Highlights from the 'Car Wars' report

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Future Product Pipeline

>> Fiat Chrysler:


Fiat Chrysler will introduce new vehicles at the industry pace over the next four years -- with light activity in the first two and heavy action in the final two.

The product mix leans heavily toward crossovers and light trucks, due mainly to the launches of a redesigned minivan in 2017 and the Ram and Wrangler in 2018. 

The company's goal of grabbing an additional four points of market share in the United States by 2018 appears almost "unattainable" without an aggressive stance on pricing, said John Murphy, senior auto analyst for BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. He doesn't expect such a move to happen.

2015 Ford F-150

>> Ford:


Light trucks will account for 36 percent of Ford's new model volume over the next four years due to the launch of the aluminum 2015 F-150 pickup and 2016 Super Duty.

The average "showroom age" for Ford models is slated to drop to under three years in the coming years.

"They're able to get their replacement rate high and keep it there because they're leveraging global platforms," Murphy said.

He also said management may decide to sacrifice some of that projected share gain for higher prices -- and profits.

The 2015 Chevy Equinox is one of GM's crossovers to be refreshed.

>> General Motors:


Crossovers will take precedence for GM, making up 32 percent of its new model mix from 2015 to 2018.

Over the next two years, the company is bringing out refreshed versions of the popular Equinox and Terrain crossovers followed by the Acadia, Traverse and Enclave.

Its replacement rate should climb to 34 percent this year, more than double the industry average since 1994.

"We think that GM's replacement rate will be good enough over the next four years to maintain its current market share," Murphy said.

>> Honda:


Honda is in a "sweet spot," benefitting from a simple brand lineup and an ability to sustain a consistent four- and five-year redesign cycle.

That should pave the way for its projected half-point share gain over the next four years.

Honda will concentrate its new model mix on crossovers, small cars and mid/large cars.

>> Hyundai/Kia:


Hyundai and Kia, focused on luxury/small and mid/large cars, will step up their replacement rates after a lull in 2013 and 2014.

Market share should remain stable, but concentrating on cars could create some risk.

>> Nissan:


Murphy says Nissan appears to be a "ship without a rudder," making the automaker difficult to forecast. He sees a risk of market share loss.

Over the next four years, Nissan's new model volume mix will be centered on mid-sized and large cars, which will account for 34 percent of activity, and light trucks, 26 percent.

>> Toyota:


The product mix will be skewed toward mid-sized and large cars as well as light trucks. On the horizon: the electrified 2016 Prius, 2017 Camry and several SUVs to go with the 2017 Tundra pickup and Sienna minivan. A focus on Lexus "should offset a lagging refresh rate," the report says. 

>> Europeans:


Most of the new model mix for European brands will come from the crossover and luxury/sporty car segments.

Combined market share is expected to slip, but prospects could improve if new German crossovers do well.

“VW seems to be similar to Nissan in that its product launches are perplexing and not really that robust going forward,” Murphy said.

You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com. -- Follow Vince on Twitter


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