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The O.C.

NEW Car-Counting Experiment

19 posts in this topic

The O.C.    2

A few months ago, I posted some results of a very un-scientific survey I performed myself on about 250 cars in an upscale shopping/dining/entertainment center here in The O.C. It opened my eyes as to the real-world demand for domestic (and specifically GM) cars in this market.

Being bored, and recovering from Chicken Pox, I decided to run down to John Wayne/Orange County airport and do a new survey. I counted 413 vehicles in the A1 parking lot outside terminal one of John Wayne Airport. Since these are cars parked AT the airport, I'm assuming it's a relatively high-percentage of people that live locally.

For those of you not from California, John Wayne Airport is a busy regional airport located in the Irvine/Newport Beach area, about 40 miles south down the coast from LAX airport. John Wayne is extremely popular with business travellers living here in The O.C. and offers numerous non-stop flights all across the country.

Once again....domestic refers to the commonly-understood brands for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Saab, Volvo, and Jaguar, for example, are included under my "European" heading and Mazda, Suzuki, etc, are included under the "Japanese" heading (even though they are all part or fully owned by GM and Ford.)

Out of 413 cars, GM had a total of 63 units, or 15.3%. The majority of this was trucks, however. GM cars totalled only 19 units or 4.6% of the total.

That's 19 GM cars out of over 400 vehicles....!

What really shocked me is that out of the GM cars, there was one Lucerne and one Cobalt. That was it as far as GM's "newer" automobile brands. There were NO LaCrosses, Impalas, G6s, or even not a single C6 Corvette, Solstice, or GMT-900.

Ford did marginally better with 66 units, or 16.0%. Once again, trucks ruled the show with only 21 Ford cars, or 5.1%. I noticed one Milan, and two 500s.

Chrysler had 44 units total, or 10.7%. Out of the 18 Chrysler cars I counted, there were 5 LX vehicles (2 Chargers and 3 300 models.)

Total Domestics - 41.9%

Total Asian - 38.3%

Total European - 19.8%

Toyota had 65 units (52 Toyota, 1 Scion, 15 Lexus), or 15.7%.

Honda had 47 units (38 Hondas, 9 Acuras), or 11.4%

Combined Japanese luxury brands (15 Lexus, 11 Infiniti, 9 Acura) totalled 35 units or 8.5%

There were 26 BMWs and 17 Mercedes-Benz models for a combined number of 43 or 10.4%

Shocking to see more total BMWs (26) than GM cars (19), Ford cars (21) or Chrysler cars (18.)

I wish I could forward this post to Lutz and Wagoner.......

Edited by The O.C.

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tama z71    0

If GM worried about the California market, they would lose focus on everything else. California is disconnected with every other facet of the nation. I think we ought to cut the border and let the state float out to sea.

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The O.C.    2

If GM worried about the California market, they would lose focus on everything else. California is disconnected with every other facet of the nation. I think we ought to cut the border and let the state float out to sea.

:lol:

Southern California is only THE single largest automotive market in the country.......and with 35 million + people in the state, that's not only more people than in CANADA, but it's a significant portion of the U.S. population.

You can't even remotely call it "disconnected" from ANY other facet of the nation.

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:lol:

Southern California is only THE single largest automotive market in the country.......and with 35 million + people in the state, that's not only more people than in CANADA, but it's a significant portion of the U.S. population.

You can't even remotely call it "disconnected" from ANY other facet of the nation.

Also, the car distribution your little survey resulted in is probably very similar to other parts of the country..I'd probably get similar numbers here in the Denver area, at DIA or in the lot of a mall like Park Meadows or Flatiron Crossing......

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If GM worried about the California market, they would lose focus on everything else. California is disconnected with every other facet of the nation. I think we ought to cut the border and let the state float out to sea.

I think the California market is way more realistic as to the general market and trends nationwide than the Michigan market, for example..

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pow    106

I think the California market is way more realistic as to the general market and trends nationwide than the Michigan market, for example..

