The auto industry is constantly evolving, and recently more so than any other time in history. Merrill Lynch has recently conducted a study which reveals that 105 new models will roll off production lines starting in 2012 and slowly entering the market by 2015. This does include cars, trucks and SUV’s, as well as commercial-oriented vehicles, but still, that’s a lot of new cars. Ford, GM and Toyota are projected to pick up the most market share in the U.S., which is good news considering two of the three are headquartered in the U.S., and auto transporters have noticed a significant rise in U.S.-built cars on the back of their rigs, which is clearly a sign of some serious changes in Detroit. Some manufacturers may lag behind, but hey, no one cares about them anyway, right?
Consumer Reports has recently released a report stating that 37% of shoppers say that fuel economy is their number-one selling point or it will be in the future. Quality came in a distant second at 17%, with safety at 16%, value at 14% and performance at 6%. These numbers really aren’t shocking to anyone, considering that the automobile manufacturers have been watching this trend and responding with hybrids, plug-in electrics and gas-powered engines that get a combined 40-mpg. But while fuel economy is up there, so is expense, as evidenced by the lack of sales for many hybrid and full-electric vehicles. This is important to note as auto manufacturers are having a hard time selling their more-expensive alternate-energy vehicles when they’re competing against cheaper, high-quality gas-powered cars. The Ford Fiesta starts at just over $10,000 and the new Dodge Dart will debut around $13,000, which in vehicle terms is pretty darn cheap.
Since the first Prius was introduced back in Japan in 1997, Toyota has sold over four million hybrid units worldwide, with the new Prius C and Prius V Wagon accounting for roughly 250,000 of those sales. Toyota estimates that there are now 2.6 million Prius vehicles on the road today and 270,000 Camry Hybrids worldwide, with interest in both vehicles rapidly growing. Auto transporters in the U.S. often ship Prius vehicles, and the Prius is one of the few hybrid vehicles that has survived in the public interest for more than a few months. Unlike the Nissan Leaf, the Prius and Camry Hybrids are still pulling in healthy sales, though sales overall for hybrids and electric vehicles are still down in the U.S.
BMW finally did it. They edged Toyota out of the top spot in the brand value category, but it wasn’t without some major outside help. Toyota has long held the top spot for brand value, but recently their numbers plunged by 10% thanks to things like the tsunami and the nuclear incident in Japan last year, which resulted in huge supply chain interruptions that really hurt Toyota’s wallet last year. But BMW worked hard to use that to their advantage as their brand value numbers jumped 10% to take the top spot. But despite all the problems that Toyota has faced, they still managed to come in second, and this isn’t surprising to a lot of auto transporters, who almost always have a Toyota or two on the back of their rigs. It’s crazy to think how good Toyota really is, despite all the problems they’ve had.
Total Car Score recently started giving out TCS Awards, which are given to the best cars, trucks, SUV’s, crossovers and vans across all makes and models in the industry today. The first awards were handed out recently, and Ford took home 5 out of the possible 20 categories. Honda came in second at 4, with Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen each gathering 3. Most auto transport companies could tell you right away that Ford is running rampant in the reliability and price sectors, as new Fords are constantly being shipped across the country. Ford has gained a reputation over the last few years of making dependable American cars again, and its something that they’re backing up with solid fact.