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Nothing Can Stop the Midsize Sedan Segment From Collapsing, Not Even a New Camry and Accord

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Yeah, their new looks  didn't help much either.

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The last paragraph of the TTAC article has the most important point. Even as the midsize sedan segment overall declines, Camry and Accord have become more dominant than ever before in that segment. The author predicts those two models will account for more than half of all midsize sedans sold in the U.S. this year.

And yet opportunity for these power players persists.

The Camry and Accord didn’t decline nearly as rapidly as the segment at large in 2018, which drove their combined share of the shrinking midsize sedan segment to 42 percent last year. That’s up from 32 percent only 5 years earlier, and given the frequency with which competitors are exiting the arena, it’s a figure that may shoot past 50 percent in 2019.

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7 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

The last paragraph of the TTAC article has the most important point. Even as the midsize sedan segment overall declines, Camry and Accord have become more dominant than ever before in that segment. The author predicts those two models will account for more than half of all midsize sedans sold in the U.S. this year.

 

 

Well, in 1984 IBM had 70% of the typewriter market...great dominance, but a bigger slice of a shrinking market doesn't do much for profits.

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5 minutes ago, Trailhiker said:

Well, in 1984 IBM had 70% of the typewriter market...great dominance, but a bigger slice of a shrinking market doesn't do much for profits.

Especially if the remaining players are happy to engage in price wars (<cough> Nissan, Hyundai, Kia <cough>)

 

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26 minutes ago, akirby said:

Especially if the remaining players are happy to engage in price wars (<cough> Nissan, Hyundai, Kia <cough>)

 

It’s a race to the bottom in this segment. Margins are just going to get smaller and smaller without the volume. Who is going to move out of the segment next? If they can’t read the writing on the wall now, they will deserve every bit of financial pain in the future. 

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25 minutes ago, akirby said:

Especially if the remaining players are happy to engage in price wars

That's already happening with the Tier 2 products in the midsize sedan segment. Right now, there are sales incentives of $5,000+ on Ford Fusion, $4,750 on Hyundai Sonata,  $4,250 on Chevy Malibu, $3,000 on Kia Optima.

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The problem is that when that segment disappears, the race to the bottom will start with CUVs as auto makers will discount and rebate these models to gain market share.

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I would love to know the median age of a Camry buyer. I only see boomers driving these. I never see young families driving them. This certainly smells like a full segment decline. BOF sedans anyone?

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11 minutes ago, atomcat68 said:

The problem is that when that segment disappears, the race to the bottom will start with CUVs as auto makers will discount and rebate these models to gain market share.

 

Well CUV's already have a higher margin built into them. Just look at the Ecosport vs the Focus- the Ecosport starts at 19K and the Focus is 17K or so. The Ecosport is based on a cheaper platform (B Class) also. 

It will eat into profits over time, but most people don't even know what the auto market will be in the next 20-30 years or so-will car ownership disappear and we will be dependent on electric self driving pods that replaced private ownership of vehicles with a subscription model?

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10 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

I would love to know the median age of a Camry buyer. I only see boomers driving these. I never see young families driving them. This certainly smells like a full segment decline. BOF sedans anyone?

 

That is exactly what is going on-Gen X and Millennials (who can afford them) are buying CUV's because they offer the best practical ownership value.

If you look at the auto industry from 1949 or so, you can see that it was more or less auto makers driving the demand for vehicle types, up until the 1970s or so, is when you really saw major changes in the market with CAFE and emission laws making a major dent in the market and certain types of vehicles die off and fade away (Station wagons, Personal Sports Coupes, minivans, and now sedans)

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28 minutes ago, atomcat68 said:

The problem is that when that segment disappears, the race to the bottom will start with CUVs as auto makers will discount and rebate these models to gain market share.

That race is already on. The weaker entries in the CUV segment currently have big league rebates to get them to sell. Examples. $4,000 on Ford Escape, $2,000 on Mitsubishi Outlander.

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36 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

I would love to know the median age of a Camry buyer. I only see boomers driving these. I never see young families driving them.

I see both boomers and younger people driving Camrys in the DFW Metroplex and in the Washington D.C. area. Very popular car in both places. Camry has broad appeal both as new and used cars to a diverse customer base.

Anyway, median age for previous gen Camry buyers (new) was 52. For previous gen Camry SE/XSE, Toyota said the median age was 45. https://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2014+nyias+2015+toyota+camry+reveal.htm

I haven't been able to find median age numbers for buyers of the current gen TNGA Camry. For the new model, Toyota Motor Sales USA said "we’re aiming for the core target audience with a range of age from 25 to 45.”

