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The Handler

Toyota's Lentz sees car sales stabilizing, EVs languishing

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In a conversation with Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein, Lentz said stable fuel prices and improved fuel economy from utility vehicles mean consumers no longer pay much of a fuel economy penalty for choosing a crossover. However, sedans and other cars will continue to have a significant share of the market.

"I think 30 percent [cars] is probably where we're going to be for the foreseeable future," Lentz explained. "Even if you look at fuel prices — last week, I bought gas for my car for $1.69 a gallon in Texas — if fuel prices go up, if you look at a Camry versus a RAV4, the fuel economy between those vehicles is about the same."

Lentz said if fuel prices do rise, it's clear that consumers "will just buy more fuel-efficient SUVs and not necessarily go back to sedans. But with that said, I don't think we're going to see a drop in the percentage of sedans at the rate that it's been. I think we're pretty close to where that's going to be."

Speaking of a coming wave of battery-electric vehicles, Lentz said that consumers have yet to show great demand for electric vehicles.

 

Nothing like predicting the product space and market share you intend filling in the future, especially when competitors are vacating car segments...

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I tend to agree with his outlook on EVs but not on cars, I think the bottom is far lower than they expect.  Toyota is more dependent on cars however so it makes some sense that they would still see volume there.  Certain cars have a stronger loyalty base however, especially Camry and Corolla, but that's not something other carmakers have.  Just be glad Ford's loyalty is tied to far more profitable vehicles.

 

Edited by Assimilator

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Here is the reason why EV's will not "take over" nationwide....say you are cruising along in your brand new EV in rural "resume speed" Iowa...not a charging station for miles and miles and for whatever reason, you didn't get enough charge last time you were plugged in and you run out of "zap"....in an ICE powered vehicle, you could hike on down the road for a can of gasoline, hike on back, pour it in and off you go...what would you do with that EV....you just cannot run out and get a can of electricity and pour it in....

EV's will work great in urban areas, it is the rural areas that are the issue....and in the the good ole US of A, there are a LOT of rural areas to contend with...

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1 hour ago, twintornados said:

Here is the reason why EV's will not "take over" nationwide....say you are cruising along in your brand new EV in rural "resume speed" Iowa...not a charging station for miles and miles and for whatever reason, you didn't get enough charge last time you were plugged in and you run out of "zap"....in an ICE powered vehicle, you could hike on down the road for a can of gasoline, hike on back, pour it in and off you go...what would you do with that EV....you just cannot run out and get a can of electricity and pour it in....

EV's will work great in urban areas, it is the rural areas that are the issue....and in the the good ole US of A, there are a LOT of rural areas to contend with...

 

The average range for a gas powered vehicle is about 300-350 miles-if an EV can hit that or do better then that, that won't be as much of an issue.

But I get what your saying...

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8 hours ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

He's not really wrong, the bleeding has to stop sometime. The question when that happens 

Cars sales have been shrinking at a rate of about 10-15% or more since 2013.

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10 minutes ago, silvrsvt said:

The average range for a gas powered vehicle is about 300-350 miles-if an EV can hit that or do better then that, that won't be as much of an issue.

But I get what your saying...

Well, there's always this....not sure how well this program is actually working though...

https://electrek.co/2016/09/06/aaa-ev-emergency-charging-truck/

aaa-charging-truck.png?resize=1600%2C1000&quality=82&strip=all&ssl=1

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32 minutes ago, silvrsvt said:

 

The average range for a gas powered vehicle is about 300-350 miles

 

It's really cool when I fill up my F150 and it says 700 miles to empty.

Paying the tab isn't quite as cool.

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1 hour ago, silvrsvt said:

Cars sales have been shrinking at a rate of about 10-15% or more since 2013.

I'm aware of what the trend is, but you missed my point. The shrinking is going to stop somewhere and I highly doubt it will be at 0.

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2 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

 

The average range for a gas powered vehicle is about 300-350 miles-if an EV can hit that or do better then that, that won't be as much of an issue.

But I get what your saying...

But that 300-350 mile range doesn't do any good if there's nowhere to "charge up" once you get there.  There are gas stations on every corner and every town.  Smaller towns/cities may not have chargers.

2 hours ago, twintornados said:

Well, there's always this....not sure how well this program is actually working though...

https://electrek.co/2016/09/06/aaa-ev-emergency-charging-truck/

aaa-charging-truck.png?resize=1600%2C1000&quality=82&strip=all&ssl=1

I'm assuming that program is in bigger cities, though.  I doubt random small city, USA far away from big cities will have this.

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I guarantee you 99% of EV buyers have another ICE vehicle at home.  It's just not practical as an only vehicle yet and won't be for another several years.

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12 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

But that 300-350 mile range doesn't do any good if there's nowhere to "charge up" once you get there.  There are gas stations on every corner and every town.  Smaller towns/cities may not have chargers.

