AD #1518 – U.S. Kicking Oil Addiction, New 3-Cylinder from Volvo, U.S. Market Breakdown

December 11th, 2014 at 11:56am

Runtime: 7:21

- U.S. Kicking Its Oil Addiction
- Autonomy That’s Already in Action
- Volvo’s New 3-Cylinder Engine
- NAFTA Market to Hit 20 Million?
- Hyundai Freshens Up Its EU Lineup
- U.S. Market Breakdown by Segment

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29 Comments to “AD #1518 – U.S. Kicking Oil Addiction, New 3-Cylinder from Volvo, U.S. Market Breakdown”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Pinatas, sombreros, tacos, Corona and now cars, who would have thought?

  2. Mike Says:

    I could imagine two other markets out there that may show some growth. the baby boomers are hitting retirement in droves and will buy one last vehicle; probably something they can get easily in and out of and that they think will last through the “fixed income” years. The second market might be for fleet type vehicles that can be borrowed/rented when Millenials who don’t own cars need one. Another opportunity is to car share for special purpose use like towing the boat to the lake. It makes little sense to buy a vehicle for a once or twice a year usage.

  3. RumNCoke Says:

    Re: Top Category Sellers

    Are the Hondas and Toyotas that much better than offerings from the Big Three or have years of customer neglect and slipshod product quality created a permanent stigma?

  4. donfromnaples Says:

    Hey Mike, I resemble that remark about baby boomers. Though I hope to buy more than one “last car”.
    Too bad the Hyundai i20 isn’t heading our way.
    Ethanol about 10% mix in most gasoline sold in the U.S. though mpg drop nearly 4% so we end up buying more gas anyway. Cost goes to the consumer. Seems like a band-aid that has already fallen off. I would love to see our oil dependency drop significantly though I think ethanol is not cutting it at this time. It’s cheaper to produce than gas though we spend more to compensate for its’ lower energy output. Some other densely rich fuel additive combined with ethanol would likely balance out the equation and drop our oil dependency in the U.S.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    John Mc,

    Why is Explorer an “SUV” rather than a “crossover”? It’s a front-drive based unibody tall wagon. I thought those were generally considered “crossovers.”

  6. donfromnaples Says:

    car versus truck platform I think differs the two Kit.

  7. donfromnaples Says:

    also I’m thinking carryover from previous Explorer models keeps it being referred to as a SUV

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2, 4
    I, too, am a “baby boomer,” and plan to buy more than one last car. In fact, I have already bought 2 new, and one used car since retirement, and I’d define my financial status as comfortable, but far from wealthy.

    Use of ethanol cuts our oil use somewhat, but not a lot. Also, ethanol is a very high octane fuel, so using 10% ethanol in gasoline allows the use of lower octane gas to end up with the 87, 91, etc. octane at the pump.

  9. donfromnaples Says:

    How about we call the Explorer a CrosSuv for a few years until the general public gets over the negative SUV connotation?

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6, Are the Flex and MKT SUVs? They are basically the same platform as the current Explorer.

    7, Yes, very true.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Back to yesterday, it seems that “new to the U.S. market” has had an influence on the NACTOTY selections in the past.

    A prime example is Transit Connect’s winning truck of the year in 2010, even though it was “new and different” only in being the first smaller front-drive utility van sold in the U.S., except for cargo versions of Chrysler minivans, which were designed primarily as passenger vehicles.

  12. Jon M Says:

    I think the nebulous (if not absurd) category of CUV distorts the planning process to some degree. Remember when vehicles such as the CR-V were called SUVs (itself a rather ambiguous category)? Similarly, once upon a time a vehicle such as the Venza would have been classified more appropriately as a wagon, which would lump it in with mid-sized cars. Therefore, if the over-analysis and bewilderment were taken out of the classification, it would increase the SUV volume and small and mid-size car volume. In that case, if what was once an SUV was still an SUV and the rest were trim levels or wagon/hatchback versions of mid or small cars, then I likely would focus first on SUVs, followed by mid and/or small cars.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12, To me, the term “SUV” was always ambiguous, or even highly misleading. To me, a sport utility vehicle is something like a Golf GTi, a Focus ST, or an M3 wagon. They drive like sports cars, but have a lot of utility with the hatch or wagon body.

