General Motors should gain market share by replacing 88% of its light-duty lineup by 2020, while Volkswagen and Korean automakers are relying too heavily on cars with consumer demand shifting toward SUVs and trucks, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst.
The findings came in the annual "Car Wars" study presented by analyst John Murphy at the Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit on May 11.
General Motors is rolling out a dozen new utility vehicles and trucks between the 2017 and 2020 models years, which will keep GM ahead of its competitors in terms of new product. GM will revamp its Chevrolet Traverse and Equinox for the 2018-MY and follow up with new versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks in 2019-MY. In the 2020-MY, GM will roll out a full slate of large SUVs, according to the report.
Ford will also be above the industry average by refreshing 86% of its vehicles by 2020 with a "concentration of truck and CUV launches" that should sustain its market share. Ford has leveraged global vehicle platforms, as the company's management remains focused on maximizing profit. Ford plans to introduce the Ranger small pickup in 2019 and a new Transit Connect compact van in 2020.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles should also surpass the industry average of 81% by replacing 84% of its lineup, starting with the 2017-MY Chrysler Pacifica minivan and following with a new Ram pickup and Wrangler for 2018. Cars are "becoming an afterthought" for the company with nine CUV launches, according to the report.
Toyota and Nissan will come in below the industry average with a 79% and 76% replacement rate. Toyota’s new model mix is skewed toward mid/large cars over the next four years due to the launch of the Camry for the 2018-MY and Avalon for the 2019-MY. Nissan "appears somewhat lost" and risks "ceding market share" but will accelerate product introductions in 2019 and 2020, according to the report. Nissan plans to introduce a new NV200 van in 2019.