Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Who's Hot? Not the Big 3


The next time someone says, "Boy that is one hot car!"  Keep in mind, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the one independent way of measuring the hottest or fastest selling cars is J.D. Power's, "Hot off the Lot" list. And the latest list confirms what you might suspect: the most in demand models right now are made by foreign automakers.

Source: J.D. Power/Power Information Network

This is the third month in a row with no domestic models on the "hot off the lot list" - Yes, I know, Ford owns Volvo, but among the traditional American brand names, there are no cars on the list. That's a troubling trend for the big 3. One of the main reasons they've been losing market share is because they lack a steady stream of "must have" models. Yes, they've had occasional hits such as the Chrysler 300C or Pontiac Solstice. But those hits are few and far between.

Now, I can already hear you saying, "Well, the big 3 have the most market share in this country (roughly 54%) and it's hard to make mass volume models hot sellers."  Please, give me a break!  If that were true, how do you explain the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry being on November's "hot list".  The Camry is the top selling passenger car in this country.  Toyota will sell roughly 430,000 of them this year.  Still, if you went to buy one of the redesigned models in November, you had to move fast since dealers had them on lot's only a little over two weeks.

Heading in to the Detroit Auto Show in early January we will hear plenty of talk about who has the hottest models.  That's fine, there will be plenty of head-turners there.  But at the end of the day it comes down to which models are moving off the lots, and right now, it's the foreign made ones.

Questions?  Comments?