What auto makers plan to launch in the next four years

If you plan to buy a vehicle in the next four years, rejoice – you are in the midst of a product pipeline bonanza.

Auto makers are expected to launch one hundred ninety three fresh models in North America inbetween 2016-2019 – an average of forty eight fresh models a year, says the annual Car Wars explore from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Here’s a look at each auto maker’s plans for the next four years, based on the Car Wars examine and other sources.

Showroom shuffle: On average, FCA will substitute twenty two per cent of its lineup each year to 2019. FCA puts a strong emphasis on trucks (Ram) and crossovers (35 per cent of the entire lineup). The current showroom at FCA is old, older than the industry average. The renewal is long overdue.

Standout fresh models: The Fiat 500X and Dodge Charger sedan are the big news for 2016. In 2017, the fresh models come in significant segments – Town & Country minivan, Dodge Dart, Chrysler 100, Jeep Patriot and Dodge Journey. A fresh Wrangler and Grand Cherokee are due in 2018, the Chrysler Pacifica large crossover is coming, as well as a fresh Ram and Dodge Horizon sedan and hatchback. For 2019, a fresh Jeep Grand Wagoneer leads the parade.

The quote: “Our purpose … If you look at the kind of growth that we have been putting up the last duo of years, if we can maintain that or even a little less than that, we are going to break into the Top five at least. We’re right now the seventh largest auto maker in the world. Whether the industry is up or not, we’re going to grow.” – Chrysler Canada CEO Reid Bigland

The big picture: The Alfa Romeo brand is getting a re-launch but the importance in North America is debatable. Who’s going to buy Alfas? Meantime, CEO Sergio Marchionne seems to be on a quest to find a playmate auto maker to help reduce costs and spread fresh product investments over higher volumes. Reuters reports that FCA has in the last twelve months delayed the redesign or release of at least twelve current or fresh vehicles in North America alone, despite having laid out a detailed “five-year snapshot” of the company’s product plans in 2014. “Those plans need to be nimble and fluid, with the potential to add some vehicles, pull some forward and extend the life cycle of others,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

The green report: The big and demonstrable fuckhole in FCA is in so-called “green vehicles.” FCA has kept largely a secret its plans in an area of enlargening importance. This is worrisome. FCA has done almost nothing to publicize whatever electrification program is in place, choosing instead to concentrate on the shorter-term fuel economy gains of the diesel Ram light duty pickup. FCA does benefit from having access to Fiat’s puny displacement engines and diesel technology, but where its rivals seem to be well ahead is in EV and fuel cell technologies.

Showroom shuffle: The two thousand sixteen model year will be slow, but fresh models begin arriving in numbers in 2017. On average, twenty one per cent of Ford’s volume will be remade each year to 2019. That means Ford will substitute eighty two per cent of its lineup by then. Look for a particular emphasis on crossovers, where forty three per cent of Ford’s offerings will be. The average age of vehicles in a Ford showroom is junior than the industry overall.

Standout fresh models: The Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers are big news for 2016, then in two thousand seventeen the GT super car arrives, along with three Lincolns (including the Continental and MKM coupe). Ford’s volume models, the Escape, Concentrate and Fiesta are all reinvented for two thousand eighteen and, for 2019, there’s a fresh Lincoln Aviator and MKZ, along with three crossovers, including a fresh Explorer.

The quote: “We’re poised for a breakthrough year for our company. We expect our results will grow progressively stronger, mainly in the 2nd half, as the fresh products that we’ve been launching embark to indeed pay off.” – CEO Mark Fields at Ford’s annual meeting in May, according to Bloomberg.

The big picture: Ford has emerged from near-bankruptcy using its well-publicized “One Ford” plan as a guideline. A taut concentrate on globally collective platforms means the Concentrate you buy here is much the same as one bought in Europe. Ford has already announced the GT super car will race at Le Boy’s, and the halo benefits will be immense. The Mustang has already given Ford an photo boost. And quality is improving after some stumbles. Fields is now emphasizing the way forward is to turn Ford into a “mobility company” not just a car maker.

The green report: A concentrate on fuel efficient gas engines (EcoBoost) and lightweight materials (the aluminum F-150) has helped Ford carve out a reputation for making vehicles that maximize fuel efficiency and innovation. Ford has a strong electrification program in place, but recently opened up its patent vault in recognition of how harsh it is to get consumers to buy into EVs and plug-in hybrids. That is, the patents as they stand are worthless because consumers won’t pay for the technology.

