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New Car Sales Slide in August

Decline comes as makers are spending big on incentives.

by on Aug.26, 2016

Analysts are expecting August new vehicle sales to dip despite the highest incentives on new cars in a year.

Sales of new vehicles have hit a speed bump during August, even as incentive spending increased, according to a new estimate by analysts.

A monthly sales forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive indicates that new-vehicle retail sales in August are expected to drop 6.5% from a year ago, and total new-vehicle sales are expected to slip 5.2%.

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The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of sales or SAAR is also expected to drop to 16.8 million units in August, according to the J.D.Power and LMC Automotive model, which leans heavily on sales data collected from new car dealers around the country. (more…)

Auto Sales Slip a Bit, but Beat Expectations

Prices continue to push upwards.

by on Sep.01, 2015

Keep on trucking. Vehicles like the new Renegade helped Jeep score some of the industry's biggest gains in August.

Despite Wall Street’s shake-up, China’s sliding economy – and a fluke of the calendar – the U.S. auto industry did a bit better than anticipated in August, with far less of a downturn than some had predicted and a number of manufacturers managing to eke out strong gains.

While some brands, such as Toyota, saw sharp declines, others pushed into record sales numbers. And carnakers continued to see average transaction prices rise again last month, prices running at or near record levels for most of them, according to industry analysts.

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“In spite of a tough 2014 comparison and extreme stock market volatility, our dealer’s competitive spirit kicked in and propelled us to our 65th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Our Jeep brand turned in a double-digit increase while eight individual models, including four Jeep brand vehicles, set sales records.”


Automakers Defy Expectations with August Sales

Chrysler, Nissan, Ford, Toyota all post gains.

by on Sep.03, 2014

Nissan Rogue sales were up 24% in August, helping the company to an 11.5% increase overall.

Easy credit, rising consumer confidence and strong demand for utility vehicles and trucks pushed new vehicle sales upward towards a seasonally adjusted average rate of 17 million units in August, helping the auto industry maintain the momentum it had built up throughout the summer.

Chrysler, Ford, Audi, Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota all posted sales gains during August while General Motors and Volkswagen reported their sales dropped last month despite the strong consumer demand for new cars and trucks.

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The strong results defied analyst expectations of a small overall increase of just .1%. In fact, multiple automakers reported they expected industry-wide August sales to rise 3% overall. The early reports support their assertions. (more…)

Car Sales Still Hot, Even as Summer Cools Down

Month likely to bring best sales - and highest prices - for 2014.

by on Aug.22, 2014

New products - such as the redesigned Toyota Corolla - are helping push car sales higher.

Robust sales of new vehicles during the early summer months have continued in  August, with demand for new cars, trucks and crossovers on pace to surpass May for the  highest levels in 2014, according to a monthly sales forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

That echoes the findings of another new study showing that U.S. motorists have run up record levels of automotive loan debt this year.  John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power, notes that continued high levels of consumer expenditures on new vehicles demonstrate continued improvement of the health of the industry.

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“We expect consumer spending on new vehicles in August to approach $39 billion, the highest level on record for the month of August and second-highest month ever behind July 2005 when it was $39.7 billion,” said Humphrey. “The record consumer spending is fueled by both high sales volumes and high transaction prices.”


US Car Market Boom Likely to Continue, Forecasts Senior Toyota Exec

But sales may not set new record, cautions Carter.

by on Sep.05, 2013

Toyota's Camry outpaced the already strong surge of the US car market last month.

August’s strong automotive sales surge seems to have taken everyone by surprise, including top managers at Toyota — demand for the Japanese maker’s Toyota, Lexus and Scion branded products jumping nearly 23% last month as the U.S. market reached its highest level in at least six years.

A variety of factors seem to be drawing buyers back to showrooms, suggested Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, USA. But one stands out, “Consumer confidence,” he said succinctly. “People are feeling good,” and are increasingly willing to open up their pocketbooks again.

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Industry analysts and observers have been steadily raising their forecasts for 2013 and beyond, and Toyota is no exception. After the worst industry downturn in decades, demand is likely to top 15.5 million this year, and could nudge into 16 million territory in 2014. But how high is up? Speaking to the Detroit Automotive Press Association, Carter noted some forecasters anticipate near-record numbers of 17 million by as early as 2018.


Hot August Sales Drive Record New Car Pricing

Industry sales tracking to be best in six years.

by on Sep.04, 2013

Pickups contributed significantly to a red-hot August sales result.

U.S. new car sales appear to have reached a six-year high as buyers raced back to showrooms in hot August – but the news wasn’t all good from a consumer standpoint. While car sales are adding momentum to an economy still looking for traction, buyers may have wound up paying record prices for new vehicles last month, according to a preliminary analysis.

Sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers appear to have run at a 16 million annualized pace, according to industry analysts, with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan among the many brands to show double-digit gains. Hyundai, set another sales record despite the impact of capacity problems worsened by a labor dispute in South Korea. Volkswagen was one of the rare losers, sales slipping 1.8% for the month.

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“August capped a great summer for new vehicle sales,” says Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, who suggested that, “The auto industry continues to be a bright spot in the economic recovery.” (more…)

Sales Up – Incentives Down

Pent-up demand, not givebacks, draw shoppers to showrooms.

by on Sep.04, 2012

Hyundai's updated Genesis coupe helped the maker drop incentives and demand higher prices in August.

While a number of key automakers have yet to report their final numbers for August, there’s little doubt it was a strong month for the industry, likely bringing an overall sales increase of around 16%, year-over-year – a sharp contrast to the stuttering numbers from other sectors of the economy.

