Know

Posts Tagged ‘Trucks’

DesRosiers Automotive Reports – January Observations‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on February 7, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Header Image DAR Logo

 

 

 

Observations Template


A full version of this article can also be found in the  DesRosiers Automotive Reports published by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. For more information on these reports please contact Pina Vaccaro at (905)881-0400 x18 or pina@desrosiers.ca or visit www.desrosiers.ca


 

Please note that DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. is offering a free three month trial of this publication to better allow for your assessment of the information provided. If you are interested in this free trial or have any questions about this publication, please do not hesitate to contact Pina Vaccaro at (905) 881-0400 x18 or pina@desrosiers.ca.

 

 

Subscribe_Today

FreeTrial

reports_samplesample_of_observations

DesRosiers Automotive Reports – Canadian Sales December 2012‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on January 19, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Header Image DAR Logo

 

 

 

Canadian Sales

MonthlySales2011

Click here for PDF version

For the updated version of the SAAR please click here

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: Dennis DesRosiers’ The Best of Observations

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on June 29, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Dennis DesRosiers is Owner of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants – Photo Courtesy of Dennis DesRosiers

Image result for Dennis DesRosiers is Owner of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants

By Rachel Muenz

Apart from working in auto parts factories for a couple of summers, I have little knowledge or interest in the Canadian automotive industry. But, I found Dennis DesRosiers’ collection of articles on this topic not only informative but also quite fascinating at times.

DesRosiers, who heads DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc., is said to be one of Canada’s most prominent automotive industry analysts. His monthly “Observations” columns have looked at trends and problems in various sectors of the auto industry for almost 20 years. The Best of Observations, as the title suggests, is a collection of the best of these columns from the early 1990s to 2009. Though clearly meant for those who work and or invest in the auto industry, The Best of Observations is also a great read for the average person.

The articles are organized into nine sections which cover each sector of the Canadian auto industry as well as market outlook, strategy and policy issues.

DesRosiers provides his thoughts on where each of these areas is going, a bit of the history involved, problems and blunders in the industry and what he believes are the best ways to fix them. He supports these points well with both hard data and some ballpark guesses. Though these facts and figures can be boring at times they’re mostly presented in a way readers can relate to. Overall, the book is not data-heavy and is an easy and engaging read.

The language is straightforward though often lively with a dash of humour as well. DesRosiers clearly loves what he does and is passionate about the auto industry and this shines through in his writing. But, the book does have a bit of industry lingo and business acronyms which sent me off on some Google searches – OEM, for example, stands for “original equipment manufacturer.”

Also, the book can sometimes be repetitive since there is some overlap between articles. For example, the fact that most vehicles lasted around 150,000 km in the 1960s and now last around 300,000 km today is mentioned often throughout the collection.

Yet, as a whole, a little repetition doesn’t take away from the important insights in this book.

In particular, I found the articles on the recent crash of the Detroit Three automakers the most enlightening. DesRosiers examines how and why the decline happened, what he thinks of how it’s being addressed, what else should be done to improve these manufacturer’s fortunes and how things are likely to play out in the industry. And, while DesRosiers is realistic he also leaves us with the feeling that all hope is not lost for the auto industry.

However, though the older articles give an idea of how past trends are affecting the present, they may not interest everyone. Also, because the articles are not always in chronological order in their respective sections, this might make it difficult for some readers to see how some of the past articles connect to the present.

That small complaint aside, DesRosiers is also not afraid to make controversial statements, resulting in some very interesting arguments.

For example, when leasing was popular for both auto dealers and consumers in the 1990s, he wrote that for most consumers it is a terrible idea. Through solid numbers and examples he shows that leasing a car, while it can be a good idea in the short-term, actually costs more in the long-term than getting a car loan. Prospective vehicle buyers should find this section very useful in figuring out when it’s a good idea to lease.

The more recent articles in the book also have some very compelling points about fuel efficiency.

