The Slowest Selling Cars


Last month we wrote about the top cars as ranked by independent testing organization, Consumer Reports. Among the company’s top picks based on road tests, crash tests, and reliability were Tesla Model S, Subaru Impreza, Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Odyssey. This month, let’s look at the cars that it appears no one (or at least very few) want to buy.

According to data from Kelley Blue Book, the average amount of time a car is on a dealer’s lot is 71 days, with some models selling in fewer than 15 days and other waiting 120+ days to sell. Which cars sold the slowest in 2014?

  1. Honda Insight, 170.7 days, units sold 3,965 ($18,725)
  2. Nissan GT-R, 169.9 days, units sold 1,436 ($101,770)
  3. Cadillac ELR, 158.6 days, units sold 1,310 ($75,000)
  4. Infiniti Q60, 158.3 days, units sold 7,740 ($40,950)
  5. Buick Verano, 144.7 days , units sold 43,743 ($23,380)
  6. Cadillac XTS, 144.6 days, units sold 24,335 ($44,660)
  7. FIAT 500L, 140.1 days, units sold 12,413 ($19,195)
  8. Volvo XC90, 139.5 days, units sold 3,952 ($48,900)
  9. Kia Cadenza, 138.8 days, units sold 9,267 ($35,100)
  10. Cadillac ATS, 138.1, units sold 29,890 ($33,215)

High turnover does not necessarily mean that a car is absolutely popular or unpopular, but instead implies that it was popular or unpopular relative to the expectations of the manufacturer. For example, while there were more than 43,000 Buick Veranos sold last year, Buick probably anticipated higher demand, thus overstocking which resulted in an average of 144 days to turn the car.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the issues associated with sales forecasting and manufacturing.
  2. Before showing the video or discussing the slowest selling cars, poll students about the reasons why cars might sell slower than average.
  3. Show video:
  4. Divide students into teams. Assign each team one of the cars to research. Have them find out prices, number sold, locations for best sales, competitors, etc.
  5. Next, have students develop recommendations to lower the average days it takes to sell a model.


Source: Kelley Blue Book, USA Today, Manufacturing Business Technology


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