Contributions from Automobile Magazine, ConsumerReports.org, Edmunds.com
Cyclical motion
Cyclical motion
Posted by Tom Mutchler, Consumer Reports

Product cycles -- the time a particular design stays on the market -- play a big role in the competitive automotive market.

Some trends have emerged: Japanese marques redesign vehicles like clockwork every four or five years. On the other hand, some American cars stayed on the market far too long. Consider the last-generation of the Ford Taurus (1996-2006) or the Chevy Cavalier (1995-2004).

But there are signs of hope.

GM, in particular, is showing signs of squelching this trend. They've just unveiled an updated Cadillac CTS, which was first introduced in 2003. The Saturn Vue, introduced the same year, thankfully gets a big redesign for 2008. The current Chevrolet Malibu will have an even shorter lifespan (2004 to 2007). Product is everything in this business, and fresh product is even better.

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.