DesRosiers argues that government targets for fuel efficiency are impossible for automakers to meet by the 2020 deadline. He shows that an improvement of about 10 per cent in fuel efficiency has taken 25 years to achieve in the Canadian auto industry. Therefore, making a greater improvement in 12 years is just not feasible.

His main criticism of these government environmental policies is that they target automakers when consumers are also to blame for poor fuel efficiency. DesRosiers also points out that, considering the weak economy, governments should give automakers a chance to recover before making them tackle fuel efficiency. While environmentalists might not like the suggestion of putting money before fuel efficiency, DesRosiers does have a point. You do need money to invest in clean technology, after all.

In the end, this book has a lot of valuable information about the Canadian auto industry and makes you think about the changes and policies meant to improve it. Whether you want to be a better consumer, want to know what the future holds for the auto industry or you just want something intelligent to read, you’ll likely find something to enjoy in this collection.

The Decade in Review – Part 6 – Entry Level Vehcile Sales‏

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 13, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 13, 2010 – 1

Dennis Desrosiers – January 13, 2010 – 2

Attached are two tables on the entry-level vehicle segments in Canada for 2000 to 2009. One table documents sales by each of the sub-segments within the entry-level market and the other looks at sales by brand.

This is it my friends. The entry-level market defines Canada. Any full line brand that fails in this segment fails in the market. Entry level vehicle accounts for 50.8 percent of total sales in Canada. In some provinces like Quebec, it is well over 60 percent of the market. This is up from only 34.6 percent of the market in the year 2000. Sales volumes peaked in 2008 at 841,147 units and with the serious downturn in the total market, this past year sales dropped back into the mid 700K range. With the number of “B” and ” C” sized vehicles expected this coming decade we also expect this segment to become even more important within the Canadian fabric. It is very possible that this segment could grow to close to sixty percent of sales although this will take a number of years.

Obviously, this segment is the most price sensitive so is the most exposed to a recessionary economy and was one of the segments that were most severely down this past year with an 11.7 percent decline. We expect this segment to outperform the total market as the economy emerges from its problems. Entry-level vehicles also have the highest scrappage rates of any size of the vehicle so when the consumer vacates the market for any length of time we usually see considerable pent-up demand as the fleet on the road age quickly and need replacement. This is the rub from an environmental perspective. Consumers who buy these vehicles get the least amount of lifetime use from them so by doing the right thing from a social policy perspective a consumer actually lowers his value for money. The longest lasting vehicles and thus the best lifetime value are also the least fuel efficient.

But at over fifty percent market share it is also a testament to the environmental friendliness of the Canadian consumer. Vehicle companies offer the most productive in this segment, market this product aggressively and price the product competitively. There is a view by some politicians that the vehicle companies hoist upon the consumer their least fuel-efficient vehicles. The size and growth of entry-level vehicles belies this point of view.

We include in this segment all subcompact and compact cars as well as compact SUV’s and small pickups since both are entry level vehicles within their customer base. Subcompact car share doubled this decade from 3.8 percent of the market to 7.4 percent of the market. Despite the growth in this “B” car segment the compact car segment also increased share slightly growing from 24.6 percent of the market to 26.1 percent of the market. The biggest growth came in the compact sports utility segment which more than tripled in size increasing from only 4.4 percent of the market to 14.5 percent of the market. Yes, Canadians like their SUV’s but they buy the most fuel-efficient ones. The small pickup market is rather tiny in Canada accounting for only 2.9 percent of the market although this sub-segment is also up this decade ( from 1.7 percent share in 2000 ). This segment also shows how responsible Canadian consumers are with many buying into the pick-up truck market at the entry level instead of the full-size level.

Individual brand sales were marked by huge success and or huge failure this past decade. The most successful company from a percentage improvement point of view was Nissan who’s sales in this segment increased by 266.0 percent this decade. They were closely followed by Subaru up 249.8 percent and Hyundai up 185.0 percent and Kia up 137.0 percent. Although Toyota wasn’t the leader in percentage increase they were number one in the entry level market with 135K units and an 18.2 percent share. Honda was in second place with a 12.9 percent share and Hyundai was in third place with an 11.8 percent share. Ford and GM held onto their double-digit market share position with Ford at a 10.7 share and GM at a 10.6 percent share.

