Downsizing Doesn’t Require Buyers to Sacrifice Vehicle Appeal

David Sargent

Compact models delight new-vehicle buyers and lessees just as much as some larger vehicles as consumers continue to shift to smaller vehicles in the U.S., according to our 2012 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.

Consumers who downsize are not making the sacrifice that they once had to make. In fact, automakers are heavily focused on providing the U.S. market with appealing smaller vehicles and consumers may even be surprised at just how good some of these models are.

In the APEAL Study, it is generally the case that all-new and/or redesigned models perform better than their award segment averages. This year, more than one-half (25 of 41) earn better scores than their award segment averages. Among all-new or redesigned compact or sub-compact models, the all-new Chevrolet Sonic outpaces the Sub-compact Car award segment average by 28 points, while the redesigned Volkswagen Passat surpasses the Midsize Car segment average by 38 points. Continue reading ›

A Few Brands Set April Records Despite Fewer Selling Days

U.S. light-vehicle sales were anticipated to be challenging last month because Easter and Passover holidays fell in April this year, which meant there were three fewer selling days compared with April 2011.* However, in early reports from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive,** total deliveries were up 15% from the same month a year ago on a selling-day-adjusted basis.

J.D. Power expects that 1.182 million cars and light trucks were delivered last month, which translates to a 14.4-million-unit seasonally adjusted selling pace (SAAR) compared to 13.2 million units in April 2011. Continue reading ›