Make Sure To Compare Apples to Apples When Discussing Sales

Sales figures always appear to be written in black and white, either sales are good or bad. But when it comes to comparing two completely different markets, and trying to find a correlation between both sales figures, that’s where they become very misleading. Whether it’s in the business world or the journalists who report it, sales figures must be reviewed carefully, or the one who comes up with inaccurate findings looks like a fool. It’s important to take into consideration the markets in which your company or the company you’re writing about or reviewing, is in line with other companies or your business report will be flawed.

In the auto industry, journalists like to stir the pot a bit by posting misleading headlines that turn heads, but with further review, make the writer behind them look silly. This past February the Mitsubishi Mirage outsold the Volkswagen GTI. It seems to be a surprise considering the popularity of the GTI’s within the car enthusiast community, but base price for both cars proves to be the reason for the Mirage’s ‘improbable’ outselling of the popular hatchback.

The Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $13,000, while the Volkswagen GTI starts at $25,000. The $12,000 difference is one reason for more sales for Mitsubishi, but both these cars aren’t even in the same class. Also by doing some research of my own, the Mirage didn’t run away with overall sales as the GTI was only 84 cars behind. In one article, the writer posted a graph of which vehicles the little economical car outsold, but every other car on the list was either $12,000 – $40,000 more than the Mirage, making the sales figures not that outstanding. If a Lexus GS, with a starting price of $48,000, almost outsold a $13,000 car, that’s not good news for Mitsubishi.

Sales figures can be misleading if there isn’t further research. Also when it comes to business, you can’t compare apples to oranges, and that’s what a Mirage is to a GTI, they’re not the same or even in the same market. Because Volkswagen considered the GTI to be a different model than the Golf, sales figures are somewhat distorted since as the Golf, which is closer in price to the Mirage, sold 2,000 more cars than the Mirage.

Always do research and make sure both businesses and products are in the same market. What appeared to be a disappointing month for the GTI, was in fact on par with the previous 6 months of sales.

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