For model years 2013 through 2016, Ford Motor Co. will present the most number of new or refreshed vehicles in the U.S. compared to other major automakers. A report from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch revealed that Ford will have the fastest rate in the industry for at least the next few years for the launch of models. The annual "Car Wars" report was written by analysts led by John Murphy. They say that during this period, Ford will provide replacements for 26% of offerings. They said that General Motors has a 25% replacement rate while Toyota Motor Corp. has 24% and Nissan Motor Co. has 23%, which is also the industry average. Murphy said that automakers that have a faster pace of revamping models have a tendency to widen their market share.
The report said that there was a “lull” three years ago and since then, there has been a faster introduction of new products. The crossover, luxury-car and light-truck segments will be very active through model-year 2016. The report said that this will improve the sales combinations for the more expensive models. This will also boost industry profits. Murphy wrote that as automakers recover from its lowest point in the cycle, many of them will hope to drive demand by introducing new products instead of discounting stale models at the expense of margins.
He also wrote that Chrysler Group LLC, which is majority owned by Fiat S.p.A., and Honda Motor Co. will fall behind the industry average and will have a 20% replacement rate. Murphy said that the industry isn’t likely to experience the big changes in market share that took place in the past decades since the gaps in product cycles between the U.S. automakers have "largely closed" compared with that of its “foreign” rivals. The report further stated that Bank of America expects that the market share of Ford in the U.S. will grow to over 16% from the 15.3% recorded so far in 2012. This will depend largely on the demand for the new models, which include the C-Max and Escape crossovers and Lincoln MKZ and Ford Fusion sedans in the 2013 model year. [source: Bloomberg]