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Posts Tagged ‘auto sales’

New Vehicle Sales Booming in May, Tracking for 17 Mil

Sluggish April being offset by this month’s results.

by on May.22, 2015

Sales in May are outperforming expectations, led in some measure by strong SUV and truck sales.

The economic “showers” that slowed new car sales in April are resulting blooming results in May as new vehicle sales are exceeding expectations thus far this month despite the slow tempo of economic growth in the U.S.

“The industry continues to outperform prior-year levels with respect to retail sales and transaction prices,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.

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Total light-vehicle sales in May 2015 are projected to reach 1,591,100, a 3% increase on a selling-day-adjusted basis compared with May 2014. Fleet volume is expected to hit 290,500 units, accounting for 18.3% of total sales, up from 17.6% a year ago. (more…)

Auto Sales in Russia Suffer in April

Government offering incentives to entice buyers.

by on May.15, 2015

Sales have been slow at showrooms, like Moscow's Major mega-dealer, with little prospect for a quick turnaround.

On the heels of General Motors’ decision to pull up stakes in Russia, the country’s auto sales continued its dramatic descent in April dropping 41.5% despite the country subsidizing its auto loans.

According to the Association of European Businesses, the country sold 132,456 cars and commercial vehicles last month. The only upside for the country is that the top 10 sellers were all Russian carmakers.

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The result was a small improvement over the 42.5% loss in March. Year-to-date sales are 516,135 units: down 37.7%. (more…)

Senate Providing Protection for Whistleblowers

Bills could pay informants more than $10 million for information.

by on Apr.29, 2015

President Barack Obama looking to expand funding the investigations arm of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The more than doubling of the previous record for automotive recalls last year – 60 million-plus vehicles – was the result of someone taking a stand and now legislation aimed at protecting future whistleblowers has passed the U.S. Senate and is awaiting a vote in the House.

The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, which was first proposed in November, permits incentives for whistleblowers – in the millions of dollars – if they reveal dangerous products or practices by automakers.

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The bill allows the U.S. transportation secretary discretion to award up to 30% of the total monetary penalties resulting from Department of Transportation or Justice Department enforcement actions that total more than $1 million. The bill covers employees or contractors of motor vehicle manufacturers, parts suppliers and dealerships. (more…)

Ford Recalls Nearly 600K Vehicles

Problems include fuel pumps, steering gears and lights.

by on Apr.29, 2015

The Lincoln MKZ is part of a recall of nearly 520,000 Ford-produced vehicles for steering gear problems.

Ford announced recalls for nearly 600,000 vehicles for a variety problems involving steering gears, fuel pumps and parking lamps.

The automaker is recalling 520,000 2013-15 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles and 2015 Ford Edge vehicles in North America for a steering gear motor attachment issue. The problem is centralized in certain regions where corrosion is a problem. The steering gear motor attachment bolts may fracture due to corrosion. If that occurs, the steering system can default to manual steering mode from power steering making steering very difficult.

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Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition. In addition to the problem being regional, it only impacts vehicles built at plants and at certain times. Dealers will replace steering gear motor attachment bolts on customer vehicles with new bolts, seal them, and replace damaged steering gears at no cost to the customer. (more…)

Automakers Struggling to Find Answers in Russia

Poor sales has GM laying low while Ford doubles down.

by on Apr.28, 2015

Ford is hunkering down for the long haul in Russia while GM is cutting back its operations while the market there continues its free fall.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … “it” is the current state of the auto industry in Russia.

What was once considered the next great promised land of auto sales in Europe has now become a dicey proposition with two of the big U.S. players – General Motors and Ford – taking different approaches to the market. GM’s is cutting its losses while Ford is hunkering down for the long haul.

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The light vehicle market is cratering, posting its biggest monthly decline in Russia in about five years in March when it slid 42.5%, according to the Association of European Business. Through the first quarter of 2015, sales in the country are down 36.3% compared with year-ago figures. (more…)

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…)