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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ford officials are looking at sales trends with joy and relief (because they, like GM after them, have decided to focus on CUV, SUVs, trucks).

“The migration out of passenger cars into SUVs has accelerated,” Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford, told the Free Press. “It’s breathtaking. It's a generational shift. At Ford, we believe it’s structural, or otherwise permanent. It won’t bounce back with an oil shock.”

He added, “I don’t know what the bottom is. Because they’re so important to the Asian brands, you will get some sustaining level.”

Passenger car sales — “anything with a trunk,” LaNeve says — have steadily declined since 2012 from 49% of U.S. sales to just 30% in 2018. The first three months of 2019 show the free fall continues.

https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/ford/2019/04/25/ford-profit-sedans-discontinued/3563103002/
 

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Mr LaNeve is delusional. The last time gas prices went up dealerships couldn't give away trucks and SUVs. When people were paying over $100 to fill their tanks each week they took notice and started buying more efficient vehicles. At the height of the last gas spike the Chevy Cruze was the number one seller in America, even eclipsing the F-150 lineup for a couple of months.
 

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Ford has the same problem GM has and Chrysler has. They cannot sell sedans because people don't trust them to build reliable cars. Most people focused on their small sedans where cost cutting is the most evident.

The Chevrolet Equinox is the best selling GM other than pickups, with Ford its the Explorer. Take away their pickup sales and the "Big 3" would be below many other brands to the point people would shake their heads and wonder, what went wrong?

Now Asian brands (Kia/Hyundai) may rely a bit on sedan sales but Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, all have good selling CUV/SUV models. BMW's top two vehicles are the X3 and X5
 

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Ford has the same problem GM has and Chrysler has. They cannot sell sedans because people don't trust them to build reliable cars. Most people focused on their small sedans where cost cutting is the most evident.

The Chevrolet Equinox is the best selling GM other than pickups, with Ford its the Explorer. Take away their pickup sales and the "Big 3" would be below many other brands to the point people would shake their heads and wonder, what went wrong?

Now Asian brands (Kia/Hyundai) may rely a bit on sedan sales but Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, all have good selling CUV/SUV models. BMW's top two vehicles are the X3 and X5
The entire sedan segment is dropping, not just the American automakers.
 

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Mr LaNeve is delusional. The last time gas prices went up dealerships couldn't give away trucks and SUVs. When people were paying over $100 to fill their tanks each week they took notice and started buying more efficient vehicles. At the height of the last gas spike the Chevy Cruze was the number one seller in America, even eclipsing the F-150 lineup for a couple of months.
No, he isn't. Comparing today's "SUVs" even to the most popular SUVs in 2004-2007 is night and day. The most popular models back then were the larger body on frame models like the Explorer, Expedition, Tahoe, Suburban, Grand Cherokee, etc. They mostly had huge gas guzzling V8s as the most common engine choice, getting in the low to mid-teens for gas mileage.

Most SUVs (really crossovers) sold now are car-based, smaller in size, and powered by turbocharged 4 cylinder engines. A few still use a V6 standard, but even that's mostly optional at this point. V8s are reserved for the largest SUVs out there and for pure performance models. This is true across the board, even for larger, three-row models (for example, the Chevy Traverse, Explorer, and Kia Telluride are all smaller than their predecessors and come with much more efficient, smaller engines.)

While the SUVs of the pre gas crisis years got in the mid to low teens for fuel economy compared to sedans at the time getting 25-30 MPG, modern crossovers get 25-30 MPG while modern sedans get maybe 28-35 MPG. They're a little better, but it's not like before when the gas bills were doubled. It's more like a 10-15% difference now. I don't think that small difference will cause people to shift what kind of vehicle they want from a body format perspective (though it may change whether they think of EVs as an option).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The entire sedan segment is dropping, not just the American automakers.
I like sedans (I have a Volt), but I also like our Bolt. I did not like the Cadillac SRX we inherited, the Bolt replaced that. The SRX just felt big and clumsy with a surprising lack of cargo space given it's exterior size. But, yes, sedans are an ever shrinking part of the market. Reminds me of how wagons have basically disappeared in the US, replaced by minivans, CUVs and SUVs.
 

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The biggest selling "SUVs" are actually little more than a cross between a sedan and a station wagon.

