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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,227
    Despite the soft economy new mid-size car sales were up for May and for the year-to-date. The table below from the Wall Street Journal is from the Top 20 vehicles current month's sales.

    Make/May 08 Sales/% Change from May 07/YTD 2008 Sales/% Change from 2007 YTD
    Toyota Camry/…51,291/…2.3%/…198,309/…2.3%
    Honda Accord/…43,728/…37%/…166,158/…8.3%
    Chevy Impala/…23,803/…(33.3%)/…122,281/…(15.4%)
    Ford Fusion/…18,088/…26.7%/…73,197/…10.5%
    Chevy Malibu/…15,634/…51.3%/…73,760/…40%

    From the above it is clear that the Camry and Accord sales more than 3 times that of the Malibu. With such low volume sales it does not appear that GM’s $100 million advertising campaign for Malibu is working effectively.

    The figures above include Hybrid sales for the Accord and Camry. By the way, neither the Sonata nor the Altima made it in the top 20.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    How can you say that GM's advertising on the Malibu is not working? They have increased sales by 40% over last year, while Toyota is up only 2.3% and Honda is up 8.3%. Even Ford has a higher increase in YTD sales then Honda and Toyota, and Honda has a new Accord!! Thats bad for Honda!

    The purpose of advertising is to increase sales. GM has done what with the Malibu. BTW, The Accord is only selling little more then 2 times more then Malibu.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    FYI, the Altima was #7 in May, selling just below the Ford and Chevy pickups. And Sonata sales were up about 12% and Elantra (mid-sized by volume) up 46%. Elantra fell just out of the top 20, with nearly 14,000 sales.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    There's no way a mostly overlooked car such as the Malibu will suddenly rise to Camry/Accord sales after a year of finally having a competitive model. At best, the Malibu could hit sales parity in 5 or so years assuming a lot of changeover from japanese to american... somehow I doubt it'll happen. At best I think GM is looking to hit half the sales of a Camry/Accord, that would be a huge boost imho.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    Exactly. Accord and Camry didn't sell 400K/year the first few years either. It takes 4-5 generations of steady improvements to build up a recurring buyer base large enough to sustain those types of sales numbers. The Fusion, e.g., is just now eligible for repeat buyers since it's been out for just over 2.5 years now. And that's only for those with 2 yr leases. We'll have to wait another year or so for the 3 yr lease rollovers and probably another year after that for repeat purchasers.

    And Accord/Camry won't lose all of those customers overnight, just like the others won't gain them that quickly.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    It seems to me that all the consumers not buying F-150s and Silverados would be buying Fusions and Malibus. Some of them are, but many are not. Ford and GM would not make as much profit on the cars, but at least they would be selling something. From the numbers I've seen, most of the fuel conscious buyers are choosing the Civic, Corolla, Camry, or Accord. Bad news for Detroit.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    Well I'm sure this will be discussed, but for mid-size cars...here's that initial love!

    1. Chevy Malibu
    2. Mitsubishi Galant (WHOA SURPRISE!)
    3. Ford Fusion

    Interesting that the top 3 has no Honda or Toyota, instead we have the two big american makers and a surprise japanese brand with a terrible rep. Discuss! ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    JD Power has never had results favoring CRs favorites.

    I remember the old Sonata winning this award a time or two, myself.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Why do you feel it necessary to post the same exact information in multiple forums?

    Just curious...
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    It seems to me that all the consumers not buying F-150s and Silverados would be buying Fusions and Malibus. Some of them are, but many are not. ...... From the numbers I've seen, most of the fuel conscious buyers are choosing the Civic, Corolla, Camry, or Accord.

    There is NO way for you to know that. You're just making wild, biased guesses that can't be proven or dis proven. No pickup driver who uses their truck would trade it for a car. Neither will most SUV drivers. Large pickups might be replaced by smaller pickups (ranger sales were up recently) and SUVs might be replaced by CUVs (I just traded a V8 Aviator for a V6 Edge). Large/midsized cars might be replaced by smaller cars.

    Incidentally, focus retail sales are DOUBLE (103%) what they were last year and had it's best sales month ever in May. Convenient that you left it out of the list.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    To be fair, there are a lot of people who have SUVs that are looking to trade for cars....there are two in my family. The wife bought a midsized SUV in 2002 because she liked to haul a lot of plants and stuff but with current gas prices she regrets it and would like to get back to a car.

