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 [...]
Chevrolet Receives Most Brand Wins, Sweeps Pickup Segments; Tesla Returns to the Top
Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. today announced the 2018 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), recognizing vehicles that best meet owners’ expectations for the product. The 2018 awards are based on responses from more than 58,000 owners of new vehicles across all major manufacturers.
Based solely on owner input, AutoPacific IVAs measure the fusion between owner expectations and reality. “IVA’s speak to a vehicle’s layout and design,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson. “Giving owners a chance to tell us what they would change and how they would change it reveals which vehicles are designed to meet their needs and expectations. In other words, having owners who are happy with things the way they are says the manufacturer did their upfront research and [...]
What could make spending a few days in the beautiful northeast Canadian Province of Newfoundland better? Spending it driving the new 2019 GMC Sierra. Spacious, comfortable and smooth-riding, the Sierra Denali was a joy to experience, as a driver and passenger.
Steady and Smooth
Exploring the countryside through curves, hills, small towns roads and highways, it was easy to forget I was riding in a truck. The “brace yourself” moments when you expect to jerk to the side, or feel the dreaded bed bounce never arrived. Redesigned from the ground up, the new Sierra Denali has Adaptive Ride Control, a Denali-exclusive, that adjusts damping for exceptional control and ride.
The Hyundai Santa Fe (@hyundaisantafe) was the first Korean brand vehicle to win AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award. That was in 2001. There have been four generations of the Hyundai Santa Fe selling 1.6 million units in the USA. All have been successively better than its predecessor. The 5th Generation Hyundai Santa Fe, the 2019 model, has just been released and all Hyundai dealers should have them in their showrooms by the end of August 2018.
2019 Santa Fe – a REAL SUV
Hyundai Motor America product planners rightly concluded that the previous generation had gotten too soft and sporty. The stylists of that fourth generation sacrificed utility for style making the windshield faster and making the side [...]
2019 Honda Pilot with Dealer Installed Accessory Decal Kit – Say it isn’t so!
Honda is a car company, right? Their premium mid-size truck offerings – Honda Pilot, Honda Odyssey, Honda Ridgeline – are all doing very well thank you.
Honda’s Accord and Civic sedans have been among the best selling vehicles for years. Honda usually counts retail sales when they are quoting sales figures because their sales to fleets is virtually non-existent. But their best selling vehicle is the Honda CR-V – a mid-size crossover SUV (XSUV). It seems like every other woman in Orange County is driving one. Year to date, “truck sales” have accounted for 52% of Honda’s sales in the USA. (AutoPacific’s forecast is that truck sales will be over 70% of the industry within the next five years).
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.
The 2018 Hyundai Accent looks good and doesn't look particularly downscale. Accent now has the signature Hyundai grille. Its profile is semi-fastback like the Sonata. The ride is good. Handling is better than many small cars. Ergonomics are excellent.
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.
The Kia Stinger is a 5-door hatchback sport sedan that ventures into an area Kia has not gone before. Kia describes the Stinger as “an inflection point that takes Kia to a different level”. Stinger is a rear wheel (or AWD) mid-size car with a long wheelbase, a large interior package and outstanding driving dynamics. Using worldwide design resources, the Stinger provides Kia with a world-class challenger to German sport sedans. The vehicle closest in concept is the Audi A7 hatchback.