Smaller Engines Make Inroads in U.S., According to J.D. Power - Engine Builder Magazine

Smaller Engines Make Inroads in U.S., According to J.D. Power

Small, fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines were the power
plant of choice for 55.8 percent of the new vehicles sold or leased at
retail in the U.S. market during the first half of 2013, according to
research data provided by the Power Information Network (PIN) from J.D. Power. That’s up 1.7 percentage points from the sales mix of 4-cylinder engines in 2012.116093gmsecotec_00000066229

J.D. Power says consumers are demanding better fuel economy from their
vehicles due to higher gas prices at the pump, and also are lured by
better-performing powertrains that still offer oomph through direct
injection and turbocharging.

Eco-friendliness also is a concern. Automakers are adding a larger
percentage of smaller, more fuel-efficient powertrains (PIN defines
small engines as 3-, 4- and 5-cylinder blocks) in compacts, midsize
vehicles and even light trucks to meet the federal government’s upcoming
stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements (54.5 mpg
by 2025).

Recently, J.D. Power compiled some of the changes in powertrain
penetration tracked since 2008. Following are a few of the more
interesting details about the brands or nameplates that offer the most
4-cylinder engines in its lineup and which brand is working on
3-cylinder engine options:

• In 2008, there were five nameplates with more than 90 percent
small-engine penetration in the U.S. market. Today, there are 11.

 
• Five years ago, 10 nameplates did not even have engine options smaller
than 6-cylinders. Today, only three brands in the U.S. market do not
offer small engine choices in their lineups.

 
• Four brands have 100 percent small-engine penetration in the U.S. market: Mini, Smart, Fiat and Scion

 
• Volkswagen, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia have well above 90 percent small-engine penetration.

 
• GM’s Buick did not even offer a 4-cylinder engine in 2008, but now the brand has more than 50 percent in its sales mix.

 
• Among the Premium brands, Audi has the highest 4-cylinder penetration,
followed by BMW, which did not offer a single 4-cylinder engine in
2008.

Changeover to Smaller Engines Rises Dramatically During Past Five Years

During the five-year period between 2008 and 2013, the percentage of
4-cylinder engines has increased by 13.1 percentage points in J.D.
Power’s PIN retail sales mix, while the percentage of 6-cylinder engine
installations has dropped by 7.8 percentage points from 2008. In
addition, sales of vehicles with those larger V8 engines have dropped
4.9 percent since 2008.

In the future, smaller powertrains may take other configurations. Only
one auto brand in the U.S. market – Smart – sells models equipped with
3-cylinder engines, although the number of brands offering these small
engines is about to expand. Ford will soon offer a 1.0L, 3-cylinder
EcoBoost engine in the Fiesta sub-compact car, and The Detroit News
reported recently that General Motors is planning to introduce
3-cylinder engines in cars in the United States during the next few
years as well.

 

You May Also Like

Utilizing Instagram

“When we started, we had no business at all… that’s when I started using Instagram,” Yaghoubian says. “Back then I didn’t know a lot about social media, but it works for business really well, and especially the automotive industry on Instagram.”

The Industry has changed, so should you.

“One picture I posted got 7,600 likes, it reached 112,000 people, I got 982 profile visits from that post, 758 people saved it, and 208 people sent it to other people,” says Aaron Yaghoubian, owner of Arlington Machine in Riverside, CA, talking about an Instagram photo he shared in August of an Evo 8 short block project. “You can’t beat it. Some engine builders are over here crying, but they don’t want to use something that’s free. They have the device in their hand, now download the app and do it.”

Higher Revving Education

We’ve all seen the ads in magazines and online for schools, classes and seminars on tuning an ever-increasing number of engines and even transmissions in today’s cars and trucks. The better ones will include the use of a chassis dyno to show real-time results of the step-by-step methods they teach.

Chassis vs Engine Dyno

We spoke with a couple shops that utilize both dyno types to get their take on the advantages, disadvantages and reasons to have one over the other or both.

Tradeshow Season

While the rest of the world tends to slow down in the fourth quarter, our industry is starting to rev up. That’s because it’s tradeshow season, and the excitement for next year is always palpable!

OE Parts vs. the Aftermarket

Many of your customers believe that OEM parts are better than aftermarket parts. We wanted to dispel some of the myths once and for all. Without getting into the mud about which brands are better. It is important to note that not all parts are created equal, and this includes both aftermarket and OE replacement parts.

Other Posts

Briggs & Stratton Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Briggs & Stratton, the small-engine and lawn-equipment manufacturer, announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Founded in Milwaukee in 1908, the company focused on auto parts, though it became best known for building millions of small gasoline engines. Related Articles – MAHLE Aftermarket Extends Partnership with Motorsports Icon Casey Currie – Taglich Private Equity

Setting Up an Instagram Account

The old saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Well, in the world of social media, that same picture is not just worth 1,000 words, but could also be worth thousands of dollars in new business for your engine shop. By now you’ve likely seen our features on setting up and utilizing Facebook for your business. Next on our ‘to-do list’ is an introduction to Instagram for those of you who haven’t started utilizing this social media platform.

The Potential in Differential

Is growth part of your business strategy? It comes in a lot of different forms, but when it’s adding a new service offering or product for your customers, it can be nerve-racking at the very least. The additional investment in tools, equipment, training or people weighed against the unknown outcome leaves you holding all the risk, unless there is something that’s a perfect fit.

How To Put Your Facebook Page To Work

A couple months ago, we walked you through the setup of a Facebook business page. Hopefully you’ve gone ahead and created that page and took some time over the last couple months to play around with ways to engage with an audience. If not, go back and check out the February issue. It’s worth your while to do so!