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Posts Tagged ‘car sales’

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.”

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Is it Better to Buy or Lease? Or is There Another Option?

Loans, leases – and lease assumptions – give shoppers options.

by on Aug.08, 2014

Car shoppers have a variety of options when it comes time to close a deal.

New car sales are stronger than they have been since the start of the Great Recession, and likely to keep climbing, according to industry analysts. Demand is expected to be especially strong in the coming weeks, with August traditionally one of the hottest months of the year at dealer showrooms.

The good news for consumers is that despite surging demand, interest rates remain at near-recession lows. That’s led many buyers to move up-market by stretching out loans to five, six and even seven years. But if you’re in the market for a new car, truck or crossover, should you be buying or leasing? Are there, in fact, other even more affordable options?

Auto Insight!

A new study underscores the financial advantages of leasing over buying, but it also points to a potential alternative, a small but growing number of motorists opting to take over existing leases, something equivalent to buying a “nearly new” vehicle.

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Toyota Maintains Global Sales Lead – Barely

VW closing gap as GM settles into third spot.

by on Jul.30, 2014

Strong demand for new models, such as the redesigned Corolla, helped Toyota retain the sales lead for the first half of 2014.

While its lead has been narrowing, Toyota Motor Co. retained its crown as the world’s best-selling automaker during the first half of 2014.

The maker edged out rivals Volkswagen AG and General Motors in the global sales sweepstakes as demand for its cars, trucks and crossovers surged to 5.097 million between January and June, a 4% increase fueled by growth in markets ranging from U.S. and Europe to China and the Japanese home islands.

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That was not only an all-time record but exceeded forecasts – while positioning Toyota to meet a goal of becoming the first automaker ever to sell 10 million vehicles in a single year. VW is also shooting for the 10 million mark, though preliminary data indicate it only tallied sales of 4.97 million vehicles during the first half, GM following at 4.92 million.

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US Car Market Showing No Signs of Cooling Down

SUVs, crossovers and luxury vehicles drive demand.

by on Jul.28, 2014

Strong demand for products like Altima mean Nissan will deliver a double-digit July sales gain.

It may be an unexpectedly cool summer in much of the country but you wouldn’t know by looking at July’s sales numbers – which have many industry observers expecting the rest of the year to remain hot.

Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co. chief executive officer, noted the general economy appears steady, which should lead to strong sales during the second half of the years. Chuck Stevens, General Motors chief financial officer, also said the second half of the year looks very promising.

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Preliminary data suggest that July new-car sales will be up about 12% over year-earlier numbers, putting the industry on track for its best July since 2006, well before the U.S. economy began to collapse. Overall sales should reach about 1.46 million for the month, according to new forecasts from TrueCar and Kelly Blue Book, and that translates into a seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, of 16.6 million to 16.7 million, roughly a million ahead of total sales in 2013.

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SUVs and Crossovers Now Outselling Sedans

“Trucks” now dominate American sales charts.

by on Jul.17, 2014

The shift to car-based crossovers -- such as the latest version of the Ford Explorer - has helped drive the ongoing boom of utility vehicles.

With the U.S. auto industry in full recovery mode, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand of some of their most popular sport-utility vehicles and crossovers which, for the first time, are now outselling conventional sedans, according to a new study.

Utility vehicles, whether traditional, truck-like SUVs, or more modern, car-like crossovers, accounted for 36.5% of the overall American market during the first five months of 2014, compared with 35.4% for sedans, long the dominant body style, according to an analysis of new vehicle registrations by IHS Automotive.  A year ago, sedans outsold “utes” 36.6% to 33.9%.

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“These vehicles offer the combination of appealing features associated with both cars and light trucks, including a higher seating position, higher ground clearance, softer ride, more interior space, optional four-wheel or all-wheel drive, and towing capacity, among others,” said HIS analyst Tom Libby.

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Good Times for Auto Industry Coming to an End

Study suggests new car sales will decline in near future.

by on Jul.10, 2014

An AlixPartners study suggests that the frenetic auto sales pace of 2014 will begin to cool off in the near future.

Automakers and auto dealers better enjoy the good times while they last because new car sales are going to begin sliding after this year, with a serious drop off by 2017, according to a new study.

AlixPartners, a global business advisory firm, suggests automakers are going to get  chance to prove they can make money while selling 12 million vehicles a year in the near future. The industry is tracking for a 16-million to 16.5-million unit sales year right now, but they predict that’s all going to come to an end.

