下面這篇報導是選自富士比。

講到美國車遇到的問題(其實也是美國汽車行銷策略的問題): 無法使自己的產品適應改變

美國人的需求逐漸從大排氣量車轉移到中小型汽車, 原本屬於大型SUV的Segment 明顯的在縮小。

像是Hummer這種超大型休旅車,對整各汽車市場的佔有率是下跌之冠。

中型SUV的segment逐漸在轉型。

消費者對汽車的需求轉移到要求,更unique needs。例如整體設計。

房車的segment則是轉變強調汽車品質與油耗。(也有可能是有些優勢brand改變了消費者的偏好)

目前有些美國車轉型成功,持續成長變並賺錢。

消費者的偏好不斷再改變,只有不斷地研究市場變化來了解整各大環境的趨勢、

配合上研發其需求的產品特質才能在這各高度競爭的市場存活。

最後品牌精簡,讓money budget money。讓能賺錢的品牌留下,並強化這些品牌。

 

American Autos Worth Saving And Writing Off

In Depth: American Autos Worth Saving

This week, Detroit auto executives will deliver a plan designed to convince Congress--and consumers--that they're worthy of a $25 billion bailout that will help keep them in business. But some cars made by the big three--Chrysler, GM and Ford--are so unpopular with consumers that it's hard for many to consider the idea of keeping the automakers afloat with taxpayer money.

However, the big three do build plenty of cars that are enjoying strong sales even during the tough economic times (though 2.5 million consumers chose not to buy a car this year because of tighter credit and economic uncertainty). It's the automakers' poor performers that are helping drag down the industry.

 

Detroit automakers have been hit particularly hard because of the automakers' longtime reliance on gas-guzzling SUVs and big cars. Those models are seeing some of the worst sales, even with gas prices well off their July highs--currently at $1.82 per gallon on average in the U.S.

Market-research firm J.D. Power and Associates says 12.5% of GM's year-to-date sales were utility vehicles, compared with 5.9% of total sales for Toyota. But while Toyota's total sales are off 11.5% during the first 10 months of the year, GM's are down 20.4%.

The Hummer brand in particular, is too big, too expensive and too gas greedy for most of today's consumers. Hummer sales were off nearly 22% in 2007 compared with 2006, and when gas prices reached $4 a gallon this summer, Hummer's fate was sealed. Its sales were off nearly 49% during the first 10 months of the year, compared with the same period last year.

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But as big a loser as Hummer has become for GM, the automaker does have a couple bright spots. The Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Enclave are both among the biggest winners. Sales of the Enclave, a new crossover introduced in 2007, are up 88% so far this year compared with the same time last year. The Malibu was redesigned in 2007 and has been a hit--sales are up 39%--among buyers who want a quality, fuel-efficient mid-size sedan packed with amenities and priced competitively.

What's Detroit's problem then? Along with unpopular models, it's the bad economy and tight credit, say experts, not poor quality.

"This perception of poor quality is an illusion at this point," says Stephanie Brinley, auto analyst at AutoPacific, an industry research and analysis firm. "Their cars are at least as good as the Asian makes in every comparison. The perception, however, still lags the reality."

Behind the Numbers
To find Detroit's cars worth saving and worth writing off we looked at sales for the first 10 months of the year compared with the same period a year ago. Vehicles with the biggest sales gains so far this year and in 2007 (as well as 2006, if the car was in production) were considered. Vehicles that had sales losses greater than the industry average of 14.6% so far this year and sales losses in the previous two years were considered worth writing off.

Bad as things are for the Hummer, they're worse for some other models.

Just as the love affair with big SUVs like the Hummer began to slip, so it was for mid-size SUVs such as the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Ford Explorer. Both had been around since the 1990s, but more stylish crossover vehicles like the Buick Enclave, introduced in 2007, pulled away consumers.

Other older vehicles, like the Chrysler PT Cruiser (sales down 42%), are losers because they grew old and were never updated. Models like the competing Honda Element and Scion xB caught the eye of buyers looking for something new and trendy. Element sales are off this year, but only by half as much as the PT Cruiser's. The Scion xB's sales are up 8%.This is one example of an automaker that has learned at what point to cut its losses: Chrysler announced January that it stopped building PT Cruisers last December.

"It may be a missed opportunity for Chrysler," says Brinley. "[The PT] should have been updated in 2005, but no later than 2007. But instead they chose to stick with the basic package."

Responding To Consumers
Unfortunately, Chrysler--nor GM or Ford for that matter--have the luxury of such missteps and are now fighting for survival. But some auto experts believe the winners outweigh the losers, and that Detroit is moving to eliminate the laggards. The big three, they say, are better positioning themselves with consumers, offering them the cars they truly need.

 

"There are bright spots with GM and Ford, and a couple with Chrysler," says Tom Libby, senior director at J.D. Power and Associates.

Even though gas prices are down, fuel economy is still top of mind for many drivers, and Detroit automakers do offer a few fuel-efficient cars that meet consumers' needs. One is the fuel-efficient Ford Focus, a small car that is experiencing double-digit sales growth this year (20.5%). And buyers who don't want to give up driving an SUV but want to conserve gas have looked to the Jeep Patriot (sales up 62%), which gets 23 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.

While good fuel economy is a winning attribute, auto experts caution that consumers still want a quality car that looks good and meets their needs. The Cadillac CTS fills the role (sales up 15.2%) since it's an affordable luxury car. It's a direct competitor with the BMW 3 Series (sales down 17.5%), which gets roughly the same gas mileage but has a less-roomy interior.

Models such as these are keeping Detroit afloat for now and, very possibly, the future.

"They will hang on, and they will keep producing cars," says Libby of the big three. "They have more cars coming in 2009 and 2010 that meet the demands of today's consumers."

But that's only if they can hang on until then.

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