Posts from ‘Industry News’
The quixotic tale of a doomed luxury car and an interview with a veteran car designer turned out to be golden opportunities for two freelance contributors to Collectible Automobile® magazine, a companion publication to Consumer Guide® Automotive.
Here’s a fun thing to do: Visit the EPA’s public website, fueleconomy.gov, and do a search by manufacturer. The drop-down menu lists every automobile brand you might expect, plus a couple you might not.
“They’ve never turned a profit.”
This phrase has become the official battle cry of Tesla detractors nationwide. Industry pundits with an anti-Tesla axe to grind—and there are many–wield this sentence with the fervor of a sandwich-board prognosticator warning that the end is near.
Though the overall numbers are still relatively small, consumers around the globe are buying more electric vehicles than ever before. That said, those motorists embracing electrification—at least in the U.S.–seem to still be of an early adopter mentality. Most mainstream shoppers remain skeptical that the switch to pure-electric driving will be worth the perceived hassles.
To truly excite the passions of the American automotive media, you need news that strikes close to home. International news, no matter how significant, is generally met with indifference among many U.S. auto writers. General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and the GM board of directors opt out of the European, Indian, and South African new-vehicle markets—yawn. The Chinese government mandates that 12 percent of new vehicles retailed in China (the world’s largest new-car market) must be pure electric by 2020—whatever.
On a per-person basis, Americans buy more new cars than do the Japanese. In 2017, for example, American buyers snatched up roughly 17.3 million cars and light trucks. That works out to approximately one car for every 18 U.S. residents.
Ford Motor Company today unveiled its plans to replace more than 75 percent of its model lineup by 2020, and is aiming to have the “freshest” product roster in the North American market by that time. The manufacturer will focus heavily on trucks, SUVs, and hybrid vehicles in the next 24 months. More pure-electric vehicles are slated to follow starting in 2020, with six battery electric vehicles (BEVs) planned for introduction by 2022.
It’s getting hard to sell cars. And when I say cars, I mean cars specifically, because automakers are having no trouble at all moving crossovers. Take last year, for example. In an overall market that was down slightly, car sales slipped a significant 11 percent, while crossover sales rose a healthy seven percent.
There’s no better place than an auto show to see a broad range of brand-new vehicles up close, and there’s also no better place to check out the latest trends in factory paint-color offerings. One of our Chicago Auto Show traditions is to scour the show floor on the hunt for interesting new or recently introduced colors—“double-take” hues that are more eye-catching that the usual whites, silvers, blacks, and grays (and, for that matter, straightforward fire-engine reds).
By now you’ve heard plenty about the eventual death of the traditional automobile. Word on the street is that consumers are abandoning their coupes and sedans for crossovers at a startling pace. Further, margins on crossovers are significantly higher these days, meaning that makers are putting more incentive cash into car deals to help move them out the door.