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 ›

Toyota Group Models Earn Most Long-Term Dependability Awards

At the corporate level, Toyota Motor Corporation continues to perform well in long-term dependability and garners eight segment-level model awards—more than any other automaker this year, according to our 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which is based on responses from more than 31,000 original owners of 2009 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.

The Japanese automaker’s models with the fewest problems in their respective award segments are: the Lexus ES 350 (in a tie with the Lincoln MKZ); Lexus RX 350; Scion tC; Scion xB; Toyota Prius; Toyota Sienna; Toyota Tundra; and Toyota Yaris. Continue reading ›

New-Vehicle Appeal in Competitive China Market Sets a Record

Dr. Mei Songlin

Major improvements by both domestic and international brands in China’s competitive auto market, along with the introduction of 54 new and redesigned models during the past two years, have helped advance overall new-vehicle appeal among China’s new-vehicle buyers to 825 (on a 1,000-point scale), which sets a record high and is 17 points above last year’s 808 index, according to our 2011 China Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.

China’s auto market continues to be the powerhouse of sales growth for most automakers globally, with passenger-vehicle sales projected to reach 12.9 million units by the end of 2011. J.D. Power’s 2011 China APEAL Study, which is based on evaluations from more than 17,459 new-vehicle buyers in 37 major cities across China, provides a comprehensive review and update of some of the major changes related to the appeal of models and brands and the evolution of tastes and preferences of China’s consumers. Continue reading ›

Scion, Mazda, Mitsubishi Models Appeal Most to Younger Buyers

Grace Hamulic

Import models—especially compacts—continued to attract the highest percentages of younger buyers (ages 16-35) during the first two months of 2011 (Jan. 1-Feb. 21), based on analysis of our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data.* All 10 models with the highest percentages of younger new-vehicle buyers were Japanese and German imports—which was the same as in the past several years.

This year’s results are somewhat similar to last year’s same period results. The Toyota and Scion youth brands accounted for three of this year’s 10 models with the highest percentages of younger buyers. In addition, Mazda and Mitsubishi each had two models among the 10 with the highest percentages of younger buyers. A year ago, the 10 models with the highest percentages of younger buyers included two from each of the Scion, Mazda and Volkswagen brands. One premium model made the list this year—the BMW M3. Continue reading ›