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Americans Borrowing More Than Ever to Buy Cars

Experian notes creditworthiness of buyers improved in Q4 2017.

by on Mar.02, 2018

During Q4 2017, Americans borrowed more money for longer periods of time than ever for new and used vehicles.

Auto sales continue to drop, yet Americans are borrowing more money than ever to buy new and used vehicles, according Experian’s analysis of fourth quarter of 2017.

Experian shows that auto loans are at record highs for new vehicles, $31,099, and used vehicles, $19,589. Additionally, the amount of money loaned to purchase vehicles is up for the quarter to $1.12 billion. In Q3, that figure was $1.07 billion.

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“I think we’re certainly at a point where affordability is a question,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive finance solutions. “When you look at how much income you need to support that payment, it certainly is higher than your average individual income.” (more…)

New Car Buyers Less Happy with Vehicles in 2014

New Car Buyers Less Happy with Vehicles in 2014

by on Aug.26, 2014

If you bought a Mercedes this year, odds are you're happier about that than other new car buyers.

For the second year in a row, Americans are less satisfied with their new cars and trucks. Customer Satisfaction with new vehicles dropped 1.2% last year as 16 of 21 nameplates saw declines.

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the makers averaged 82 points out of 100 with Mercedes-Benz getting the highest rating of 86 points. The drop is somewhat ironic given the harried pace of sales for much of the last two years.

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“There is a lot going on in the area of big incentives,” said Forrest Morgeson, director of research, told the Wall Street Journal. “Many of the car companies are getting rid of those deals to improve profitability. That is weighing on the customer satisfaction.” (more…)

Auto Stocks Slammed by Mideast, Japanese Crises; Will Consumers Feel the Heat, too?

Rising pump prices could be followed by shortages, price premiums on some Japanese vehicles.

by on Mar.14, 2011

Over 1,300 Infiniti vehicles were destroyed at one Japanese port. The G25 is shown here, though it's not clear which models were ruined.

Automotive stocks are being battered by twin crises at opposite ends of the world.  Just how long things will continue to worsen – and how bad they will get – is almost impossible to predict, industry analysts are warning.

But investors aren’t the only ones who could soon feel the impact.  The Libyan crisis has already taxed on what some call a “crisis tax” to what U.S. motorists are paying at the pump.  The Japanese earthquake and tsunami will almost certainly have at least some impact on the availability of products from makers like Toyota, Nissan and Honda.  And that could translate into not only waiting lines but higher prices, observers warn.

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It was not a good day for Wall Street, overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipping below 12,000 points for the first time in nearly two months.  But automotive stocks were particularly hard hit by concerns about oil prices, the Japanese disaster – and the threat of a weakened economy.  General Motors, which last week saw shares dip below its $33 IPO price, slipped another 34 cents, to $31.59, at the closing bell.