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Posts Tagged ‘auto sales’

Americans Love Car Dealers. Or They Don’t. Surveys Give Conflicting Answers

But consumers clearly want change in the buying process.

by on Mar.31, 2015

Dealers could be facing a retail revolution.

Americans love their car dealers. Or they want them to go away. Or perhaps just change a little bit. Apparently, you can find a new study to reflect your old sensibilities. But most do want to change the buying process, if nothing else, to make it quicker and easier.

One study, concludes that Americans want dealers to stick around. They’re largely doing their initial research online but still want a test drive and the chance to haggle over pricing. A second study, released earlier in the month, is less upbeat about the current retail system, suggesting that a growing number of buyers would be happy to buy online, or over the phone, and just have their vehicles delivered to home or office – maybe by drone.

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The more upbeat study, conducted by website AutoTrader.com, found that 84% of respondents still want to purchase their vehicle in person. Intriguingly, even Millennials were adamant about coming in to kick the tires – as were women, in general

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Automakers Poised to Enjoy Big Year in 2015

Sluggish start being offset by confident consumers.

by on Mar.31, 2015

The Ford F-150 assembly should continue humming along in 2015, according to analysts.

With the big New York Auto Show set to open this week, carmakers have every reason to be optimistic about their prospects for the month ahead based on preliminary data.

The economy remains on track to grow 3% this year, up from 2.4% in 2014, according to a new analysis by IHS Global Insight. At the same time, Consumer Sentiments as measured by the University of Michigan monthly survey of consumers.

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Motor vehicle sales are expected to have picked back up to a 17-million annualized pace in March as the weather improved, IHS noted. (more…)

Collapse of Oil Prices Rocks Auto Industry

Volatility causes some markets to shrink.

by on Mar.20, 2015

Audi's new plant in Mexico may be the last of its kind for some time, according to IHS Analyst Henner Lehne.

Unforeseen events such as the sudden collapse of oil prices and the conflict in the Ukraine have combined to re-shape the outlook for the automobile industry, according to Henner Lehne, senior director of global light vehicle forecasting, IHS.

The oil price collapse, which has garnered renewed attention this week as the price of crude oil dropped again, has begun to create clear winners and losers. The list of winners includes the United States, China, Japan and other oil importing nations, while the losers have been net exporters, such as Russia, Venezuela, Norway and sub-Saharan Africa.

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Within the European Union, the falling price of oil has been more or less neutral because the decline in oil prices has been offset by the decline in the value of the euro and higher taxes used to replenish losses by governments in euro-zone. The recent shifts also mean that that the carmakers now have to depend on mature markets in North American and Western Europe. (more…)

Hyundai Greenlighting Santa Cruz Concept for New Truck

Korean maker moving cautiously into midsize segment.

by on Mar.19, 2015

Hyundai said show-goers gave a thumbs up to the Santa Cruz concept, which will be the basis of a midsize truck.

Hyundai has long struggled to find a way to get into the pickup truck segment without much success. The Korean automaker, and its sibling, Kia Motors, is actively trying to develop a midsize truck with a design that differentiates it from the competition, and drives buyers to showrooms.

The Korean siblings are moving slowly. Any truck they introduce will undergo substantive scrutiny due to the highly competitive nature of the segment. The midsize arena has only grown tougher in the last year as General Motors introduced its new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon and Toyota is set to launch its redesigned Tacoma.

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The midsize segment is filled with also-rans, such as the Honda Ridgeline, that missed the mark initially and haven’t regained their footing. For that reason, Hyundai, and Kia, are exercising caution, but the Santa Cruz garnered a strong response so it is being considered as the basis for a pickup truck, an executive told reporters. (more…)

Automakers Enjoy Strong February Sales Despite Cold Weather

Truck, SUVs continue to report strong results.

by on Mar.03, 2015

Nissan's Sentra saw sales increase 24% in February. Most early reporting automakers saw sales increases in last month.

Good news for automakers in February: U.S. consumers still wanted to buy new cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles despite the frigid weather conditions that prevailed across much of the country. Most automakers reporting sales early today managed to post modest sales increases for the month of February.