    There are also a lot of suburban owners of pick-ups that only use them as pick-ups occassionaly. I have a couple of neighbors that are looking to trade for cars.

    I agree that somebody who really needs a large vehicle or a truck will not go to car--they can't.

    Also, to be fair, Focus sales would be about 1/2 of what they are if it were not for SYNC. Even Ford dealers will tell you that. It's a really hot item that fits into the Focus's demographics. However, it is what is for whatever reason and should be noted as you say.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    Speaking of trading from SUV to a car...sounds like we'll need more midsize hatchbacks/wagons since they can cover a lot of the storage utility that a CUV or SUV can bring.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    No pickup driver who uses their truck would trade it for a car. Neither will most SUV drivers.

    Many of these people do not use their vehicle for anything that a car can not do. I just read an article last weekend where a local dealer said: The trend that we're seeing that's interesting now is people with full-size SUVs and pickups going into economy cars

    He also goes on to say:

    Many are families who own two large vehicles and are keeping one to use on the weekend to haul a boat, but they're buying a small car for commuting. and that the dealership typically has 40 Focuses in stock but it's tough to build up more than five right now and the Fusions are in low stock as well.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=757105

    So people not buying trucks are making many different choices.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    No pickup driver who uses their truck would trade it for a car. Neither will most SUV drivers.

    That's not what I said. The trade-in value of a truck is not good right now.
    Say there's this guy "Joe Blow".
    He needs his full size truck for hauling a boat or camper on the weekends, but also uses it for commuting 70 miles 5 days a week (hauling nothing but himself). Don't you think Joe would decide to keep the old truck for hauling the boat on weekends, and buy a new car, instead of a new truck, for commuting. The money saved on gas, could pay for the car in some cases.
  • karsickkarsick Posts: 312
    FWIW -

    I've always been skeptical of JD Power's owners' surveys (ever since Buicks were scoring higher than their GM stablemates).

    Is there a chance that the owner of a new $40k Buick is perhaps easier to satisfy than the owner of a new $40k Acura (who I'd assume more likely cross-shopped at Lexus, Infiniti, BMW & Mercedes before buying)????

    Granted, I don't think the Malibu, Fusion or Galant are junk, but....perhaps it reveals their owners' expectation levels. :confuse:
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    I'd say no because usually toyota and honda HAVE been top 3 of the category. Only recently have they finally been overtaken. Or do you think people have suddenly completely changed their expectations and opinions with the last couple years? I'm doubting that. I think these cars have just gotten their functionality and likeablility up enough that nobody has major complaints in the first 90 days so far. There does seem to be a lot of shifting year to year though. One year camry was #1, next it wasn't in the top 3.
  • john178john178 Posts: 48
    I've compared/contrasted the Camry, Accord, and Malibu- for the money, the Malibu is the best choice. It's not GM's fault for consumers not buying the Malibu- people continue to be brainwashed that imports are so much better than domestics, and for some reason buying imports seems to be a status symbol.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Although initial quality does not mean much to me, the fact that Toyota is #4 and Honda #6 shows that they do have a little work to do on the initial quality side. Both makes have had their fair share of minor issues (rattles) and it shows in this ranking, because Camry and Accord both have some issues.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    I just read a related article in the Herald Tribune (int'l NY Times) that said dealers are seeing more buyers trade the big trucks for small cars, like the Focus. These are people who do need a truck, e.g. for hauling a trailer occasionally, but have figured out they can RENT a truck for the few times each year they need one, and save lots of money on gas the rest of the year. Amazing how $4 a gallon for gas suddenly made people realize that this is a viable strategy.

    This article noted that the automakers see this trend as permanent, not some fad. So we'll be seeing small to medium sized cars top the sales charts in the future. Hopefully we'll also see more choice in roomy but fuel-efficient cars--like cars that have mid-sized interiors but compact exteriors, such as the Elantra, Prius, Sentra, and Versa.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Only recently have they finally been overtaken. Or do you think people have suddenly completely changed their expectations and opinions with the last couple years?

    Yes. There is obviously a disconnect between surveys and sales. If the surveys in fact really were statistically accurate, sales would follow. After all why would anybody buy something that's at the bottom of the barrel?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It's not GM's fault for consumers not buying the Malibu- people continue to be brainwashed that imports are so much better than domestics, and for some reason buying imports seems to be a status symbol.

