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Old 04-07-2009, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How did Hyundai/Kia & Subaru escape March 2009's sales disaster?

According to March sales numbers in the US, those 3 brands were the least affected. Where others are down 20, 30, 40, even 50%+ compared to last March, they're hovering around the same sales volume from a year ago:


source

And in Canada, where the recession hasn't hit as hard, 2 of the same 3 "top" brands in the US are bucking the trend with convincing sales INCREASES. Some of the luxury brands (Audi, Mercedes) are posting surprisingly healthy sales figures too, but the "middle of the road" marques are all suffering. (Are the well-off less spooked by the economic situation than the average Joe Chevrolet and Jane Toyota?)


source

Ignoring the blip in luxury car sales in Canada, what are Hyundai/Kia and Subaru doing right that the others aren't?

Anyone else know of any bright sales spots within a manufacturer's model lineup that are bucking the trend, the way the 2009 Fit was, initially at least, for Honda last month? (For Feb 2009 sales: Honda Sales Down 34.9%, Fit Sales up 2.3% | Hypermiling, Fuel Economy, and EcoModding News - EcoModder.com)

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Old 04-07-2009, 06:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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MetroMPG -

Kia and Hyundai make me think "economy" and Subaru makes me think "niche", but I don't really know. I'd like to see the individual model sales breakdown to see if they were buying the "cheap econoboxes". What is their finanancing mechanism? Maybe they can offer loans that other car dealers can't.

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Old 04-07-2009, 06:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Found one tidbit: Canadians are once again demonstrating their love for VW Jetta diesels: despite total volume sales declines across all models...

Quote:
"A number of recently introduced models saw significant increases during the month, including sales of its Jetta models up by 60.6% versus March of last year led by its award-winning fuel-efficient BlueMotion TDI Clean Diesel models."
source: Volkswagen Canada Announces Its March 2009 Sales and "Autobahn for All" Featuring Unprecedented Offers
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some reports I've seen of the sales increase for Hyundai here credit (no pun intended) their financing and the sub $10k CAD Accent model.

I think you might be right about Subaru being "niche" and benefitting from brand loyalists.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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MetroMPG -

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Some reports I've seen of the sales increase for Hyundai here credit (no pun intended) their financing and the sub $10k CAD Accent model.

I think you might be right about Subaru being "niche" and benefitting from brand loyalists.
Ok. Speculation hat on. Let's assume that because both of these car companies are Korean, they may have some kind of Korean banking setup for their financing. Maybe the "Bank of Korea" or whatever it's called is just eating the loans for the sake of Korean industry on the bet that the economy will recover and/or Kia and Hyundai will at least stay healthy.

One of my friends just switched from a leased Jeep Liberty to a leased Subaru Forester. His Jeep dealer went belly-up and no one would take his Jeep back. He tried to look at Toyotas, but the feeding frenzy salesmen turned him off, and he got a Subaru. He still has the Jeep. Right now we're betting that no one will come by to claim it.

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Old 04-07-2009, 07:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Let's assume that because both of these car companies are Korean...
But Subaru is a Japanese company.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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jamesqf -

Quote:
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But Subaru is a Japanese company.
Yes, sorry about that. I wasn't talking about Subaru in that instance. I should have stated "Kia and Hyundai only".

Of the three, Subaru has the lower sales year over year. Subaru is the "niche" thing IMO.

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Old 04-08-2009, 09:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hyundai pack a whole lot of value for the price across their whole lineup. I can only speculate that in tough times, people want more for their money.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi,

Hyundai were first to offer the buy back deal for the first year -- if you lose your job. This gave people a huge incentive to buy, and it will be/has been adopted by other companies.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hyundai sales in my area are probably up because of $12,000 off new vehicles.

Kia, because people can't afford anything better.

Subaru, because once you drive one you won't drive anything else unless you're like me and your subaru sits around waiting for the snow and your econo-box saves gas the rest of the year.

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