Agreed... and it's not like CA has no domestic cars whatsoever. On the 405 today, I saw an '07 Escalade, a few '07 Tahoes, one '06 GTO, one '06 Lucerne, several C6s, and many CTSs, in addition to the usual fleet Impalas, Malibus, G6s, and Cobalts.

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The O.C.    2

Also, the car distribution your little survey resulted in is probably very similar to other parts of the country..I'd probably get similar numbers here in the Denver area, at DIA or in the lot of a mall like Park Meadows or Flatiron Crossing......

I agree.....and in Seattle, Scottsdale, AZ., Atlanta, GA., the NYC area, the D.C. area, and even the big cities in Texas are growing more-and-more import dominated....

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The O.C.    2

Agreed... and it's not like CA has no domestic cars whatsoever. On the 405 today, I saw an '07 Escalade, a few '07 Tahoes, one '06 GTO, one '06 Lucerne, several C6s, and many CTSs, in addition to the usual fleet Impalas, Malibus, G6s, and Cobalts.

I was actually quite surprised that I didn't remember seeing a single CTS as that car is actually doing quite well in CA.

The lack of Impalas, Malibus, G6s, Cobalts (other than that one coupe) and LaCrosses doesn't really surprise me......as most, if not all, of those cars I see on the road around here really ARE rental units (denoted by the bar-code in the driver-side rear window.)

I did see a couple of new Mustangs though.....in fact, I remember one specifically being a GT.

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The O.C.    2

I think the California market is way more realistic as to the general market and trends nationwide than the Michigan market, for example..

I've always said that.....(and gotten blasted all to hell on here for it...)

In fact, I think that the midwest, specifically MI, OH, IN, are about the most UN-realistic automotive markets in the country. So many consumers' purchases are influenced by their relationship to the auto industry in one way or another.....and people there tend to be influenced alot less by national trends or society in general.

Southern California (and other markets as mentioned previously) are not influenced by the relative strength or weakness of the auto industry. Buying trends here and around the country outside the midwest are influenced by many OTHER things.....

I'd LOVE to see similar counts from other parts of the country. It really doesn't take all that long (maybe 30mins...?) once you get it down....

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ill see if i can do one in my schools parking lot... tho i can almost promise right from the get go that there will be alot of bmw/mercedes... i go to a private school and that sort of thing just happens...

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Camino LS6    866

Here in the Philadelphia area, the domestics do much better than that. We have inumerable domestic SUVs, trucks and higher-end cars. The European makes do very well here too (high-end mostly). The grand majority of Asian cars are cheapo entry level cars, with a respectable showing by Lexus and Acura. The Escalade/3 series driveway is a common site. I don't see many cheapo entry-level domestics.

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well i wasnt able to get exact numbers... mostly because i get there much earlier than most and dont really have alot of time after school to go counting 200+ cars... but what i have is... not alot of SUVs... the ones that are there are mostly domestic... jeep, chevy etc... id say SUVs make up 5% of the cars there... ALOT of entry and mid-level sedans... about 60/40 domestic/import... those make up a solid 60% of the cars there... upper end sedans... one CTS... and a bunch of MB an bimmers... those make up like... 25% as far as coupes... all domestic except an m3... 3 montes(including mine)... a few mustangs, those range from fox body to new gen... those make up like 10%... oddly enough our lot is mostly dominated by domestics...

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I'm going to go do this sometime at Pheasant Lane Mall for

$h!s & giggles. My best friend Duffy did his senior thesis on

the unnecessary demise of the F-body in it's 4th generation.

He worked on this paper from 1999 to may of 2000.

We actually met as a result of a mass email sent to the entire

campus regarding his project and the Chevy dealer's

involvemet. A part of this project was a simmilar random survey

of cars on Connecticut & Mass roads in late 1999. His paper was

the longest senior project ever at Bradford College. Since the

school went bankrupt he'll havethis braggin right forever. It was

220 pages long IIRC.

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The O.C.    2

Okay, I tallied the numbers and here is what I found. This info was taken from three of the student parking lots of St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. There is not a car plant nearby. The closest one I believe is the the Ford Ranger plant in the Twin Cities and even then hardly anyone in the Twin Cities drives a Ranger. The next closest thing to a car plant is the Grede Foundry on the north end of town that makes differentials for Dodge trucks and God knows no one want to work in that sh!t hole.

