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Inside this issue
Ford Tops Purchase Intent Among Carmakers
U.S. Audi Chief Counting on Diesel Demand to Boost Brand's Standing
Subaru's 412% Surge Leads Carmaker to Debate Niche Status
Record Fuel Economy for U.S. Light Vehicles in July
Grand Plans By Presidents, Both Democrats and Republicans, Fail in Detroit
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Top Stories
Ford Tops Purchase Intent Among Carmakers

Ford's positive perception among consumers could also be reflected in car sales, YouGov BrandIndex has found. The automaker is on top of a hugely competitive industry in terms of consumer purchase intent. BrandIndex asked US consumers who are in the market to buy a car in the next six months, which brand they would most likely, with scores ranging from 0% to 100%. While 11.6% of Americans name Toyota and 8.7% selected fellow US auto brand Chevrolet, 18% would consider buying a Ford car. It has been a successful year so far for Ford in terms of perception and profits, with Ford posting its highest-earning quarter in Q1 2013 in more than a decade. The manufacturer increased its US market share from 15.2% in 2012 to 15.9% in 2013, thanks in part to the success in sales of its Focus model.
Source: Forbes
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U.S. Audi Chief Counting on Diesel Demand to Boost Brand's Standing

Audi of America is counting on the widespread adoption of diesel to boost it to luxury leadership in the U.S. “We are waiting for far more universal adoption” of diesel in the United States for its fuel efficiency,” Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Audi of America says at the Management Briefing Seminars. “What you are asking the consumer to do is move his hands from here to here,” he says, mimicking the distance of two fuel hoses at a filling station. “That is why we feel that diesel is absolutely getting ready for the marketplace.” Audi began selling diesels in America with the Q7 cross/utility vehicle and A3 Sportback. Keogh says 30% of Q7s and 60% of Sportbacks are purchased with diesel engines, and this year the A6, A7, A8 and Q5 are entering the market with Audi's 3.0L diesel mill. Diesels offer 20% to 30% better fuel economy, he says, noting the Audi A6 gets 36 mpg on the highway.
Source: WardsAuto

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Subaru's 412% Surge Leads Carmaker to Debate Niche Status

What car company's stock has risen the most -- fivefold -- since the beginning of 2012? Besides Tesla Motors Inc., it's Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru. Profits and sales are heading toward records after the company benefited more than most Japanese carmakers from the weakening of the yen and as new models such as the BRZ sports car have become so popular that U.S. consumers need to wait months to get one. The success is leading President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga to worry whether the niche maker of all-wheel-drive vehicles is getting too big. “We're standing at a major turning point for Subaru,” Yoshinaga said in an interview this week in Tokyo. “It shouldn't just be about volumes. We should be making cars only Subaru can make that are a little more expensive and more profitable than the competition.”
Source: Bloomberg
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Record Fuel Economy for U.S. Light Vehicles in July

Average light-vehicle fuel economy reached a record 24.5 mpg on the WardsAuto Fuel Economy Index in July, up 2.9% from year-ago and 16.8% from the base rating set in fourth-quarter 2007. Light-truck market share grew in the month, but any downward effect on miles per gallon was offset by increased FEI scores for both cars and trucks as sales skewed toward more-efficient models. Cars set a record of 28.4 mpg in July, a 4.6% increase from like-2012, as buyers gravitated to smaller models more so than in June. Small cars maintained their highest FEI score (29.9 mpg), and midsize cars regained their previous high (28.5 mpg) from late 2012. Large cars also reached a new peak at 21.1 mpg (11.1 L/100 km).
Source: WardsAuto
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Grand Plans By Presidents, Both Democrats and Republicans, Fail in Detroit

During the Nixon years, Detroit's business elite laid plans for the glittering Renaissance Center retail and office complex. The Ford and Carter administrations brought the People Mover, an elevated rail loop around downtown that hardly anybody rides today. Other presidential administrations introduced enterprize zone tax breaks and empowerment zone development grants. President Obama promised to save the Motor City by saving the auto industry. But none of it worked. Rather than becoming a showplace for the transformational power of urban policy, Detroit is remarkable mostly as a burial ground for good intentions — of both Democrats and Republicans. Last month, Detroit became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy, sobering evidence that decades of government and private-sector intervention was no match for decades of residential and business flight that eroded the city's once ample tax base. “It is as if the tide is going out and I take a fire hydrant and pump as much water on the beach as possible,” said Charles Ballard, a Michigan State University economist. “No matter how long I pump, there is still going to be more sand showing.”
Source: The Washington Post
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Quotable
"We are a mad, paranoid, crazy company. Our intent is to sell 200,000 units and be the definitive luxury brand in America."

   
-- Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Audi of America, commenting on the automaker's goal to become the top luxury brand in the U.S., WardsAuto, Aug. 8
NADA Market Beat
July Sales Down From June, But Beat July 2012
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'Accelerate' Your Business at the NADA Convention in New Orleans
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NADA Webinars
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- Aug. 21: Redefine the Aftermarket Customer Experience

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