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Posts Tagged ‘suv sales’

Buick Confirms TDB Report: Will Halt Verano Production

Brand shifting focus to SUVs.

by on May.27, 2016

Heading off into the sunset, the Buick Verano.

General Motors  will end U.S. production and sales of the compact Buick sedan, confirming a report first posted by this spring.

The move reflects the broad market shift from conventional passenger cars to sport- and crossover-utility vehicles. Buick utility-vehicle line-up is expected to account for as much as 70% of its sales over the next several years, according to senior brand planners.

Product News!

Sales of the Verano were down nearly 12% for the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2015. And last year’s total sales of 31,886 of the sedans was a 27% drop from 2014.


Buick Reportedly Planning to Kill Off Verano

Move would mark another shift from cars to SUVs.

by on May.10, 2016

Buick will be dropping the Verano as it shifts from passenger cars to light trucks.

Just days after Fiat Chrysler outlined plans to phase out several of its passenger car models and shift production to its SUVs and pickups, reports have surfaced indicating General Motors’ Buick will drop the small Verano sedan model as the brand shifts its own focus to a growing line-up of sport-utility vehicles.

The move would not surprise industry observers who have been observing more and more American motorists walk away from traditional passenger cars in favor of utility vehicles, pickups and other light truck models that, in recent months, have accounted for as much as 60% of new vehicle sales in the U.S.

Tracking Trends!

The shift has forced manufacturers to rethink both manufacturing and product development strategies. And, in some cases, it has led them to cut back or even idle production at some of the plants producing slow-selling sedan and coupe models, such as Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and the Orion Assembly Plant that produces the Verano.


EV, Hybrid Owners Swapping Green Rides for SUVs

Improved fuel efficiency of SUVs helping to draw green model owners.

by on Apr.22, 2016

If you're driving one of these now, the odds are better than ever your previous vehicle was a hybrid or an EV.

All of those new SUVs trundling down America’s roadways may have more in common than what meets the eye. With increasing frequency, those new sport-ute owners are former EV or hybrid devotees.

A new study from shows that just 27.5% of all hybrids and electric vehicles traded in this year were swapped for another like model. It’s a substantive drop from the 38.5% from 2015.

The Last Word!

And the vehicle they’re most likely to replace their gas sipper for? Yup, an SUV. Edmunds found that a hybrid or electric trade-in is more likely to go toward the purchase of a ute 33.8% more often than another hybrid or EV. (more…)

Automakers Struggle as Small Car Sales Slide

Midsize models also taking a hit as cheap gas lures shoppers to SUVs and CUVs.

by on Apr.12, 2016

Dodge will now offer just 3 versions of the Dart.

Desperate to reverse declining sales of some of its smallest passenger cars, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is trimming back the line-up of its compact Dodge Dart line and cutting as much as $1,600 off the sticker price of the three remaining models.

The Detroit maker isn’t alone. Across the industry, automakers are struggling to shore up demand for their sedans and coupes, especially the compact and smaller models that have been especially hard hit by the past year’s sharp dip in fuel prices.

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Manufacturers are ramping up incentives, trimming model lines and, in some cases, cutting production or moving it offshore in a bid to reduce production costs.

“We are repositioning the Dart lineup to better align production and dealer inventory with consumer demand and preference,” Tim Kuniskis, FCA’s head of passenger car brands.


South Korea’s Ssangyong Set to Make Push into US Market

For SUV model could be on sale by late 2019.

by on Mar.08, 2016

Ssangyong's first model built under Mahindra ownership, the Tivoli Air SUV.

The U.S. car market has been getting a bit more crowded lately, as new brands like Tesla and Faraday Future have entered the fray against more established manufacturers, and Apple and Google reportedly get ready to launch their own car lines.

Now, another brand is eyeing the market, the Korean-based Ssangyong Motor Co. Owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra, it may make its “make or break” bid as early as 2019, CEO Choi Johng-sik said.

Global News!

But a report by the Reuters news service cautions that there may be some disagreement between officials at Ssangyong headquarters in Korea and their bosses in India that could delay or scuttle the venture.


