In this section of the blog, you can find information and opinions about car sales in the United States. Stay up-to-date with which cars are selling the best and what we think future models will do.
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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 …

US sales: October 2015, Brands

US sales monthly logoUS car sales in October 2015 were up by 14% compared to October 2014, continuing their incredible rise in the second half of the year. Clearly, the current market conditions of low gas prices, low interest rates and a favorable economic outlook encourage car buying. It also shows that consumers seem not to have lost their fate in the industry as many have predicted they would in the aftermath of Dieselgate. … Continue Reading …

US is missing out: Nissan Rogue hybrid (but not for long)

Nissan X-Trail HybridOne of the biggest success stories of 2015 in the US has been the Nissan Rogue (X-Trail in other markets). Whereas the previous generation in its first year (2007) sold only 30% as many units as the leader of the Compact SUV segment, the Honda CR-V, in 2015 so far it’s sold more than 80% as many units, and may yet finish the year in 4th place if it can overhaul the Chevy Equinox over the past 3 months of the year. By all rights, Nissan should be very happy with how the new Rogue has performed, however there is one version of the car that Nissan has so far denied that US, but which could cement the model’s success and make a true push for class leadership: the Nissan Rogue Hybrid.… Continue Reading …

US sales: September 2015, Brands

Sales of cars in September 2015 were up by a whopping 16% compared to September 2014, an incredible rise given that they only grew by 4% between the first half of 2014 and 2015. Since sales in the US are cyclical by calendar year it’s hard to imagine this growth is driven by any particular effort on behalf of the manufacturers to move more metal off the forecourts. Rather, it’s probably a result of continually improving economic conditions, low gas price and, possibly more than most, people wanting to take advantage of low lease rates before the Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates later this year.

VW Passat Clean Diesel

VW Passat “Clean” Diesel

The question on everyone’s mind must be “how much was VW hurt by Dieselgate”? The answer is that it does not seem to have been hurt badly at all, with sales actually growing by 1%. Sure, that’s much worse than the market on average, but it’s not like VW was gaining sales before the scandal hit anyway. The fact is it may take time for the sales figures to fully reflect the extent of the damage – October will give us a better look.

Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Alternative Power segment

US Alternative PowerSales in the Alternative Power segment fell by 12% compared to the first half of 2014, one of the larger drops from among all segments. In fact, only three cars sold more in the first half of 2015 than in the same period last year – Tesla Model S and BMW’s i3 and i8. This fall in sales most likely is driven by the continuing low gasoline price, as well as the expectation that this situation may continue for a long time.

Toyota Prius 2016

Toyota Prius Mk IV

You don’t get points for guessing the market leader – the Toyota Prius has dominated this segment ever since the second generation came to the American shores in 2004. However, while the introduction of the V (quasi-MPV, albeit not available in the US with 7 seats for some reason, unlike in Europe) and C (smaller model) helped the Prius to its best showing in 2012, when almost a quarter million Prius cars were sold in the US, 2015 seems like it will be the first time since then that the Prius will sell fewer than 200,000 units. I guess customers are waiting for the new model, but you have to wonder if the awkwardly-styled Mk IV is everything they were hoping for…… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Exotics segment

US ExoticsThe Exotics segment grew by 5% compared to the first half of 2014, roughly in line with the whole industry. The problem with the headline figure is that it encompasses the whole of the Maserati brand, none of which are arguably exotic, but end up here because Maserati is the largest brand that does not break out their sales in the US.

So, excluding Maserati, the largest Exotic brand remains Bentley with over 1,200 sales in H1 2015 – even the 8% fall year-on-year was not bad for what is arguably a rather aged line-up by now. Still, it is reasonable to expect the sales figure to shoot up like crazy in a year or so when the Beluga… sorry, Bentayga goes on sale. For now, though, the brand was almost caught in sales terms by Ferrari, which is on course to go even better than its 2014 record of over 2,000 units sold in one year. The prancing horse is certainly doing better in the US than its main rival Lamborghini, who recorded less than half as many sales and lies in 5th despite a healthy 11% growth following the introduction of the Huracan.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Large Sports segment

US Sports Large

The Large Sports segment in the US stayed pretty much the same size as it was in the first half of 2014 – it did not fall but it did not rise either, broadly reflecting the composition of the marketplace – most cars are recent enough, a few are new and a few are on the way out. As a mature segment it is also likely to stay like that in the forthcoming future, although there are a few notable new models just around the corner: Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe and the Porsche 911 facelift. … Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Small Premium Sports segment

US Small Sports Premium

The Small Premium Sports segment shrank by 20% compared to the first half of 2014, the largest drop from amongst all segments. This is a very surprising outcome, as this segment is full of attractive cars that aren’t all that old, plus one would think that in a recovering economy fun-to-drive and cool-to-be-seen-in cars would do well. It seems not… While part of the decline is due to the Audi TT being pulled from the market in preparation for the new model, the fact is all cars in this segment experienced a drop in sales, bar for the new Alfa Romeo 4C.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Cargo Vans segments

US vans

There are two segments that make up Cargo VansSmall Vans and Full-size Vans. While both of them grew year-on-year, the momentum is clearly with the smaller segment, which grew by 42%, compared to 8% for the larger cars. One has to keep in mind this is a relatively new segment in the US, with two out of the five competitors being new in 2015, and as such is growing from a much smaller base – at 43k sales total it was barely over 25% of the 160k sales total for Full-size Vans.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Large Pick-up segment

US Large Pickup

The Large Pick-up segment grew by 4%, the exact same rate as the overall market, which is only appropriate given that to many this segment epitomizes the US car market. And as has been the case for many, many years, the Ford F-series is the segment leader with over 350,000 units sold in half a year. Clearly, customers have embraced the aluminum components in what has traditionally been an old-fashioned segment.… Continue Reading …