Friday, 29 January 2016

2016 Canadian new vehicle sales to remain flat

Scotiabank released its Global Auto Report on Wednesday, predicting that new-vehicle sales in Canada will end up roughly the same as 2015's tally of 1.9 million units. Looking closer at the numbers, Scotiabank's predicted 1.9 million units to-be-sold for 2016 is slightly higher than the 1,898,000 vehicles that were purchased in 2015.
In the report, the company says that it expects the sales volumes to remain largely flat for the year "as diverging trends between the industrial heartland and commodity producing regions balance each other out."
Carlos Gomes, Scotiabank's senior economist, summarized some of the expected factors to be at play that will be a theme in 2016.
"Car and light truck sales will continue to be supported by low interest rates and stimulative financial conditions around the world," Gomes said. "Economic activity and demand for new vehicles will continue to be buoyed by the strongest advance in Canadian non-resource exports since the new millennium, as well as by strengthening U.S. demand and a currency which recently fell below 70 cents (U.S.) for the first time since early 2003.
"Diverging trends between the industrial heartland and commodity-producing regions are expected to balance each other out in 2016, keeping volumes unchanged. Stronger employment growth and economic activity in the export-reliant manufacturing provinces will lift sales in these markets, but deteriorating fundamentals and weakening demographic and income trends will continue to pressure volumes in other regions."
Some other highlights of the report, according to Scotiabank, include the following:
  • Even with sluggish global demand, 17 out of Ontario's 21 manufacturing sectors posted double-digit export gains in 2015.
  • Broad-based manufacturing export gains are also expected to lift economic activity and vehicle sales in British Columbia and Quebec in 2016. Strengthening exports are particularly evident in British Columbia, with nearly half of all manufacturing industries posting export growth in excess of 20% in 2015.
  • In Alberta, new-vehicle sales declined 12 percent last year to 236,000 units. A further slide to 220,000 is projected for 2016, as oil companies continue to curtail their capital expenditures and the labour market weakens amid a large overhang in global crude oil inventories. 
  • Vehicle sales in the remaining provinces were in line with expectations last year. Volumes declined in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, undercut by the downturn in the energy sector, and were unchanged in Manitoba and edged higher across the Maritimes.

2016 Canadian New Vehicle Sales to Remain Flat.........................................

Friday, 22 January 2016

Top 5 Reasons Why Car Shoppers Avoid Certain Cars

Top 5 Reasons Why Car Shoppers Avoid Certain Cars
Ever wonder if you're the only one that avoids buying a certain car because it's ugly?

J.D. Power and Associates has released the results of its 2016 U.S. Auto Avoider Study, revealing the main reasons why car shoppers avoid certain cars. The study is in its 13th year and looks at the reasons consumers purchase, reject and avoid models in the marketplace.

Below are the top five reasons why car shoppers avoid certain cars among non-premium brand models.

5. Didn't Like the Image Vehicle Portrays

Of those surveyed, 16 percent said they didn't like the image a certain vehicle portrays. Perhaps some shoppers don't like the idea that owning a Toyota Prius or a Chevrolet Volt portrays the image of being "green." Or maybe that getting caught behind the wheel of a Mazda Miata hints that you're having a mid-life crisis.

4. Costs Too Much Money

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
This one might not come as a surprise, but 17 percent of car shoppers said they avoided a certain car because it costs too much money. Most car shoppers have experienced it before: seeing their dream car on the dealership lot while cautiously walking over to the sticker in the window. Then their eye catches the higher-than-expected price tag and they quickly walk away uninterested.

3. Concerned About Reliability

2016 Fiat 500
Vehicle reliability has become an increasingly important factor when deciding what vehicle to purchase. In this year's study, 17 percent noted a concern about reliability when it came to avoiding a certain car, a statistic that likely doesn't bode well for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which routinely finds its brands at the bottom of J.D. Power's annual reliability study.

2. Didn't Like its Interior Look or Design

2016 Honda Civic Display Screen 02
Sometimes, no matter how great a car looks on the outside, there are certain elements you just can't get past once you get into the cabin. Maybe it's too bland or maybe it's too flashy, or sometimes it's because certain buttons or knobs (or lack thereof - we're looking at you, Honda) just aren't where they should be intuitively. Whatever the case, 18 percent of shoppers avoided a certain car because the interior just didn't appeal to them.

1. Didn't Like its Exterior Look or Design

2001 Aztek
And the top reason shoppers avoid certain cars is that they just simply didn't like its exterior look or design. An overwhelming 31 percent made it their reason to leave a car behind on the dealership lot, proving just how important a car must look if it hopes to succeed in the marketplace. And maybe that's why the Pontiac Aztek was never considered a success, earning itself accolades like the L.A. Times naming it the "Worst Car Ever Sold in America."


Top 5 Reasons Why Car Shoppers Avoid Certain Cars..............................

