Some Unexpected Brands May Gain Sales with Engine Downsizing

Tyson Jominy

As we see new-vehicle buyers and lessees continue to shift from large to midsize vehicle segments and from midsize to small or compact segments, there has been a decrease in the size of engines. In addition, we are seeing that consumers who do not downsize are finding more fuel-efficient powertrain options at the segment and model level, according to our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data.

Detroit Automakers will Not be Left in the Lurch

An interesting change related to the shift to smaller engines this time around is who is leading the charge, and therefore who will stand to reap the gains. Two Detroit automaker brands, Ford and Chevrolet, are exclusively offering 4-cylinder engines in their freshened midsize cars—Fusion and Malibu, respectively. In addition, Ford offers 4-cylinder powertrains in their midsize crossovers and now offers a V-6 in the F-150 that is selling very briskly. In fact, the Ford EcoBoost powertrain sub-brand is turning out to be one of the early automotive successes of the decade. Continue reading ›

Ford Boosts Fuel Efficiency in Car Models with New Smaller Engine

Ford Motor Company recently announced that it is working on a new small engine—a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder powertrain with its EcoBoost technology. This smaller, fuel-efficient engine may reach the US market later this year in 2012 model-year cars, or will arrive early next year. Ford claims it will deliver horsepower and torque output equivalent to or better than their naturally aspirated 1.6-liter gasoline engine.

Mike Omotoso

The engine is expected to be used in the Ford Fiesta sub-compact, and will possibly be offered as an entry-level engine in the newly redesigned Ford Focus. The Focus and the Fiesta are both selling well, but Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are getting tougher every year, and Ford and other manufacturers need to improve the fuel economy of all cars and trucks in their lineup to meet the higher miles-per-gallon requirements between now and 2016.

Downsizing of Powertrains Continues to Accelerate

In addition to Ford, other automakers have been downsizing their powertrains for the US market, and this trend will only accelerate in the future. The next-generation Chevrolet Malibu (2013 model year) will drop the V-6 option and the new Malibu will only be available with 4-cylinder engines. Continue reading ›