My point being is that gas stations are roughly that far apart in some areas-due to range limitations of ICE vehicles. I would assume a recharging station would be same-if the infrustructure was there to support it.

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1 hour ago, fuzzymoomoo said:

I'm aware of what the trend is, but you missed my point. The shrinking is going to stop somewhere and I highly doubt it will be at 0.

Right-my point was that using the 10-15% loss rate over the past 5 years or so and we are at the less then 50% of cars making up the market.

Which also reinforces the fact why automakers are getting out of the game-its really hard to make $$$ when you split up that remaining 20-30% between 5-6 different car makers. 

Its sorta like the coupe market-very niche.

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4 hours ago, twintornados said:

Here is the reason why EV's will not "take over" nationwide....say you are cruising along in your brand new EV in rural "resume speed" Iowa...not a charging station for miles and miles and for whatever reason, you didn't get enough charge last time you were plugged in and you run out of "zap"....in an ICE powered vehicle, you could hike on down the road for a can of gasoline, hike on back, pour it in and off you go...what would you do with that EV....you just cannot run out and get a can of electricity and pour it in....

EV's will work great in urban areas, it is the rural areas that are the issue....and in the the good ole US of A, there are a LOT of rural areas to contend with...

Not sure I would reference Iowa for the trend of the country.  Californians already buys more EV's then total car sales in Iowa.  EV's are coming and it is too late to close the stable door.  

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Just now, msm859 said:

Not sure I would reference Iowa for the trend of the country.  Californians already buys more EV's then total car sales in Iowa.  EV's are coming and it is too late to close the stable door.  

 

Not everyone lives in California, and I'd hope they buy more cars then people from Iowa with their population density vs Iowa 🙄

What it boils down to is EV's in their current form are only a 75% solution with the vast majority of car buyers-with Range and recharge speed being the biggest issues.

In my situation, outside of taking a trip out say Ohio, and BEV would work perfectly fine for what I need a car for. 

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8 minutes ago, silvrsvt said:

 

Not everyone lives in California, and I'd hope they buy more cars then people from Iowa with their population density vs Iowa 🙄

What it boils down to is EV's in their current form are only a 75% solution with the vast majority of car buyers-with Range and recharge speed being the biggest issues.

In my situation, outside of taking a trip out say Ohio, and BEV would work perfectly fine for what I need a car for. 

Image result for this meme

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I can't believe that Toyota doesn't see the writing on the wall that sedans are on their way out.  They will or have already become a niche market.

I think Toyota was just carefully wording their response so they don't scare anyone off from buying their current sedans, since they are the number one maker of sedans in NA.

What's more concerning for me is that it doesn't seem Toyota is interested in making any new models of CUV's to add to their lineup to replace the shrinking sedan sales.  They can't continue selling all the same Camry's, Corolla, Prius's like it's business as usual.  Of course, as a Ford fan, I'm all too happy to see Toyota fumble this one...

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4 hours ago, akirby said:

Paying the tab isn't quite as cool.

You haven't lived until you've had to swipe the card 3 times to fill up a V10 excursion when gas was $4/gallon! 

It really changes your perspective on fuel economy though. All these people jumping off the EV cliff because "40 mpg just doesn't cut it when gas is $1.80/gal!" seem pretty ridiculous.....

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45 minutes ago, 92merc said:

I can't believe that Toyota doesn't see the writing on the wall that sedans are on their way out.  They will or have already become a niche market.

 

Niche market is a bit of an overstatement.   They sold 343K Camrys last year and Honda should be close to 300K.  Even Fusion managed 180K or so I think.  That's far from niche.

The bigger issue is that they aren't going to command premium pricing.  Even Honda had to start putting cash on the hood.  Also remember those are worldwide products not just North America.

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Not so long ago, Toyota head office was hinting that the North American Camry plant needed to improve profitability.....

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3 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

 

Not everyone lives in California, and I'd hope they buy more cars then people from Iowa with their population density vs Iowa 🙄

What it boils down to is EV's in their current form are only a 75% solution with the vast majority of car buyers-with Range and recharge speed being the biggest issues.

In my situation, outside of taking a trip out say Ohio, and BEV would work perfectly fine for what I need a car for. 

True, not everyone lives in California - but over 10% of the country does and they are the trendsetter.  My comment had to do with who I would look to if wondering about "trends".  Agreed that BEV's are not a viable option for everyone - yet. However,  I think PHEV's are a viable stepping stone to full BEV's especially as they come in more configurations - i.e. Lincoln Aviator.  If Ford does this right with 30+ miles all electric - that can in fact probably cover  most driving.  I think "range anxiety" is overblown.  I suspect 90% of the population rarely drives over 500 miles in a single day for personal use.

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1 hour ago, akirby said:

Niche market is a bit of an overstatement.

What??  Overstatement on the BON forum??  That never happens.  🙂

But yes, I see your point.  LOL

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