I did a blog on the Rover 600 recently and thought I would add a piece about the 800. It arrived in 1986 as a replacement for the SD1, a car it didn't quite match in my opinion. Still, based on the Honda Legend as it was, it proved not a bad car. A friend of mine had an 800 from new in NZ. He gave it a pretty hard life and it went well for just about 225,000 kms, by which time it was somewhat tired. The 800 was imported into the USA under the Sterling brand from 1987 to 1991. Production ran until 1999, fourteen years in total.
The initial model ran until 1991, with total production below:
*includes some face lift production
After face lift:
For nearly all its life, UK sales were over half of total worldwide sales. The only thing that would have made it viable was the collaboration with Honda. The car itself has slipped into history, without causing much of a ripple.
18 February 2012
Canucks like their Dodge Rams...
The USA and Canada are very close nations. Accents and culture have a strong similarity. How about car buying preferences by brand?
To start, the US has 89% of North American sales and Canada 11%. The figure after the brand name below is the percentage the brand achieves over or under the average, Canada being the reference country. For example Ram makes 20.4% of its North American sales in Canada, but Canada only has 11% of North American sales. The 20.4% figure is 85% up on 11%. That is the method I have used to show the variances.
Stronger in Canada were Ram (+85%), Dodge (+66%) and GMC (+40%). Poor sellers in Canada were Chrysler (-42%), Chev (-29%) and Jeep (-16%).
Canadians liked Mazda (+96%), Mitsubishi (+87%), Suzuki (+58%) and Hyundai (+51%). Not so popular north of the border compared to the US were Nissan (-31%), Scion (-21%) Subaru (-17%), Toyota (-15%) and Honda (-14%).
The only ones with more share in Canada were Fiat (+94%) and Audi (+14%). All the others were bigger in the USA. The worst of sellers in Canada were Cadillac
(-57%), Maserati and Bentley (-47%), Jaguar (-46%), Lexus (-43%), Infiniti (-40%), Porsche (-36%) and Land Rover (-29%).
Some points to note:
Canadians like big vehicles like Ram, Dodge and GMC. US citizens like mainstream Japanese brands such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda. Premium brands are much more popular in the USA. There were a few surprises for me.
...while they much prefer Cadillac stateside.
For the entire list, better selling in Canada from the top, and better selling in the US from the bottom up:
Land Rover -29%
10 February 2012
Below is an article about Dutch car plant Nedcar in Born. To see the problem, production figures give it away. When the plant was shared, production volume made it viable. Now down to one brand and possibly one model, it would never pay. To show what I mean, production figures for the plant when Mitsubishi joined production:
Since it came down to one brand, things were not good. Expand or close? I don't see any future for the plant, not in car making anyway.