A barrage of new models is coming from manufacturers anxious to enter new vehicle segments, expand their lineups, and most of all take advantage of consumers aggressively seeking out new vehicles after years of cutbacks in the wake of Big Recession.
That’s the view of Bank of America Merrill Lynch auto analyst John Murphy in the latest product study, Car Wars 2015-2018. Car companies, notes the report, will launch 192 new models between 2015 and 2018. That’s an average of 48 per year.
“This rate is about 28 per cent above the average number of models launched per year between 1994 and 2014, underscoring that competition is heating up and should support demand,” notes the report. Dealerships will be stuffed with new products, then. On average, a vehicle in your local showroom will have been restyled and re-engineered within the last two years or so. Murphy expects the average showroom age will eventually settle in at around 2.5 years. New products will be everywhere and all around us.
From 2015-2018, each year Ford plans to replace 28 per cent of what’s in the showroom. Honda, too. Kia and Hyundai are on track for a 23 per cent replacement rate, as is Fiat-Chrysler. The industry average lands at 23 per cent.
General Motors and Toyota are projected to remake 21 per cent of the showroom each year during that time, the Europeans as a group are at 20 per cent, while Nissan comes in at 19 per cent. Twenty years ago, in 1994, the industry’s replacement rate came in at 10 per cent; this year, the lull before the storm, the industry is reinventing just 15 per cent of the showroom.
What am I looking forward among this tidal wave of new models? Here are 10 that jump off the page, though with 192 new models coming, this handful barely scratches the surfaces. Look for more new-model updates down the road.