Friday, November 21, 2008

Car manufacturer market shares

There was a story in the paper today about two Ford dealerships merging. One thing they mentioned in passing was how much sales volume each manufacturer had lost in the last year. Ford had lost the least, with 25%. Chevy was next at 28%, then Dodge at 33%, Chrysler at 42% and the Hummer at 50%. That seems to be to be consistent with what I see in cars on the road. If you look for economical cars (small to mid-size, coupe or sedan or small hatchback, small engine, good mileage, low to moderate price), the vast majority of them are Asian or European nameplates. Of the American nameplates, Ford tops the list for number of those types of cars, followed by Chevy. Other names you see most often on trucks, SUVs or sports cars, things that don't get good fuel economy and have high prices. That all seems to me to confirm what I've suspected: the auto makers' problems are in large part due to the simple fact that they're not making what customers want to buy.

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