Look-a-like: Jeep Grand Cherokee and…

Jeep Cherokee 2

You know the feeling when you’ve worked on something for a while, and then the end result is really great? At first you’re happy with how it all turned out, and you’re looking forward to all the accolade you’ll receive. But then it dawns on you that, before long, others will probably copy your good solution because, hey, if it works why not copy it? That is what I imagine Jeep felt like when it put the finishing touches on the Mk IV Grand Cherokee.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Compact segment

US compacts

While the compact segment was the only mainstream segment to grow in the first half of 2015, it was a growth it could not sustain into the third quarter, when its sales fell by 1%, bringing the total gains for the year so far down to 2%. Not a bad performance, given that many of the segments mainstays are about to be replaced or updated (Civic, Elantra, Cruze, Sentra). Still, with the mid-sized segment picking up steam the gap between the two is widening, and it may take more expensive gas for it to start closing again.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1-Q3 Subcompact segment

US subcompacts

The Subcompact segment shrank by 14% in Q3, a further acceleration of the decline in the first half of the year, compared to the market growing by 6% over the same period. As with the Minicar segment, a lot of this has to do with low gas prices that see people turning away from cars whose main selling point in the US is good gas milage. … Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 Q1 – Q3 Minicar segment

US mini 2

The Minicar segment could not maintain its growth from the first half of the year, and shrank by 9% in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014. This means that so far this year the segment has only grown by 3%, behind the overall sales growth of 5% , and may yet end up shrinking overall by the time 2015 is over. While at least some of this reversal is due to the continuing low gas prices which promote purchases of large cars, one has the feeling that it is also due to the cars available being a rather uninspiring and aging bunch…

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The fashion for numerical car names, and the associated inflation

Audi badgesWith the recent introduction of the Genesis brand Hyundai also outlined how the existing models would be renamed under the new brand: the Genesis large sedan would become the G80, while the Equus luxury limousine would become the G90. This development is yet another manifestation of a recent trend in the car industry, especially strong among luxury brands: giving your models numerical names.… Continue Reading …

Hit or Miss? Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat finally released pictures of the its new 124 Spider, along with information that it will be powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four good for 160hp (US) or 140hp (Europe). So while the new car is based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, complete with an almost-identical interior, the distinct styling and drivetrain promise a different ownership and driving experience to the diminutive Japanese roadster. … Continue Reading …

US sales: October 2015, models

Chevrolet_Silverado-US-car-sales-statistics

Chevrolet Silverado

Last week we looked at US sales broken out by brands, now it’s time to look at the model rankings. At the top we should not be surprised to see the three full-size pickups from the Detroit Big Three. Of the three it’s the Chevy Silverado that’s done best in October, gaining on the Ford F-series and opening up a sizable gap to the Ram Pickup. However, all three underperformed relative to the market as a whole, which grew by 13.6% compared to October 2014. In fact, the Ram Pickup’s slow 2.8% growth has allowed the 4th-placed Toyota Camry to close within a little over 6,000 units – it’ll be interesting to see if the Japanese sedan can continue closing the gap and challenge for the podium in the near future.… Continue Reading …

Good idea? Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet [w/ sales prediction poll]

 

Range Rover Evoque CabrioletAfter what seems like years of teasers and spyshots Range Rover finally showed off pictures of the new Evoque Cabriolet. And while normally time helps us get used to the idea of “out there” ideas, I am still not sure what to think of this car.… Continue Reading …

Look-a-like: Hyundai Equus and…

hyundai-equus-real-1.jpg1.

Is your company about to launch your first S-class competitor? Let’s see if you did your homework:

  1. Purpose-built RWD platform? Check
  2. Tons of tech, only some of it useful? Check
  3. A suitably pompous name, maybe derived from a dead language like Latin? Check
  4. A classy design that does not look like a FWD car from two classes below? Umm…

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Hyundai launches new luxury brand: Genesis [w/ poll]

Hyundai-25On Wednesday Hyundai finally announced what many have been speculating for years: that it will spin off a new luxury brand under which it will sell its Genesis, Equus and Coupe models. The brand will be named after the most popular model of the three, the Genesis, taking advantage of the name recognition it has earned since its 2008 debut. It will be the first major luxury brand created since Infiniti, the last of the Japanese luxury brands, came to the market in 1989.

So, what should we think of this? Does Genesis have a chance to succeed in the increasingly crowded luxury market, or does it not have a snowball’s chance in hell? Here are three reasons why I think it could succeed:… Continue Reading …