Friday, 15 January 2016

Car Shoppers Focus on Reliability


CARS.COM - In the wake of several massive recall campaigns, reliability appears to be making a big comeback as a factor that influences car buyers. Meanwhile, an extended period of bargain gas prices is likely responsible for the decline of fuel economy as a purchasing prerequisite.
According to the just-released J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Avoider Study, reliability has risen sharply in terms of how it influences car shoppers, with 55 percent of new-car shoppers citing it as a leading reason for their purchase. That's compared with reliability cited 51 percent of the time last year and just 48 percent three years ago. Moreover, 17 percent of shoppers report reliability issues as a reason to avoid certain models versus 14 percent the previous year.
"Study findings show that buyers who avoid models for reliability reasons tend to also have concerns regarding resale value, cost of maintenance and even safety," J.D. Power said in a statement, noting the "ripple effect" of reliability issues.
This latest J.D. Power study could be evidence that the recent spate of high-volume, high-profile recalls for critical safety issues is affecting consumers. At the height of media attention to the massive GM ignition switch recall in 2014, the automaker's new-car sales still, for example, increased 3.9 percent through October of that year; that figure fell short of the industry average at the time of 5.5 percent but was still remarkable amid GM's nearly 26 million recalls up to that point. Despite also having heavy recalls at the time, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Toyota posted sales increases of nearly 16 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
A 2014 study, however, showed that automaker recalls were increasingly on consumers' minds, with 60 percent of people in the market for a new car demonstrating awareness of specific recalls in the preceding two months. This latest J.D. Power study, now in its 13th year and conducted between July and September 2015, surveyed more than 26,000 vehicle owners who registered a new car in April and May 2015.
While widespread media coverage is likely a primary contributor to reliability's rise for the first time in nearly a decade, big headlines - and big savings - are also a likely factor in the decline of fuel economy as a factor. Amid the recession of 2008 and spiking gas prices, the preceding SUV era of the late 1990s and early 2000s gave way to increasingly mileage-conscious car buying. But since gas prices have been on the decline for more than a year now - reaching a national average of less than $2 before Christmas - and are projected to remain low through 2016, that trend appears to be reversing. Consumers cited gas prices as a top reason for their vehicle purchase only 51 percent of the time versus 55 percent the previous year.
"In fact, gas mileage has reached a five-year low as a reason to purchase a specific model," J.D. Power stated. "It is also cited less frequently as a reason to reject other models that were considered."
Despite reliability's influential gains, exterior and interior styling unsurprisingly remain the two biggest factors. Exterior styling was cited 59 percent of the time as the top reason shoppers select a certain car, and also the top reason they dismiss one, with 31 percent saying so. Interior styling and price were also top turnoffs, with 18 percent each.

Car Shoppers Focus on Reliability.......................

Friday, 8 January 2016

Consumers Want Cars That Help Them Drive, Not Fetch Them Coffee

Auto buyers value their cars' autonomous features, but are less enamored with convenience tech, say two J.D. Power experts.
There's a disconnect between what automakers think buyers what from their car tech, and what those buyers actually find desirable and useful, say a pair of technology data experts from J.D. Power. And sometimes, consumers don't even know they have certain features on their cars--or they have no idea how to use them.
Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show today, Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. auto quality, and Kristin Kolodge, executive director, driver interaction and HMI, said that in general, auto-buyers value their cars' autonomous features, but are less enamored with connected convenience tech like email and data connectivity.
Here are some of their key findings, based on tracking of customer satisfaction ratings and adoption rates for new vehicle technologies.
Consumers love current collision protection and crash avoidance tech:  Across all areas of in-vehicle technology --including entertainment and connectivity, comfort and convenience, and driving assistance--auto buyers have the highest overall satisfaction levels (752 out of 1000 points) with collision protection technology.  Navigation systems ranked last.
Device links and mobile WiFi often go unused: While 69% of consumers who have blind spot warning detection use the technology every time they drive (a higher utilization rate than radio and HVAC usage), 30% of customers don't even know if they have in-vehicle voice texting or smartphone navigation interfaces.  Forty-three percent said they never use in-vehicle concierge services and 38% said they never use in-vehicle mobile routers.
Automation features rank high: Some of the "most wanted" features on customers' wish lists: Blind Spot Warning (87%), Park Assist (82%), Adaptive Cruise Control (71%); Low Speed Collision Avoidance (71%), Lane Keeping Assist (69%).  The lowest ranked items on the wish list: E-Mail integration, Apple CarPlay, Health & Wellness Systems
Today's semi-autonomous features are "the ultimate enabler": Consumer interest in these emerging semi-autonomous features are a precursor to building their confidence in self-driving vehicles.  The key will be building trust with these technologies.

by J.D. Power

Consumers Want Cars That Help Them Drive, Not Fetch Them Coffee..........