Dennis Bulgarelli

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

Who’s Cashing in on All Those Clunkers?

In a recent Compete blog, we discussed the cash for clunkers government program CARS (Cars Allowance Rebate System) and the amount of online attention it drew from new vehicle prospects, both in terms of unique visitors to the site and to OEM sites. That attention, combined with attractive incentives to junk an old gas guzzler and replace it with a newer, more fuel efficient model contributed to a July

Suzuki SX4 — Mightier Than Honda Fit?

Suzuki ran an ad for its SX4 Crossover in 2009 that compared it to the Mini Cooper. “Mightier Than the Mini” the ad proclaimed as it spelled out how the SX4 was superior to its small car competitor. The mission was to create new demand as well as tap into exiting Mini demand (i.e., funnel pre-existing Mini demand to SX4). The ad ran once in Q1 and again in June

Do Online Strategies Drive Tire Prospects?

While the economy begins to show some signs of a recovery, including modest gains in consumer confidence, the auto industry continues to struggle as sales remain at historic lows. As more and more car and truck owners opt to keep their vehicles longer than originally planned, the need for auto service has grown. Among the many things that need to be replaced on an aging car are its tires. To

Ford Burns Racing Fuel to Sell the Fusion Hybrid

Recently Ford Motor Company announced an online promotion in which contestants have a chance to win a new 2010 Fusion Hybrid along with a trip for two to NASCAR’s Championship weekend in Miami. Contestants register at a site developed by Ford called Ford is promoting the sweepstakes on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. Certainly this promotion plays off Ford’s heavy involvement in racing, but is the Fusion prospect

Is the Auto Industry Showing Signs of a Recovery?

As auto sales continue to track near historic lows the days of 16 million unit selling rates are but distant memories. Estimates of annual sales of 10 to 11 million units are the new thinking in a market (and economy) where flat is the new up. Sales are a function of generating demand and converting that demand into purchases. Compete measures auto shopping behavior across the internet and uses a

1-2 Punch Hurts December Auto Sales

For the US auto industry, 2008 proved to be about as dismal a year as possible. Total industry sales fell to a 16-year low 13.2M units as most OEMs faced declining sales in a struggling economy. And December, the month of those familiar year-end clearance sales and deals, proved to be the final humbug in an already Scrooge-worthy year. US auto sales in December fell 36% from the same period

Troubles for Toyota

As the US and world economy struggles the auto industry continues to get hammered. Sales have fallen to historic lows and the US government recently lent a $17.4 billion lifeline to GM and Chrysler to help those companies get through the first quarter of 2009. Even the so-called import brands are feeling the pain as Toyota recently announced its first ever annual operating loss. The company has forecast a $1.7

Where Does a Trucker Go When He Decides He Can't Afford His Truck Anymore?

It’s not any real news that full-size pickup trucks are taking a beating in today’s economy. With gas prices over $4 per gallon and the housing market still in a funk, pickup sales are getting worse with each passing month. Here at Compete we’ve been studying the situation and have seen demand for large pickups (F-Series, Silverado, Tundra, etc.) fall to record lows over the past few months. So the

UAW Strikes Back at GM's Latest Success Story – How Will It Impact Malibu?

On May 5 the UAW struck GM’s Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, which makes the hot-selling Chevrolet Malibu sedan. The strike comes at a particularly inopportune time as a prolonged work stoppage could severely hurt the tremendous momentum Malibu has built up since its launch in October. Since launching in Q4, Malibu demand has soared to new highs, surpassing all other models market-wide in January. Record demand has also