General Motors, FCA US, Toyota, Nissan and Infiniti all reported sales increases while Ford announced modest 2% drop in sales and the Volkswagen brand saw its sales drop by 5%

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Reid Bigland, head of U.S. Sales for FCA, said Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in February as FCA sales increased 6% compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 21% increase was the largest sales gain of any FCA US brand during the month and its best February sales ever. The group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 59 consecutive months. (more…)

Car Sales Down, Auto Jobs Shift to Trucks

Ford adds jobs at Edge plant, GM trims back on car line.

by on Feb.26, 2015

Low gas prices are helping to drive sales of full-size pickups like the Ford F-150, which is forcing makers to add jobs.

The sharp slump in fuel prices has generally been good news for auto buyers and automakers alike. A growing number of buyers have been shifting from high-mileage cars to bigger pickups and utility vehicles in recent months.

For manufacturers, that has swelled the bottom line since those vehicles tend to deliver some of the industry’s largest profits. But not everyone is celebrating. While companies, like Ford and GM, have been responding by increasing production of their best-sellers, they’re also trimming back at under-utilized car plants.

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And that trend could continue going forward. Industry analysts anticipate that utility vehicles will outsell sedans for the first time ever in 2015, while pickups will report their best year since the economic slump began. (more…)

Study Forecasts Three More Years of Auto Sales Growth

But several factors could lead to a modest slide as the decade ends.

by on Feb.20, 2015

Honda hopes to ride booming demand for small crossovers with the launch of its new HR-V.

After one of the worst downturns in U.S. automotive history, the industry could be in the midst of one of the more long-lasting recoveries, according to a new study predicting sales will continue to grow through 2017.

Americans bought 16.4 million vehicles last year, a nearly 6% year-over-year increase, and well ahead of the predictions most analysts and planners made at the beginning of 2014. AutoPacific Inc. is forecasting demand will rise to 17.0 million this year, and hit a 17.24 million peak in three years before gradually settling back.

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“U.S. sales recovery has been steady since hitting the bottom of the decline in 2009,” says Ed Kim, the consulting firm’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. The upward surge will continue, albeit at a slower pace, he predicts, “fueled by continued increases in truck and SUV sales.”

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Ford, GM Making Inroads with Buyers in California

Asian brands introduce new vehicles to defend turf.

by on Feb.04, 2015

Ford is enjoying a more than 130% increase in Ford Mustang sales in California in January.

Ford and General Motors want and need to grow sales in California: territory long dominated by their Japanese rivals. Recent sales of each maker’s more popular models suggest they may have found the secret to success in the Golden State.

Erich Merkle, Ford’s North American sales analyst, noted that sales of the Mustang nationally more than doubled last month to 8,694 vehicles: a 124% increase that marks Mustang’s best January sales since 2007.

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While the national results were impressive, Mustang sales grew by 131% in California and by 146% in the Southern California region around Los Angeles where many trends in automotive fashion begin and take root. More often than not, the seeds planted don’t involve domestic automakers. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Fends Off Lexus for January Luxe Sales Lead

BMW falls to third place in monthly tally.

by on Feb.03, 2015

Mercedes-Benz grabbed the early lead in luxury car sales in the U.S., but close behind is Lexus.

Lexus has moved within striking distance of taking over the lead in luxury sales from its German rivals after a 31% sales increase in January.

With January sales totals in the books, Lexus is trailing Mercedes-Benz by fewer than 1,500 units, setting up what promises to be a contest for luxury leadership that is likely to stretch out over the next 11 months.

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Carmakers like to claim the leadership crown doesn’t matter. But it does. (more…)

January Car Sales Jump Despite Winter Storms

Makers seeing double-digit increases last month.

by on Feb.03, 2015

GM posted a double-digit sales increase for January as its midsize pickups continue to be hot sellers.

Despite some harsh the harsh winter weather across a substantial portions of the U.S., new vehicle sales got off to a fast start in 2015 with Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Nissan all reported double-digit sales increase sales during January as sales of trucks and utility vehicles continued to gain momentum.

GM reported its best January sales in seven years. Total sales were up 18% compared to a year ago. Retail sales were up 14% and fleet deliveries were up 32%.

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“Consumers feel very good because more people are working, the U.S. economy is expanding and fuel prices are low,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. (more…)