By on May 27, 2017

2018 Toyota Camry - Image: Toyota

Which automaker stands the best change of gobbling up more of the U.S. light vehicle market in the near future? According to the results of a newly released study, and not entirely unsurprising, it’s two of the world’s largest automakers.

General Motors and Toyota are each planning a slew of new and refreshed products over the next few years — something which should serve to lure buyers away from other brands. Among domestic automakers, one brand is forecast to suffer at the hands of its Detroit rival’s success. You know the one.

The annual Car Wars study prepared by Bank of America Merrill Lynch serves as a crystal ball for the next four years, though one analyst feels early sales projections are too high. Analysts at the bank’s investment division have predicted this year’s U.S. sales will reach 17.9 million, up from last year’s record 17.41 million. So far, 2017 isn’t panning out the way analysts wished.

John Murphy, senior auto analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, claims the numbers from the first four months point to a 17.1 million sales year. That’s below last year and 2015. Murphy also predicts a bump for 2018, followed by a slow climbdown in sales. By the middle of the next decade, U.S. consumers might only snap up 13 or 14 million vehicle per year. Blame a glut of off-lease vehicles for the weaker demand.

While the skyrocketing increase in sales following the recession has tapered off, the competition to grow market share isn’t cooling off. Between 2018 and 2021, 85 percent of Toyota vehicles will be refreshed or new, just one percent ahead of GM’s product turnover. Ford follows the pair with an 83-percent replacement rate, but its big ticket products won’t appear until after the 2018 model year. Among them, the upcoming Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV deserve top billing.

“They really are doing a great job of refreshing their product portfolio,” Murphy told the Automotive Press Association on Thursday, referring to Toyota. As for GM, it is “doing fairly well and they should be in a position, presuming the market holds together, to actually gain a little bit of market share and maintain price.”

In his report, Murphy expects flat market share growth for both Ford and Honda. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which plans to introduce a next-generation Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500 pickup within the next two years, holds a 81-percent replacement rate. While the automaker stands to lose market share, its “extreme overexposure” in the truck and SUV market seems like a solid gamble, given American buying habits, Murphy said.

Of European automakers, which hold a combined 79-percent replacement rate, Volkswagen’s aggressive product push will likely see it gain sales and market share. The same can’t be said for Nissan which, at 77 percent, holds the lowest replacement rate in the industry. The bulk of the Japanese automaker’s new products won’t appear until near the end of the four-year period. “Nissan still seems like it’s a boat adrift,” Murphy said.

[Sources: Wards Auto; The Detroit News] [Images: Toyota Motor Corporation]

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38 Comments on “Study: Toyota and GM Poised to Grow Market Share; Not so Fast, FCA...”


  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    8% of GM’s replacement rate is directly caused by the return of Oldsmobile in 2019.
    Make the Delmont 88 Great Again!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    No, no, no, GM is an unprofitable dead company walking that makes complete crap that will be out of business once the Chinese economy collapses – and that collapse is coming. Barra was just put in charge because she is cute, to be the fall woman for the old guys club. She won’t even last a year.

    If every car company was run like Ford, the American auto industry would be fine.

    I mean, that’s what the B&B tell me.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      You are wrong about one thing and thats the run by Ford statement. If you look back on the last few Ford post you will find that several folks were like “close it down”. People here dont like to have Ford praised at all. If you aint Honda they aint hearing it.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      My perception is that over the years the TTAC market share of the B&B is being eroded by the rise of the W&D. Worst and dimmest.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      EBFlex with different loyalties.

      Maybe HFTraverse, the GM hateraide dispenser?

      Someone crying foul about the imagined bias from these writers for a company they hate, and comments from people they disagree with. You can’t say Ford makes a decent vehicle. Nope. They all die 2 miles out of warranty, all EcoBoost engines must be replaced every 30k, they only get 9 MPG in everything under all conditions with all drivers. Plus, they’re all rentals or owned people not smart enough to buy a Corolla.

