Owners of Japanese-brand vehicles now interested in Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge?

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 18, 2011

Many people in the automotive industry believe that the idea that Japanese-brand automobile owners buy Japanese-brand vehicles while those owning domestic-brand vehicles purchase domestics is now about to change. Market monitors have revealed that consumers have demonstrated a current enthusiasm to cross-shop outside their conventional behavior.

Prodded and attracted in one direction by factors such as inventory shortages at import frontrunners Honda and Toyota, and shooed in the other direction by vanishing brands like Saturn, Mercury and Pontiac, some customers end up unanchored.

The big question is whether the customers are changing their buying patterns out of temporary inconvenience, or if there’s a new attitude surfacing in the customer standoff between domestic and import brands.

Boston-based automotive market research company Compete Inc. discovers that the inclination of Japanese import-brand buyers to cross-shop Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet has been trending up continuously since the first quarter of 2010. Likewise, J.D. Power and Associates reveals that the percentage of automobile buyers who traded in an Asian import-brand vehicle and bought another one has decreased a bit.

Asian-brand loyalty decreased from a steady 80 percent at the start of 2010 to 76 percent in the third quarter of 2011. These could be modest changes, but they leave the industry unsure. Adam Lee, chairman of Lee Auto Malls, commented that something is happening now but "it's just a little hard to say what it is."

Lee Auto Malls is a group of import and domestic new-vehicle dealerships and 13 used-car stores based in Westbrook, Maine. Lee further stated that there is " clearly a new sense of patriotism out there," adding that they can hear it when they converse with customers.

The way the exterior of the 2011 Mustang is styled, it shows that the 2010 redesign was indeed successful. It comes with new headlamps, grille, fenders, and lower facias. With all these covered by the powerdome hood, it gives it that muscular look while maintaining to have function which is to make sure that the engine’s air cooling is maximized. Meanwhile, inserted to its cowl are the washer-fluid nozzles with the antenna being placed in the rear.

These ensure that the exterior has a cleaner appearance while helping lower the wind noise. On the interior, there is a one-piece instrument panel where the tachometer and speedometer are placed. This interior has been crafted using the soft-touch seamless Thermoplastic Olefin skin that covers the genuine panels with an aluminum finish. Moving to the outside and starting in the rear, the design shows aggressive angled corners, the prominent badge, plus the sculptured decklid. The taillamps have three LED bulbs which can be activated sequentially starting from the inside to indicate turn.

These sequential bulbs are not new as this has been part of the Mustang design going as far back as the 1960s. However by having the vertical reverse lamps, it brings to mind the contemporary version of the classic three-lens taillamps from Ford. For some models, the spoiler will be incorporated with a rearview camera. On the front, the fenders have the sculptured and tight wheels appearing as if tight skin has been stretched on the wheels.

There is still that classic spear character line which has been placed on the door and guides one to the modern clue of the hip rear fenders. Mustang chief designer Darrell Behmer shared that by having a more contemporary design, the Mustang is able to have a forward and aggressive direction, as if it is ready to jump.

Topics: chevrolet, ford, dodge

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