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  • Wagons away

  • Hi, I'm Jack Smith and right now, it's station wagon savings time in the

  • west. Time to hit the trail in high style with all a will comfort, but

  • only a Rambler station wagon can give you.

  • The station wagon was once a fixture of American family life.

  • It was a common sight in American garages and frequently featured in

  • popular culture.

  • These days, however, it has nearly vanished from US roads.

  • Americans, at least most of them, just don't like the segment.

  • And it shows in the tiny number of wagons sold every year, Americans just

  • don't like wagons for whatever reason.

  • We we have rejected the body style for many years.

  • It's been declining. You know, we think back to perhaps some of those

  • movies like National Lampoon's Vacation, where a family travels across the

  • country in a wagon. Those days are long, long behind us.

  • And these days, wagon sales are less than 2 percent of all industry sales.

  • Meanwhile, crossovers and sport utility vehicles continue to swallow

  • market share, leading many manufacturers to believe that if they want to

  • sell a wagon, they need to lift it a bit, maybe cover it with some

  • cladding and call it a crossover.

  • You want the crossover tag associated with it because that's what people

  • are buying and that's what they want to buy.

  • At some point, they may want another tag because it's no longer cool to

  • own a crossover, an SUV.

  • But right now, that's not the case yet.

  • In 2018, consumers around the world bought just under 2.5

  • million wagons, roughly a mere 3 percent of all new cars sold in the

  • United States the segment represents only about 1 to 2 percent of all

  • sales. But in some European countries, sales are several times that.

  • Wagon's represented nearly 20 percent of all sales in Germany and at least

  • a quarter of sales in some Scandinavian countries, such as Finland and

  • Sweden. wagons also comprised 23 percent of all sales in Czech Republic,

  • 16 percent in Slovakia and 15 percent in Poland.

  • In Sweden our home country, close to 50 percent of our volume is related

  • to wagons. You have the best residual values, you have the most loyal

  • consumers. And also that is how we were live in Sweden.

  • You know, nature is very important.

  • We do exactly in line with Americans.

  • You know, it's a lot of football and a lot of sports associated with our

  • kids. So we need a space.

  • And so the legacy of wagons is really in our DNA.

  • Also you see them all over the place and the roads in Sweden and in

  • Europe. More than 70 percent of all wagon's sold in the world are sold in

  • Europe. There the wagon is still seen as an efficient blend of function

  • and performance, especially when fuel prices can be quite high.

  • In Europe, the station wagon continues to be the

  • prototype for many families, even though it they have lost traction as

  • well in Europe. Despite the fact that Europe is the world's wagon

  • stronghold, data do suggest that sport utilities are eating into its share

  • on that continent as well.

  • Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, US data show that sport

  • utility vehicles have completely eclipsed the wagon as the family hauler

  • of choice. Wagons have steadily lost share in the US new car market

  • from 3.69

  • percent of new car sales in 2008 to 1.4

  • percent in 2018.

  • Cross-overs and SUVs grew their share of the new car market in the US by

  • 20 percent from 2008 to 2018.

  • They now make up nearly half of all new car sales.

  • For now, wagons have managed to find a way to keep a foothold, albeit a

  • small one in America.

  • For example, the segment straddling Subaru Outback has been a tremendously

  • successful product for that company part wagon, part crossover.

  • The Outback was introduced in the 1995 model year as a variant of the

  • Subaru legacy, but was soon spun out into its own distinct brand and has

  • become something of a phenomenon.

  • The outback alone accounted for the vast majority of wagon sales in the

  • US. Of that, 1.4

  • percent of the US market wagons have the outback alone makes up 1.2

  • percent. In other words, almost all of it.

  • That means all wagons sold by all other brands combined would account for

  • just 0.2

  • percent of the total US new car market.

  • So when we talk about wagons, we're essentially talking about one model

  • with with a very decent industry share and then a handful of other models

  • that, quite frankly, don't sell very well.

  • The outback is an example of how wagon like vehicles can be successfully

  • marketed in the United States and perhaps gives an idea of how they are

  • likely to look in the future if they stick around.

  • Though it retains many of the basic features of a wagon, the car is lifted

  • a bit and covered in plastic cladding to give it more of a rugged outdoor

  • appearance. It retains the basic silhouette of the wagon, but the outback

  • has evolved over time to incorporate more attributes of SUVs and

  • crossovers Subaru told CNBC.

  • This includes standard all wheel drive, the ability to tow up to thirty

  • five hundred pounds and a full eight point seven inches of ground

  • clearance higher than what is found on many SUVs.

  • The company said they were one of the early players obviously in this

  • crossover space before the term crossover was even mentioned.

  • And that's again when they were being called wagons.

  • So I think they've done well if they've got a very loyal buyer.

  • They've expanded into the certainly the outdoor lifestyle buyer has has

  • has long been a Subaru advocate.

  • So I think, you know, is that as that continues to to develop and people

  • are more interested in an active, active lives and in certainly what what

  • super has to offer from just an honor and capability.

  • But but also on dirt and on on trails even.

  • The outback shows that selling a wagon in the US may be a lot easier if it

  • happens to look like a sport utility vehicle.

