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Why the Vehicle Market is Moving Away From Cars

On April 25, 2018, Ford shook the US Market from halfway across the globe as they announced plans to stop selling cars in the United States, save for their Mustang and a new Focus, at the China Auto Show.  Later that year, they decided not to sell the Focus either, due to low expected sales and the new tariffs passed that year.  In the course of a few months, Ford went from the company that made cars easy to make and cheap to buy to a company that only made one car. Trucks, SUV’s and the like are their future now.

 

General Motors followed suit later that year, axing off many of its sedans from Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet – including Chevrolet’s famous Impala sedan.

 

As for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? They were one of the few automakers that reported an increase in sales for September of 2019, even overtaking Ford – but not entirely with their cars. It was their Jeep and Ram Truck brands that had the most important increases, as well as a nice boost for Dodge.

 

Ford – the first company to axe all its sedans – said that Americans simply don’t want cars anymore. With gas being relatively cheap compared to the 2008 Gas Crisis, Americans have bought more and more SUVs and crossovers, and have moved away from the traditional four door. Ford specifically stated Baby Boomers and Millennials as the buyers no longer looking at traditional cars.

 

Ford isn’t entirely wrong. Their sedans aren’t selling – but the car market is far from dead. According to the LA Times, only American sedans aren’t doing well. Toyota and Honda sold 700,000 sedans each, or about 350,000 per model. Ford, on the other hand, only sold about 120,000 of it’s Focus, a well-received car by most reviews.

 

So what happened? Most likely, stigma happened. Since the OPEC crisis of the 1970s and the flood of Japanese sedans hitting the market, most automotive magazines, automotive technicians, and carbuyers have preferred Japanese builds – so much so that Honda, Toyota, Mazda and others have opened multiple factories in the US to keep up with demand.

 

To recap, sedans are dying – but only the ones from Detroit, for the time being. So what does that mean for you, the American carbuyer looking for a new sedan? More than you may think.

 

Of the Big Three, only Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles will have any real foothold in the sedan market. Their Dodge Charger is still a hot seller to police departments, fast car fans and soccer moms alike, and Chrysler still boasts the popular 300 sedan. Their parent company Fiat specialises in small cars, and Fiat-Chrysler has begun to import some of their Alfa Romeo vehicles to the United States, including sedans.

 

Otherwise, its Asia that will have almost total control of the sedan market in the United States. Toyota doubled down on sedans after Ford’s announcements that they were axing them, stating that even a shrunken market would still mean about 5 million people would want sedans.

 

Honda has also strengthened their sedan lineup in recent years – they began building the famous engine put in their Type R Civics – an incredibly popular sports version of the sedan – in Ohio, shortly after started selling Type R Civics in the United States for the first time ever not long after. The Accord, their full size sedan, recently received a facelift and is projected to be a hot seller for years to come.

 

Hyundai has been doing so well with their Genesis sedan that they spun it off into its own company. Genesis is now Hyundai’s luxury brand designed to compete with other Asian luxury brands like Toyota’s Lexus and Honda’s Acura. Hyundai’s other subsidiary, Kia, is built on the premise of affordable sedans and has had success selling in America.

 

Europe isn’t totally out of the conversation though, BMW is still a strong seller in the United States and Mercedes-Benz has always sold well to the American luxury carbuyer.

 

So what does this mean for you, the consumer? It means that your choices of “American Made” sedans are going to start dancing on a gray area. FCA is now technically the only American company still dedicated to full-time sedan making as Chevrolet begins it’s exit and Ford pulls out almost completely. However, in an attempt to win over the patriotic crowd, companies like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai have all built plants in the United States. Toyota builds all it’s sedans in Kentucky, Honda builds mostly in Ohio and Alabama, and Hyundai builds almost exclusively in Alabama. Even European company BMW has realized the opportunity and builds almost all of their American-sold vehicles in South Carolina.

 

To put it simply, if you have loyalties to Ford or General Motors and you want a sedan, buy now. Classics like the Chevy Impala and Ford Taurus are soon to be dust, and it may not be long before the rest of the automakers follow.

Have any questions? Feel free to call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC at 704-545-4597, email us at kenmanchester1@gmail.com, or check us out on the web at manchesterautoandtire.com.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill – Do I Need Wiper Blades?

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

Have you ever caught yourself driving in a storm, and as you go to turn on your wiper blades, you realize, they just smear your windshield, and don’t really wipe anything? This is not an uncommon happening. For most people, you only think about windshield wipers when you need them, not on a sunny, 75 degree day.

In Mint Hill, 32.6% of the year is rainy days. That’s almost a third of the year! It is crucial to have a wiper blade system that works.

What a wiper blade?

A wiper blade is a simple construction of a rubber strip similar to a squeegee attached to a plastic or metal arm. All cars have at least one, almost all have two, and some cars with a hatchback have 3. Vary rarely do cars have 4 or more wipers, but it is possible. The wiper attaches to a clamp device called the arm (on most cars, it is a simple hook, others are more complex) which sets the path for the wiper to follow.

How do I know if I need new wiper blades?

The easiest way to know is simply turn them on doing rain. If they don’t wipe well, they need to be replaced. Other reasons for replacement can be pieces of the rubber missing, a broken arm, or the rubber is scratching the windshield. Depending on blade quality, blades can last 3 months to a year.

How many kinds of blade are there?

There are three main kinds of wiper blades – Standard, Premium (sometimes called Flex) and Exact-Fit. Standard blades usually use metal arms and are designed to be a semi-form-fitting blade. A Premium blade usually uses a plastic base, so it can flex and perfectly fit your windshield. An Exact-Fit is usually a small wiper for the rear windshield, and only designed to fit one specific type of vehicle. It usually does not matter what your car came with, Standard or Premium should fit, but an Exact-Fit is on a case-to-case basis.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

An Exact-Fit blade for Toyota hatchbacks.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

A standard blade.

Where can I get wiper blades?

Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC has a wide variety of both standard and flex blades at our disposal. We’ll do everything from removal of the old blade to applying the new. You can always set up an appointment at 704-545-4597.