Category: Automobile Cool News

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Over the past decades, the American auto industry has “atomized” with more and more new car and light truck models being added to the lineups each year.  The reason for this rapid addition of nameplates – atomization – has been an attempt by auto designers and marketers to provide products targeted to much more finely defined product niches.  Consumers demand more and more focused products and today’s automotive consumer research can identify exactly what those consumers want.  Current product development techniques allow vehicles to be developed more quickly and efficiently than in the past.  So, why not develop a vehicle targeted at each well-defined buyer group?

17-million Sales Years Not Sustainable

During the ‘90s, a good year was 15 million car and light truck sales.  By early in the first decade of the 2000s, the industry was expecting 17 million units per year.  Companies began adding more and more nameplates to take advantage of these [...]

 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 sales have [...]

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.  [...]

The autonomous car puts a challenge on screenwriters to cope with the impact of more technologically advanced vehicles. Will the bad guys find ways to win? Or will autonomy yield a crime free utopia where the bad guys cannot escape using "modern" transportation and smart streets?

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.

American Driver Know [...]

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.

There have been over 1,800 car brands in the United States auto industry since 1896.  Entrepreneurs and enthusiasts saw the American auto industry as a way to make a name for themselves and, hopefully, a lot of money.  This set off a wave of industrial Darwinism that continues today.  Car brands came and went with startling regularity.  Some brands launched and died quickly and are now just a faint memory if remembered at all.  It would take a real automotive history buff to remember the Adria, or the Carhartt, or the Hackett.  Some more recent brands are still fresh in our memory like Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Mercury, Plymouth, Hummer and Saturn.  Today, there are 40 car brands on sale in the United States.  Some names are so strong that they keep coming back in one form or another.

Stutz Sold 35,000 Cars Until Falling to the Great Depression

A once-storied name in the American luxury auto [...]

Vote ImageThis article was posted in Forbes.com blog, Friday, February 19, 2016 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgepeterson1/2016/02/19/car-owners-select-trump/#6e8407941b81).

“Just the facts, ma’am”, said Joe Friday.  Here are the results from a 1,100 respondent AutoPacific national internet survey asking vehicle owners what their political leanings are and who they would prefer for President come November.

The poll is not overwhelmingly scientific.  It does not look at preferences based on political affiliation or likelihood to vote.  It simply asks who they would prefer for President and does show some very interesting results.

Political Leanings  What are the political leanings of car (and truck) owners?  About 36% describe themselves as Independent with Ford (33%), Toyota (30%), Honda (24%), Chevrolet (20%) and Subaru (20%) the brands most likely to identify as Independent.  About 34% describe themselves as Republican with Ford (27%), Toyota (23%), Chevrolet (19%) the [...]

The Lincoln Continental was for years the flagship of the Lincoln brand. In the early 1980s, however, the name "Continental" was relegated to smaller, mid-sized Lincolns leaving the flagship to carry Town Car or Mark nomenclature. While Lincoln Motor Company is positioning the upcoming 2017 Continental against middle market competitors like the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes E-Class, it will become the brand's flagship (if you don't count the Navigator). Is Continental good enough to turn heads and get Americans and Chinese buying Lincolns again, check back in 2017.
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