Model Years vs. Manufactured Date vs. Mk#

chaos386

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I think most people in the Automotive News section have noticed America's unique dating system for cars, where a vehicle built and sold in, say, 2003 is labeled as a 2004 model. This has lead to many Americans referring to such a car as a "MY2004 Civic" (model year 2004) or what have you, everyone else being quite confused, and the derailment of the new Golf GTI thread. :p

How does your country keep track of the age of a vehicle and its design? Discuss away!
 

TC

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I'll copy my post from the GTI thread here:

I like going by (manufacturer) years. Not everyone is an expert on cars. You tell someone you have a 4th generation Toyota Corolla and most people will have no idea what decade it came from, let alone what made it different or better from the previous or following generations. Also, lots of changes are made to cars within a generation. Like the 4th generation Pontiac GTO (Holden Monaro). If you have a 2004 model, it's a 5.7L V8, but if it's a 2005 model, it's the 6.0L V8, while still being the same generation.
 

captain_70s

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I drive a 2008, 2nd gen Yaris. Simples. :p

Everyone I know refers to the age of their car either the year of it's registration or as "the new", "last gen" or "old". :lol:
 

The Spie

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I've benefitted from the MY stuff twice, in two very different ways.

1) I bought a Dodge Shadow through the US Military Purchase Program in September 1990, under the assumption that I'd be home from Germany in a few months (the Gulf War put a stop to that). This was just before the 1991 models were introduced. When I got stuck in Germany, Mopar offered to replace my 1990 model with a 1991 through a call to my parents, who were going to pick it up for me back in the States. Something in my head told me to say no, which I did (and my parents bitched about it). I wasn't a gearhead or pistonhead at the time (not even close), but there was something instinctual kicking in there. Turns out that Mopar ruined the Shadow (and even ruined the pre-ruined twin Plymouth Sundance) for the 1991 MY, slapping it with that imbecilic "America" tag and generally turning it into the piece of shit that's stained its rep since. My 1990 proudly sailed along until it was side-swiped by a truck in 1998 (of course, I rust-proofed it).

2) The piece of complete utter fail that was my 1995 Ford Windstar finally gave up the ghost in November 2007. That got traded in for my current vehicle, which, of course, is an MY2008. Since Honda put in some improved mechanicals and additional toys into the MY2008 compared to the 2007 Fits, I made out well. And, of course, in 2009 came the Mark II Fit, the likes of which has caused me shame that m'Fit is associated with it.

I'm used to the American system. I like the American system. I just think it can get a little ridiculous when you start introducing the next year's vehicles prior to, say, September. That's what we had in the old days: new TV season, new football season, and new car season were all simultaneous.
 

narf

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Also, lots of changes are made to cars within a generation. Like the 4th generation Pontiac GTO (Holden Monaro). If you have a 2004 model, it's a 5.7L V8, but if it's a 2005 model, it's the 6.0L V8, while still being the same generation.
We get engine changes within a generation as well, but since you can buy most cars with five or more engine choices at any given time nobody really minds the added complications of an update :dunno:
For instance, over the life of the Golf VI there were twelve different petrols and eight different diesels. Only 3+2 were available the entire time though. Changes happened in March, May, June, September, October and November, so any model year stuff would not help. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_VI#Technische_Daten (toggle those two grey boxes)
 

TC

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We get engine changes within a generation as well, but since you can buy most cars with five or more engine choices at any given time nobody really minds the added complications of an update :dunno:
For instance, over the life of the Golf VI there were twelve different petrols and eight different diesels. Only 3+2 were available the entire time though. Changes happened in March, May, June, September, October and November, so any model year stuff would not help. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_VI#Technische_Daten (toggle those two grey boxes)
So what's the point then? Model year narrows it down much better than generation number. If you don't know anything about the car in question, than it doesn't matter either way, but at least knowing the year will give you some idea of how old the car really is.
 

narf

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So what's the point then? Model year narrows it down much better than generation number. If you don't know anything about the car in question, than it doesn't matter either way, but at least knowing the year will give you some idea of how old the car really is.
For age we use the first date of registration. It's also used as a reference point for our T?V/MOT examinations, those are due three years later in the month you registered it and every two years after that. If you buy a used car you usually inherit that month from the previous owner, unless it was off the road for a while and you do a full inspection after the buy.
 

