. And then we’ll talk about why retail buyers apparently haven’t shared this aversion to Hondas.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Bigtruck, nice of you there. Anyone who doesb’t agree with you, who doesn’t subscribe to your twisted world view is scum? Ok, just don’t whine when someone calls you something worse. I think being called scum by you is probably a badge of honor. It’s like being called something bad by a nazi. Oh well, you can be my new life coach, all I’ll have to do is ask “would bigtruckseries do this?” and if the answer is no then I’ll know I’m doing the right thing.

      One more thing, from whom did you steal the word consevascum? You’ve shown no signs of being clever enough to invent that slur on your own.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Hyundai would sell a lot more of their cars if many of their dealerships didn’t jack the price up $1500 over sticker . It’s like the greedy Honda dealers in the 80s all over again . I remember one Honda dealer telling me that they raise the price $1500 then knock off $750 probably thinking stupid sucker customers wouldn’t notice that they’re still being ripped off for $750 . In fact they were still doing it in 2006 when I stopped by a nearby Honda dealer to check out the new Civic Si. They didn’t have any , but the salesman said they would be selling them $2500 over the 20K sticker price . I laughed at him and said , “Not to me you’re not !”

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      That’s pretty much what Honda told us when we were looking back in 2002. I was pretty disgusted with the whole thing when the salesman looked horrified that our “internet” discount of $500.00 was twice what the dealership gave in person! I didn’t want a new vehicle, as our ’99 Stratus was giving us absolutely perfect reliability, but my wife wanted the CR-V, so I let her buy her own car. We still have it, too, as I want to wring every last bit of the $22,250 we paid for our “folding picnic table”! Truth be told, though, it has been a good vehicle, but something I would never choose for myself. At least our Honda dealer didn’t jack up the price under-handedly and was straight-up about it.

    • 0 avatar
      EdSTS2000

      Hmm… Over here in the Tampa FL area the Hyundai dealers, last I heard, weren’t doing any “market adjustments”. And their radio advertising states (accurately or not) that the Sonata is outselling the Camry and Accord in this market. So maybe over here the emphasis is on sales volume, not markups.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      We’ve got the same situation in Richmond: $1495.00 ‘market adjustment’. Which means that the Accent is completely off my radar come January, even though I’m mildly impressed with the car. I’ve never wanted any car badly enough to pay over sticker. Happily, the Kia dealers have not followed suit.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I have been seeing LOTS of Chevy Cruzes and have seen a couple of Ford Focus’. I must say I’m impressed with the appearance of the Focus, as it looks more “substantial”, and not a flat, slab-sided, character-less cheapo tin can that I have driven on occasion, but, like a Corolla, would never, ever own. Now I would have to put that on my list of possibilities along with the Cruze, Fusion, Taurus, Impala and Mailbu if and when I buy another car. The Camaro convertible REALLY floats my boat, if my commute was only a few miles, but that’s for a different thread.

    I was mildly impressed with the Forte we had as a rental in Florida a few months ago, but I can’t get my arms around any of the Korean models, although Kia’s offerings look the best.

    When the Japanese OEM’s are at full capacity, then we’ll see if the Corolla and Civic still have legs, along with their other offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Yup, and betcha when the do get back to capacity and regain their respective spots at the top, Domestic fans (who’ve never owned anything but domestic) can go back to calling their buyers “sheep”.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        “Domestic fans (who’ve never owned anything but domestic)”

        I have to point this out because it’s pretty much dogma amongst the Toyhonda faithful. But it’s so far from the truth that it’s pretty much laughable. You think all those Cruze and Focus sales came from people who had never driven a foreign car before? The arrogance of assuming that all Toyhonda buyers are universally satisfied with their car buying experience is so ridiculous its impossible for anyone with an independent mind to believe. That, and not the tsunami, are why Honda and Toyota are slowly imploding.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The simple fact is that drivers of imports are more likely to have experience with BOTH domestic and foreign nameplates, while drivers of domestic nameplates have tended to stick with domestics and have not even considered switching.

        And the reason domestic buyers have not switched tends to be because of a refusal to even test drive a foreign car, not because they have compared and found the domestic alternative to be better.

        And I’d like to see proof of your contention that owner dissatisfaction with their present Honda and Toyota, and not the affects of the tsunami, are driving down the sales of these two companies. Until then, we have your opinion, which you are entitled to hold, but which you are not entitled to pass off as a fact.

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        “The arrogance of assuming that all Toyhonda buyers are universally satisfied with their car buying experience is so ridiculous its impossible for anyone with an independent mind to believe.”

        I’d say universally satisfied is one of the big reasons they have significantly grown in share for the past 3 – 4 decades. How else do you explain it? Luck?