      @ChocolateDeath.
      Praise for Honda? Nope, they’re terrible, almost as bad as Ford, the Accord is just like an Altima, didn’t you know?

      But Nissan is good. Toyota is great. Lexus is unrivaled perfection. Ugly is only ugly without a Lexus logo. (I bet they could rebadge the MKT and it’d sell like hot cakes. Suddenly the ugly styling is “bold” and “distinctive”, the quirks are just Lexus being perfect and us not understanding its greatness, you know, like when they put a cup holder where the armrest should be. We’re just not smart enough to get why that’s perfect and correct.)

      As Jack says, everything else is way too risky. Might as well buy a Ferrari instead of that Fusion, same running costs, guaranteed.

    • 0 avatar

      @APaGttH LOL. B&B are so predictable, I mean armchair-expert majority of it, like in “have no clue but …”. Barra is cute though.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Kinda cute. The differing assessments may be age-related. I worked my way through college by working in a cookie factory. One of the “girls” packing cookies into plastic tray was bending over, and a guy I worked with, about 60, said, “look at that butt!” I was age 20, and told him, “Joe, she’s almost 50!” Joe glared at me and said, “She looks good to ME!”

        • 0 avatar

          “Barra is cute” is the ageless statement. I would say it is rather sexists statement. You would never say “he is cute” about man e.g. you do not say “Sergio is cute” but rather “Sergio is genius”. See the difference? But about woman or cat – no problem.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I’ve heard it said that Justin Turdeau is cute, as if that explains why Canada has a murderous-commie-loving imbecile for a leader.

          • 0 avatar

            If Justin Trudeau is a kind of leader West is capable to come up with – there is nothing for Putin or Xi to worry about. He is cute though but in not a good way.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            “a murderous-commie-loving imbecile for a leader.”

            Seems like you’re talking about the part-time resident in the WH.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      @APaGttH, you are finally right about GM for once.

      In 1976, GM had 46% of US market share and Toyota had 4%.
      In 2016, GM had 17% and Toyota had 14%.

      You can’t beat a trend like this. It has passed the point of no return.

      • 0 avatar

        It is hard to believe the decline of GM, which was once one of the world’s largest companies. Now it is not even among the world’s biggest car companies!! Toyota will surpass GM in domestic market share. However, those final 4 percent market share points will be hard to get. To beat GM, Toyota is going to need a hit SUV or Truck. However, Cut-and-run Bara will find a way for GM to lose to Toyota.

        I think GM will hold onto the lead until the early 2020s.

  • avatar

    Next year, FIAT will offer more 500 variants than Chrysler will offer models.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Chrysler is down to 3.5 models if you count Pacifica hybrid as a separate model and give part marks for 200. Fiat claims to have 6 versions of the 500.

      • 0 avatar
        PentastarPride

        I want to see a 300 with New Yorker and Imperial trims, comparable to the Mercedes E-Class.

        I’d also like to see Concorde, picking up where the LH left off. It could be a step below the 300. LeBaron could take the place of the 200, with a convertible option, natch. LeBaron could be the smoother, classier alternative to the Mustang and Camaro.

        Pacifica was born a CUV, so it should remain so. This time around, base it off of Durango/JGC. Town and Country should have remained.

        Jeep is doing pretty well, so no changes there. Ditch the Renegade, it is redundant with the Cherokee in some respects.

        For the love of God, ditch RAM as a make. It was, is and always will be a Dodge.

        • 0 avatar
          Middle-Aged Miata Man

          “Pacifica was born a CUV, so it should remain so. This time around, base it off of Durango/JGC. Town and Country should have remained.”

          I am absolutely convinced FCA chose Pacifica to facilitate the vehicle’s eventual rebranding as a Fiat after Chrysler dies.

    • 0 avatar

      We are in such a desperate need for another variant of 500 esp after reading previous article. Sergio is genius.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    When was the last time GM picked up market share in the U.S.? And held on to it?

  • avatar

    GM is already fallen to 3rd or 4th in the world in market share. This trend should continue in the US. Toyota will probably takeover the US market within the next decade.

