Millennials Consume Content and Shop Differently

 Millennials consume content and shop in different ways from other generations and these Gen Y consumers are having a profound influence on the shopping behaviors of Gen X and Boomer buyers. Today’s post offers a few more excerpts about these younger consumers from panelists and presenters at the October J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) in Las Vegas, NV.

What Does the Car Mean to Millennials?

“About 25% of millennials said they would buy a car sight unseen. They’d go online, find it, buy it and have it delivered. This is going to become a lot more important as we go along.”—Clayton Stanfield, senior manager, Dealer Outreach, eBay Motors

“For most of us, the car was the thing we wanted. The reality with millennials is that it’s probably a device they want first and foremost. A car is kind of a secondary consideration. Maybe it’s due to economics. Maybe it’s just due to how powerfully products have been marketed to them—like Xboxes and PlayStations. . . for auto manufacturers, a way to accrue loyalty and affinity to their brands is to get deeply immersed in offering the consumer some free content.”—Randy Shaffer, director, Xbox West Sales, Microsoft Continue reading ›

J.D. Power Roundtable Speaker Defines “Connected Auto Consumers”

Arianne Walker

Arianne Walker

Today’s digital lifestyle has a growing impact on the auto industry. Understanding how consumers who are in the market for a vehicle are “using digital information and how they are connected,” was a key focus in speeches and discussions at the recent J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

Arianne Walker, senior director of media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power, introduced the October conference with highlights of trends in automotive Internet usage based on J.D. Power research. She also spoke about the rise in digital media consumption and identified how different devices—smartphones and tablets—are being used to gather information mostly at home, but also on the go—smartphones are also used for auto shopping on the dealer lot. Walker also discussed trends in content with social media and video and how traditional companies are reformulating automotive content in new ways. Continue reading ›

A J.D. Power Perspective on Ford’s Dramatic Sales Climb in China

Tim Dunne

Tim Dunne

Although Ford is somewhat of a late bloomer in the China auto market, the Detroit-based automaker is set to outpace major Japanese competitors such as Toyota and Honda Groups in passenger-vehicle sales in the China market this year, according to media reports. The major U.S. automaker still is behind General Motors and Volkswagen Group auto sales in the China market.

A Ford official told Reuters that it is possible the company will sell more than 900,000 units in 2013—including both passenger cars and commercial vehicles—in the world’s largest auto market, mainly due to a stronger product lineup. Small SUVs, including the Ford EcoSport and Kuga, have sold well and a redesigned Focus has been on sale since last year. Continue reading ›

September U.S. Sales are Slightly Weaker after Strong Labor Day Finish

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John Humphrey

During the first 10 selling days in September, U.S. new car and light-truck sales were up 4% from a year ago yet were not as robust as in recent months, according to a monthly sales forecast

update from J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

As was expected, more than 248,000 new-vehicle sales during the Labor Day weekend were pulled from September into August tallies, according to the forecast update.

September retail sales are projected to rise just 2% from September 2012, when adjusted for two fewer selling days in September vs. the same month a year ago (23 days in September 2013 vs. 25 days in September 2012). Continue reading ›

Clean Diesel Makes Inroads in the U.S.; Sees Slowdown in Europe

Tim_Dunne

Tim Dunne

As clean diesel powertrains become more prevalent and popular in the U.S. market, especially in VW and Audi brand product lineups sold here, it appears that diesels are becoming less attractive in the world’s largest diesel market: Europe, according to a recent article, “Are Diesel Cars in Europe Starting a Long Slow Decline?” in Green Car Reports as well as J.D. Power research.

The current reduction in diesels in Europe may be mainly due to new regulations that have been passed by the EU and/or are being considered in individual European countries.

As recently as 2012, the diesel share in the European market was 46.0%, according to Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain at LMC Automotive, J.D. Power’s strategic partner. In 2013, LMC Automotive projects the diesel share to edge down by slightly more than 1 percentage point to 44.9%, and the outlook for 2014 is for a 44.0% diesel share in Europe—down 2 points from 2012. Continue reading ›

Chevrolet Achieves First-Half Global Sales Record

General Motors’ flagship Chevrolet brand this week said it delivered a record 2.5 million new vehicles worldwide in the first half of 2013—up a slight 1.4% vs. the same six-month period in 2012. Total deliveries for all GM brands in the first half were up nearly 4% from last year’s same period to 4.85 million units, from 4.67 million units a year ago.

