Car Wars: Hope for Detroit?
Fortune's Alex Taylor III offers a terrific take on the outlook for Detroit's automakers, based partly on a new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst John Murphy. Here's an excerpt:
For three decades, Japanese manufacturers have been chewing through the U.S. auto market like termites in a lumberyard. Led by Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, they now account for more than 38% of sales.
But that rapid advance may be coming to an end. Reason: Japanese product cycles are generally converging to the industry average. They are churning out new models no more quickly than everybody else.
That's just one of the surprising conclusions in the latest edition of "Car Wars," published by Bank of America Merrill Lynch's chief auto analyst John Murphy.
Car Wars is an annual study that assesses the relative strength of each automaker's product pipeline. Its thesis is that the rate at which an automaker refreshes its product line is a major determinant of its market share. In other words, the manufacturer with the newest car line wins. Over the last ten years, automakers with the highest replacement rate and the youngest showroom age have gained sales at the expense of competitors.
Read the full piece here.