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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Why Automakers Want To Break Into the U.S.

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      America is a difficult place to break in for automakers. So why do a number still want to try?

    America. The land of opportunity. Various automakers around the world want to get in on this very lucrative marketplace. But as Automotive News notes, trying to break into the U.S. marketplace is close to mission impossible.

    Automakers who don't compete in the U.S. see numbers like "16-million-plus sales volume of new cars and trucks" and "average transaction price of $30,665, according to J.D. Power" and want a piece of this. But the U.S. is an unforgiving place.

    "People around the world look at the sales volumes going on here, and they look at the fortunes being made here, and they look at what the outlook is in other parts of the world -- and they want to be here," said Charlie Hughes, owner of the brand-consulting firm Brand Rules.

    "But the plain truth is that unless you're coming in with something truly unique, it is just not plausible that you're going to get anywhere in this market."

    (Author's note: Also, having a bit of luck isn't a bad thing to have either. -WM)

    Hughes isn't wrong. Automotive News says there are 42 automotive brands that sell 283 nameplates in various models and configurations. Trying to get the attention of a consumer, let alone a large number is a difficult task. Just ask Alfa Romeo and Fiat who are currently struggling in the U.S.

    One only needs to look at the list of automakers that have packed up left in the past 20 years - Daewoo, Isuzu, and Suzuki. Others haven't even made it to the shore - China's Chery and India's Mahindra.

    But that isn't deterring a large number of automakers to give it a shot. Here is the current list of automakers that are currently planning entry to the U.S.

    • PSA Group - parent company of Citroën, DS, and Peugeot - has announced plans for a U.S. launch. But it will be a slow rollout beginning with ride sharing service. The company will also conduct a research project to see if it is viable for them to make a launch.
    • Skoda - a brand under the Volkswagen Group umbrella - is reportedly going to make a decision on whether to come in the U.S. next year.
    • Ssangyong Motor Co., a South Korean builder of crossovers has announced that it will enter the U.S. in 2020
    • Geely Automobile is planning to launch a new brand known as Lynk & Co with the possibility of entering the U.S. No word on a possible date.
    • Alkane Truck Co., a company based in South Carolina plans on building the Dominator, a truck using the chassis of a Brazilian army truck and various components from the U.S. CEO Bob Smith believes this vehicle will fill a niche left by the Hummer H1.

    "If all you're going to do is enter this market offering the same thing everyone else is already offering, you might as well save your money. The U.S. auto industry is a very expensive place to do business," said Hughes.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Edited by William Maley

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      581,386

      -2.2

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      28,307

      17.8

      112,204

      103,587

      8.3

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      2,497,318

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      107,491

       

       

      -41.0

       

       

      349,091

       

       

      486,024

       

       

      -28.2

      SUVs

      208,387

      217,343

      -4.1

      830,471

      872,215

      -4.8

      Trucks

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      284,859

      15.9

      1,243,136

      1,139,079

      9.1

      Total vehicles                                             601,862       609,693          -1.3             2,422,698      2,497,318          -3.0

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      7,315

       

       

      15,212

       

       

      -51.9

       

       

      60,148

       

       

      51,730

       

       

      16.3

      Focus

      0

      13,078

      N/A

      12,480

      113,345

      -89.0

      C-MAX

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      213

      N/A

      38

      6,683

      -99.4

      Fusion

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      48,636

      -33.9

      166,045

      173,600

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      6,988

      -89.0

      9,924

      28,706

      -65.4

      Police Interceptor Sedan

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      1,762

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      3,427

      7,382

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      GT

      42

      24

      75.0

      229

      126

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      Mustang

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      14,223

      20.4

      72,489

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      100,136

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      16,038

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      64,708

      54,348

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      62,178

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      54,661

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      11,387

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      45,063

      47,936

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      31,331

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      137,794

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      8,705

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      41,598

      31,923

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      3,124

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      16,510

      12,096

      36.5

      Ford Trucks

      330,075

      284,859

      15.9

      1,243,136

      1,139,079

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      2,310,494

      2,393,731

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      4,931

       

       

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      17,725

       

       

      19,852

       

       

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      Continental

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      2,424

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      6,586

      8,758

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      Lincoln Cars

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      7,355

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      24,311

      28,610

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      6,971

      8.3

      25,815

      26,241

      -1.6

      Nautilus/MKX

      7,727

      8,687

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      31,711

      28,573

      11.0

      MKT

      275

      540

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      3,388

      2,324

      45.8

      Aviator

      6,424

      0

      N/A

      8,323

      0

      N/A

      Navigator

      5,455

      4,754

      14.7

      18,656

      17,839

      4.6

      Lincoln SUVs

      27,430

      20,952

      30.9

      87,893

      74,977

      17.2

      Lincoln Brand

      33,355

      28,307

      17.8

      112,204

      103,587

      8.3

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