Fresh Models Should Spell Market Share Gains for Ford, Honda

Jun 10 2014, 11:20am CDT | by

A strong pipeline of new vehicles will boost the U.S. market share of Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. by a half-point apiece by 2017, according to the latest annual “Car Wars” report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Ford and Honda every year will renew models that account for more than one-quarter of their sales volume, enabling them to capture market shares of 16.2% and 10.3%, respectively, B of A auto analyst John Murphy told the Automotive Press Assn. in Detroit on Monday.

Those gains will come at the expense of Nissan Motor Co. and European carmakers, which will each surrender 0.3 points of share (to 7.8% and 8.3%), Murphy predicts.

The rest of the industry will tread water, experiencing only temporary gains and losses tied to fluctuations in new-model introductions, the report forecasts. General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. will hold steady at 17.9% and 14.4% of the U.S. market, respectively.

Murphy said Fiat-Chrysler’s goal of a four-point jump in market share by 2018 is “pie in the sky, to put it politely.” He expects the alliance to maintain its current 11.5% share.

Market share was far more volatile over the past 10 years, with swings as dramatic as GM’s 10.1-point loss and Hyundai-Kia’s 4.3% gain since 2003. Murphy said the new stability will result from a steady flow of well-designed new models from automakers across the board.

Carmakers plan 192 vehicle launches for model years 2015-2018—an average of 48 models annually compared with an average of 38 models per year over the past two decades, according to the report. Some of the growth comes from expansion into new vehicle segments, such as hybrid, electric and crossover vehicles.

The other major factor is Detroit’s comeback, Murphy said. Domestic carmakers have finally caught up with Japanese rivals and are now revamping their models every four to five years, nearly twice as often as they did historically.

Murphy predicts that American auto sales will reach a record 18 million vehicles by 2018, surpassing the peak of 17.8 million units in 2000. Carmakers sold 15.4 million vehicles last year.

 
 
 

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