Honda Tops List of Best SUV Buys Under $25K

Asian automakers dominate’s top 10 list.

by on Mar.04, 2016

Honda's CR-V is one reason why crossovers and sport-utiliies are outselling sedans for the first time ever.

New vehicle sales are still red hot and sport-utility vehicles are among the vehicles generating the heat these days, in particular compact SUVs.

Small SUVs offer buyers a lot of upside: elevated ride height and four-wheel drive capability as well as good gas mileage allowing buyers to hedge against a return to gas prices above $3 a gallon some day.

Picking up on the Trends!

Perhaps their best selling point is the selling price: a well-equipped small SUV can be had for less than $25,000. (more…)

Trucks Rule at Chicago Auto Show – and Across the U.S.

Automakers race to add new products, more capacity.

by on Feb.12, 2016

The Chevrolet Trax is one of the newest utes from GM, and sales are outstripping supply.

Chevrolet faces the sort of challenge most automakers can only dream of. Its various pickup plants are operating at full, three-shift capacity and can’t build any more trucks. If anything, says marketing executive Sandor Piszar, that means the bowtie brand is losing possible sales.

“The toughest part is keeping up with demand,” said Piszar, during a conversation at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show’s media preview. “We’re running flat out at all our plants.”

Picking up on the Trends!

Actually, Chevy isn’t entirely unique. Hyundai is struggling to keep up with demand for utility vehicles like the Tucson, shifting capacity at its plant in Alabama to build more of the mid-range Santa Fe Sport. Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, with rare exception, every automaker spoke with is laying out plans to boost truck capacity and, in many cases, add more truck models.


SUV Sales to Remain High, Ford’s LaNeve Says

Ford planning four all-new SUVs.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Ford's Mark LaNeve said today that he expects SUV sales to remain strong and Ford plans to add four new iterations to capitalize on the trend.

With the popularity of sport utility vehicles expanding worldwide among young and older buyers, Ford Motor Co. plans to capitalize on the trend by adding four new SUV nameplates to the company’s product portfolio within the next four years.

Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of marketing, sales and service, said during breakfast meeting that opened the Chicago Auto Show that demographics hold the key to the continued growth of the SUV market.

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“As members of the 80-million strong millennial age group enter their prime child rearing years, a leading indicator of more SUV sales, nearly 80 million aging baby boomers continue to prefer their SUVs,” he said. (more…)

SUV Sales To Keep Growing, Ford Adding Four More Utes

Industry shifts product mix to reflect changing consumer demand.

by on Jan.14, 2016

Ford President Hinrichs, in white shirt, at the launch of the 2015 Edge utility-vehicle.

Light trucks sales surged to record numbers last year, and the shift from passenger cars to pickups, vans, and utility vehicles is far from over, or so Ford Motor Co. is betting as it realigns its future product plans.

The Detroit automaker is now planning to add at least four new SUVs over the next “few years,” a senior executive said this week, though President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs wouldn’t provide specific details on their roll-out.

Your Utility Vehicle!

But the move is an inevitable reflection of industry trends, Hinrichs told “We see a lot of growth. SUVs were 30% of the industry last year but could go to 40%” before the end of the decade.


Automakers Shift Production as Sedans Slide, SUVs Surge

More Santa Fe Sports, fewer Sonatas, at Hyundai’s Alabama plant.

by on Jan.08, 2016

The Santa Fe Sport. Hyundai believes it could sell lots more if it had the production capacity.

Hyundai plans to add production of its Santa Fe Sport at its assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama this coming summer, hoping to keep up with a surge in demand for utility vehicles driven, at least in part, by low fuel prices.

The boost in production of the Santa Fe Sport will come at the expense of the Hyundai Sonata, since the capacity of the Alabama plant will remain around 400,000 a year. But that’s no surprise, industry analysts say, as Sonata sales in the U.S. slipped 1.7% in 2015 due to lagging demand for sedans, in general. Sales of the compact Hyundai SUV, however, were limited by a lack of supply.

We're Your Trusted Utility!

And Hyundai isn’t alone, said Stephanie Brinley, a senior automotive analyst with IHS Automotive. “What we are seeing in the 2015 results is an increased appetite for SUVs, with sedans taking a hit.”