Dennis Bulgarelli

17 Million Auto Sales in 2014? Yes, it’s Possible!

US light vehicle sales have steadily improved since bottoming out in 2009 at 10.6 million units. 2013 sales reached 15.6 million light vehicles, their highest since 2007 (16.1 million) through still below 16.5+ million in the middle of that decade. However, many of those levels were the result of the industry over-producing and then being forced to use high incentives to clear excess inventories. There was also rich use of fleet sales in some cases. In contrast, in 2013 automakers better aligned production with demand, meaning that recent gains have been “healthier,” and that’s driving optimism for the industry in general. But what can we expect in 2014? If the market continues to improve can we approach 17 million? Let’s see what it would take to reach that level.

Look Out for Lexus

Image from: Lexus / automotive.com Recently, Lexus announced plans for its first ever global branding campaign set to kick off in May 2013. The objective is to generate interest and appeal among younger people who may not have considered Lexus in the past. Globally, Lexus sales trail the German brands – BMW, Audi and Mercedes – by a considerable margin. However, here in the US it’s a different story. Lexus

The Prominence of Prius

Image from: Prius Image / Shutterstock Toyota launched the Prius in the US in 2000, making it the second electric hybrid on the market following in the footsteps of the Honda Insight. While the Insight’s quirky initial design didn’t set the world on fire, Prius was able to quickly achieve success in a burgeoning segment of the market that eventually would see competition, both directly and indirectly, from nearly every

The Truth About TrueCar

Image from: TrueCar TrueCar posted dramatic growth through the end of 2011.  But late in the year news coverage went through the roof with a decidedly negative tone. It seemed like each week there was a story about TrueCar either at odds with a state’s Attorney General or with a particular manufacturer. Many were skeptical of TrueCar business practices – use local new car pricing data to determine what’s “fair”

Chevrolet Volt vs. Toyota Prius – Let the Pedal Hit the Metal

Recently, Toyota announced that it sold its one millionth Prius. Quite an accomplishment for a first of its kind vehicle that was, in many ways, ahead of its time. It was the first and only true gas/electric hybrid when it launched and was able to carve out a niche among environmentally conscious buyers as well as those concerned about fuel economy. The Honda Insight was its first real hybrid rival

What’s In Store for the Auto Industry in 2011?

2010 has proved to be a year of modest recovery for the US auto industry. Sales have overall more consistently outperformed year ago levels while GM and Chrysler have worked diligently to get back on their feet again. But what should we expect for 2011? Compete uses its proprietary ability to track in-market consumer behavior to understand drivers and inhibitors of vehicles, brand, and market sales. Using those same tools,

Does Chevrolet Have Hits with the Cruze and Volt?

The new General Motors is about to officially take its place with its looming IPO and the evolution of its product line up. Key new models from Chevrolet – the recently launched Cruze and new Volt – are critical models that showcase what’s new in design, technology and marketing from GM. Given their importance to GM, Compete assessed how both vehicles are doing in their early stages of launch and

Start the Celebration at Ford?

In May of this year, Ford officially launched the 2011 Fiesta small car. Fiesta has been an interesting case study because more than year in advance of its launch Ford engaged target prospects in a digital media effort across social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in an effort that went viral well in advance of the first vehicle rolling off the assembly line. Fiesta is an important

Cloudy With A Chance Of Sales

One of the key analytics in Compete’s arsenal of online tools is a measure of automotive demand, or how many in-market consumers are shopping for a particular make or model during a given timeframe. Automotive demand is critical in understanding the impact of marketing efforts as well as understanding a vehicle’s sales potential. But while demand improves the potential for sales, it correlates to sales only to the extent that

The Curious Case of Honda

An article in a recent edition of BusinessWeek detailed the woes of Honda. It discussed the automaker’s declining US market share as well as product missteps — most notably Crosstour and Insight — and its inability to cash in on Toyota’s problems while other competitors have been quick to capitalize. Here at Compete we decided to take a deeper dive into just what’s troubling Honda to uncover the root causes

What’s in store for the B Car segment in 2010?

In 2010 the compact "B Car" segment will see new entries such as the Mazda2 and the Ford Fiesta. Both cars are expected to infuse energy into their brand portfolios and provide a much needed appealing small car to their respective lineups and echo similar launches from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. These are global models so their launch in the US will also help spread their development costs over a