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23 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

That race is already on. The weaker entries in the CUV segment currently have big league rebates to get them to sell. Examples. $4,000 on Ford Escape, $2,000 on Mitsubishi Outlander.

Both of those models are on their way out to either be replaced with a new model or just discontinued...thats why there is $$$ on the hoods

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1 hour ago, jcartwright99 said:

I would love to know the median age of a Camry buyer. I only see boomers driving these. I never see young families driving them. This certainly smells like a full segment decline. BOF sedans anyone?

This is purely anecdotal, but around here (Harrisburg, Pa.) I see a lot of senior citizens driving Camrys. The Toyota Corolla, meanwhile, has become the Plymouth Valiant/Dodge Dart sedan of the 21st century. It's not uncommon to see women in their 60s and 70s driving one.

The Honda Accord attracts younger buyers, although, in this case, "younger" means buyers in their 40s.

 

Edited by grbeck

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5 minutes ago, grbeck said:

The Honda Accord attracts younger buyers, although, in this case, "younger" means buyers in their 40s.

A Honda spokesperson said in 2017 that median age of Honda Accord buyers was 48, with 40% age 50 or older. At the same time, Accord was the #1 selling midsize car to buyers under 35. 

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1 hour ago, jcartwright99 said:

It’s a race to the bottom in this segment. Margins are just going to get smaller and smaller without the volume. Who is going to move out of the segment next? If they can’t read the writing on the wall now, they will deserve every bit of financial pain in the future. 

Everyone would be smart to pull out of all sedan segments.

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18 minutes ago, 2005Explorer said:

Everyone would be smart to pull out of all sedan segments.

Not necessarily.   It depends on their market position, how they sell globally, platform sharing, factory capacity, etc.

There is still money that can be made but probably in the 1% - 5% range not 8% - 10% and only if the mfr doesn't have better options to invest in.

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Uber/Lyft drivers prefer mid size/compact sedans, to save fuel costs and to navigate city traffic. If future is more ride sharing, then we will still see some cars for sale. [Just my opinion, no need to get all angst and post "just ignore..."]

Funny how "car guys" on the internet are now saying "pull out of all sedan segments." after whining about losing "fun to drive cars". Just jumping on the bandwagon. If so, then buyers will demand lower priced discounted CUV's, and then another "race to the bottom". Will sub-compact Utes then get cut because "can't make money on them"?

 

[Just my opinion, no need to get all angst ]

 

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13 minutes ago, 630land said:

Will sub-compact Utes then get cut because "can't make money on them"?

Depends on the company. If ford keeps up this whole chasing margin by any means necessary thing they’re doing then I can absolutely see them cutting sub-compact utilities eventually. 

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7 minutes ago, 630land said:

Uber/Lyft drivers prefer mid size/compact sedans, to save fuel costs and to navigate city traffic. If future is more ride sharing, then we will still see some cars for sale. [Just my opinion, no need to get all angst and post "just ignore..."]

One Lyft driver I had in Washington, D.C. said that his 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid is a better vehicle for his Lyft duties than his 2015 CR-V. Or any similar crossover. The Accord Hybrid has better handling, better ride, is way more fuel efficient, and the trunk space is ample.

That Accord I rode in was very impressive. It looked and felt like a luxury car, even though it's a mainstream midsize sedan.

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1 hour ago, rperez817 said:

... At the same time, Accord was the #1 selling midsize car to buyers under 35. 

All three of them...:lol2:

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I read a good article in the WSJ last weekend. It said 2018 was the inflection point when incentives on cars dropped below utilities... basically most of the car companies have adjusted production volume to match demand on the car side in 2018 so they are not piling on the rebates to sell them. On the other hand, inventory for utilities are starting to pile up so car companies are spending more money moving those.

You can google the article heading + WSJ to get around the pay wall.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/discounts-on-suvs-are-getting-bigger-as-dealer-inventories-rise-11550494801?mod=searchresults&amp;page=1&amp;pos=1

Quote

Discounts on SUVs Are Getting Bigger as Dealer Inventories Rise

In contrast, sedan discounts declined last year as supplies shrank to match waning demand

Edited by bzcat

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Actually the biggest market for compact CUV is to Baby Boomers...

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3 hours ago, 2005Explorer said:

Everyone would be smart to pull out of all sedan segments.

Not exactly.  The one exception missing from this article was the Tesla Model 3.  In 2017 they sold less then 2000.  In 2018 they sold over 145,000 Model 3's.  It is probably a fair assumption that Tesla took sales away from a lot of other sedans - perhaps most notably BMW.  So there is room for sedans.  

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