Passport Fills Excess Capacity at Honda’s Lincoln Alabama Plant Honda realized it had a gap in its crossover SUV lineup. They were losing customers who wanted mid-size XSUVs (crossover sport utility vehicles) but did not want seven passenger capacity.They estimate they have lost at least 35,000 sales to competitors every year they did not have a competitive 5-passenger, two-row crossover SUV in their product mix. Hence the all new 2019 Honda Passport.
Derivative of Popular Pilot Crossover SUV Honda’s usual methodological approach led to the development of the all new Passport – a five-passenger derivative of the popular Pilot 7-passenger XSUV.
In terms of big SUV programs, Honda has taken a very efficient approach. Think of the 2019 Honda Passport as a Pilot from the C-Pillar forward. Passport’s wheelbase is equal to the Pilot’s. Losing [...]
The results of AutoPacific's 22nd annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSAs) identify the most satisfying vehicles in the market. An industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new vehicle, VSAs are based on survey responses from over 58,000 owners of new 2017 and 2018 cars and light trucks.
The all new 2018 Hyundai Kona small crossover SUV (XSUV) has just been shown to the press in an event held, wait for it, on the Kona Coast of The Big Island of Hawaii. There were 23 or 24 Konas on hand for the journalists to drive around the island. So, this was a pretty big event for Hyundai Motor America (HMA).
In AutoPacific’s 2017 Small XSUV Consultancy, 38 XSUVs with a wheelbase of 110-inches or less are included. There were enough data to do complete analyses on that many individual vehicles. There are an additional seven all new small XSUVs on sale now but too new to have been included in the AutoPacific database. That makes 45 entries in the small XSUV category. Now comes the 2018 Hyundai Kona wading into the fray.
One of the major challenges for Jeep in the major re-design of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler - the 4th Gen Wrangler - was how to maintain its ultimate off-road capability while making it easier to live with day-to-day. Jeep says "we are maintaining and enhancing tradition." The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is new from the ground up and, while keeping the character of its predecessors, fixes the issues the may have prevented someone from keeping theirs for a long time. The new Wrangler is a vehicle you can drive day-to-day in comfort for years.
Having a new Jeep Renegade Trailhawk over the long July 4th weekend, I took it to Costco for the quarterly bird seed, cat food replenishment. At first I was wondering if the Renegade was up to the task. Does a small crossover SUV have the capacity to take the load?
There were fourteen bags of bird seed and two of cat food. Plus the package of 30 rolls of toilet paper. Would they fit? Plus, would they fit with the other stuff we bought? Removing the tonneau cover over the cargo area and folding the rear seats were required to fit in the load. There was room to spare. Probably could have doubled the number of bird seed and cat food bags.
In Jeep's quest for 2 million Jeeps globally, the brand is adding the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. Produced in four assembly plants globally, Jeep clearly has high expectations for the Compass. At the same time, there is a dance occurring among FCA's American assembly plants to maximize Jeep capacity and allow additional new Jeep products like the Wagoneer line and Wrangler pickup to be added.
AutoPacific surveys new car and light truck buyers annually to determine how satisfied they are with their vehicle and what changes they want made. Based on this owner research, AutoPacific calculates the vehicles that owners want changed the least. The people who have purchased the vehicle are the people it was designed for. The data result in the AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award. Every year there are some results that stand out. The 2016 awards are no different.
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.
Raising the Bar in a Competitive Segment The Koreans keep getting better and the new 2016 Hyundai Tucson (product code TL) is an example of how Hyundai has executed a segment-beater. Competing against big sellers Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Jeep Cherokee, Chevrolet Equinox, Mazda CX-5, etc. the new Tucson checks all the boxes. It is well styled and immediately identifiable as a Hyundai (looks almost too much like the Santa Fe Sport). It has a great package - good visibility, spacious front and rear seating, good cargo room, easy ingress/egress. The fit and finish is excellent inside and out. The interior trim materials have moved upwards - almost up to the next higher price class.
The 2016 Ford Explorer marks the 25th anniversary of the vehicle line. When it launched as a 1991 model, the Explorer redefined what a sport utility vehicle should be. 7,000,000 sales later, Ford is launching a nicely updated product. When the 2016 Ford Explorer launches, most people won't be able to tell the difference from the present Explorer. While the vehicle's sheetmetal ahead of the A-Pillar is all new and the liftgate and taillamps are all new, the differences are subtle to the casual observer. So while the change for 2016 is major, its appearance change is minor.