At the recent 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, there was much anticipation regarding whether Honda would be able to best its successes from 2015. Last year proved to be huge for the Honda brand in the United States as it set a new calendar year record for light truck sales with 661,188 deliveries, a nearly 12% improvement over prior year. In order to continue its sales push, however, the automaker will need to revitalize its Ridgeline nameplate, which is exactly what it set out to do in Detroit this year.
Acura recently released pricing information for its much anticipated 2017 NSX and unsurprisingly the supercar will carry a lofty price tag to match its high expectations. Pricing will start at $157,800, including destination, but those looking for all the trimmings will have to pony up $207,500. While the newest NSX is certainly a vehicle only afforded by individuals with deep pockets, it is important to remember the original model wasn’t exactly cheap either despite having a much lower MSRP. What made the previous generation NSX particularly special, however, was its ability to hold its value over the years, which is something the new NSX will try to duplicate in addition to meeting its obvious design and performance goals.
Last week, Automotive News published an interesting piece analyzing changes in the rental market over the past few years. The article concluded that as domestic automakers General Motors and Ford Motor Company have lowered sales to rental fleets, Asian brands led by Hyundai and Kia from South Korea have stepped in to fill the gap with increased fleet deliveries of their own. A deeper dive, however, reveals that although the Koreans’ current rental penetration is higher than it was a few years ago, it is fairly modest by Korean standards over the past decade.
At the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show a few weeks ago, Mazda Motor Corporation President and CEO Masamichi Kogai revealed the brand’s newest-generation CX-9 model, a seven passenger crossover. It was a celebration of sorts as the three-row crossover is the final model in the product lineup to transition to Mazda’s Kodo design language. Resultantly, the unveiling was the completion of a shift to a new era for the company with a new look and array of SkyActiv technologies. Thus far, the transformation has had a positive effect on the brand’s portfolio, but to get a sense of how one-year value retention may improve for the 2016 CX-9, we will analyze the company’s three highest-volume models, the CX-5, Mazda3 and Mazda6 during the periods each model was updated.
In 2011, the BMW i8 Concept plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was unveiled at the International Motor Show Germany and featured in the blockbuster film, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. With its futuristic design and bold color scheme, the car was truly a sight to be seen; however, as the electric supercar was the product of the automaker’s nascent BMW i division, it remained to be seen if the car had the substance to match its style.
When the Mazda MX-5 Miata was introduced 25 years ago, it made a huge impression and was named “Most Trouble-Free Sports Car” in the 1990 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). By 1991, the small, lightweight roadster won over the hearts of its drivers worldwide and achieved nearly 30,000 registrations in the United States alone. Although Miata volume has steadily declined since its peak, the iconic car remains a fan favorite and holds the title of best-selling two-seat sports car of all time. As evidence the Miata hasn’t rested on its laurels, the roadster has regularly earned recognition as a J.D. Power award winner over the years, including its most recent award in the 2015 IQS Compact Sports Car Segment.
As we make our way through the second half of 2015, Nissan has much to be excited about from a sales standpoint regarding its mid-size Altima model. With nearly 206,000 deliveries through July, the Altima has a 15,631 unit sales lead over the Honda Accord after a 17,244 unit sales deficit just a year ago. The Nissan Altima’s 1.4% year-over-year sales improvement puts the model squarely in second place within the mid-size car segment. Now behind the Toyota Camry, Nissan sedan finally surpassed the Accord, which had sold more often than the Altima for years. Notably, the Accord’s 14% sales drop versus last year contributed to its current third place status. After taking a deeper look into the factors with the greatest effect on these sales trends, it appears the Altima’s sales performance is not as great as it seems at face value.
With the long-lasting success of Honda's S2000 roadster in mind, the automaker has begun to get its groove back by means of its new, Japan-only S660 model. The market, however, is not reacting exactly how the company anticipated.
Due to tepid demand within the U.S. small car market Ford Motor Company recently announced their Focus compact would cease production at its Michigan Assembly Plant in 2018. With the factory suffering from underutilization, the Blue Oval may possibly move future production to another country. Formal labor talks are scheduled to commence between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union on July 23, yet there is speculation the announcement is merely a negotiating tactic employed by Ford to improve its bargaining position. Time will tell whether the announcement is a legitimate factor or not, but a look into the Focus’ manufacturing and market performance suggests the company has concerns ― especially with regards to opportunity cost ― when deciding to produce its compact car in the United States or elsewhere.
With the debut of its fifth-generation Explorer for the 2011 model year, Ford made tremendous strides improving its renowned SUV. Customers were quick to take notice as nearly 82,000 more registrations were achieved in 2011 versus the previous year (+182%). The Explorer went on to perform better each year thereafter with just under 211,000 vehicles registered last year. Ford is now number one in the segment ahead of models such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and GMC Acadia. However, with the reveal of the 2016 refresh at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford has shown it’s eager for even greater success over the years to come.