The 2013 New York International Auto Show was full of important reveals this year… renewed crossovers – Toyota Highlander, Acura MDX, an all new Range Rover Sport, the new BMW 335GT, freshened Dodge Durango, the all new Cadillac CTS and many more. The most important, however, were the Audi A3 and the Jeep Cherokee. Why? Both vehicles are very important to their brands and have the potential to generate substantial sales.
Audi Takes the Safe Route with A3: The 2015 Audi A3 really was not at the New York Auto Show. The A3 will be officially introduced at the Shanghai Auto Show in late April 2013, but there was a reveal for about 120 journalists the evening before the first press day. It will be launched in the USA in early 2014.
Driver satisfaction is a critical measure of vehicle acceptance. Having a satisfied buyer results in better loyalty, better word-of-mouth, stronger image. Satisfaction is a central building block of a brand. AutoPacific has been measuring driver satisfaction since 1993 and it is always instructive to look at the differences between women and men drivers.
In AutoPacific's annual 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction research, women drivers score 39 rating points higher than men - 674 over 635 in their overall Vehicle Satisfaction score.
The Lexus Flagship – the LS460 4-door sedan – is freshened for the 2013 model year. This comes after an all new Audi A8 in 2011, a tweaked 2012 BMW 7-Series, and the new Cadillac XTS (which may not be in this class). A major change for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is due in early 2013 as a 2014 model year. The Jaguar XJ that was all new in 2009 as a 2010 model gets a much needed all wheel drive system for 2013.
Owners of the 2012 Cadillac Escalade give the Luxury SUV top ratings in twenty-seven of forty-eight characteristics measured in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. The Escalade was also the Most Satisfying Vehicle Overall. To top that off, Escalade has been the Most Satisfying Luxury SUV for the last five years.
The Luxury Crossover SUV category is a very diverse segment with several very competitive entries. Owners of the 2012 Cadillac SRX give the vehicle sufficient scores in importance and satisfaction to win the segment with only six top ratings among forty-eight characteristics measured in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.
Over the years, General Motors has often tried to be a trailblazer (no pun intended) in new vehicle design and development. Many of these vehicles failed, but we believe GM deserves a tremendous amount of credit for trying where other companies did not have the creative thought or resources to make a "segment breaking" product.
An annual pilgrimage for the auto industry is to attend the press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit each January. Unfortunately, this year I cannot attend because my physicians caution that I should not be heaving carry-ons into and out of overhead bins and baggage carousels.
So, I'm jealous.
The 2011 Cadillac Escalade not only won its segment for the Vehicle Satisfaction Award and the Ideal Vehicle Award, but in fact was the top scoring vehicle period for both awards! So what's its secret?
The Cadillac Escalade is the top ranked Premium SUV in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. As the class winner, Escalade owners identify few things they would want changed. Even the most technology-laden vehicles still have their owners wanting more. About 30% of Escalade owners want more infotainment technology. They also want better interior storage and, believe it or not, more cargo space and passenger room. They most like its size, seat comfort and wheels. Escalade wins its class over second place Land Rover LR4.
At first glance, I'm one of those people whose lifestyle is what automotive marketers would deem perfect for a crossover SUV. I love outdoors activities and often carry a surfboard in my vehicle. And I have a baby. Thing is, I also want my vehicle to handle. I love attacking apexes. I like sitting low inside a vehicle and feeling connected to the road. In other words, I love to drive. That's why I'm a wagon kind of a guy. And the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is just about the ultimate wagon.