With companies getting increasingly aggressive on the design front as all manufacturers are trying to appeal to a wider audience, there will be 60 new, or substantially refreshed models hitting US roads this year, compared with just 36 in 2010. It may just be what is needed however, as one director from JD Power & Associates is forecasting one million more retail sales in 2011 than in 2010.
“New models are critical to stirring up sales,” Executive Director of Forecasting at JD Power & Associates Jeff Schuster said. “It drives showroom floor traffic. Customers might not end up buying the new model, but they come into the store to look at it. It creates a buzz. It helps sell other models.”
Schuster expects much of the competitive heat to be in the small-vehicle segments, as 32% of US sales came from them in 2010. That amount is expected to reach 39% by 2015.
– By: Stephen Calogera