Last post on Oct 01, 2011 at 8:21 AM
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Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Car Buying
#30 of 31 The Detroit 3 Are back In The Hunt
Sep 28, 2011 (6:27 am)
While American cars have a long way to go before they recapture over 50% of the North American car market (excluding trucks), they're making gains. For example, the Chevy Cruze is the #1 selling compact for through August 2011, and the Ford Fusion is #3 in the midsize category, where the Malibu has also been a strong seller. Of course, now that Japan is recovering from the earthquake and tsunami, and is quickly restocking inventories, competition will intensify. Still, the important thing is product, and GM and Ford finally have strong entries, so they should continue to do well. At a minimum, they're back in the race, and can once again be taken seriously.
Chrysler remains a question mark. Their midsize cars, even after an extensive refresh, are still below best-in-class, and the Caliber hasn't been a popular compact. We'll have to wait until the 2012-2014 timeframe to assess whether the next generation Fiat-based Dodges and Chryslers can recapture significant market share. I think they'll have one shot at it. If they're well designed, attractively styled and have good quality they'll make it. If not, they're finished, in my opinion. I'm confident Sergio Marchionne understands this. The big question mark is whether he'll be able to execute on this challenge. My guess is that he will.
In the meantime, Toyota and Honda have demonstated that they're not infallible. Toyota had quality problems in '09 and '10, and Honda's reputation as a design leader has slipped significantly.
As always, the race for market share among the volume brands will be interesting to watch. Among the luxury brands, the Germans are reasserting their leadership. BMW is on track to take the #1 position from Lexus, and Audi is gaining market share. Acura seems to have lost its way, while Infiniti is holding its own, and gaining a little. Mercedes remains #3, after Lexus, but it's a tight race for the #2 spot.
Worldwide, GM will recapture the title of the world's largest automaker from Toyota in 2011.
#31 of 31 '11 and '12 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300
Oct 01, 2011 (8:21 am)
Consumers Reports was impressed by the improvements made to these two Chrysler cars, and moved them from bottom to mid-pact in the rankings for their respective class. Maybe this will help these once popular models to get a second win in 2012.