Want horsepower, but drive a four-cylinder vehicle? Good news. Now you have it.

Latest Market Trends report highlights advances in four-cylinder engines, as well as trends in VIO, registrations, market share and loyalty.

Schaumburg, Ill., Dec. 15, 2016 — Drivers of four-cylinder vehicles have long been thought of as astute for picking a very economical and fuel-efficient mode of transportation. Experian’s latest Market Trends and Loyalty report shows that those smart and savvy drivers are sitting pretty, because for the first time ever, their vehicles have outpaced any other light-duty vehicle type on the road.

Additionally, current four-cylinder-engine technology has made these vehicles increasingly powerful. On average, model year 2016 four-cylinder engines are just as powerful as eight-cylinder engines from 20 years ago.

“The option of a small vehicle with good fuel economy has always had a significant appeal to consumers. The advances we’ve seen in horsepower and fuel efficiency among these vehicles are very encouraging,” said Brad Smith, Experian’s director of automotive data and analytics. “Perhaps we’ll see similar improvement in the hybrid/electric vehicle segment over the next 20 years. Keeping an eye on these types of key trends in the automotive sector will assist auto manufacturers in determining their go-forward strategies, enabling them to stay competitive and help them grow their bottom line.”

A look at the top five vehicles at both the vehicles in operation (VIO) and registration levels shows that all but one have four-cylinder engines.

Top Segments   
Total VIO Q3 registrations
Full-size pickup Entry-level CUV
Standard midrange car Full-size pickup 
Small economy car Small economy car 
Lower midrange car Standard midrange car
Entry-level CUV Lower midrange car

Growth in registrations and VIO

Total new vehicle registrations for January through September 2016 reached 13.1 million. While there has been continued growth since the Great Recession, the pace has been slowing. In 2012, the growth rate year over year reached a peak of 13.7 percent, but since then it has slowed to only 4.2 percent in 2015 and 0.6 percent in 2016.

The report also shows that consumer retail registrations actually declined by 1 percent year over year. Interestingly, this softening of the retail market is being offset by increases in fleet registrations, specifically in the government, commercial and rental categories. Each of those segments grew in registrations by 20 percent, 7.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Along with the growth in registrations, the number of light-duty VIO also continued to increase — with total U.S. VIO reaching 265.3 million as of September 2016.

Market share and loyalty

The top five winners for market share in Q3 2016:
•  Manufacturer: GM (16.4 percent), Toyota (15.8 percent), Ford (12 percent), FCA LLC (11.9 percent) and Honda (11.6 percent).
•  Make: Toyota (13.1 percent), Ford (11.3 percent), Chevrolet (11 percent), Honda (10.5 percent) and Nissan (7.6 percent).
•  Model: Ford F-150 (2.8 percent), Honda Civic (2.7 percent), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2.6 percent), Honda CR-V (2.5 percent) and Toyota RAV4 (2.5 percent). 

There also were some big market share growth winners in Q3. At the manufacturer level, Tesla, Volvo and Tata enjoyed major gains of 63.1 percent, 39.9 percent and 21.5 percent, respectively. At the make level, Audi, Jeep and Honda experienced market share growth of 6.2 percent, 5.4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. For models, there also was some significant growth. The Nissan Rogue gained 20.9 percent market share, followed by the Nissan Sentra and the Toyota RAV4, with an increase of 14.5 percent and 14 percent, respectively. 

The top five leaders in vehicle loyalty for Q3 2016:
•  Manufacturer: GM (74.4 percent), Ford (73.2 percent), Subaru (71.3 percent) FCA LLC (70.6 percent) and Toyota (69.9 percent).
•  Make: Ford (71.9 percent), Subaru (71.3 percent), Chevrolet (68.3 percent), Lincoln (66.3 percent) and Mercedes-Benz (66.1 percent).
•  Model: Ford F-150 (2.8 percent), Honda Civic (2.7 percent), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (2.6 percent), Honda CR-V (2.5 percent) and Toyota RAV4 (2.5 percent).

Complete findings from the Q3 2016 analysis are being presented in a webinar that is available now online at http://www.experian.com/automotive.

About Experian Automotive
Experian Automotive provides information services and market intelligence that enables results-driven professionals to gain the fullest possible understanding of the market, the vehicles and the people who buy them. Its North American Vehicle DatabaseSM houses data on nearly 700 million vehicles and, when combined with Experian’s credit, consumer and business information, provides an integrated perspective into the automotive marketplace. Experian Automotive’s AutoCheck® vehicle history reports provide dealers and consumers with in-depth information, allowing them to confidently understand, compare and select the right vehicles. For more information on Experian Automotive and its suite of services, visit our website at http://www.experian.com/automotive.

About Experian
Experian® is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 17,000 people operating across 37 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the company.