America’s Next Top product Year, or: Why brand new-Car product Years Aren’t in Sync with the Calendar

Friday, November 11th, 2016 - autos, Featured, mobile, model years, New Cars

America’s Next Top product Year, or: Why brand new-Car product Years Aren’t in Sync with the Calendar

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You don’t need to travel at the speed of light to witness time travel. In fact, all you need is usually a subscription to Car along with Driver to see the theory at work. How else can you explain the way we always send you a magazine dated at least one month ahead of the month of receipt?

that will’s not just magazines that will appear to bend the space-time continuum. Vehicle product years frequently differ via the official calendar year. Your calendar may display the year 2016, however somehow brand new-car dealerships across the country are already stocked with 2017-product cars along with trucks. What gives?

Blame Franklin D. Roosevelt. Originally, automobile product years tracked calendar years. However, that will practice changed inside mid-1930s, after FDR signed an executive order that will dictated automakers Discharge their brand new vehicles inside fall of the preceding calendar year “as a means of facilitating regularization of employment inside [automotive] industry.” Auto assembly-line workers are typically idled during a brand new-product changeover, along with the president reasoned that will if their idle period were to happen earlier inside fall, autoworkers would certainly be able to maintain employment through the holiday season along with would certainly thus be able to spend more.

Some 80 years later, the tradition of releasing brand new vehicles inside final months of the preceding calendar year remains common. This kind of custom, however, is usually by no means set in stone. Under Environmental Protection Agency rules, manufacturers can introduce a next-product-year vehicle for public sale as early as January 2 of the preceding calendar year—for example, a 2018-product-year vehicle can be sold starting on January 2, 2017. Conversely, manufacturers can introduce along with Discharge a brand new vehicle for sale as late as December 31 of the corresponding calendar year, so a 2018-product-year vehicle could be introduced up to along with including December 31, 2018. Due to This kind of wide latitude, manufacturers often bring out vehicles well before—along with after—the traditional pre-holiday period.

2017 Kia Sorento SXL

Two recent examples are the 2016 Kia Sorento along with the 2016 Mazda CX-9. While both all-brand new vehicles wear the same product-year designation, the two mid-size crossover SUVs were released at very different times. In Kia’s case, the Korean company began selling its brand new 2016 Sorento in January 2015. Kia spokesman James desire explained: “product-year designations may be assigned because of the vehicle’s larger life-cycle plan.” He added that will “marketing, fuel economy, along with homologation reasons” are also at play in This kind of decision, along with regulatory requirements that will may change via product year to product year.

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD

Meanwhile, Mazda chose to Discharge its all-brand new 2016 CX-9 inside middle of the 2016 calendar year—nearly a year along which has a half after its Kia competitor. Mazda spokesman Jacob Brown noted that will several factors went into the company’s decision to label the late-Discharge CX-9 a 2016 product along with not a 2017, including Mazda’s desire to avoid potential consumer confusion that will can come via selling a next-product-year vehicle inside current calendar year.

Like Kia’s desire, though, Brown acknowledged that will marketing also played a role inside CX-9’s product-year designation. “Based on [product year] 2016 numbers, the CX-9 has the best fuel economy of any non-hybrid mid-size three-row [SUV] in its class,” he said. With many brand new or substantially updated competitors coming to market for the 2017 product year, that will’s possible Mazda’s brag-worthy claim may not hold true come 2017.

Denoting a vehicle’s product year is usually its Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN. inside early years after VINs were introduced in 1954, they lacked any standardization. that will wasn’t until 1981 that will the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required all vehicles sold inside United States to adopt today’s 17-character VIN, the tenth digit of which designates the product year. A G indicates the 2016 product year—or the 1986 product year—along with H means 2017.

1952 Kaiser Ad-04

Before the ascension of the VIN, manufacturers relied on their own internal serial numbers for marking specific vehicle information. This kind of convention allowed automakers the freedom to determine a vehicle’s product year at will. Case in point: Faced which has a backlog of unsold cars in 1951, Kaiser simply added a handful of brand new trim pieces along with changed the serial numbers of leftover 1951 types to sell the cars as brand new ’52s. The company did the same thing two years later, renumbering unsold 1953 cars as 1954 types.

Ultimately, the reasons a vehicle’s product year often fails to sync with today’s calendar year are threefold: historical precedent, regulatory rules, along with marketing considerations. Time travel, however, has nothing to do with that will—unless you happened upon a De Lorean inside mid-1950s.

America’s Next Top product Year, or: Why brand new-Car product Years Aren’t in Sync with the Calendar

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