    • 0 avatar
      slap

      With GM giving up in Europe and some other regions, I don’t think they are focusing on market share as much as they are focusing on profitability.

      • 0 avatar

        Toyota realizes that profitability and market share are equally important. GM no longer follows this philosophy and that is why they fail. Did you know in February Renault/Nissan surpassed GM in worldwide market share? Soon GM will find itself in either 4th or 5th place, and by then it will no longer matter.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    It ain’t cool to say so, but I rather like the new Camry. It’ll be a contender when we replace our 14 yr old (GM) car.

    • 0 avatar

      The Camry alone outsells the entire Buick division. For the last decade I wondered to myself just who would open up a Buick dealership in this day and age? How would a dealership makes a profit selling 4 to 6 cars a month!

  • avatar
    Hummer

    All 3 American brands need a product shakeup. Ford and GM maintain the most boring product lineups in their history, outside of the 80s Maybe. FCA while raking in cash from old platforms that paid for themselves 3 times over needs more product. It’s hard to argue a vehicle needs to be replaced just because it’s over the industry average age if it still brings in heaps of money. FCA is in a odd position because they don’t need to replace what they are selling so well. Yet the industry “experts” (i.e. Idiots that went to school for something stupid and act like it made them smart) are going to b—- until they change their formula.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      John Murphy, the author of the cited report, Did, in fact, mention FCA’s extreme exposure in the truck/SUV market was a “solid gamble”, considering American buying habits. It’s the younger analysts, in thrall with electrics, autonomous vehicles, and Silicon Valley products, who are letting their inexperience show. Manufacturing can’t/shouldn’t try to emulate Silicon Valley’s sky-high stock valuations of companies that don’t make a profit.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I think both methods are perfectly legitimate in that we need automakers exploring both directions. But we have two sides, Tesla is all in and it has a huge fan base but less than stellar financial track. Every year we hear that next year will be “the” year – That all the early adopters won’t be in vain.

        Then we have FCA solidly on the other side of the equation, it’s products have surpassed the industry average age yet they continue to sell extremely well despite the preconceived notion that new models have to introduced at such extreme regularity. FCA despite the hate has a winning formula. (Though the F in that CA has yet to prove itself with a product that sells as well as the preBKRPTCY CA.)

        Both automakers share a turbulent future that is at least somewhat at risk due to outside circumstances. Additionally both automakers make extremely exciting products that captures the appeal of a wide variety of consumers.

        Then we have the middle ground, staid products that try to mix both elements from automakers that want to seem up to the times. They are truly the movie image of the mom that wants to be hip around her daughters friends. It’s a disaster to watch. These are the automakers trying to emulate Silicon Valley. Ford and GM should be the face of this travesty.

        • 0 avatar

          Chrysler has some nice designs, but their quality is execrable.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Talk to some people who assemble FCA vehicles. They’re as well put together as possible, considering the design and parts quality from third tier suppliers. The assemblers aren’t sloppily slapping FCA cars together, at least in the American plants. They’re trying to make poorly designed and/or manufactured parts that don’t fit, fit.

    • 0 avatar
      Ban-One

      Ford offers a 197hp manual only turbo hatch subcompact, a 252hp manual only turbo hatch compact, a 350hp manual only turbo hatch awd compact, at least 3 different cuv models with 300+hp, a 380 lb/ft awd midsize sedan, a 365hp awd full size sedan, a 400hp awd midsize sedan, a 425hp rwd pony car, several 500+hp versions of said pony car, a 500+hp supercharged full-size pickup, and a 650hp supercar.

      yep i agree, boring car company.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Woopteedo turbocharged 4 & 6 cylinder cars that sound like crap and are stuck in the most mundane plasticy bodied cars on the market. So much excitement. I’m sure that someone in a third world country somewhere is screaming with joy they get to buy a compact hatchback with horsepower levels the rest of the world has had since the 1960s. At the end of the day if they put a 1000HP engine in a Focus, someone still has to look at it as they walk out to it.

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