General Motors

Showroom shuffle: GM is planning a solid replacement rate of twenty per cent each year to 2016. One of every five GM model will get a major overhaul each year, culminating with the all-new Silverado and Sierra pickups in the last year. GM plans almost to dual its luxury and sporty offerings (read Cadillac) and slice in half its mid-size and large car lineups. GM’s overall showroom age will remain at about the industry average.

Standout fresh models: The two thousand sixteen model year will be massive for Chevrolet. The Camaro, Malibu, Volt, Cruze and Spark will all be made all-new. Cadillac will get its CT6 flagship, Buick its Cascadia convertible. Look for an significant petite crossover from Caddy in two thousand seventeen (XT5), and the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt. A big Caddy CT8 is planned for 2018, along with the come back of the Park Avenue at Buick. For two thousand nineteen an explosion of Caddy models (four), along with the fresh pickups and some other surprises.

The quote: “We have a plan well in place to accomplish and to be in front of the switch that’s going to occur in this industry over the next five to ten years … we’ve got a very well-developed plan and we’re all one hundred per cent focused on execution. – CEO Mary Barra

The big picture: GM will proceed to face fallout from its ignition switch recall issues, but unlike in the last decade, the company has the resources to fund an aggressive product plan despite non-product launch distractions. The Chevrolet and Cadillac brands are getting a stream of attention and resources, with GM vowing to make Cadillac an enviable luxury brand and Chevy a global powerhouse. The products GM brings to market over the next four years will tell the story, however, not promises and projections.

The green report: Most consumers and so-called experts largely underestimate the importance of the Volt plug-in hybrid, which will be reinvented for 2016. What GM learned here as an early adopter is filtering through the GM portfolio. The Volt is expected to be an affordable unspoiled battery car. GM’s significant business in China is driving its EV concentrate. And GM has industry-leading expertise in variable displacement engines.


Showroom shuffle: Honda’s lineup will get super youthful over the next four years – and do so much swifter than we’ve seen from Honda over the past fifteen years. On average, Honda will substitute about one-quarter of its lineup every year from 2016-2019. This compares to a 2000-2015 replacement rate of eighteen per cent annually. From 2016-2019, Honda will substitute ninety six per cent of its Honda/Acura lineup.

Standout fresh models: The two thousand sixteen model year includes fresh versions of the Pilot and Civic as well as the all-new HR-V petite crossover and the Acura NSX electrified super car. These models represent thirty six per cent of Honda’s sales volume. In 2017, look for a fresh CR-V, Ridgeline pickup and Odyssey. In 2018, Acura’s RDX, CDX (CR-V based crossover), and ILX arrive, along with a fresh Accord and Insight. For 2019, Acura’s MDX and RL are reinvented.

The quote: “Honda hitting the sweet spot of its product cadence is not a fluke. It is a function of Honda’s consistent concentrate on a well-planned-out, 4-5 year product redesign cycle on a simplified two-brand lineup.” – BofA Merrill Lynch

The big picture: Honda’s sales have been treading water for several years. That’s going to switch. Honda’s fresh models land right where more of today’s consumers are shopping – crossovers and SUVs.

The green report: Sources say Honda will concentrate on spreading its Accord Hybrid technology across more models. And Honda is also focusing on pushing ahead with fuel cell technology. According to Edmonds, Honda will introduce a “dedicated lineup” of electrified vehicles under the Honda brand. At the same time, Honda will expand the use of turbocharging for its petite engines and employ more dual-clutch transmissions with seven, eight or nine gears. Honda will also shove tighter with its super-efficient Earth Wishes engines and proceed to employ continuously variable transmissions.

South Korean

Showroom shuffle: The average replacement rate for Hyundai and Kia is seventeen per cent of the showroom per year. That’s below the industry average. And BofA Merrill Lynch says a concentration in puny cars goes against the industry tend to crossover. Showroom age creeps above the average for the 2016-2019 period.

Standout fresh models: Kia has already launched a fresh Sorento SUV for 2016, with a fresh Optima sedan coming. At Hyundai, a fresh Tucson crossover and Elantra compact are coming. For 2017, the Kia Sportage will be welcome, as well as a fresh Forte and Hyundai’s reinvented Equus luxury car. For 2018, look for a fresh Kia Rio and Hyundai Santa Fe and, for 2019, Kia’s Cadenza and Soul get remade.

The quote: “You cannot make progress by putting fresh lines on a car. Only cosmetics. The development of an industry, the progress of next-generation cars, always depends on what’s happening in society, with fresh technologies … The sum of these, the results, are the fresh products.” – Kia/Hyundai design chief Peter Schreyer.