GM was the big loser in this segment dropping from first place to fifth place in market position and losing a third of their volume this decade. GM peaked at 153K units but sold only 79K units in 2009 a devastating loss in volume and market share. Most of this loss came in the past year with GM’s sales in this segment down by 43.8 percent. Chrysler also was a major failure in this segment losing more than half their market share a decline from 9.9 percent of the entry-level market in 2000 to only 4.4 percent in 2009 and eight places amongst the various brands. Ford started the decade with an 11.4 share, fell to as low as a 9.0 share but came back strong at decade end and finished with a 10.7 percent share.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
President
dennis@desrosiers.ca
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611
http://www.desrosiers.ca
AIM: Skype ID: SkypeIn #:

The Decade in Review – Part 5 – The Number of New Vehicle Dealers‏

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 11, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 11, 2010

Attached are new car dealer counts by brand for the decade. I break out dealer counts by the dealers that are selling primarily luxury brand vehicles from those that are what I call full line dealers. There are a couple of issue with this data though. First, Lincoln and Cadillac dealer counts are not available separate from their parent company totals so I can’t include them in the luxury dealer table. Second, I have nowhere to put Mini and smart dealers so I include them in the full line table of dealers even though they are very narrow in their product scope.

The total number of dealers in Canada declined by 158 store net this past decade. Full line stores actually declined by 197 stores but this was made up a bit by luxury dealers which increased in the count by 39 stores. The luxury segment grew from about 5 percent of sales to about 9 percent of sales this past decade so there was room for additional dealer points.

No surprise but the D-3 collectively lost 441 dealers and there are about another 150 that will be gone by the end of this year. The D-3 dropped from about 75 percent of the market to just over 40 percent of the market and this loss of market share was the root of the loss of dealers. The Japanese added 114 dealers and the K-2 added 67 dealers for a total increase of 211 Asian brand dealers. European brands also added 72 stores.

GM shed the most dealers at 212 stores followed by Ford and Chrysler at 115 and 114 stores respectively. VW also lost 22 dealers, Subaru was down 9 stores and Suzuki down by 6 stores. Daewoo left the market and that accounted for a loss of 41 stores.

Three companies enter Canada, Mitsubishi ( now 77 stores ), smart ( now 49 stores ) and Mini ( now 25 stores ).

Kia added the most dealer points within the group of companies that were in the market the entire decade. Kia added 69 dealers followed by Hyundai with 39 stores.

Within the luxury brands all but Volvo added stores with both BMW and Lexus adding 8 stores. Lincoln and Cadillac also shed stores but do not know their dealer counts.

My thoughts on the day.

Dennis

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
President
dennis@desrosiers.ca
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611
http://www.desrosiers.ca
AIM: Skype ID: SkypeIn #:

Dennis Desrosiers Thoughts for the Day

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on January 6, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Dennis Desrosiers – January 6, 2010

By Dennis Desrosiers

Attached are sales for 2000 to 2009 for passenger cars versus light trucks and for the D-3 nameplates versus the import nameplates although I don’t know why we analysts break out the D-3 from the import nameplates anymore. The three of them are radically different especially after the last 12 months of crisis. Each also is very different from a structural point of view and position and performance in the market. But none the less this is still how the industry looks at things so I’ll also do it this way. I will promise to send you through an analysis by brand in the next day or two that doesn’t have this problem so bear with me.

