AutoPacific is up and running as usual. Two years ago, we sold the Automotive Futures Center in Tustin and began working from our homes. The stay at home directives have not really made our work life any different. Our New Vehicle Satisfaction Study is in the field and we are expecting results in a few weeks. Our person-to-person field research – product clinics and focus groups have been put on hold. A clinic scheduled for late March was pushed back to late summer, if then. We have been fielding online surveys, interviews and focus groups. Working with our clients, we have developed techniques to help them determine the dynamics of the market and also ways to accomplish virtual product clinics.
Atomization Continues Unabated The American car and light truck market is undergoing atomization. There are 313 car and truck nameplates on sale today in the United States. By 2022 – just five years in the future – there are going to be 377. A nameplate is a vehicle name like Ford Explorer, Renge Rover Evoque or Toyota Camry.
Car to Truck Shift Permanent Manufacturers are adding new products to more tightly appeal to customers with more diverse tastes. Buyers have shifted to crossover sport utility vehicles (XSUVs) in droves. Automakers are adding more XSUVs to satisfy every whim. Trucks began outselling cars in 2001, but since 2012 when cars last had 50% of the market truck [...]
New car and light truck owners responding to AutoPacific‘s annual New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey, provide the price they paid for their vehicle. That price is what the buyer pays the dealer. A vehicle that is a strong revenue generator is golden to the health of a brand. Of course the revenue is split into many smaller and smaller pieces. Simplistically, the dealer buys the vehicle from the manufacturer and sells it at a profit. And that is about as complicated as we are going to get, because that is not the story we are chasing.
We want to know which vehicles generate the most revenue. This is analysis is rough. We use the median price paid from AutoPacific’s research and multiply that times the numbers of vehicles sold in 2016. Each of the top ten vehicles generated $10 billion or more of revenue.
F-Series Top Revenue Generator The top revenue generator was the Ford F-Series. [...]
Every two months, AutoPacific surveys drivers to determine the fuel price impact on their lives, their driving styles and their consideration for vehicle types in the future. The fuel price impact today is dramatically different from the surprise price spike to $4.15 per gallon in June 2008. Drivers reacted dramatically. They abandoned large SUVs and bought high fuel economy small cars and hybrids instead. Hybrid consideration peaked at 29% in September 2008.
Drivers took huge financial losses getting rid of their gas guzzlers, but they quickly rued that decision. By December 2008 the price of gasoline had dropped to $1.67 per gallon. (The value of $1.67 in 2008 is $1.94 in today’s dollars). This began a roller coaster ride of gas prices. By January 2011, gas prices had risen to over $3 per gallon and stayed there until December 2014. Today, the national price of a gallon of gasoline is about $2.50.
There are many surveys of vehicle owner satisfaction each year. This article compares the results from the newly released Consumer Reports Owner Satisfaction Survey with the results of AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Research
Plug-in electric vehicles are not needed to meet the Federal 2025 CAFE standards. The primary reason electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) will impact the overall vehicle fleet are to satisfy California's mandate for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the fleet. California's regulations also are shared with northeastern states.
AutoPacific, an automotive specialist research and product planning consultancy, forecasts that trucks, including XSUVs will be about 60% of the market for the foreseeable future. In fact, reading the crystal ball for the next five years, this percentage of the mix may be low.
Brilliant Ad - Controversy Worth its Weight In Gold Cadillac, once the Standard of the World, has aired an outstanding ad for the Cadillac brand and the Cadillac ELR electric coupe. It was first shown on the American broadcast for the Sochi Winter Olympics and more recently for the Oscars that aired on Sunday, March 2. And what a controversy has ensued. Cadillac's agency Rogue created the Cadillac Poolside ad to espouse unbridled American confidence and showcase what Cadillac stands for. In the process, the spot has left leaners and right leaners sniping against each other on numerous websites. On Thursday, March 6, arch-conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh (click on the link to be taken to the transcript of the Limbaugh show about the Cadillac ad) devoted the top of his second hour to the controversy the ad has created. The Poolside ad pushed a button that allowed Limbaugh to rant for about a half hour.
For the 2013 mild freshening, Chevrolet has abandoned its bold and distinctive front end appearance for a milquetoast "car" front end look for its crossover. This fits into the VehicleVoice category of "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?"