New products help. Rendezvousí 61,468 sales pushed total Buick up six points. Without Rendezvous, down one point.

Times change: Small pickups were the top truck segment in the late 1980s, holding 30 percent of" />

Issue: Feb 2003


Windecker



2002's Notables

by Ray Windecker



New products help. Rendezvousí 61,468 sales pushed total Buick up six points. Without Rendezvous, down one point.

Times change: Small pickups were the top truck segment in the late 1980s, holding 30 percent of all truck sales. In 2002, they were down to nine percent, squeezed by full-size pickups, SUVs and cheap gasoline.

Honda Division cars followed the industry car pattern with a six percent decline. Honda trucks beat the odds with a strong 34 percent gain.

Toyotaís Lexus lines bucked the trends: cars up 9 percent, trucks gained five.


Of the Japanese brands, Mitsubishi, a seven point gainer, led the ups. Isuzu, off 33 points, led the downs.

Highest volume prestige vehicle: Cadillac Deville, 84,729.
Lowest: Lamborghini, 36.







 

VW Eurovan, up 19 points.
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Beetle down 24.


Total automotive sales in 2002, hyped by marketing programs, exceeded most expectations. Car sales totaled 8.1 million, down four percent. Trucks held at 9.0 million, bringing the total to 17.1 million, down two percent.



Most units sold: 813,701 Ford F-Series trucks.
Least sold: one Nissan 200SX that survived somehow over the years. That is a 50 percent reduction from the two sold in 2001.

One of Fordís Europeans was out of step. Aston Martin up 61 percent, Land Rover up 51, Jaguar up 37 but with Volvo down 12 points.







   Contrary to popular belief, Ford Escort, after 21 years and millions of sales, was still on the market in 2002, racking up 51,857 sales.



Coming in: Mini/Mini Cooper, 24,590 sales.
Going out: Daewoo, 21,397.

Top five corporate sellers of prestige vehicles. 1. Ford (Lincoln, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Thunderbird) 382,490.
2. General Motors, (Cadillac, Saab, Hummer, Corvette) 289,689.
3. Lexus 234,109.
4. BMW 232,032.
5. Mercedes 213,225








 
 Largest segment: upper midsize cars (Camry, etc.) 2,665,393 units.










 
 Smallest segment: large prestige sport utility (Cadillac Escalade, etc.) 83,323.










Staying: Mustang, 138,356 sales.
 
              Fading out: Camaro, 28,404 sales.



General Motors: Cars down nine ticks, trucks up six.

Small and economical isnít necessarily a hot item. Toyota Echo, 30,859 units, down 27 percent. Toyota Camry 434,145, up 11 percent.

Cadillac Division turned the longsought corner. Cars up seven percent, trucks plus 56 percent, total up 16.

Ford Motor Co. imports were up 8 percent, domestics down 10.

Price is not a deterrent: Prestige small cars (BMW 3s, etc.) up 28 percent. Basic small cars (Civic, etc.) down four.

Toyota vehicles went in opposite directions from industry trends. Cars up two points, trucks down two points.

Names made a difference: Toyota Corolla up three ticks from 254,360 sales, Chevrolet Prizm (above) 14,297 units down 69 ticks and fading out of the picture.

Not all Europeans were golden: Mercedes Trucks down eight percent, Lincoln Trucks up 11 percent.

Not all Japanese vehicles were golden: Acura cars down 13 percent. Dodge cars up 6 percent.

High price doesnít hurt, version #2: Prestige sports cars (Corvette, etc.), up 18 points, small sports cars (Mustang, etc.) off 14.

SUVs sell better than sporty cars:
     BMW X5 (right), 42,742 sales.
     BMW Z3s (left) and Z4s, 10,490 sales.







   


Mercedes brand trucks, 42,749 sales. Heavy duty Daimler owned trucks, Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star 91,543.






 
New: Hummer II, 18,861.  Old: Hummer, 720.
 Pontiacís Aztek, compared to Toyotaís Scion xB and Matrix, Nissan Murano, Hondaís Element, GMís Hummer II and Pontiacís own Vibe is beginning to look almost normal. Aztek chalked up 27,793 sales in 2002, up two percent, not bad for a brand declared dead by many.


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