Ford and Honda could hike US market shares on new products in 4 years

Article by Andrew Christian, on June 12, 2014

New products from Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. should allow the two carmakers to better capture the auto market in the United States than their rivals in the next four years. For this year alone, Ford is launching 16 new models in North America.

Standing at Ford’s frontline of new products is the aluminum 2015 F-150. Ford is currently retooling two plants to build its best-selling pickup. According to the carmaker, the new F-150 will be 700 lbs lighter than its predecessor, which should result in an improvement in fuel efficiency.

John Murphy, an auto analyst at Bank of America Corp. told Bloomberg that fuel efficiency improvement in the F-150 could allow Ford to increase its market share.

Ford and Honda are seen to refresh or replace 28 percent of their annual sales volume from 2015 to 2018, while the industry average is just 23 percent, Murphy said. Murphy’s estimates assume that consumers are persuaded by new products to purchase them.

The sales trend in May was positive, with buyers going to showrooms thanks to robust stock and housing markets, increasing consumer confidence and an almost six-year low unemployment rate.

Last month, overall auto sales in the US surged 11 percent to 1.61 million light vehicles, exceeding the average analyst estimate of 1.54 million.

The annualized rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, jumped to 16.8 million in May. In the first five months of 2014, light vehicle sales in the US jumped 5 percent to 6.7 million units.

According to Bank of America, new vehicles at Ford should allow the carmaker to hike its US market share by half a percentage point to 16.2 percent by 2017, from the end of 2013.

New products at Honda – including the Honda’s pipeline includes the 2015 Acura TLX, 2016 Pilot and a 2017 Odyssey -- should hike its US market share by half a percentage point to 10.3 percent by 2017. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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