Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Strong Points and The Weak Points

Alexander Carabitses

Every car company has strong points and weak points within their organization.  It is just a simple fact that even the biggest car companies will have their weak points.  What are the strong points and weak points, of all of the Luxury and main stream manufactures? Well, here is the list, car company by car company:

BMW Group:  BMW's weakest point may just be the two most atrocious cars it their lineup, the 3-Series GT and the 5-Series GT.  They are down right ugly.  On top of that, you have the X1, which is  shit, along with the X4 and X6.  Why the hell do we need these models???  At least make the X1 nicer and do something about that X6, please!  The strong points are the 2-Series, the i8, and any car that hasn't been deprived of true BMW characteristics.  Long story short, BMW is loosing touch with its diehard fans, as its trying to make more money.
(Image credited to BMW Group)

Daimler: The weakest point in this company is the Smart brand, in this country.  They are just to quirky.  Then you have Mercedes trying to be hip with the CLA, as they prepare to launch a new sports car, and an S-Class Pullman that will rival Rolls Royce.  Am I seriously the only person that has a problem with this?  Its like there are two separate brands mixed into one.  The strong points are the true, sporty, luxurious Mercedes-Benz models.
(Image credited to Daimler)

Fiat- Chrysler Automobiles:  The strong points in this company are obviously the Jeep and Ram truck brands.  The weak point is Alfa Romeo.  Its a great brand with only one sports car in the lineup.  I'll rephrase that by saying that it is the only car in the lineup that reflects Alfa's heritage.  As of right now the brand continues to loose money.  Also don't be surprised if some of Alfa's new launches are delayed.
(Image credited to FCA)

Ford Motor Company: By far the weakest point is (you guessed it) Lincoln.  Come to think of it, it seems that any luxury brand, or sub-premium luxury brand that Ford has had, has always had trouble.  We know the Edsel story, as well as Mercury's recent demise.  Now Ford is trying to avoid having the same thing happen to Lincoln.  The separation between Ford and Lincoln design will help, but these new products are still luxury versions of existing Ford product.  For this reason it is safe to say that Lincoln will be a Buick competitor for a long time.  The strongest points are the Ford Focus (the worlds best selling car), the Mustang, and the F-150 (America's best selling pickup truck)
(Image credited to Ford)

GM: At this point in time, GM does not have any weak brands, as Opel/Vauxhall will soon see many new launches.  The only weak point within the company is GM itself.  Has it learned its lesson from this big recall?  Will the corporate culture change?  Well, we'll just have to wait and see.
(Image credited to GM)

Honda: The strong point is Honda.  The weak point is the struggling Acura brand.  The NSX, along with their line of crossovers are the only reasons that the brand has survived.  Their line of cars are utterly boring.
(Image credited to Honda)

Hyundai-Kia: These are two brands filled with strong points design wise, and their cars have come a long way, in general.  However, they haven't come far enough to be the best in their respective segments (at least thats the case for some of Kia's products compared to Hyundai's)
(Image credited to Hyundai Kia)

Jaguar-Land Rover: I'll start off by saying that the only weak point, the Land Rover LR2 will soon be redesigned.  Aside from that there are no complaints from either of these brands.
(Image credited to Jaguar Land Rover)

Mazda: To be quite honest, the strong point for this company is their entire lineup.  Their weak point is the fact that despite having class leading entries, sales of these vehicles are slow.
(Image credited to Mazda)

Mitsubishi Motors: By far the worst car brand in the North American market, the only strong point is the Lancer Evolution.  However, rumor has it that it will soon be killed off, with no immediate replacement planned.  That means that the entire lineup is a weak point.
(Image credited to Mitsubishi Motors)

Nissan: The Nissan brand is quite strong as things stand.  the company is getting out of segments it shouldn't have been in, in the first place.  It was just announced that the Cube would be killed off.  We already know that the Altima coupe and Murano Cross Cabriolet will be killed off as well.  However, the really weak point is the Infiniti brand.  Like Acura, it is struggling for credibility in the luxury segment, and it will be years until it becomes a real threat to the already established luxury brands.
(Image credited to Nissan)

Subaru: It's strong point is that it knows its customers so well, that sales continue to go up yearly.  Its weak point is its current, dull design language.
(Image credited to Fuji Heavy Industries)

Tesla: The strong point for this car company is its leader, its Model S, and the fact that it has a ton of cash.  The only weak point for Tesla may just be the EV market, in general.
(Image credited to Tesla)

Toyota: The strong point for Toyota is the enemy of any car enthusiast; the Camry.  On top of that, the rest of its lineup is both solid and reliable.  Lexus has also come a long way in every respect.  However, even Toyota has a week point that deserves a dedicated blog post for itself.  That would be the Scion brand.  The brand itself was a bad idea, but now the FRS is the only credible car in the lineup.  Now the word is out that the Toyota Auris will debut at the L.A. auto show in November as a Scion, as  both a hatchback and station wagon.  A new Scion sedan will come later.  Why not just badge the FRS as the Toyota 86, bring the Auris, and can the Scion brand.  
(Image credited to Toyota)

Volkswagen: In 2012 the Audi brand accounted for 50% of the VW Groups sales, so that is clearly the strong point.  In the U.S., the weak point is Volkswagen brand.  In fact, VW was the only car company in the U.S. to loose market share last year.  If this streak continues, it could prevent VW from becoming the worlds largest automaker by 2018.
(Image credited to VW Group)

Volvo: The weak point is an aging lineup.  The strong point is a new head of design, along with great impending products
(Image credited to Volvo)

And there you have it.  The complete strong and weak point list.  Now, some of these weak points are more detriment to these companies than others.  Some may disappoint enthusiasts, while others are detrimental to a car company's profitability.  This just shows that there is no perfect car company out there.  Even the exotic and boutique car companies (NOT listed above) may have their own problems.  With that being said, leave a comment below to voice your own opinion(s) as to what the strong and weak points are for these car companies.  Have a great weekend! 

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