        Those “Independent minds” made the choice buddy. Burned by a few of those “domestic brands” (using the term quite loosely here) myself and made the switch to Toyota and BMW with zero intention of going back. You’ve got those same 3 decades worth of folks who did the same.

        “That, and not the tsunami, are why Honda and Toyota are slowly imploding.”

        Ya right, keep believing that. Guess you missed the top selling cars last month. Give you a hint in case you missed it, it wasn’t the Chevy Snuze, nor the Chevy Rentibu.

        Btw, how many rental cars are being pumped out of Obamas baby, a la Government Motors?

        Oh snap! 1 out of every 3.

        So therefore, all of GM’s success has nothing to do with building better cars, it’s all because of fleet sales.

        Hey, I can draw ignorant conclusions too!

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I know of 2 people who have been driven away from Toyota and Honda by their falling quality. #1 has a Sequoia that lost it’s engine shortly after the warranty expired, then that factory Toyota engine has lost it’s head gaskets twice. He has vowed no more Toyotas in his family. The other has sworn off Honda after their experience with an Odyssey. Since the kids are about grown there wasn’t a need for another minivan so it was replaced with a compact sedan. The final choice a 2010 Focus, that they are very pleased with so far.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        GMCo – GM fleet sales have decreased over the past few years and not all fleet sales are rental (Ford Crown Vics went to Police FLEETS not rental fleets) and you demean your argument if you have to say Chevy Snuze. Use the correct name at least.

  • avatar
    PintoFan

    American consumers are increasingly disinterested in boring, featureless Japanese econoboxes that have nothing more than a badge to commend them. Meanwhile, the Beige Defense Alliance continues to cry “FLEET SALES!” and “PRODUCTION LOSS!” at every opportunity, regardless of the evidence available. More non-news at 8!

    (The success of the Jetta is pretty depressing, though.)

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      “The success of the Jetta is pretty depressing, though.”

      Because it’s a foreign make, or because it doesn’t fit into your mental model of what you think customers want?

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        No, it’s depressing because Volkswagens have always been bad cars, will probably continue to be bad cars, and are only selling because of a media blitz, a dirt-cheap price, and probably a lot of subprime financing. It has nothing to do with either thing that you mentioned.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Pintofan, do you have any specific data about VW sales or for that matter, their quality? Have you seen a survey of Jetta buyers that would support your thoughts? Are VWs bad cars, that is any worse than any other manufacturers’ cars? Or is your bad car just because you don’t like imports or VW in particualr? If they are bad cars, then how do they compare to, let’s say, a GM, Ford or Chrysler from 30-40 years ago? What percentage of VW sales are to subprime customers?

        You make these accusations but you don’t try and back them up with any facts. You, for some reason, don’t like VW but you can’t seem to put your finger on why so you just accuse them of everything without regard for truth. Aristurtle, you’re right, he just can’t understand why everyone can’t see what he sees.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        What I find daunting is that one of the personalities on the internet radio station I listen to just purchased a new VW Jetta. Yesterday, it was announced when she couldn’t make it in to the studio was because her new VW Jetta wouldn’t start and she was stuck at home.

        Now that bothers me, as I really like the new Jetta. If I hear what was wrong, I’ll pass that info along.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I think there is ample evidence over the last decade to show less than stellar reliabilty when it comes to VW. Sad, really..as I tend to like them (loved my 2000 Golf..right until the 2 year warranty period expired…at which point much of car expired, as well). I think Michael Karesh can vaildate this point, but maybe also able to show that VW has improved in the last two or three years.

    Compared to GM/Ford?/Chrysler of 30 years ago? How about tossing out a metric that matters to this year’s buyer? I could quite frankly care less how VW stacks up against ANY car built 30 or 40 years ago. While there might be improvement shown for VW in say the last two years, how does it compare to the overall reliability of LIKE year model cars from other manufacturers?

    I agree that Pintofan’s comments were a tad knee-jerk in nature…we can’t predict the relative nature of any car company moving forward. And universally speaking, not every VW put on the road has been bad. Their current sales success of the Jetta and Passat have to do with providing a commodity that people seem to want/need…despite the fact that auto enthusiasts are grinding their teeth at the decontenting and (pure opinion here) “blanding down” of their models, the buying public (and therefor the ones that hold the most sway with the executives at VW) seems to be responding positively to their decisions. It remains to be seen how well they hold up down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      There is also evidence that their reliability has improved since the 2000-2005 period.
      Golf/GTi sales should be included in the Jetta figures since they are all VW compact entries and other makes like Honda and Ford have multiple body styles listed under one name.

  • avatar
    George B

    I think that the sales numbers show that appearance, utility, and value matter to car buyers. The Chevrolet Cruze is a huge step up in appearance and utility. Had a tomato red Chevrolet Cobalt for a week and couldn’t wait to return it. Probably wouldn’t care as much if I had to drive a white Cruze rental for an extra day.

