It will be a buyer’s market from now until at least 2012, according to a new report from the auto analysts at brokerage house Merrill Lynch. No fewer than forty-two all-new models are expected to be launched in each of the next four years – 17 per cent more than the average launched each year between 1987 and 2008.
“Over the next four years, the industry will replace 67 per cent of its [sales] volume, with the disparity among the major manufacturers reaching the lowest level ever,” says the latest Car Wars study from Merrill Lynch. That should mean smaller market shifts among the manufacturers and even more competition than we’ve seen in recent years.
General Motors’s market share, in fact, should increase slightly and Ford’s losses will be reduced. Nissan will be most aggressive with launching new models – 80 per cent of what Nissan sells today will be replaced with something new by 2012.
Buyers looking for fuel-efficient transportation will be rewarded with 28 small-car launches over the next four years. That means 50 per cent of what is being sold today will be replaced. At the same time, traditional body-on-frame trucks are facing a 40 percent decline. Those trucks will be replaced in large part by a wave of new crossovers. In fact, over the next six years, the North American market will see a nearly complete turnover in model availability. This is a significant cycle acceleration compared to the norm from 1992 to 2008, when the industry turned over its entire model line every 7.5 years.