  • In fact, it might be one of the only wagon like vehicles to survive in the

  • United States. But yeah, no question about it, the wagon market is

  • certainly taking cues from the from the SUV and crossover segments and

  • adding, as you said, a little bit of cladding, raising that ground

  • clearance up a little bit to give it that that view that essentially it

  • can compete with a crossover.

  • That rather dire outlook has not stopped other automakers from rolling the

  • dice, though. General Motors sells the Buick Regal Tours X, a US version

  • of the Opel insignia wagon.

  • GM used to sell in Europe when it owned the Opel brand.

  • Notably, the US version has the same plastic cladding and slight lift,

  • which is not seen on the European version.

  • But with a lower center of gravity, it gives more sedan like driving

  • dynamics and a lower roof for easy rooftop access key features wagon

  • buyers want in a car.

  • There are several positive signs for wagon fans elsewhere in the US if

  • they have the cash.

  • Much of the variety in the US wagon market is found at the higher end,

  • where luxury and high performance can gloss over the otherwise dowdy and

  • domestic image the wagon has.

  • Given the fact that the countries with some of the highest wagon sales are

  • Germany and the Scandinavian nations.

  • It makes sense that most of these premium wagons are from German and

  • Scandinavian automakers.

  • The Swedish brand Volvo is perhaps the brand best known for wagons, and

  • its among the brands most committed to the segment in the United States.

  • Though Volvo has lately focused intensely on building out its lineup of

  • sport utility vehicles, a substantial portion of its portfolio is still in

  • wagons. I see the same opportunities in us.

  • So one part of me is a bit confused that this should be much bigger.

  • The volume should be much, much, much bigger.

  • But then we have the SUV trend in the US that probably overlaps that kind

  • of because could get the space to an SUV.

  • But I would say the wagons are for me they're beautiful.

  • And I think you'll see the cars here, the size wise that are boxy anymore,

  • and they are not boring.

  • You get both. You get the driving capabilities as a sedan and you get more

  • space. And also it looks sporty and that's what we aim for.

  • Volvo sells the mid-sized V60 wagon and the larger V90.

  • Both can be bought in the cross country trim, which means the car is

  • lifted and comes with the familiar dark cladding on the sides of the car.

  • And Volvo also has a 415 horsepower performance hybrid version of its V 60

  • bearing Volvos Polestar brand, which was once its in-house performance

  • shop and now specializes in making high performance electric vehicles.

  • Mercedes Benz sells its E-Class wagons in the US, mostly to well-heeled

  • buyers with families.

  • The car sells especially well in the Northeast.

  • Wagon sales make up a tiny portion of Mercedes US total zero point seven

  • percent to be exact.

  • But buyers are loyal and they pay an E 450 for Madoc wagon starts at about

  • sixty $66000 and the higher performance AMG e63 S starts above one

  • hundred eight thousand dollars.

  • Fellow German automaker Audi said in August of 2019, it plans to bring the

  • R.S. Six a vaunt wagon to the US.

  • The R.S. Six Avante is a performance wagon.

  • Audi will sell alongside the eight for all road wagon it currently offers

  • and the a six all road, which Audi said in October.

  • It will also be bringing back to the US.

  • In recent years in the United States, Audi has only sold its a for all

  • road wagon, which is also a popular choice among premium wagon buyers.

  • Even Porsche has a wagon like vehicle.

  • However, the number of wagon loving diehards seems to be shrinking and

  • many in the industry are not optimistic that the wagon will make a

  • comeback anytime soon.

  • I just I wonder how many more cracks at the bat we're gonna get here from

  • from this forbidden fruit.

  • And these wagons coming from overseas.

  • So things are getting, you know, even even slimmer for for a wagon

  • enthusiast out there.

  • And so guide the future for wagons.

  • It's going to be tough for for future European wagons, too, to really come

  • to United States. What buyers are more likely to end up with is a

  • crossover, which some say is really a wagon in a slightly different form.

  • There isn't a lot of what I would call pure wagon development going on

  • right now. So, you know, with that as a backdrop, the I guess prospects

  • for the wagon aren't necessarily strong.

  • But the caveat here is you're getting into then that, you know, blurring

  • area where what is a wagon and what's a crossover?

  • And a lot of the stuff that is being developed is, you know, what I would

  • argue is a shorter height twice vehicles that that have kind of crossover

  • style, but are probably more like a wagon.

  • Sport utility vehicles do seem to have certain practical advantages over

  • traditional passenger cars that consumers seem to find irresistible.

  • Most importantly, their taller height gives drivers a better view of the

  • road and often more comfortable upright seating position.

  • Customers also consider them easier to get in and out of fuel.

  • Economy has also improved on SUVs to the point where they are often about

  • as efficient as comparably sized passenger cars.

  • But their image as more rugged, sporty and versatile vehicles has played a

  • significant role in their appeal, say many industry watchers.

  • They have become so popular as family vehicles that they may one day end

  • up with the same reputation wagons themselves earned over the decades.

  • Practical but deeply uncool.

Wagons away

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B2 中高級 美國腔

为什么旅行车在欧洲比美国更受欢迎(Why Station Wagons Are More Popular In Europe Than America)

  • 9 2
    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 04 月 25 日
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