Hbriz

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My car was made in 2002, hence it is a 2002 Renault Clio. If it was made in 2001, it would be a 2001 Renault Clio. People here seem to be less enthused by the 'BRAND NEW 2014 MODEL BUY NOW SHINY' thing that seems to go on in the US. If, say, a dealer has 2012 build cars remaining on the forecourt by 2013, they simply sell them as 2012 models for a discount, and this is when most people actually buy new cars, because they can get them for cheaper. Or they register them and sell them as 'dealer demonstrators', even if they may have never seen a test drive in their life.

I don't see the point of changing a model year in advance when there is no change to the car, like what was discussed about the Golf R in the US. We tend to use model codes. Like our Commodore is a VZ model, meaning it is the same one that was made between 2004 and 2006. If we were selling that car, it would be listed as a 2005 Holden Commodore, because that is the year in which it was built. I see it as misleading, particularly when you're buying a used car, to say something like '2008 Honda Civic' when it was in fact made in 2007 and has been subject to five years of wear and tear rather than the four the ad seems to claim.
 

jsausley

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I see it as misleading, particularly when you're buying a used car, to say something like '2008 Honda Civic' when it was in fact made in 2007 and has been subject to five years of wear and tear rather than the four the ad seems to claim.
It's not really misleading because everyone in America knows that this is how the model year system works.

I agree that the designation about build date makes more sense, but it really gives dealers less time to sell their cars. Would a November-December 2012 build date car still be classified as a 2012 while a January build date is a 2013? That seems misleading. People will falsely assume the 2012 is a year older, but it could be less than a month. Stocking the November-December car gives the dealer MUCH less time to sell the car because he runs the risk of it being considered "old" in only a month's time, and then he'll have to discount it to make a sale.
 
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Hbriz

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I agree that the designation about build date makes more sense, but it really gives dealers less time to sell their cars. Would a November-December 2012 build date car still be classified as a 2012 while a January build date is a 2013? That seems misleading. People will falsely assume the 2012 is a year older, but it could be less than a month. Stocking the November-December car gives the dealer MUCH less time to sell the car because he runs the risk of it being considered "old" in only a month's time, and then he'll have to discount it to make a sale.
How is it misleading when it is the truth? 2012 doesn't become 2013 until 1 January 2013, not a couple of months in advance. The 'model year' system is marketing deception, whether it's beneficial to dealers or not. No matter what there's going to be a changeover time for model years, it seems logical that it would take place at the beginning of a new year. By starting to sell 2013 cars in say September, it simply means that rush to sell old stock happens in September rather than December.

If someone's looking at a car made late in the year the dealer would obviously point that out to a potential buyer. You will often see second hand cars advertised as something like 'Nov 2010 build' if they were made later in the year. People here simply don't tend to consider a December 2011 car old if they buy it in January 2012. Consumers are able to buy that car at a discount as dealers want to make way for the new years stock, for which they can charge full price, and for most buyers they're happy to have a car with a previous year's build date if it saves them a few thousand dollars. Therefore nobody is really falsely assuming anything, and that's how consumer empowerment works.
 
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BerserkerCatSplat

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The 'model year' system is marketing deception, whether it's beneficial to dealers or not.
The release window may be a dealer initiative, but the separation between MY and build date is about the realities of manufacturing. The first run of vehicles for the new model year have to be built well in advance to have stock ready for the dealership. Even if the new MY was released on January 1st, those vehicles would have have build dates from the previous year. If you only went by date code, that could cause confusion with model generations and refreshes as well, as buyer would need to know the exact date the changeover happened. The Model Year system keeps that simple and straightforward for your average buyer.
 

narf

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It's not really misleading because everyone in America knows that this is how the model year system works.