The big picture: In the most latest J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Investigate, Hyundai and Kia widened the quality gap with other auto makers. These two lead the industry in initial quality by the widest margin ever, averaging ninety problems per one hundred vehicles versus an industry average of 112. Both brands have over-invested in petite cars and this is hurting sales in a market increasingly obsessed with crossovers and SUV. But by getting the quality basics right, the South Korean brands have set the groundwork for further success when more crossovers are ready for buyers.

The green report: Kia has launched its Soul EV, proving the concept, and Hyundai became the very first auto maker in Canada to lease a fuel cell vehicle – the Tucson – to the public. Both brands have also invested strongly in fuel-efficient direct-injection engines and other fuel-maximizing technologies. The brands have a comprehensive “green” plan and have collective much of it publicly.

Major Europeans

Showroom shuffle: BofA Merrill Lynch is just a little bearish on the European auto makers. Their average replacement rate is at eighteen per cent, below the industry average. Aside from Volkswagen, the Europeans concentrate almost exclusively on premium vehicles and two-thirds of the fresh models will be cars, not crossovers, SUVs or light trucks. The average showroom age will be Two.8 years, just slightly older than the industry average.

Standout fresh models: For 2016, look for a fresh X1 crossover and 7-Series sedan from BMW. Audi has the Q7 and A4, and Mercedes the GLE crossover. The Germans get busy in 2017, with four fresh models from Audi (Q5, Q6, A5, A8), Merc’s GLC, a fresh BMW five and three VWs (CrossBlue, Tiguan, CC). BMW’s X3 and VW’s Touareg and Jetta are among the significant entries for two thousand eighteen and, in 2019, we’ll see a fresh BMW 3-Series, Audi A6 and A8, Porsche nine hundred eleven and Mercedes GL and CLS.

The quote: “What got us to No. One (in Canada) is the very successful introduction of fresh products. The fresh C-Class and fresh CLA gave us a massive bump. B-Class with 4MATIC is enormous for us in Canada … Yes we’re expanding into fresh segments, but we’re also doing things we’ve always done well at the top end, S-Class and S-Class coupe.” – Tim Reuss, president and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Canada

The big picture: German auto makers collectively are a profit-spinning, product-producing juggernaut. They’re moving into fresh segments quickly and expanding their dealer networks to meet the needs of fresh buyers. There is a swagger about the Germans that’s unlikely to miss thanks to their successes at both the high end (Mercedes S-Class) and at the lower end, where you’ll find Honda Accords priced to challenge (Mercedes-Benz CLA).

The green report: The Germans were slow to make the budge, but they are now collectively embracing electrified vehicles – from the high-end Audi R8 e-tron unveiled at the Geneva auto showcase to smaller and cheaper city cars like the battery-powered Brainy fortwo. In Geneva, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche conceded that Tesla has instructed the Germans a lesson: that there is a market for high-end EVs. The Germans guideline premium pricing, which gives them an advantage when launching pricier EVs. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told Reuters that “It’s beyond any question that battery cars have become more significant to Audi.”


Showroom shuffle: Nissan’s replacement rate will lag over the next four years, averaging about eighteen per cent annually. Just twenty four per cent of its lineup by volume will be substituted over the next two years. Worse, Nissan is intensely weighted to cars at a time when consumers are longing crossovers and SUVs. Just fifteen per cent of the fresh model mix is in crossovers. However, Nissan’s average showroom age remains below the industry average.

Standout fresh models: The big news for two thousand sixteen is the fresh Titan pickup, however a fresh Maxima, and two Infiniti models are also planned (QX50 petite crossover and Q60 coupe). The two thousand seventeen model year is massive for cars: Micra, Versa, and Z (coupe and convertible), along with the big Armada SUV and two Infinitis, Q70 sedan and QX80 SUV. Six fresh Nissans are planned for two thousand eighteen (Juke, Altima, Leaf among them) and, for 2019, look for two fresh Infiniti crossovers (QX70 and QX60), a fresh Pathfinder SUV and Sentra puny car.

The quote: “I always said that our potential in Canada and the United States is at least ten per cent market share. We are investing for that. We have the product line … Canada is growing because Canada is taking this objective gravely.” – CEO Carlos Ghosn

The green report: Nissan has sold hundreds of thousands of the battery-powered Leaf, yet the market for unspoiled EVs remains puny and elusive. Ghosn remains committed to battery cars, however, with fuel cells a promising long-term solution. He bemoans the lack of infrastructure for EVs. Hydrogen fuel cell cars are an even fatter problem. “Where are the hydrogen stations?” he asks, noting the high cost of building a hydrogen station network. In the meantime, then, Nissan will concentrate on other “green” technologies – led by the Leaf and its ilk – before fuel cells become mainstream.