    I want to develop a product that people to buy it again and again and again because their brainwashed.

    I'm one of those brainwashed people, and you know what when you give me my next Malibu I'll drive it, until then I'll spend my money on the car of my choice and buy it for my own reasons. And it's none of your business if I view the Accord as a status symbol, if that is even possible. :confuse
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    Yes. There is obviously a disconnect between surveys and sales. If the surveys in fact really were statistically accurate, sales would follow.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. You assume that the primary factor for purchasing a vehicle is reliability/quality and that is simply not true. For a lot of people, price is the major factor. For others it's features or interior or exterior styling. Some people are loyal to a brand or model regardless of anything else. Some people want a status symbol. Do you really think a BMW buyer cares whether BMW is at the top, middle or bottom?
  • 2002slt2002slt Posts: 228
    "For a lot of people, price is the major factor. For others it's features or interior or exterior styling."

    If those were the only two factors, the 2009 Hyundia Sonata would be the hands down top seller. It's too bad the brand has such a stigma attached to it. They should have changed the name, like Datsun did long ago.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Do you really think a BMW buyer cares whether BMW is at the top, middle or bottom?

    Yes. If BMW was at the bottom of the heap, nobody would buy an overpriced piece of junk and sales would suffer.

    IMO BMW buyers are picker than Buick buyers. Given a BMW and Buick the same flaw on a BMW would send it lower in ratings than a Buick.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Granted, I don't think the Malibu, Fusion or Galant are junk, but....perhaps it reveals their owners' expectation levels

    I think you might be right there. The Fusion and Malibu are 10 times better then what they replaced, therefore the people who have bought them now think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, while Honda and Toyota have not made any significant advance in quality.

    It's all about perception.

    Look at the reviews for the 09 Mazda6. They are bashing the old one, when Edmunds.com editors said it was their favorite. It was also touted as having good build quality, and now it's trashed in favor of the new one. Once again, it's about perception.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    If BMW was at the bottom of the heap, nobody would buy an overpriced piece of junk and sales would suffer.

    BMW 7 series' have always had crappy quality, but that didn't stop people from buying them.

    3-4 years ago Mercedes was at the bottom, but people didn't stop buying them.

    We're only talking about one half of one service visit between the top and bottom. It's not the difference between a mid 90's Accord and a Yugo.
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    Ahem, this is complete logical fallacy in so many ways. A survey is just a report on data from customers who have already bought a car. It has absolutely little influence on the actual sales of a car. How many people actually READ and USE the survey results? Not many at all. Maybe just the people on this board even.

    How many people are influenced in car buying here over the fact that tons of people and friends will automatically recommend a toyota or honda because of "reliability"? And yes they do, I've seen it myself plenty.

    My friend who loves fancy cars will immediately be like "oh you want a cheap car, uh get a honda or toyota because they're reliable" And of course I went the other direction and got a hyundai because it's reliable and less expensive :) But I gotta say, NOT A SINGLE PERSON I KNEW RECOMMENDED A HYUNDAI TO ME. This was back in 2003. Hopefully things have changed...but I for one will recommend whatever is best for a person, I hate brands. Since after I got mine, a number of other people I know now own or have looked at hyundais. This is certainly a difference from the past. Anyways it'll take many many years for all the [non-permissible content removed] influences in the market to ever be changed.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    BMW 7 series' have always had crappy quality, but that didn't stop people from buying them.

    Yean, like the Lexus GX430 or whatever it was. BMW has fixed the issues, have you driving a 750? If not take it for a test drive.

    3-4 years ago Mercedes was at the bottom, but people didn't stop buying them.

    True dat, people also bought the Aztec, Yugo and Pinto. But Mercedes sales were down.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    How many people are influenced in car buying here over the fact that tons of people and friends will automatically recommend a toyota or honda because of "reliability"? And yes they do, I've seen it myself plenty.

    I've seen it also, along with plenty of reliable Hondas and plenty of unreliable Hyundias. Yeah, that is why it will take years and years for a switch, if it ever happens.

    I hate brands

    Aren't all cars part of a brand?
  • moocow1moocow1 Posts: 230
    When I say hate brands, I mean I hate purely brand based thought process. Brands can matter in some situations, but in many, it's a worthless identifier. For cars in the current generation, brands have become far more meaningless.
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