Joseph Choi's Articles

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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FJ Cruiser Heading toward Strong Finish to its Product Lifecycle

Since its introduction in 2006, the FJ Cruiser has been Toyota’s version of a fun, rugged, retro-styled SUV, paying homage to the original Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers that first appeared in the 1960’s. After several years in production, however, the FJ Cruiser will be discontinued after the 2014 model year, leaving the niche off-road segment solely to the hot-selling Jeep Wrangler. Nevertheless, the Toyota SUV is not going away quietly with sales trending upward in its final year on sale to match its strong value retention. While Toyota no longer sells over 55,000 units of ...

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Americans Hit the Road Again this July 4th Weekend

  In the heart of summer takes place arguably the most American of all holidays, Independence Day. With students now on break from school, many Americans will take advantage of the July 4th weekend to travel and most will do it by means of our nation’s highways. As Americans have increased their tolerance for spending in recent years, it is interesting to see how 2014 compares to years past and what has changed among people’s travel preferences. By analyzing trends in factors such as consumer spending and gas prices, we can get a better sense of how travel during one of ...

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Mitsubishi’s New Sales Growth Continues, but Retention Lags

Though its sales and market share have been in decline since the early 2000’s, Mitsubishi once carried a robust lineup in the United States that included such iconic cars as the now discontinued Eclipse and 3000GT. With much of its sport and rally heritage left in its past, save for the Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi is very much a shell of what it once was as the brand looks to create a new path toward prosperity. After trimming its product portfolio down, the only models currently offered by the Japanese automaker in America are the Lancer, which includes the Sportback and Evolution, ...

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The New Lincoln MKC Perhaps the Brand’s Best Effort Yet

Over the past several years, Ford Motor Company has made tremendous strides in transforming its business from one plagued with financial instability and uncertainty to one of record profits. At the center of the turnaround effort was the Ford brand, which underwent a product overhaul as part of its “One Ford” plan. Changes to Ford’s corporate culture led to achievements including the reduction of the number of its global platforms and the development of the company’s acclaimed EcoBoost engines, both of which helped set the foundation for the Blue Oval’s future ...

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The New Acura RLX’s Value Exceeds its Tepid Sales

Honda has long been known for its attention to detail, which is reflected by the high build quality and reliability of its products. Consequently, Acura models have exemplified many of the same endearing characteristics that have made Honda a valued brand in driveways across America. The challenge until now has been elevating the Acura brand’s status as a luxury marque to one on par with European makes and its Japanese rival, Lexus. With the recent launch of the RLX sedan last year, the company was hoping its new model would chart a different course for Acura. After a year on sale, h ...

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The Kia K900 is a Great Deal for the Self-Made Professional

Since coming to American shores two decades ago, Kia Motor America has done much to raise the profile of its brand. However, the K900 is particularly significant in that it symbolizes a coming-out party for the Korean automaker, forging higher into luxury territory and further raising the bar for itself. When seeing the vehicle in person, one would be hard-pressed to find anything non-premium and taking a seat inside conjures a sense of comfort typically reserved for social elites. What makes the K900 special, however, is that it is representative of the type of people who come from humble ...

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Subaru’s New Business Plan Sets the Stage for Future Success

After achieving unprecedented sales growth that resulted in record earnings and production capacity constraints, parent company Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Subaru’s largest shareholder, Toyota, began mulling last August whether to have Subaru compete on a larger scale with higher volumes or maintain its niche status and greater profit margins. At that time, I wrote a blog post covering Subaru’s upward trajectory during the past decade, along with the dilemma it faced, and nine months later the company revealed its ambitions for the next several years in presenting its new bu ...

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