Are Plug-ins the Future?

Posted on: March 19th, 2014 by Editorial Staff

In a recent Automotive News interview, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, the “father of the Prius”, made a prediction about hybrid sales reaching 20% of the total global market soon. But regarding plug-in hybrids more specifically, Uchiyamada was more hesitant. Toyota, it seems, doesn’t yet believe the payoff for plug-ins is there, with the cost of the larger batteries still an issue. We’re inclined to agree, with caution baked into our forecast for plug-ins versus their regular hybrid stablemates. We’ve taken a look at the hybrid and plug-in lineups at both Toyota and Ford, and the following chart offers an illustration of how the two powertrain options compare within a given model.


Consistency or Homogenization

Posted on: January 27th, 2014 by Editorial Staff

BMW has long been known for identifiable brand characteristics, with its twin-kidney grille and “Hofmeister kink” consistently complementing the propeller roundel since the 1960s. And while BMW’s “Angel Eyes” LED accents emphasized another prominent brand signature, the dual circular headlights, LED lighting effects were in recent years more identified with Audi, which has become somewhat of a styling pioneer. Not to be outdone, Mercedes has recently stepped up its design game, with lauded looks coming in the form of the CLS and CLA “4-door coupes”.

One pitfall of pioneering design, though, is the impulse to fall back on those elements that have achieved market success. Audi just introduced the A3 sedan at the Detroit Auto Show, and it’s another fabulous-looking car from VW’s premium brand. But one may be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its A4 big brother, or even the A6 for that matter. See if you can figure out which is which below. (more…)

The Invisible Incentive

Posted on: June 10th, 2013 by Randy Lioz

Last week provided some big news for incentives, but not the kind the we traditionally think about, like consumer cash back. GM announced that it would include 2 years of scheduled maintenance on its 2014 models. At the same time, Ford actually scaled back the free maintenance program for its Lincoln brand, following the lead of a few other luxury brands, Jaguar and Volvo. (more…)

The Collective Move Upscale

Posted on: May 22nd, 2013 by Randy Lioz

AN 4-1A recent edition of Automotive News had a fascinating page 3. Intentionally or not, the publication had juxtaposed three different stories of automakers with upmarket ambitions.

Scion, which has lost some momentum in recent years after a successful launch, is exploring the possibility of positioning itself as a stepping stone to the full-lux Lexus brand. Kia, which has been locked in a sibling rivalry with Hyundai, is looking to forge its own identity by moving toward a VW-like positioning. And Jeep is looking to parlay the success of its flagship Grand Cherokee into an upward step for its Liberty replacement, the Cherokee. (more…)

And the sales goals keep coming…

Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by Editorial Staff

NISSAN CEO Carlos Ghosn

Yesterday Nissan’s boss, Carlos Ghosn, declared the latest in an industry string of ambitious sales goals: double Nissan’s US sales by 2017.

Nissan is only the most recent automaker to share such goals. We posted recently about the perils that can come with this type of objective, and Nissan’s announcement simply reinforces the challenge: how to achieve the stated objective without resorting to residual value-killing levels of incentives and fleet sales.

For every automaker to hit their goals, sales would need to increase wildly from their projected trend over the next few years, and not surprisingly, those sales increases are well below ALG’s sales forecast.

Needless to say, ALG will continue to watch incentive levels closely. As growth declarations by OEMs pile up, something will have to give–ego or incentives.

Apple’s Play for Valuable Automotive Real Estate

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by Editorial Staff


At ALG we are constantly exposed to the latest and greatest in automotive technology. While most consumers are happy with their smart phones, it’s surprising how often vehicle infotainment systems attempt to blaze their own path, with users often ending up frustrated. (more…)

On Tesla’s Guarantee

Posted on: April 4th, 2013 by Editorial Staff


Tesla announced on Tuesday that it would offer a new type of purchase structure for its Model S sedan, in conjunction with US Bank and Wells Fargo. A vital element of this financing offer is the company’s promise to repurchase the vehicle after 3 years for a set residual value percentage, which essentially offers buyers the same type of financial backstop that lessees have, hedging against a major loss of value through depreciation and allowing early adopters to surmount one more hurdle. (more…)

How GM Is Improving Residuals

Posted on: April 3rd, 2013 by Editorial Staff


Resale values are one of the strongest indicators of a brand’s health. Honda and Toyota have long been known for strong resale values, particularly because of their solid reputation for quality. ALG has continually emphasized the link between resale and brand health, and the rest of the industry has begun to rapidly internalize ALG’s message. (more…)

The Diesels Are Coming

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by Editorial Staff


At this year’s Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet announced the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. The 2.0-liter turbo diesel 4-cylinder puts out 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet torque and returns an estimated 42 mpg on the highway. Furthermore, diesels tend to get even higher fuel economy than their EPA ratings would suggest, but that’s not the only reason to buy. (more…)

How Auto Makers Keep You Coming Back

Posted on: January 23rd, 2013 by Mike Cooperman

Loyalty discounts, service deals and early lease buyout offers have one aim, says Larry Dominique, president of ALG…

Read more from this Wall Street Journal article