With the exception of this past year ( 2009 ) the split between passenger cars and light truck sales in Canada was relatively constant at roughly 55 percent passenger car and 45 percent light truck. There as a slight bias toward more light truck share as the decade progressed but it wasn’t until 2009 that light trucks actually took a noticeable market share from passenger cars. In 2009 light truck share grew to 48.8 percent. At the beginning of the decade, most would have forecast light trucks to significantly outperform passenger cars. It never happened. This actually is quite surprising in that the whole fuel efficiency debate centred around the notion ( at least in Government eyes ) of car good .. truck bad. This notion is wrong but is the overwhelming perception of many who write about this industry. But much higher energy prices and a Government machine biased against light trucks ( especially SUV’s ) one would have expected a huge upswing in passenger car sales as energy prices soared and our Governments pushed the fuel efficiency button. In fact, the opposite happened. Canada ended up through the decade with a growth in light truck share. This shows how wrong some of the fundamental notions that evolve about our industry can be. In actual fact the notion of … car good – truck bad .. is highly flawed. There are many light trucks that are more fuel efficient than passenger cars. Indeed if you take out the commercial use light truck which because of their use have no choice but to have more powerful engines then the difference in fuel economy between light trucks and passenger cars is very slight. And that is one of the reasons that consumers bought so many of them.

Another insight from this mix of sales is the power of the consumer. Governments can foist their views onto the consumer all they want but at the end of the day the consumer is much more powerful than any politician and will buy what they want to buy not what some politician tells them to buy. And the vehicles companies simply respond to these consumers needs. They do have a role in shaping consumer thinking but much of the desire of the consumer emanates from their day to day need NOT what any vehicle company says their needs should be and certainly not from what any politician tells them to buy.

Indeed if you look at the second block of data on this chart you will see exactly what I mean when I say that OEMs do not control the consumer but instead respond to the consumer. This second section breaks out the D-3 nameplates from the import nameplates. Despite their serious problems, the D-3 remain incredibly powerful entities in the market and there is no argument that they were the most powerful companies by a wide margin at the beginning of the decade. If OEMs dictated what consumers bought then how is it that the three most powerful players ( the D-3 ) at the beginning of the decade accounted for 66. 1 percent of light vehicle sales but by the end of the decade they accounted for only 43.8 percent of sales.

There is a frightening view in policy circles that any OEM can dictate to the consumer what they should purchase and thus our policymakers put in place a process where OEMs are being asked to make sure certain benchmarks are met. But in reality, our policymakers should be taking on this responsibility NOT any OEM. The OEMs in Canada simply sell to the consumer the products the consumers desire. If the policymakers want consumers to buy the more fuel-efficient product then they need to alter consumer behaviour. And they have tools at their disposal to do exactly this with the most powerful tool being the tax system and the regulatory system. They could legislate old gas guzzlers off the road for instance through an inspection program like they do in many countries around the world. But politicians refuse to take responsibility because they don’t want to tell consumers or better put … FORCE … consumers to do something they fundamentally don’t want to do. After all, they might lose their vote. So they vacate this responsibility and push it onto the OEMs to do their dirty work for them. But the OEMs little to no control over the consumer and thus not a lot gets done.

I don’t deny that the OEMs have some responsibility but if our political masters want more fuel efficiency then they also should take more responsibility for this agenda item.

Sorry to get off topic a little but my mind wanders.

Back to the D-3 import nameplate decade of sales. It was needless to say a very difficult decade for the D-3. All three lost market share which I’ll highlight in more detail in one of my next e-mails. But GM declined from 30.5 percent of the market to 17.4 percent, Ford’s share was up in 2009 but they still declined from 18.2 percent of the market to 15.4 percent and Chrysler declined from 17.3 percent of the market to 11.2 percent. Collectively the D-3 lost 22.2 points of market share a record for any one decade. Import nameplates grew from about 525K units in a 1.55 million market to about 820K in a 1.46 million market an incredible performance that ultimately led to the near bankruptcy in Canada of both GM and Chrysler. The same happened in the US and it did result in Chapter 11 filings.

I’ll send some more decade level information out over the next few days and weeks and take a very close look at the decade through multiple windows. I’ll also try to avoid getting into these rants about our policymakers.

My thoughts for the day.

Dennis

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc
Dennis DesRosiers
President
dennis@desrosiers.ca
80 Fulton Way Suite 101
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4B 1J5
tel: 1-905-881-0400 – 13
fax: 1-905-881-7456
mobile: 1-416-543-8611
www.desrosiers.ca

%d bloggers like this: