Look-a-like: Dacia Duster and…

This Look-a-like is going to be a bit different, as it is based on a suggestions from CSB readers. In the metaphorical crosshairs this week: Dacia Duster, a car whose second generation recently debuted ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, impressing both Bart and myself. 

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US sales: August 2017, models

After discussing the US auto brand sales ranking for August, let’s take a closer look at the models ranking.

Top 10

Ford F-series

Ford F-series

The Top 10 this year has been the setting of many fascinating battles. First, there is the battle of the Large Pickups, a battle which Ford F-series remains firmly in control of despite a wobbly start to the year, with sales up 15.0% in August alone. Following the Ford are Chevrolet Silverado and Ram Pickup, with the Ram putting in some good performances earlier this year, outselling its rival for three straight months March through May and coming to within 5,000 cars in the YTD total at the end of that period, but the Chevy regaining initiative since then to widen the YTD sales gap to over 35,000 units by the end of August. August growth stats reflect this clearly: sales for the Chevy are up 3.9%, while for the Ram they are down 6.5%, the largest drop in 12 months.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: the pre-Frankfurt report

With the Frankfurt Auto Show almost upon us, Bart and I figured we’d run one of our customary Good, Bad and Ugly features ahead of the actual show, just to make sure we’re not swamped with the debuts once the doors open. This is a series all about opinions on a site totally dedicated to facts, just to balance it off a bit. Here we’ll give our views on new cars and invite you to give yours, be it in the poll at the bottom or in the comment section below. Fortunately, every opinion is personal so even Bart and I don’t always agree and we hope you don’t either.

Bentley Continental GT

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US sales: August 2017, brands

The decline in the US car market continued with a 1.6% decline in sales, despite August this year having one more sales day than last year. Despite the fact that some of the fall may be attributed to the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which hit the US towards the end of the month, it is clear that the market is not going to pick up anytime soon. The poor performance in August caused the SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) figure to drop to 16.13 million vehicles, the lowest figure in over three years.

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Look-a-like: VW T-Roc and…

The new VW T-Roc has brought a breath of fresh air to VW’s design, and unlike the most recent batch of Audis, or the new VW Arteon, it has done so without relying on an exaggerated grille. That said, while it all comes together very nicely, there are parts of the T-Roc’s design that immediately reminded me of cars that have come before it.

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VW releases new T-Roc – will it be a success? [w/ poll]

After many, many spyshots, followed by what seems like even more teasers, VW has finally pulled the wraps off the new T-Roc. 

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Look-a-like: BMW Z4 Concept and… [w/ poll]

The new BMW Z4 Concept is a good, maybe even great-looking car: it has great proportions, some really nice and aggressive detailing, and is finished in a very eye-catching combination of sunset orange and brushed aluminum. But is it a great-looking BMW? Cover the grille, or simply merge the two kidneys into one single item, and many would struggle to ascribe the car to a particular brand – the Z4 blends a lot of cues, many seemingly from other carmakers, making the finished product seem a bit too un-BMW-like for my taste. And while the outside influences could be ascribed to many different sources, there is one concept in particular that the Z4 reminds me of…

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US sales 2017 first half: Hybrids

Having analyzed the Electric Vehicles and the Plug-In Hybrid segments, let’s look at the final Alternative Power segment: regular hybrids. This segment is the most well-established of the three, with sales in the first half of 2017 almost twice as high as sales in the other two segments combined. As a result, the growth in the segment was not as high as for the other two, but 24.9% is nothing to be sneered at, as it was still higher than any non-Alternative Power segment bar the SUV Premium Compact segment. 

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US sales 2017 first half: Plug-in Hybrids

Having analyzed the Electric Vehicles segment, let’s look at plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs for short. The segment enjoyed a growth rate of 61.6%, the highest of all segments, though its total sales remain below those of pure Electric Vehicles, at just over 40,000 in the first half of the year.

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US sales 2017 first half: Electric Vehicles

Sales of Alternative Power cars in the United States increased by a substantial 32.2%, a rate of expansion considerably faster than that of the second fastest-growing segment, SUV Premium Compact. Comprising of regular hybrid, PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and EV (electric vehicle) segments, Alternative Power cars ended the first half of 2017 with almost 260,000 cars sold, more than the Subcompact segment, and not far off the Minivan segment. For accounting purposes, keep in mind that we classify many of the Alternative Power cars in other segments too e.g. Toyota Prius liftback figures in the Compact segment, while Ford Fusion PHEV figures in the Mid-sized segment. At least part of the reason for this growth is that EVs and PHEVs continue to benefit from Federal and State rebates, which lower their price even before consumers consider the lower cost at the pumps/mains.

First, let us look at the EVs segment, which grew by 41.2% in the first half of 2017, to a total of 45,150 cars.

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