By on February 16, 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4

Canadians purchased and leased nearly 43,000 SUVs and crossovers in January 2016. At the same time, fewer than 34,000 passenger cars made their ways to Canadian driveways.

This wasn’t an anomaly. Canadians also registered more utility vehicles than cars in January 2015, and over the course of 2015, only 2 percent more cars were sold than utilities, a margin of only 14,000 sales.

No, it wasn’t an anomaly, but the gap in demand was exceptional. For every passenger car acquired by a consumer, business, fleet, or governmental agency, the industry also recorded 1.3 SUV/crossover sales.

How soon before the U.S. auto industry makes the same claim? In January, as car volume plunged 9 percent and utility vehicle sales jumped 6 percent — despite an abbreviated sales month and an overall volume decrease — cars outsold utilities by just 1.1-to-1. That’s down from a 1.25-to-1 gap a year ago.

In other words, it’s about to happen. (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe silver

U.S. sales of utility vehicles increased 16 percent last year. Amidst the modest decrease in volume reported by the industry in January 2016, U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped by more than 6 percent.

Yet even with drivers enjoying truly low fuel prices, we have not seen a return to the days of full-size, truck-based, body-on-frame SUV dominance in the modern SUV/crossover sector. In fact, U.S. sales of the 10 full-size SUVs which use full-size pickup truck platforms as a foundation collectively declined 2 percent as America’s auto industry soared to record highs in 2015.

And 2016 begins similarly. Two Chevrolets, two GMC, two Cadillacs, and individual nameplates from Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, and Cadillac tumbled 9 percent in January. (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2016

01 Volkswagen Jetta

We knew it wouldn’t be easy for them. We knew it would get worse before it got better. But did you know it would be this difficult for Volkswagen of America to sell cars, and did you know it would get this bad this soon?

And could it get even worse?

Volkswagen brand sales in the United States tumbled 15 percent in January 2016, a year-over-year loss of 3,425 units. With barely more than 20,000 total sales, January 2016 sales fell to a 60-month low. Not since January 2011, when Volkswagen sold only 18,401 vehicles in America, has the company generated so little showroom activity. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2016

2016 Chrysler 200S

News that 200 production would instantly end, albeit temporarily, was overshadowed by news that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would, sooner than later, farm out the design and production of their small and intermediate cars to a rival automaker.

The Chrysler 200’s plant in Sterling, Michigan will undergo a six-week shutdown due to an inventory glut at dealers nationwide. Over the last three months, U.S. sales of the 200, FCA’s best-selling car in the United States in 2015, tumbled 46 percent to only 24,111 units, or about the number of Camrys Toyota sells every 18 days. (Read More…)

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