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General Motors Corp. reported lower U.S. sales in March despite hopes for a recovery, while Ford Motor Co. saw its sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles plummet. Meanwhile, some Japanese automakers posted record sales...
Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. both reported record sales in March. Toyota sales were up 10.33 percent in March and 8.6 percent for the year, largely due to increased car sales. Toyota's new Avalon sedan went on sale in February, and the company said its Prius hybrid had its best-ever sales of 10,236 vehicles.
The contrast highlighted a long-standing trend in the U.S. auto industry where Ford and General Motors -- which are both losing market share to foreign rivals -- have been struggling to revive profits in their automotive operations.
"Spurred by escalating oil prices, the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles has definitely stepped up," said Jim Press, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.
The news wasn't so rosy for Honda.. Honda brand car sales down 11.6%, Acura brand truck sales down 3.1%. Fortunately for the company as a whole, Honda brand truck sales were up 14.2% and Acura brand car sales were up 12.6%. A mixed bag, really. Civic sales are down a whopping 18% for the first quarter compared to Q1-2004. Even Civic Hybrid sales are down 8.2% from Q1-2004.
Do you think the lower sales for the Civic are because the model is getting ready to be updated next year? Here in Phoenix, I think I see more Civics on the road than any other car. It will be interesting to see if the numbers go up once the new model comes out.
Yeah, the same thing happened with the previous generation Civic in it's last year, 2000. A 5-year product cycle is stretching it a bit long for such a simple car as the Civic. Long cycles are more appropriate for more expensive, complex cars that actually cost something to develop. It's never made sense for the Civic to have a 5-year product cycle.
The Civic is an appliance car, and to be perfectly honest, the last 2 versions have been no better the the previous version. The 96 was simply a minor freshening of the 92-95 with no real increase in power or economy. The 01 was a minor freshening of the 96-00 with no real increase in power or economy. It's a car that people like myself buy much in the same way you purchase your washing machine or refrigerator - you just expect it to work as advertized for a long time.
I doubt that Maytag sees the sales of their washing machines fall off 18% in one year just because a different version is coming out in 9 months. I think the bottom line is that cars like the new Hyundai's and Scions, not to mention GM finally making some sort of effort at a decent small car with their new Cobolt are exposing the Civic for what it is - a 13 year old design with some updates to the styling and interior. The '06 Civic had better offer a serious improvement if they don't want the Civic to just ride off into the sunset.