    I want to like the Ford Focus. It looks more upscale than previous model. My reservations are the big mouth front fascia and potential problems with the automated manual. If I believed in 3 pedal driving I’d consider buying the new Focus.

    I see lots of new Jettas on the road around Dallas. Mostly mid level 5 cylinder models. Bigger car for less money seems to be a winning combination. I’d like to test drive a GLI when it comes out and wish they offered a diesel engine/GLI interior and suspension trim level.

    I feel sorry for Honda. The previous Honda Civic interior was less ugly and cost reduction was less obvious than the current one. Nothing like in your face ugly to kill car sales. I don’t think I’ve seen a single new one on the road here in the Dallas suburbs where half the cars at stoplights seem to be Hondas. Zero interest in even a test drive. Same zero interest in the Toyota Corolla.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    The ratio between sales of Golfs and Jettas is mystifying. Same manufacturing different packaging… if the Golf didn’t succeed because of reputation, did a lower base sticker for the Jetta really overcome that? Hope VW realizes the opportunity it has here and invests in it’s service and maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Only a limited audience sees the real advantages of hatchbacks vs. sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        That is the common view GMCo but Ford is selling roughly 50:50 hatchback:sedan for both the Fiesta and the Focus. I am pleasantly surprised by how well the hatchbacks are doing especially since for the Focus they are $800 more expensive per trim level and not available in the lowest “S” trim.

  • avatar
    slance66

    I work at a high tech company outside Boston, and my building houses, among other things, “inside sales”, which consists of hundreds of twenty-something year old recent college grads who actually make decent money. There are several new Focuses in the lot over the last two months, all are SEL and up. Interestingly, these all seem to be owned by guys. I have not seen a single Cruze. There are a couple new Elantras and old Civics (no new ones).

    The Focus seems to be driven buy the same crowd I see driving older G35s, A4’s, Maximas and TL’s. That makese sense to me.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    The rental agencies seem to think the Snuze is an “intermediate”.

    http://www.avis.com/car-rental/content/carGuide.ac?navId=T4M01S00

    Get on them Pintofan!

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Have you personally sat in the new Jetta? There is nothing “classy” about Tupperware shiny interior bits, hard plastic where your elbows go, visible casting edges on plastic trim pieces, flimsy levers for the seat recline, etc…

    I meant exterior and interior design, certainly not the ‘bits’. For reference, I have a Trooper and Saab, so ‘upgrade’ interior parts are beyond my realm of knowledge. Both my cars are highly functional for what I need, and have classy, understated exterior designs.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Btw, how many rental cars are being pumped out of Obamas baby, a la Government Motors?

    I’m assuming you were old enough to read when the bailout started. I’m assuming you remember the President before Obama. I didn’t support the bailout (still don’t), but I’m not the President, nor do I have his responsibilities.

    No, it’s depressing because Volkswagens have always been bad cars, will probably continue to be bad cars, and are only selling because of a media blitz, a dirt-cheap price, and probably a lot of subprime financing.

    I believe millions upon millions of Type 1, Rabbit, and Scirocco owners would disagree with you. There was a time (albeit long ago) when VW was more reliable than a Japanese car.

    Recently (the past 10 years or so), VW has had a respectability ‘cache’ to it with the younger folks. Toyota and Honda not so much. It’s all cyclical.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      > believe millions upon millions of Type 1, Rabbit, and Scirocco owners would disagree with you. There was a time (albeit long ago) when VW was more reliable than a Japanese car.

      As a previous owner of a Mk1 GTi, I can tell you that I don’t miss paying for a repair every six months, or for 50% more for the equivalent part in a Toy-onda. One day some guy approached me out of nowhere one day and I thought I was being jumped… until he identified himself as a fellow GTi owner… we spent the next ten minutes running down all of the things we needed to get fixed. Great seats in those cars, though.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Great seats in those cars, though.

    And they’re generally much more fun to drive, have a solidity only German cars have a reputation for, and again, have a “European” cache. Only individual people can decide if those attributes are worth the trade-off in reliability and parts prices.

    Acura got so close with excellent road feel, incredible engines, upscale interior and classic Honda reliability. And then took their eye off the prize. Mazda too.

    Should Kia or Hyundai get there first, Toyonda is in deep shit.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Pig_Iron: Bravo :-)
  • Pig_Iron: Ah yes, libertarianism, the ideology that claims everything – but stands for nothing. :-/
  • THX1136: The side badge would look better to my eye if it was centered between the gas door and taillight. Above the...
  • TheEndlessEnigma: It’s a GM product and therefore a hard NO.
  • TheEndlessEnigma: The need to pour Imperial Federal Government rebates into EV’s goes to illustrate they are...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber