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Spring Selling Season Turns Out To Be A Non-Event

Off-Shore owned brands at 54% gain market share yet again.

by on May.04, 2009


The anticipated spring vehicle sales boost fails to materialize.

If wishes were auto sales, than dealers would be riding high, but once again predictions of a resurgence of sales as the spring selling season began in April were made a mockery of as the final data became available.

Overall April sales, including domestic and offshore-owned brands, unadjusted for business days, were down 34.4% from April 2008, according to numbers from Autodata Corporation. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) now stands at 9.5 million, where it has been stuck all year. 

Offshore-owned brands sold 442,124 vehicles in April, down from 656,034 in April 2008. Asian brands accounted for 45.5% of the market, up from 44.7%i n April 2008, and Europeans had an 8.5% share, up from 7.5%. Domestic brands finished the month with 46% of the market. 

“We haven’t seen the numbers we hoped for this spring,” said American International Automobile Dealers Association Chairman, Russ Darrow. “It is becoming increasingly clear that point-of-sale stimulation is necessary to jumpstart a recovery. Specifically, we need Congress to pass a scrappage/fleet modernization bill. Any bill must be immediate, simple, and inclusive of all brands retailed in the United States.”   (more…)

Dealers Buzzing on Chrysler Bankruptcy

Offshore brand organization is shaken by the President's patriotic sales pitch.

by on Apr.30, 2009

Cody Lusk, AIADA

Not so fast Mr. President, said Lusk.

President Barack Obama rattled the windows around the car business with a “buy American” plea as he rolled out the administration’s plans for rebuilding Chrysler with help from Fiat.

The American International Automobile Dealers Association responded almost immediately to a speech in which President Barack Obama asked Americans to “buy American” vehicles as part of our economic recovery.

“AIADA objects to President Obama’s ‘buy American’ solution for the auto sector,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “In today’s globalized economy ‘buying American’ can mean anything from buying a Chevy Avalanche built by Mexican workers in Silao, Mexico to buying a Toyota Camry built by Americans in Georgetown, Kentucky.”

“The real issue is that every car purchased in America today is a shot in the arm for our economy, a boost for car dealers, who are the cornerstones of communities all across this country, and a win for American consumers who have the opportunity to choose the vehicles that best meet their driving needs. President Obama must recognize that protectionist policies and statements like “buy American” have no place in America’s economic recovery,” said Lusk.

Critics would maintain that the real issue is the closed markets to American exports of all kinds by the governments of offshore-based automakers, including, Korea, Japan, and China, among others. This is destroying American jobs. So is the refusal of  European and Asian governments to increase deficit spending to stimulate their home markets now that the American market has collapsed, and can no longer be a dumping grounds for their exports. The U.S. Treasury Department has been highly critical of such practices recently, and a trade war is already underway. (more…)

Quick Stats: International Auto Sales in February

Overall vehicles sales continue to fall, hitting a 27-year low. International brands take 57% of the U.S. auto market.

by on Mar.04, 2009

U.S. Auto Sales Chart, February 2009

U.S. Auto Sales Chart, February 2009

February 2009 sales figures for the international automobile industry released today show that sales during February 2009 were down 41% from February 2008, according to the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA).

Numbers from Autodata Corp., show brands controlled by off-shore makers sold 383,707 vehicles in February, down from 574,150 in February 2008. Asian brands accounted for 47.3% of the market, up from 41.8% in February 2008. Europeans had an 8.4% share, up from 7%. Domestic brands finished the month with 44.3% of the market. Kia, Smart, and Subaru, all saw small increases over February 2008. The numbers were unadjusted for business days.

February had the lowest annualized auto sales rate — at 9.1 million vehicles — since December 1981. Adjusted for population growth, it would be the lowest rate since the 1960s. AIADA attributes the weak sales in part to consumer confidence, which is at its lowest point since the factor was first measured by the Conference Board in 1967.

AIADA represents over 11,000 international franchises, which so far this year account for 57% of all vehicles sold in the United States.
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