Mar 27, 2009

You can't plan the economy

Trucks are back. Putting aside the fact that there were too few vehicles bought, the economy voted on what vehicles they really want automakers to build. Their troubles were not brought on by not offering consumers what they supposedly want.

At the top were the Ford F150 and the Chevy Silverado. The Dodge RAM was #8 , Ford Escape #11, Toyota RAV 4 #13, Jeep Wrangler #16, and the Toyota Tundra #24. Americans still want to drive out on the range to check the cattle, carry tools to the jobsite, compete in off-road challenges. No matter if they just use them to drive the kids to school.

Mid-size cars had their market space. The Toyota Camry and Corolla were in the third and fourth slots with the Accord, Altima, and Civic just behind. The Chevy Malibu was #10.

Among the newer products, Ford took #12 with the Focus and #14 with the Fusion.

The Prius took #17. You can’t really judge preferences for hybrids from this data because they are not being built in large numbers yet.

As sensible as it might be to drive small, fuel-efficient cars, you can’t mandate that they be built or bought. If people want testosterone wagons, you build them. Have choices, of course. That’s what a market economy is. If there’s a shift in preference to smaller cars, the automakers will build more of them.

Let’s quit making automakers the scapegoats for the stalled market.

The March 2009 Ford newsletter reported on 2009 year-to-date vehicle sales (sorry, they didn’t cite the date that the year is to) from “manufacturers reports.” Let’s just say that’s adequate for our purposes.


Marius said...

I think you got it all wrong. The trucks are back for Americans because they are cheaper now. And more practical ofcorse. It's just the situation now, but on the long run, one can not escape the the electric vehicles (you know fuel is going to end soon, don't you?).

Unknown said...

If it were just price, trucks wouldn't be on top. I agree that it's odd that people would forget about the finite supply of oil, but they do. We still don't have a strong contender for the alternate fuel vehicle. I think we should be charging a $4/gal research tax on gas and see what that does.

Bruce Baker said...

If the Detroit 3 really were producing what the market wanted for all those years why did they lose so much market share to the asian brands? They had to fail to make what the market wanted or the Camry, Corolla, Accord, Altima, and Civic wouldn't be in the top ten. There was a time when there were no foreign brands in the top selling lists. At some point the Detroit 3 failed to deliver something as well as Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and other brands did or 5 of the top ten wouldn't be foreign cars now.

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