I agree that the designation about build date makes more sense, but it really gives dealers less time to sell their cars. Would a November-December 2012 build date car still be classified as a 2012 while a January build date is a 2013? That seems misleading. People will falsely assume the 2012 is a year older, but it could be less than a month. Stocking the November-December car gives the dealer MUCH less time to sell the car because he runs the risk of it being considered "old" in only a month's time, and then he'll have to discount it to make a sale.
The same problem applies to model years, just shifted by however many months. If your switchover is in October, any September-built car would look out of date next to the October-built car. Same problem.

However, taking the years out of the equation for the new car sales you lose that problem. Sure, a Golf VI is going to look old next to a Golf VII, but you will never see those next to each other at a proper VW dealer. Old stock will still be sold, but mostly as one-day-registered cars with discount. Everyone knows it's the previous generation, no need to do numbering BS.

The release window may be a dealer initiative, but the separation between MY and build date is about the realities of manufacturing. The first run of vehicles for the new model year have to be built well in advance to have stock ready for the dealership. Even if the new MY was released on January 1st, those vehicles would have have build dates from the previous year. If you only went by date code, that could cause confusion with model generations and refreshes as well, as buyer would need to know the exact date the changeover happened. The Model Year system keeps that simple and straightforward for your average buyer.
Does anyone know when the US market will get the 7th generation Golf? They stopped making Golf VIs, so it can't be long. However, they already labelled Golf VIs a "2013" model year, despite none actually being built in the latter third of 2012. They can't call Golf VIIs "2013" either, since that number is taken.
 
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jsausley

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Does anyone know when the US market will get the 7th generation Golf? They stopped making Golf VIs, so it can't be long. However, they already labelled Golf VIs a "2013" model year, despite none actually being built in the latter third of 2012. They can't call Golf VIIs "2013" either, since that number is taken.
All MKVII Golfs will be 2014 in the U.S. for sure. I think they're supposed to start production toward the end of this year right? So it will be at least Spring 2013, possibly Summer, before the MKVII's arrive in the States.
 

narf

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All MKVII Golfs will be 2014 in the U.S. for sure. I think they're supposed to start production toward the end of this year right? So it will be at least Spring 2013, possibly Summer, before the MKVII's arrive in the States.
Production started a few months ago, likely August. Classic "2013" model year territory.
 

jsausley

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Production started a few months ago, likely August. Classic "2013" model year territory.
It will still take 6-8 months to get them stateside, in which case the American public will wonder why a 2013 is coming onto the lot only a few months before the 2014s will be available. :p

Plus, like you said, you can already buy a 2013 GTI so it will basically have to be a 2014 in order to differentiate.

Here's one that will make you rage: My dad's GT-R, which he bought in January 2012 is a 2013 model. :)
 

narf

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You sure about that? Is the GTI not on the same assembly line as the Golf R? You can still order a Golf R, I know.
When you go to the VW page they tell you you cannot configure it any more, you just have the option of going through already produced stock. http://www.volkswagen.de/de/models/golf_gti.html
I can't find the R on there at all, only Sciroccos - German Wikipedia has it as ending production in 10/2012. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_VI

Are you sure you can order Rs built to your specification and not just off some stockpile?
 
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Anesthesia

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How does your country keep track of the age of a vehicle and its design? Discuss away!
I work at a place selling automotive parts, we use model years. Some cars are a complete nightmare to sell parts for, like Golf Variants(customer asks for a MKV golf part when it can be a MKIV variant), or a Polo/Polo Classic(they never get it right). Most of the time the model year and month will give us the right part for the car.

When it comes to the cars I'm mostly in to I use chassis codes or spesific model names.
 

rickhamilton620

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Re: Model Years vs. Manufactured Date vs. Mk#

All MKVII Golfs will be 2014 in the U.S. for sure. I think they're supposed to start production toward the end of this year right? So it will be at least Spring 2013, possibly Summer, before the MKVII's arrive in the States.
That's what people are saying over at VWVortex forums...that we wont get the next gen golf for quite some time. I tried configuring one earlier today....the color pallete has indeed shrunk considerably and one can't get a Cornsilk Beige interior on any trim, not even TDI, so clearly there's changeover happening.

Staggered releases are super common in the car world: Most Kia and Hyundai vehicles are roaming the streets well in advance of hitting the dealer lots here. At least by a few months.
 
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