The August numbers are all the more impressive when considered in light of the fact that incentive spending continued to drop during the month – while transaction prices were up sharply compared to August 2011.

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“There’s still pent-up demand,” driving buyers back into showrooms, suggested Frank Trivieri, vice president of sales for Volkswagen of America, which reported a striking 62.5% year-over-year sales increase.


August Car Sales Defy Doom-and-Gloom Fears

Most Makers Report Sharp Upturn in August Sales

by on Sep.01, 2011

Honda Civic sales continue to slide; the maker hopes to re-launch the new compact in the coming months.

This is an update of our earlier report with additional sales results from Ford, Toyota, Honda and other makers.

August auto sales exceeded even the more optimistic forecasts – countering concerns the auto industry would be hammered by fears of a double-dip recession and a hurricane that shut down much of the East Coast during the final weekend of the month.

Still, not everyone could cheer about the August numbers.  Detroit’s automakers reported strong demand, especially for their more fuel-efficient models – as did Japan’s second-largest manufacturer, Nissan.  But things didn’t work out nearly as well for Toyota and Honda, both of those makers still feeling the pinch of product shortages nearly half a year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami crippled the Japanese auto industry.

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“We’re carrying good momentum and we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll see U.S. economic growth improve in the months ahead,” said Don Johnson, General Motors’ North American sales chief.  During a media background briefing, Johnson suggested that, “Consumer are being cautious, yes, and appropriately so, but they are not retrenching.”


August Auto Sales Defying Gloom-and-Doom Forecasts

Japanese makers still struggling through product shortages.

by on Aug.31, 2011

GM products like the Chevy Cruze continued to post sales gains in August.

Despite the roller-coaster ride on Wall Street, sales of new vehicles remained steady during August with Detroit makers collectively experiencing an increase in demand, according to new estimates of current sales trends.

If there was any drag on the U.S. new car market for August it was the result of the ongoing product shortage faced by some of the key Japanese makers due to the March 11 Japanese tsunami and earthquake.

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Both Edmunds and, two Internet sites that collect and analyze car and trucks sales data, indicated August sales will be up 8% over year-earlier totals — and also up slightly from July — despite the turmoil in the stock market.  That echoes other recent reports that suggest that despite concerns about a possible double-dip recession consumers have been slowly loosening their pocketbook strings.

The sales projections, however, were made before Hurricane Irene hammered the East Coast on what is usually a busy weekend for sales, so the final numbers that are due out later this week could be weaker than initial projections.

Detroit’s automakers — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — are all expected to post double-digit, year-over-years sales increases, but only GM and Chrysler will see month-over-month sales increases in August from July.

“Auto sales stayed on a relatively flat road this month, even as the stock market took a roller coaster ride,” said Lacey Plache, Edmunds chief economist.

“Stronger buying conditions are telling consumers to go ahead and make their car purchases, but a weak economic landscape is telling them to wait until later this year, or even longer. This is the battle that will determine exactly how much the auto industry will grow this year,” she said.

Plache said Edmunds also projects Toyota has done little in August to build on its momentum from July, when it gained a modest 1% in sales — with August expected to bring a decrease of 0.2 percentage points in market share over the same period. Toyota’s August sales are expected to be down 14.4% compared with last year.

Even with lingering inventory issues still to sort out, Honda will likely show some month-over-month sales gains this month. projects that Honda’s August sales will grow 5.4% over July, with a market share gain of 0.2 percentage points. Compared to last year, however, August sales are still expected to be off about 25%.

“We fully expect August will be the worst month of the year in terms of the inventory situation” caused by the March disaster, said Mike Accavitti, Honda of America’s new marketing chief.  “The good news is that our plants are back up in full production and product is now on its way to dealers,” which could bode for a better performance in September. forecasts that Ford will be the only major automaker this month to report a decline in sales from July to August. Ford’s sales are expected to be down 0.5% from July, leading to a market share loss of 0.5 points.

“The auto industry is a mixed bag this year, due to economic uncertainty; sales have improved compared to last year, but nowhere near the potential we had expected,” said Jesse Toprak, VP of Industry Trends and Insights for

“The strongest correlation to new car sales is the Dow Jones Industrial Average and it was shaky and nervous in August,” Toprak said.

For August 2011, new light vehicle sales in the United States are expected to be 1.077 million units, up 8% from August 2010 and 2% from July 2011.

The August 2011 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate, or SAAR, of 12.2 million new car sales, flat from 12.2 million in July 2011 and up from 11.5 million in August 2010, according to Edmunds.

Retail sales are up 4.9% compared to August 2010 and fleet and rental sales are expected to make up 20% of total industry sales in August 2011.

The industry average incentive spending per unit will be approximately $2,663 in August 2011, which represents an increase of 3%, Edmunds predicted.

August Car Sales Slipping Slightly From July

Numbers look especially bad compared with Clunker-boosted ’09.

by on Aug.19, 2010

The metal is moving more slowly this month, says J.D. Power.

U.S. car sales appear to be slipping a bit this month, according to preliminary dealer data, though the industry trend line is up from the first half of 2010.

But anticipate some dire reporting when the full month’s numbers hit the headlines, industry analyst caution, because makers will be making year-over-year comparison to August 2009, when the federally-funded Cash for Clunkers program fueled an otherwise dismal U.S. auto market.

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Based on figures for the first half of the month, retail car sales are off “slightly” from July’s strong pace, reports J.D. Power and Associates.  Excluding the fleet market – which has been propping up a number of makers, including some of the domestics – the Seasonally Adjusted Annual sales Rate, or SAAR, will slip to 8.9 million, compared with a retail SAAR of 9.2 million in July 2010, noted the California-based research firm.