The autumn is that time when children go to school and automakers reap the benefits of working relentlessly throughout the year – a time of internet auto market possibilities comes each year in September.
Auto sales in America, the second largest auto market in the world and the first in terms of luxury autos, have gone up through the roof and are mulling to become the best in about a decade. The annualized selling rate last month reached a total of almost 18 million units but the average age of the autos on the road is still pretty much unchanged at above eleven years. That means all these new and upgraded models will have the opportunity to become best-sellers. With rising, consumer confidence, easy access to credit and lower unemployment rates, there is no shortage of available consumers and while some of the models we’re presenting now might turn into sore losers, for now they all look willing and ready to make a stand.
Alfa Romeo Giulia is the model that could lift or bust the entire FCA strategy to revive the Alfa Romeo brand. CEO Marchionne expects the sporty sedan to reestablish Alfa as a worthy competitor to the luxury powerhouses: BMW, Cadillac or Lexus.
Chevrolet’s Malibu and Cruze will make up the forefront of a key year for the mainstream GM brand. They will fight in wildly competitive segments and will also have to deal with the spectrum of SUVs and crossovers eating even more market share.
Chrysler Town & Country. The minivan is a crucial segment for the third largest US automaker since they practically invented the segment back in the 1980s. But the new generation of the perfect family vehicle faces increased competition – from within the segment and from outside, as more and more buyers go for crossovers or the now ubiquitous SUV.
BMW 7 Series is not only the automaker’s flagship but also one large sedan that has imposed styling and technology trends in the past few decades. It comes loaded with new features that would make any computer geek fall on his knees, but the evolutionary design might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Cadillac CT6 and XT5 – these are the models that need to bring back the brand to the spotlight. The new limousine might get all the attention now but we’re pretty sure that it’s the XT5 – the replacement of the ageing SRX sport utility vehicle – that might get the upper hand in terms of sales.
Honda Civic – the compact model is crucial to Honda because together with the larger Accord sedan and CR-V crossover they jointly deliver around two thirds of the brand’s American sales.
Mercedes-Benz E Class is the “smaller” executive brother of the flagship S Class, a model that needs to appeal to both regular consumers and to those company executives. With its crop of autonomous technology that might make it the most advanced vehicle on the road, Mercedes looks ready to put its faith in the model.
Nissan Altima and Titan XD – the Japanese brand has here a model that has nailed top selling positions in the US for years yet no one “noticed” – the makings of a secluded superstar. Meanwhile the Titan XD is not the intended replacement of the full-size pickup truck, but a model designed to tackle models that were almost without Japanese competition – the Ford F-250 and Chevy Silverado 2500.
Toyota Prius – this is the world’s best selling hybrid. It’s the car that has been Toyota’s corporate identity since it was launched. The new generation has to fight the slowing sales of green vehicles and the fact that passenger cars have been losing the sales battle to crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks for some time now.