    There is nothing sporty about how an Expedition or Suburban drives.

  14. donfromnaples Says:

    13 Except when towing a nice sport bike ;)

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Probably the term “sport” in “sport utility vehicle” originally came from the sport of off-road driving, as in a Jeep CJ.

    The thing that distinguishes CUV’s from wagons is that they are typically 6-12 inches taller than car-based wagons, making them more comfortable to some people, but compromising handling and fuel economy.

  16. HtG Says:

    As a low sedan driver, I see a network effect from all the CUVs out there. More and more of the traffic around me is higher up and blocks more of my vision. I can’t help but think that other drivers would be more comfortable being on an equal plane with most other cars.

    So long sedans (which btw are getting ever taller)

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16, Yep, sad but true. Even the vans are getting taller. My first generation Caravan is taller than a car, but lower than the newer “minivans,” and lower than even the smallest of SUV/CUV’s.

  18. HtG Says:

    Does the definition of a CUV as being built on a shared platform with a sedan make sense?

    off topic

    I spoke to a guy that turned in his Subaru because he didn’t want to pay for excess mileage on his lease. He loves Subies and got another. I also know a dentist that has to calculate which days he gets to drive his Audi TT due to mileage limits. This stuff really gets the side eye from me.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18, My sister leased a vehicle once, a first generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, and ran into “over mileage” issues. She ended up buying it, rather than paying for the excess mileage, and has never leased again.

  20. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Leasing:Never did it,probably never will.

    Suv’s/Cuv’s: I really don’t know the difference.I bought a new Jeep Cherokee XJ in 01,it was a unibody.I just thought of it as a very capable station wagon.It had the 4.0L I6,and on the hwy we would routinely get 23+mpgs.It was as capable both on road and off road as anything I have ever had.When I say off road,I mean washed out mining trials in the mountains surrounding Kingman Az as well as other areas around Az.Damn good vehicle back then,imho.

  21. Jon M Says:

    19, Did she pay cash when she bought the Grand Cherokee? Otherwise, depending on how far over the mileage she went, it may have been more cost-effective to pay the overage and by another vehicle. I always strongly advise against buying a leased vehicle at maturity; the total cost in the end is usually much higher than if financed originally. I understand why your sister made that decision, though.

    Still, I wonder how many people try to trade out of the lease ahead of maturity if they are over on the mileage? It’s not a sure bet, but certainly an option, and only one reason why leasing definitely isn’t for everyone.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21, She paid cash, and kept it about 3 more years, as I remember. I think she was substantially over on the miles. I’m pretty sure she would have come better financing it, and keeping it the same 6 years. A learning experience, as it were.

  23. cwolf Says:

    Given that new car sales often offer 0% interest for 4 years, I have a little trouble understanding why some buyers lease at all. I don’t recall many leases working towards anyone’s favor for the majority of average income earners.

  24. C-Tech Says:

    With little or no down payment it makes leasing attractive. When you want a BMW or Mercedes or Cadillac on a beer budget you lease and watch the mileage.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24, If I wanted a Mercedes for a while, just “to see what I’m missing,” if anything, I’d consider a lease. Sometimes, they have some pretty good lease deals on expensive cars. Generally, though, leases don’t seem a very good deal on the cars I buy. Also, when I get a car, I don’t know how many miles I’ll drive it, or how long I will want to keep it.

  26. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Autoblog reports, maybe the youth are still driving as much as’us’ old codgers. Only one report (but the highways still seems like more and more cars are out there and there has to be a lot of young drivers to maintain that gridlock :) )

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like younger people are still driving, but driving fewer miles.

  28. FSTFWRD Says:

    Isn’t a lease just a long term rental? And isn’t the leasing company making some money in the deal? So…. who is paying for that? Leasing doesn’t make sense to me, I just buy what I want and hold it for some time.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29, The people I’ve known who like leasing are those who want a new, fairly expensive car every 3 years, and don’t want to deal with the “negotiations” of trading or selling the cars. Also, I guess leasing is good for people who “write off” their car as a business expense.