A DEEPER LOOK AT THE AMERICAN MARKET


BusinessWeek is currently placing labels on automakers. BMW, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche, and Toyota are considered Top Dogs.  Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Nissan, and Saturn are considered Underdogs.  Here are some of the important stats:

BMW sold 293,795 cars in the USofA last year.  Two shocking asides you need to know include the fact that 142,488 of those were 3-series sedans, coupes, wagons, and convertibles (a Good 12 winner). Secondly, it wasn’t long ago that Jaguar was aiming for great success with 200,000 annual global sales.  Even as the market grows stagnant, BMW recorded their 16th consecutive year of sales growth.  
Of the 1,371,438 Honda’s sold in the States last year, more than a quarter were midsize sedans.  That’d be the Accord (a Good 12 winner), for those of you not up to speed.  Ridgeline, Odyssey, Pilot, CR-V, Element, S2000, Fit, and Civic combine to sell 972,207 sales.
Lexus sold 82,867 ES350’s last year.  Consider adding that to another large number – 418,757 – which is Toyota’s Camry total for last year. That’s basically 501,624 separate editions of what is basically the same car. Yes, it does appear as though I’m using the term “basically”; liberally.  
More than one-third of all Porsche’s sold are Cayenne’s.  12,547 more of the ugly utes were driven off the lot and into public roads in 2007.
BusinessWeek makes a very valid point in comparing historic Cadillac sales to Lexus’ current sales.  Cadillac hasn’t topped 300,000 since 1986.  Lexus nearly hit 330,000 last year.  More poignantly; that great year for Cadillac in ’86 came when the competition was much softer.  A Lexus showroom was not to be found.
Hyundai’s sales have increased 24% since 2002.  
Jeep sold 119,243 Wranglers last year, 60% of which were of the four-door fashion.  If you pay as much attention to “trending” in the automotive marketplace as I do in my fantasy hockey pool (third and rising), consider that Lincoln sales were up 8.8% last year. Nevertheless, that 8.8% climb took Lincoln to just 131,487.  Thanks to terrific crossovers like the CX-7 and CX-9 and a new performance edition of the 3, Mazda sales have climbed 15% since 2005.