2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

Chevrolet sales topped 1.02 million units in the U.S. market—a 5.6% gain from last year, with a combined 25% increase in demand for the mass-market brand’s smaller models, including—Sonic, Spark, Cruze and Volt plug-in hybrid. Large truck sales also rose in double digits.

J.D. Power data from the Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive indicates that Chevrolet’s U.S. deliveries on a selling-day adjusted basis rose 8.7% in the first half from last year, which was slightly ahead of the industry’s 8.4% increase. The brand’s share in the U.S. market edged up to 18.17% from 18.15% a year ago. Five of Chevrolet’s models ranked among the 20 best-sellers—respectively, include: the Silverado, Cruze, Equinox, Malibu and Impala. Continue reading ›

Overall Vehicle Dependability in India Dips, Repair Visits Rise

Mohit Arora

Mohit Arora

For a second straight year, overall dependability of vehicles that are 30 to 42 months old in India declines, according to our 2013 India Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), with a 24% increase in problems across all problem categories and for all models.

The study, now in its sixth year, measures problems experienced by 7,032 original owners in 25 cities who purchased a new vehicle between July 2009 and September 2010. Some 169 different problem symptoms are probed in nine problem categories* to calculate the overall vehicle dependability index.

In 2013, overall vehicle dependability in India averages 280 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), compared with 225 PP100 in 2012, with a lower score reflecting higher long-term vehicle quality. We should note that the increase in problems this year cannot be attributed to a major increase in one or more of the areas evaluated, nor to all-new models included in the study. Continue reading ›

Demand for Smaller Engines in U.S. Market Flourishes

tysonjominy Blog

Tyson Jominy

During the past five years, there has been a rise in demand in the U.S. market for compact- and even midsize-segment car and light-truck models to be equipped with more efficient, powerful and eco-friendly 4-cylinder engines. In fact, more than one-half of new vehicles purchased or leased in the first five and one-half months of 2013 were equipped with a 4-cylinder, according to data provided by our Power Information Network® (PIN) division.

One reason behind the larger percentage of smaller engines (PIN defines small engines as 3-, 4- and 5-cylinders) in the sales mix is that more brands in the U.S. market now offer these more fuel-efficient powertrains than they did five years ago. Some of the noticeable changes in powertrain penetration that PIN has tracked between 2008 and 2013 are summarized:

• In 2008, 10 nameplates in the U.S. market did not even have engine options smaller than 6-cylinders. Today, there are only three brands without small (below 6-cylinders) engines in their sales mix.

• In 2008, there were only five nameplates with over 90% small-engine penetration. Today, there are 11 brands with greater than 90% penetration.

• Four nameplates have 100% small-engine penetration—Mini, smart, Fiat, and Scion. Volkswagen, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia also score well above 90% small-engine penetration.

• The largest change is for the Buick brand, which did not offer 4-cylinders in 2008, but now is above 50% in its sales mix.

Audi remains the top luxury marque with 4-cylinder penetration, while BMW, which did not offer 4-cylinders in 2008, is now No. 2. Continue reading ›

Satisfaction with Auto Insurance Providers Dips in 2013

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Jeremy Bowler

Customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies in the U.S. market declines by 10 points to 794 (on a 1,000-point scale) from a record high in 2012, according to our 2013 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, mainly due to a sharp increase in the number of customers who have experienced premium increases.

Although the study’s overall satisfaction average dips in 2013 vs. 2012, it is the second-highest index since the study launched in 2000. The major declines this year across all five factors measured in the study are with the price and policy factors—each declines by 13 points from 2012. These two measures contribute the most to lower overall satisfaction.

Premium Increases Climb by an Average of $40

In 2013, the dollar amount of premium increases averages $153, which is $40 higher than the average rate increase of $113 as reported in the 2012 study. We see that when there is an annual rate increase of $50 or less, only 9% of customers switch insurers. However, that nearly doubles to 18% when the rise is between $51 and $100, and it climbs to 32% when the increase is more than $200. Continue reading ›

Chevrolet Dominates in Model Segment-Level IQS Rankings

General Motors models receive the most segment awards for initial quality in the J.D. Power 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The Detroit-based automaker’s Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC nameplates altogether produce 8 of the 26 model-level segment award winners. The next brands with the most problem-free models at the segment level are manufactured by . . . Continue Reading Chevrolet Dominates in Model Segment-Level IQS Rankings