One clear theme emerged from May auto sales – People are not buying cars! Crossovers, SUV’s, and trucks dominated sales charts and might have manufacturers reconsidering future product planning.
Honda’s light truck sales rose 10.6 percent and things might heat up further with the June introduction of the new Pilot. Demand for Audi SUV’s rose 36.7 percent helping the brand post its 53rd consecutive month of record U.S. sales. The third generation BMW X5 saw demand increase 34.4 percent.
Sales of the Ford Edge set a May sales record; GM posted a 30 percent gain in demand for its Silverado pickup and is having a hard time keeping up with demand for its midsize Colorado pickup.
The big gainer last month was Subaru where sales rose 12 percent. Hyundai sales fell 10 percent. Overall, the industry saw a two percent sales gain last month, and not the slight sales decline many experts had expected.
Analysts said low gas prices, and the prospect of continued low gas prices are helping fuel, (sorry I couldn’t resist that,) the demand.
With all that in mind, BMW has released details of its 2016 X1 that will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the fall. The “Sports Activity Vehicle” will carry a 228 horsepower 2.0-liter twin turbo four with an eight-speed automatic and all- wheel drive. There is said to be increased passenger and cargo room. A rear drive only model has disappeared. Prices will be release closer to the release date.
Porsche classic is reproducing the dashboard for vintage 911 models from years 1969 to 1975. It is said to have a modern substructure along with the original surface design. More modern materials will allow the new dash to stand up to solar radiation the company said, as well as fluctuations in temperature and humidity. It will sell for $1,353 and should only be installed by authorized Porsche dealers where customers can also place orders. I was lucky enough to ride in a number of Porsches of that vintage and the new dash certainly brought back some very pleasant memories.
Mitsubishi has reduced the price of its restyled 2016 Outlander by $200 to $22,995 something it hopes will draw new customers to the brand. The Outlander is said to have undergone over 100 engineering and design improvements.
Acura’s 2016 RLX hybrid will hit showrooms on today. It will offer new safety and driver assist items plus a Surround View camera. To be precise, it is called the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD and Acura claims it is the only luxury sedan with a three-motor torque-vectoring hybrid powertrain. With the 3.5-V6 the package produces a combined 377 horsepower with 341 lb-ft of torque. Look for a starting price of $59,950 to $65,950 with the “Advance Package.”
Subaru’s 2016 Legacy 2.5i will carry an MSRP of $21,745 with a base of $24,995 for the Outback. Not major changes are expected since the two were redesigned in 2015 but they will receive new safety and security features and hit showrooms this summer.