Think of them as the evolution of sedans, not as SUVs. Improvements in design software and drivetrains have made today's "SUVs" get similar mileage to yesterdays sedans:

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=28627&id=40266&id=40563&id=40739

Why buy a sedan? Saving gas isn't a big reason. You give up a lot of interior space and hauling capacity for little gains in mileage.
 

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Until our 2009 CTS-V, I had not bought a sedan in ... I can't remember. Bought several coupes, but 4 doors aren't ringing any bells.
Vans, pickups, and station wagons had 4 doors, but cars? I guess they made them, but I could never figure out why. The CTS-V at first was only offered as a 4-door, so if you wanted an affordable, powerful sedan, it was 4 doors or nothing. But IMO the wagon was the best of the CTS-V line.

The Volts? I would have rather had a Volt Sport Coupe, 2+2. Little less weight, add a little more power. Chevy's ELR.
 

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The biggest selling "SUVs" are actually little more than a cross between a sedan and a station wagon.

Think of them as the evolution of sedans, not as SUVs. Improvements in design software and drivetrains have made today's "SUVs" get similar mileage to yesterdays sedans:

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=28627&id=40266&id=40563&id=40739

Why buy a sedan? Saving gas isn't a big reason. You give up a lot of interior space and hauling capacity for little gains in mileage.
You can do quite a bit better with a sedan than those.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=40266&id=40739&id=40609&id=40891

But, yes, sedan are really not a practical form factor. You can do a lot better with a well-equipped hatchback and you don't pay the box tax of many crossovers.
 

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With it's hatchback, I don't think of the volt as a sedan at all. It's proven invaluable for transporting things I could never get in a trunk based sedan.
 

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The biggest selling "SUVs" are actually little more than a cross between a sedan and a station wagon.

Think of them as the evolution of sedans, not as SUVs. Improvements in design software and drivetrains have made today's "SUVs" get similar mileage to yesterdays sedans:

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=28627&id=40266&id=40563&id=40739

Why buy a sedan? Saving gas isn't a big reason. You give up a lot of interior space and hauling capacity for little gains in mileage.
You can do quite a bit better with a sedan than those.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=40266&id=40739&id=40609&id=40891

But, yes, sedan are really not a practical form factor. You can do a lot better with a well-equipped hatchback and you don't pay the box tax of many crossovers.
In the Family Sedan arena, I selected >= 40 MPG and got the results at this page:

[URL="https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year=2019&mclass=Family%20Sedans&comb=40&srchtyp=marClassMpg&pageno=1&sortBy=Comb&tabView=0&rowLimit=25]40+ MPG family sedans[/URL]

Yes, half of them are PHEVs and the rest are hybrids, but they do exist and the hybrids are generally widely available and not just in CARB states. The classic hybrid vehicle prices aren't exorbitant either.
 

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With it's hatchback, I don't think of the volt as a sedan at all. It's proven invaluable for transporting things I could never get in a trunk based sedan.
Agreed. The Clarity's one seriously weak point is cargo access. The Clarity's trunk is an odd shape and it suffers from the how do you get something in there. The Volt has a nice big opening, better than many classic hatchbacks, for loading and unloading.
 

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You can do quite a bit better with a sedan than those.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=40266&id=40739&id=40609&id=40891

But, yes, sedan are really not a practical form factor. You can do a lot better with a well-equipped hatchback and you don't pay the box tax of many crossovers.
I just grabbed some random cars to show where SUV mileage is today. You can do better with SUVs too:

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=40353

With Prius level acceleration, the AWD variant tested by Car & Driver: "... our Equinox returned a solid 43 mpg in our 75-mph highway cruise test." How many sedan the size of an Equinox get 43 mph at 75 mph?

But as soon as you cross over to 30 mpg, the fuel costs become minimal for all but the I Live In My Car commuters. Average owner travels 13,500 a year. At 30 mpg, in $4 California, that's $0.13 a mile. Our toll roads are higher, up to $1.20 a mile. Most young families have higher insurance and registration fees than fuel costs. $1000 registration, $1000 insurance would be 10% higher than fuel receipts.

So by buying a 45 mpg at 75 mph sedan, what are you saving? Perhaps not enough to justify the hassle of the smaller cargo capacity and child seat hassles. And? The prices aren't much different.