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“The good news is the global auto industry made it through the financial crisis, recession and a whole lot of pain,” said John Hoffecker, co-president of the Americas at AlixPartners. “The bad news is what’s ahead is uncertain and unprecedented, and could be painful as well.” (more…)

Nearly Every GM Model Targeted for Recall This Year

Maker hits 54 separate recalls in just six months.

by on Jul.01, 2014

One of the very few new GM vehicles not recalled this year: the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox.

The numbers are daunting: 54 separate recalls in just six months impacting nearly 26 million vehicles sold in the U.S., nearly 29 million worldwide. For General Motors that works out to one separate recall nearly every three days. It has a record for any individual manufacturer, and has pushed the overall U.S. auto industry to an all-time record, manufacturers collectively recalling about 39 million vehicles in just six months, 20% more than the previous peak set for all of 2004.

When GM’s recall frenzy began, back in mid-February, with the first recall related to faulty ignition switches, senior executives like CEO Mary Barra were quick to point out that the problems were largely focused on products built by the “Old GM,” before the maker’s 2009 bankruptcy, such as the now abandoned Chevrolet Cobalt. If anything, newer models, such as the 2014 Chevy Impala, they stressed, were winning rave reviews and endorsements from the likes of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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But while GM’s recall frenzy continues to sweep up older products – including this week’s callback of 6.8 million vehicles dating back to 1997 for “unintended ignition key rotation” – a growing number of new models are also being targeted. In fact, a search of GM and federal recall records by TheDetroitBureau.com shows that only three of more than three dozen General Motors products, along with a few model variants, have so far not been subject to recall in 2014.

The only key models not among the list of 54 recalls are: (more…)

June Car Sales Deliver Unexpected Surprises

GM defies skeptics, posts best numbers in seven years.

by on Jul.01, 2014

The new Chrysler 200 helped drive a strong month for the Detroit side of Fiat Chrysler.

With motorists facing new worries over rising gasoline prices, sales of fuel-efficient passenger cars perked up in June, while General Motors Co. surprised some observers by posting a modest 1% sales increase despite its ongoing recall crisis.

Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai also reported sales increases in June, while Porsche reported its best-ever numbers for the month. On a seasonally adjusted basis, June saw the industry operating at a 16.6 million annual rate, well ahead of the industry’s overall performance for the first half of the year. Were that figure to hold, the industry would sell nearly 1 million more vehicles than it did in 2013. Meanwhile, consumers wound up paying more than ever for their new vehicles in June, according to industry analysts.

Behind the Numbers!

There had been concern that June might bring a slowdown to the rapid recovery of the U.S. automotive market, in part due to worries about fuel prices. Some analysts, meanwhile, were predicting that GM would go into the negative column because of its ongoing recall crisis. It ended the month by announcing four new recalls covering 7.6 million vehicles in the U.S. alone. GM has now had 54 separate recalls since January, covering about 26 million vehicles in the U.S., and 29 million worldwide.

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June Car Sales Looking Robust – But GM Could Take Hit

Industry is in “the position since well before the Great Recession.”

by on Jun.27, 2014

Demand for the new Jeep Cherokee is leading the way for Chrysler's strong sales performance.

Neither the threat of rising gasoline prices nor the distraction created by the World Cup tournament has short-circuited the U.S. new vehicle market this month, according to industry analysts and executives – though the recent, torrid pace has slowed a bit.

Preliminary estimates call for a modest gain for June of perhaps 1% or so, overall, with the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of sales, or SAAR, expected to reach around 16.4 million, not far under the industry’s peak of a decade ago.

On Track!

“Sales have been very good,” said David Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motors America.

That’s a position echoed by other industry insiders.

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Ford, GM Continue Torrid Sales Pace in China

Makers set May record; Ford expects to hit 1 million units in 2014.

by on Jun.09, 2014

With cars like the Focus selling well, Ford expects to surpass 1 million in sales in China this year.

General Motors and Ford continue to roll up big sales totals in China, setting sales records during May.

Ford China sales grew 32% in May with 93,323 and Ford now expects to sell more than 1 million vehicles in China for the first time ever during 2014. Year-to-date sales were up 39%, with 461,473 wholesales sold compared to 332,308 wholesales sold in the first five months of 2013, Ford said.

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“Our sales are a direct reflection of our continued commitment to bring the best of Ford to China with a great lineup of Ford cars and utilities that offer high quality, great fuel efficiency, world class safety and smart technologies,” said John Lawler, chairman and chief executive officer, Ford Motor China. (more…)