Joseph Choi's Articles

Amid Slumping Sales, Will Scion Adjust its Brand Strategy?

When Toyota introduced Scion to the American market in the early 2000s, it was easy to view the nascent brand as an appropriate channel through which it could reach a new demographic of customers. Scion, which in English translates to “descendant of” from an old French word with Germanic roots, was a brand designed to target younger car buyers by means of progressive, youth-centric marketing and transparent pricing to appeal to a forward-thinking, fast-evolving 20’s crowd. Business quickly took off with yearly sales reaching 173,034 vehicles in 2006, which represen ...

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As Dusk Settles on the Lancer EVO, Mitsubishi Ushers in a New Era

Since the early 2000s, coinciding with Mitsubishi Motors North America’s decline in sales and market share, consumer awareness of the small Japanese brand has steadily diminished and has largely become forgotten among mainstream car buyers. Financial struggles and a limited product portfolio perennially has the automaker identified as a brand expected to disappear from the U.S. market, yet the company is refusing to give up with positive signs emerging that things are headed in the right direction. While value retention remains a weak spot, sales are trending upward and the dealer ne ...

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DRIVEN: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible

Location: WAPA Rally 2014, Boyds, Maryland Having been on sale for over six decades, the Chevrolet Corvette needs no introduction and with 28,909 sales October year-to-date, up 146% versus last year, it continues to be a major player among American muscle aficionados. As its current sales rate indicates, the C7 Corvette, which came out last year, has truly outdone itself and has separated itself from all those that came before it. The newest-generation model has already sold more units in 2014 than the C6 did as far back as 2008, with two sales months remaining this year. There is no be ...

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Fast Cars & Fun Times at Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) Rally 2014

On October 24, 2014, the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) held its annual “WAPA Rally” at Little Seneca Lake in Boyds, Maryland, roughly 25 miles northwest of our nation’s Capital. The quiet rural environment provided a fantastic backdrop for the event, which served as an opportunity for us to explore and drive a wide variety of vehicles from well over a dozen brands. In addition, a number of company representatives were on hand to network with and offer their product knowledge, but the highpoint of the day was certainly getting behind the wheel of the cars. ...

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New AWD Strategy Makes More Sense of Acura’s Product Marketing

For Acura fans from yesteryear who recall the merits of iconic cars such as the Integra, Legend and NSX, Honda’s luxury brand has increasingly become a source of frustration. When Acura initially hit the U.S. luxury market in 1986, ahead of any of its Japanese peers, it was a progressive brand with regards to its technological ingenuity and quickly became a massive success as a fledgling luxury marque. Unfortunately, questionable marketing and design decisions along with a lack of innovation in engineering led to the stagnation of the brand’s growth over the past decade, but sp ...

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Subaru Refuses to Slow Down, Boosts 2014 Forecast to 500K Units

For six consecutive years and counting, the emerging automotive force that is Subaru has increased its total sales and forecasted a target of 460,000 units in the United States for 2014. This month, Subaru of America announced that its sales objective needed to be adjusted, not because business was slowing down, but because its momentum now has it on pace to crush its previous target. Through August, with sales up 19% year-to-date, the automaker elevated its forecasted sales figure to 500,000 units, a feat it has never accomplished before in America. With the company’s deliveries already ...

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Volkswagen Trims Line-up with Departure of Eos

Beginning in 2013, things took a turn for the worse for Volkswagen of America following a period of accelerated growth when the company took the market by storm. Sales have fallen every month since April 2013, a streak of 17 months, and the percent change in sales year-over-year declined by double-digits in 10 out of the past 12 months. With the bulk of VW’s sales coming from only two models, the Jetta and Passat sedans that accounted for over 66% of sales year-to-date, the brand has begun to trim its lowest-volume vehicles, beginning with the Routan mini-van. After being on the market s ...

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The 2015 Ford Expedition Looks to Sneak Up on Competition

Although the current Ford Expedition has been on sale since the 2007 model year, its presence has been little felt over the past several years while the large utility segment’s share of the industry has dwindled. Between 2009 and 2013, the automotive market grew by 59% and dwarfed the 14% growth of the large SUV segment, which shrunk to a 1.7% share of the industry’s sales in 2013. Remarkably, the Ford Expedition accounted for a mere 15% of the segment’s sales during that time compared to the 72% share enjoyed by rival products from General Motors. However, Ford Motor Com ...

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Red Hot Chevy Camaro Extends Lead over Competition

Back in 2007, the major motion picture Transformers hit theaters as a summer blockbuster and was hugely successful in its revitalization of the popular robot franchise that first appeared in the 1980s. Sharing in the commercial success of the movie was General Motors, which showcased several of its product offerings as Autobot protagonists to great effect. Disguised as a weathered yellow 1977 second-generation Camaro, Bumblebee made his first appearance before modernizing his look to that of the fifth-generation Camaro prototype, dropping the jaws of muscle car fans around the world in the ...

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NADA UCG’s 2014 Car Shopper Survey Ranks Consumer Preferences for New Vehicles

NADA Used Car Guide’s 2014 Car Shopper Preference Survey on NADAguides.com revealed Fuel Economy as the factor considered most important when deciding on a new vehicle purchase by both car and truck buyers. Cost of Ownership and Power & Performance were ranked second and third most important by both car and truck buyers. Technology, Brand and Environmental Impact were the least considered factors for both car and light-truck shoppers surveyed. Survey respondents were asked to rank their top preferences as the most important factor considered when buying a new car or ...

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