P/B/GMC/Saturn: 193

Chevrolet: 179

Ford: 91

DCX: 29

Oldsmobile:27

Asia INC: 22

Cadillac: 4

Volvo: 3

The most cars I found were from Buick/Pontiac/GMC. They were mostly all ages of Grand Ams, Sunfires, Grand Prixs, a few Bonnivilles, Regals, Skylarks, LeSabres, Centurys, some random Saturn S and L-series and a few Jimmys and full size GMCs thrown in for good mix.

The next most popular ones were Chevrolets and these consisted of a pretty even mix of Cavaliers, Berretas, Corsicas, Luminas, some FWD Montes, some S-10s and S-10 Blazers, some full sizes; You name it.

Next was Ford with a couple of Tempos, some Countours, many F-150s, some solid axle Explorers, a bunch of Rangers, Escorts, a few Crown Victorias, and a bunch of Mercurys/Lincolns I just threw in under Ford.

DCX had an Avenger, some Intrepids, a few Dakotas, a few Rams, a Plymouth Laser, some Neons, etc. Nothing too interesting to report.

Oldsmobile had quite a showing with lot's of Aleros, Intrigues, a couple of H-bod Deltas (w00t!), a black Aurora and several Cutlass's.

Asia INC had a Subaru SVX, a few Corrolas, some Civic CRXs, a Sentra, a primer black Eclipes, and some other random crap.

There was one newer black Cadillac Avalanche, a Catera, a late 1980s FWD DeVille and a late 1970s DeVille.

There were three older blue Volvos that were parked in close proximity to each other. Two were blue ones that look like Sixty8s and one was a dark red wagon. Still digging the funky Volvo head rests.

From this test, we can conclude Cadillac, while still in business, is not penetraiting the college age market like it should, while Oldsmobile, out of business since 2002, is doing much better.  :lol2:

Wow....

This is what makes this "game" so interesting.

Compare the number of domestics in St. Cloud, MN to what I saw in Orange County, CA....

I'd love to see someone on here post numbers from the east coast, or somewhere in Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, et al.....

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Satty    338

After class tomorrow, I'll drive around campus and do a count, then maybe another campus and the downtown parking garage. Get a little more midwest info in here, although I can saefly say it'll be somewhere around a 60/40 Domestic/import mix with most(>50%) of those domestics being either newer (95+) SUVs and older (pre-94) cars.

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Here in Fort Worth theres a HUGE number of suv's and trucks, mostly domestic. Oh and O.C., Fort Worth has over 600k people in just the city alone and its not a largly import market. Don't go the county east(Dallas) of me too often, but all i can say I don't care what they drive, alot of them have no sense and think they OWN the road. Alot of the import drivers around here act like that.

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Camino LS6    866

I've given the "Wawa Report" a few times in the lounge. It's too small a sample to really fit in with these other results, so I'll keep my eyes peeled for a likely lot to get a more meaningful count. The trouble is, cars are always in motion around here and any lot that stays static for very long is usually skewed one way or another. College lots would have more older stuff and lots of folks use the "commuter" car to go to work leaving the "nice" car at home. Malls and other places just don't stay static long enough to count. Maybe a traffic survey from a fixed location would give the best view.

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carman21    7

I've notice a surge of Cobalts & G6s in NJ. NJ is far more diverse and sophisticated than isolated, and Asia-oriented California. In fact the whole West coast has an pro-asian bias.

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asusenior    0

42% domestics? That seems like a lot. I don't think I have counted less than 60% foreign vehicles in the Washington DC area where I live. People have practically stopped buying American in this area. I would estimate that about 80% of new vehicles sold here are imports. I don't think Detroit has had a majority market share in my area for 20 years.

The fact is large vehicles do not sell well in the mid-Atlantic or northeast - Detroit's

primarly offering. People from DC and most of the cities northeast of it (NYC, Philly, Boston) drive very similar vehicles. The vast majority of vehicles are foreign and very few pickups. Very few full-sized SUVs as well.

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