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Have Ford and GM Killed the Japanese Midsize Car? - WallStCheatSheet
By Meghan Foley
May 06, 2013


Japanese automakers have lost their edge, particularly in terms of midsize vehicles, and many new-car shoppers are beginning to look at other options.

Several years ago, Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) Camry and Honda’s (NYSE:HMC) Accord outsold the competition by a wide margin, but now, as the quality gap narrows between the Japanese automakers and the Detroit Big Three, it is a wide open market. Both General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) have become real competitors, and the numbers prove that there has been a fundamental shift in the large and influential midsize sedan market. In April, Honda and Toyota’s share of the U.S. midsize sedan market fell from 37 percent — which was reached in 2008 — to just 28 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to automotive data website Edmunds.com.

Many Americans are now buying their first domestic-brand car in years, bringing competition between the Detroit-based automakers and Japanese automakers to a head...

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& Thanks to calgaryhhr @ GMI
"...the biggest improvements in market share from 2008 to 2012 have been the:

Optima (2.43% to 6.57%)
Sonata (6.34% to 9.94%)
Passat (1.62% to 5.04%)
Fusion (7.98% to 10.40%)
Sebring/200 (3.87% to 5.41%)

The Malibu is pretty much flat (9.63% to 9.09%.)

The big losers are:
Camry (23.60% to 17.45%)
Accord (20.15% to 14.31%)

...pulled the sales volume from GoodCarBadCar.net"
 

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I wish Detroit could take all that credit, but the Koreans have a big slice now too that is growing.
There is enough credit to go around. The Japanese deserve credit for resting on their laurels and allowing the competition to catch them. Their cars, while still good got progressively more vanilla and boring with each passing generation.
 

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I have posted this in another thread someplace, but I think the Camry is the most vulnerable. Its redesigns have been evolutionary at best, the interior doesn't seem that modern to me. A few years ago it had what was I thought was a class leading 6 cylinder, now it is average at best. It is no longer the mileage king, while not being at the top in performance either.

The Accord I like as I still think it has a lot going for it, in particular over the Camry. It has a huge interior, great 4 and 6 cylinder engines too. If the Accord has a failing it is that the interior and exterior styling are evolutionary at best (like the Camry.)

Long term, the Accord can gain a lot of sales if they give it better styling and don't mess it up. The Camry needs more work than that.

I do think the domestics have gained though for a few reasons. GM and Ford have gone to Turbo 4 engines, and while many on the forums complain about that, it does give them the perception of 'catching up' with technology. People want what is new and improved. Chrysler took bad cars (in the Avenger and 200/sebring) and they redesigned them to make them look pretty good (AVenger) or at least decent (200), gave them a killer V6 and have been selling them with rebates starting at close to $20k. That is how I feel the domestics have improved.
 

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The key here is design. The good looking style is the most atractive point for buyers when they chose a Kia, Hyundai or Ford. The quality is not very different from the japanese competition. The engines option are not very different too. The extremely atractive Fusion is selling like hotcakes because is..... beauty! ( ok, ok, and because is a very good car, with a very good platform and powerplants, and a nice interior design....)
 

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The Japanese Mid-sized car is not dead.

There are sycophants of each brand, Toyoduh and Honduh, that will buy these wretched products despite the fact that both Camry and Accord are bloated, heavy, and unattractive entries in the mid-sized market.

What has really happened is that the competition EXCEPT Government Motors, have introduced COMPELLING products - Altima, Sonata, Optima, and Fusion. No longer are automakers content to pass off a box as the competition and there are truly superior products to Accord and Camry out there.

And not one competitive product from Government Motors.
 

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The key here is design. The good looking style is the most atractive point for buyers when they chose a Kia, Hyundai or Ford. The quality is not very different from the japanese competition. The engines option are not very different too. The extremely atractive Fusion is selling like hotcakes because is..... beauty! ( ok, ok, and because is a very good car, with a very good platform and powerplants, and a nice interior design....)

I have to agree. Those that can produce the most stylish cars would have the most sales... That has always been the trend.
 

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This is just proving that is you build an appealing car, (design, mileage, price, options, ect), people will buy it. Detroit was lazy for a while, and now that they have woken up, their sales directly reflect their recent efforts. Besides, Fusion gives us all an opportunity to drive an Aston! :)
 
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