As you’ve no doubt already seen, Tim Cain is leaving us to pursue another opportunity. We wish him well, but as punishment, he owes us Timbits from Tim Hortons. Lots of Timbits. Like, caseloads.
Confectionery jokes that I have already run into the ground aside, what does this mean for the site? If you love Tim’s sales analysis, it will still be a part of TTAC – just less often. He will still post for us a few times a month on a part-time basis.
[Editor’s note: This article was originally posted with the title “ Why Are We Given A New Car To Drive Each Week? And How? GCBC’s Background, Ethics, And Methods Explained” on GoodCarBadCar on March 28, 2016. I asked Tim if we could repost it here because, whether he knows it or not, he’s one of the very few people in this business you should aspire to be if you want to become an automotive journalist. It is reposted here with his permission and for your education. —MS]
Of the 6200+ posts on GoodCarBadCar, only 3 percent are car reviews. In February 2016, for example, we published five reviews on GCBC plus 66 other articles, not to mention another eight submissions at The Truth About Cars and six more at Autofocus.ca.
Yet it is with increasing frequency that the people with whom I have personal contact — whether in conversation at visiting hours for a funeral, in emails from long-time readers, when questioned by soon-to-be car buyers — clearly believe that the bulk of my work revolves around driving fast cars down twisty roads.
Automakers reported sales of more than 1.24 million new vehicles in September 2014, a 9.4% increase compared with the same month one year ago. Auto sales rose 5.5% over the course of 2014’s first three quarters, powered by big improvements at Jeep, Ram, Subaru, and Nissan.
Last year was a difficult pill to swallow for Kia in America. After claiming record sales in 2012, Kia volume slid 4% even as America’s auto industry grew 8%.
There were inventory issues, but there was also concern that the new Sorento, though revamped under the skin, didn’t appear new on the outside. The Forte launch didn’t send shock waves through the compact segment. The Cadenza was never expected to be a volume leader.
Explanations for the decline didn’t stop Kia from “restructuring” either, as Kia Motors America’s executive VP of sales, Tom Loveless, was replaced by Michael Sprague.
Through the first eight months of 2014, however, Kia is back on track. Compared with the same period last year, brand-wide sales are up 7%. Compared with the first eight months of that record-setting 2012, sales are up 4.5%.
Against less lofty expectations, the U.S. auto industry generated more than 1.58 million new vehicle sales in August 2014, a 5.4% improvement compared with the same period last year. The biggest gains came from Nissan and FCA/Chrysler Group, which jointly raised their August sales total from 286,050 to 332,767 units. Jeep and Ram were the only two brands to top 30% in terms of year-over-year growth.
These are not normal times for America’s pickup truck market.
The best-selling pickup truck line, Ford’s F-Series, is now entering a transition phase many months after potential customers first witnessed its aluminum-intensive replacement.
Toyota, long a minor player in the full-size category, refreshed its Tundra and continues to achieve notable sales increases, though with gradually less impressive growth figures.
GM’s twins last combined to outsell the Ford F-Series in 2009. They should still seem fresh, but to many the redesign wasn’t, in visual terms, sufficiently differentiated from the GMT900 models. Through the first seven months of 2014, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trail the Ford F-Series by 35,610 units.
Automakers reported the sales of 1.4 million new vehicles in July 2014, representing a 9% increase compared with July of last year. Among volume brands, the biggest percentage gains were achieved by Jeep, Subaru, GMC, and Ram. Jaguar, Scion, Acura, Volvo, and Volkswagen all reported losses of at least 14%. Cadillac, Honda, and Mini also posted decreased July volume relative to the same period in 2013.
In May 2014, Canadian auto sales shot up to record monthly levels by soaring beyond 195,000 units, one-eighth the size of the U.S. industry last month.
These record sales levels occur as buyers transition from in large numbers from cars to crossovers, particularly smaller crossovers from volume brands.
The impact of Mercedes-Benz’s W222 S-Class has been keenly felt in America’s luxury car sector. The S-Class’s most direct rivals have been shunned in favour of the venerable Benz over the last seven months. And yet there’s no denying that big luxury SUVs have cast a shadow over these flagship luxury cars, nor is there any point rejecting the idea that Tesla’s Model S is stealing market share.
It’s not as though consumers hadn’t experienced doses of luxury in their SUVs before the Mercedes-Benz ML, Lexus RX, and Lincoln Navigator began pushing an increasingly impressive wave toward shore in the late 90s. But, especially in the enthusiast community, there was some reluctance to accept the notion of such illustrious brands diving head first into a market that was going to demand perfectly balanced compromises. The traditional off-road ability we associated with SUVs couldn’t be thrust overboard in favour of road manners. Or could it?
March 2014’s Canadian auto sales results displayed a further willingness on the part of buyers to gradually forsake cars and turn to smaller crossovers.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Dusterdude @SCE to AUX , agree CEO pay would equate to a nominal amount if split amongst all UAW members . My point was optics are bad , both total compensation and % increases . IE for example if Mary Barra was paid $10 million including merit bonuses , is that really underpaid ?
- ToolGuy "At risk of oversimplification, a heat pump takes ambient air, compresses it, and then uses the condenser’s heat to warm up the air it just grabbed from outside."• This description seems fairly dramatically wrong to me.
- SCE to AUX The UAW may win the battle, but it will lose the war.The mfrs will never agree to job protections, and production outsourcing will match any pay increases won by the union.With most US market cars not produced by Detroit, how many people really care about this strike?
- El scotto My iPhone gets too hot while using the wireless charging in my BMW. One more line on why someone is a dumbazz list?
- Buickman yeah, get Ron Fellows each time I get a Vette. screw Caddy.