Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:30:00 EST
If you want further proof that the auto industry is bouncing back, look no further than the empty lots and forecourts of your local dealership. According to a story by The Wall Street Journal, continued high demand for mainstream cars is overtaxing automakers' ability to produce enough models. Several dealers interviewed for the story are reporting two-week supplies as opposed to the typical two-month allocations.
Fri, 01 Feb 2013 13:31:00 EST
With sales expected to hit 1.4 million units when August numbers arrive shortly and incentive spending down to its lowest amount since January, these limited supplies are pushing prices even higher. For example, according to the WSJ, the average price of a Ford Fusion is up past $26,000. Unfortunately, it's difficult for manufacturers to increase production quickly. If it invests in its facilities, as many manufacturers have done, it risks wasting cash if growth suddenly slows. At the same time, the momentum gained over the past several years could be short lived if vehicle supplies continue to dwindle. "Manufacturers are in a precarious situation," notes Karl Brauer, a senior director at Kelley Blue Book.
Low interest rates and a wealth of desirable features are also allowing customers to purchase more expensive vehicles while justifying their higher overall price tags, a situation that is compounding supply shortages. Even now, during the annual end-of-summer clearance season, deals on new vehicles are remarkably difficult to come by. According to the report, the Toyota Corolla is in a self-inflicted state of shortage, as Toyota clears out inventory in anticipation of the new 2014 generation arriving in dealers. Ford's supplies should rebound as Fusion production comes on line at its Flat Rock, Michigan factory. The Chevrolet Impala, Honda Odyssey, Civic, and Accord and Subaru Forester are also facing shortages.
Consumer Reports has released its annual Car-Brand Perception Survey, and the list looks awfully familiar. The top six brands are identical to last year's results, with Toyota, Ford and Honda continuing to occupy the podium. All told, Toyota walked away with 133 points, putting it 15 ahead of second-place Ford. Honda jumped 26 points this year, narrowing Ford's lead to just four points in total.
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:57:00 EST
Consumer Reports polls buyers from across the country on how they see multiple brands in seven categories, including quality, safety, value, performance, design/style, technology/innovation and environmentally friendly/green. Researchers then combine the findings to come up with the total brand score.
While value and performance remain important to buyers, CR found quality and safety are still on top when it comes to significance. Scion and Mitsubishi found themselves at the bottom of the pack with the worst score of all, tied at just six points. Ram, Fiat and Mini filled out the lowest five with scores of seven, eight and 10 points, respectively. You can read the full press release below for more information, or head over to the Consumer Reports site.
We've sort of been wondering when Toyota would finally debut the next-generation Corolla sedan, especially since the current car is getting very, very long in the tooth. We got a glimpse of the new compact's design at this year's Detroit Auto Show in the form of the Furia concept seen above, but we figured we'd see the production car by now.
According to Edmunds, Toyota will be unveiling the new Corolla sometime soon, and it won't wait until the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Officials from the Japanese automaker did not state a specific location or date for the new car's unveiling, but said that the 2014 Corolla is expected to be on sale before the LA expo later this year and that it will be revealed "somewhere in the US."
Toyota did not divulge any details about the new Corolla, and we're willing to bet that the aggressive lines of the Furia concept will be dulled down quite a bit for the production model. Still, news that the new car is coming sooner rather than later is indeed a good thing.