The biggest thing I worried about with the I-Pace decision was "Is it an SUV?". And after driving I realized it was not. It's a sport sedan that happens have advanced off-road technology, both closed circuit road courses, and fireroads in the hills. It's not an SUV/CUV/CrossDresser/Etc. It's the next gen sedan that you do not have to apologize to adults sitting in the back seats, nor do you have to crawl in or out of the car from front or rear. Heck, it's even has shorter OAL than many sedans including the Tesla Model 3.
 

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Whenever I am curious about the real world fuel economy of any vehicle I look up the owner reported fuel economy on fuelly.com There you can select the make, model, year, engine and configuration of most vehicles sold in the US. No matter what the manufacturer claims based on EPA fuel economy for city, highway and combined the data collected by Fuelly drivers does not rely on simulated driving conditions. When you look up fuel economy results for the Volt you get garbage because fuelly does not provide information on how to report fuel economy numbers for plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles so people post the wrong data.
 

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Whenever I am curious about the real world fuel economy of any vehicle I look up the owner reported fuel economy on fuelly.com There you can select the make, model, year, engine and configuration of most vehicles sold in the US. No matter what the manufacturer claims based on EPA fuel economy for city, highway and combined the data collected by Fuelly drivers does not rely on simulated driving conditions. When you look up fuel economy results for the Volt you get garbage because fuelly does not provide information on how to report fuel economy numbers for plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles so people post the wrong data.
You will know gas prices are too high when people finally start slowing down.
 

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Driving a Volt, I'm laughing at $4/gallon gasoline.

As for the SUV/CUV craze, I think the whole concept is distorted and simply a matter of marketing. The Volt has a hatchback. Jack it up 3 inches and it's as much a CUV as anything else. Who is willing to actually admit that the BMW X1 is not just a very small sedan with a lift kit? In my opinion, some of the smaller CUVs that don't look like sedans/wagons, wind up looking like ugly bugs.

Perception is reality. If the salesman calls it a CUV, and you believe it's a CUV, then it is a CUV.

And for a thought exercise, imagine if the smallest/lowest vehicles on the road were all CUVs. Would people still want to buy them, or would they require a "larger/taller" vehicle?
 

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The days of the box Chevrolet (and Ford and Chrysler) large sedans are over - the sleeker cars those evolved into are apparently done now too. (i.e. Malibu, Impala) Both Ford and GM seem to be looking for that right size CUV, since they have so many that are within inches in length of each other. Now they are bringing back names of bod on frame SUVs, making them CUVs and slotting them in their line up. So far the Blazer and Bronco are *meh* to me. The Volt to me wasn't a sedan, it's was a hatchback.

All my wife wants, which is probably more of the general population way of thinking, is a high seating position. That's why she prefers CUV/SUV's over "cars". She views vehicles as a tool - a way to get from A to B. Nothing more... Unlike us enthusiasts who see so much more in our vehicles. She really doesn't care about brands either, even though lately we've been sticking to GM.

I'm going to be re-aligning our home fleet here in a month, so we'll see where that leads us. I hope one is at least a plug-in vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Driving a Volt, I'm laughing at $4/gallon gasoline.

As for the SUV/CUV craze, I think the whole concept is distorted and simply a matter of marketing. The Volt has a hatchback. Jack it up 3 inches and it's as much a CUV as anything else. Who is willing to actually admit that the BMW X1 is not just a very small sedan with a lift kit? In my opinion, some of the smaller CUVs that don't look like sedans/wagons, wind up looking like ugly bugs.

Perception is reality. If the salesman calls it a CUV, and you believe it's a CUV, then it is a CUV.

And for a thought exercise, imagine if the smallest/lowest vehicles on the road were all CUVs. Would people still want to buy them, or would they require a "larger/taller" vehicle?
No argument here. I think there are other factors as well:
1) Body Room. In general people are getting fatter and want more room so they don't feel squished
2) Visibility. Some people like to sit up higher for a better view
3) Safety. Some believe CUVs and SUVs and trucks are safer
4) Kids. Soccer moms and dads need room for lots of kids and sports equipment
5) Ego. Some feel that CUVs and SUVs and trucks are more macho or make them feel more like a king or queen :)
6) All the above
 
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