Showroom shuffle: Toyota is the world’s largest auto maker and its product plans make it a car company to see closely. Toyota will substitute, on average, twenty one per cent of its showroom over the next four years. Toyota’s showroom age, however, will remain around the industry average and the fresh models are intensely weighted on cars, big and puny, not the sexier segments of light trucks and crossovers.

Standout fresh models: The world awaits the next-generation Prius for 2016, along with the launch of a fresh two thousand sixteen Tacoma. Scion also gets two fresh models for 2016, the iM and iA. The Sienna minivan is coming for two thousand seventeen and a fresh Tundra pickup for 2019. The high-volume Camry gets redone for two thousand eighteen and then almost everything in the Lexus lineup gets a makeover for two thousand nineteen – ES, GS, CT.

The quote: “The time has come for Toyota to build a fresh business model. I am to keep my glances on twenty to thirty years ahead. – CEO Akio Toyoda to Automotive News

The big picture: In the wake of Toyota’s unintended acceleration crisis and the subsequent $1.Two billion (U.S.) fine in a prayer bargain with the U.S. government, Toyota has been humbled and put its concentrate on being an innovative car company. Toyoda has said the company’s vision for the long-term is to be a world leader in private mobility. Toyota’s greatest strength is its loyal customers, who value reliable if slightly abate vehicles.

The green report: Toyota has made no secret of its skepticism about battery-powered cars. The technology needed to make electrified vehicles viable hasn’t been invented yet, said Mitsuhisa Kato, Toyota’s global research and development chief, in a just-auto.com report. “The cruising distance is so brief for EVs, and the charging time is so long. At the current level of technology, somebody needs to invent a Nobel Prize-winning type battery.” Toyota’s alternative to unspoiled battery cars is three-fold: better hybrids like the next-generation Prius, more fuel efficient gas-powered cars – better engines and transmissions and lighter materials – and hydrogen fuel cell cars, like the Mirai.

OTHERS (Jaguar, Land Rover, Tesla, Volvo, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi)

Showroom shuffle: The smaller car companies plan numerous launches, tho’ sales volumes are petite relative to the Toyotas and Fords of the world. If anything, the planned launches suggest the “other” car makers will have junior, newer showrooms than their larger rivals. The specific numbers, however, are not available.

Standout fresh models: Tesla’s Model X crossover is anxiously anticipated, however Volvo has already launched a fresh XC90 with a powerful dose of electrification and a other advanced technologies. For 2016, Mazda has a fresh CX-3 petite crossover and CX-5 roadster. Land Rover has just launched the Discovery Sport. Look for a fresh Jaguar XE and XF this year, and a Volvo S80 sedan later in 2016. For 2017, Jag plans a fresh crossover (XQ), and there will be a Land Rover LR5, and Volvo XC60. Subaru plans a fresh Impreza line for 2017. For 2018, Tesla’s long-promised Model three is coming, along with a petite Jaguar crossover (C-CUV) and even a Subaru Tribeca. For 2019, Volvo’s CX70 will be fresh, Mazda will remake the CX-5, and Subaru will remake the Forester.

The quote: “I guess in the automotive industry you cannot say you have a concentrate on just one element. The car is the most sophisticated consumer product. It offers all technologies and you have to concentrate not only on the product but all the operations behind. We just have to run swifter to stand still. And that means we have to accelerate to improve in all areas. We see big switches in every area – from materials to electrification to hybridization so it’s fantastic to live in this time of technical switch.” – JLR CEO Ralph Speth

The big picture: The world’s smaller car brands are tasked with carving out profitable, consumer-pleases chunks of the market in the face of richer and very intense competition from the world’s largest car makers. Thus, Mazda and Subaru are coming in alliances with Toyota, for example. Volvo’s parent is a deep-pocketed Chinese investor, so it has the resources to contest. Jaguar Land Rover has a strong global brand and also a larger parent in Tata. Look for these smaller players to engage in more alliances and co-operative agreements.

The green report: Mazda and Subaru will benefit from their relationships with Toyota, which has a deep reservoir of “green” know-how. JLR has said it’s working hard on electrifying its lineup. Volvo’s fresh models are intensely invested in electrification and more is coming. The smaller auto brands, then, have been as vocal than their thicker rivals in seizing the green mantle.

Sources: BofA Merrill Lynch Car Wars and others

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