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Posts Tagged ‘car sales’

Ford, Toyota Continue Scrap over Small Car Sales

Japanese maker claims victory by just 906 Corollas.

by on Apr.15, 2014

Toyota is claiming the Corolla was the best-selling nameplate in the world in 2013.

The Battle of Worldwide Budget Sales continued today. Less than a week after Ford touted the Focus as the world’s best-selling nameplate, Toyota is saying not so fast.

The debate over the best-selling car in the world has gone back and for between Ford and Toyota for a few years now with Toyota claiming the Corolla has been the top dog. However, Ford has countered that Toyota pads its numbers with variants of the Corolla that really bear little resemblance to the maker’s entry-level model.

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However, this year may be different. (more…)

March Car Sales Show Signs of Early Spring Thaw

by on Mar.21, 2014

Headed in the right direction? Demand for new models, such as this Jeep Cherokee, is helping the auto industry boost sales after a slow winter.

Sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers are showing signs of coming back to life after hibernating during the bleak winter months of January and February.

After an unexpectedly strong surge in demand last year, sales started to slide as winter storms appeared to keep many potential buyers away from showrooms. But industry analysts are hoping that this only delayed another uptick in demand for 2014, and could actually lead to an especially strong spring buying season.

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Preliminary figures for March are already showing signs of a thaw, according to the monthly sales forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

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Chrysler Small Car Sales Slide

Maker hopes to boost demand with special editions.

by on Mar.10, 2014

Fiat hopes the 1957 Edition will help boost demand for the little 500 model.

It’s been a cold, cruel winter for the auto industry, even makers like General Motors and Toyota struggling to maintain momentum in the marketplace.  Chrysler has been one of the few automakers to remain in the black so far – but while demand has been strong for models like the Ram 1500 pickup and Jeep Cherokee, sales have been sliding like a muscle car on ice when it comes to some of the Detroit firm’s smallest passenger cars.

Demand for the once-promising Dodge Dart, in particular, has been weak enough to force a temporary shutdown of Chrysler’s Illinois assembly plant.

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The downturn is all the more striking when one considers that sales of utility vehicles and light-duty trucks have helped lift the Chrysler Group to year-over-year sales increases for 47 consecutive months — one of the longest streaks in the car business — even as rivals such as General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai lost ground.

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Harsh Winter Ices Auto Sales

But new vehicle prices heat up.

by on Feb.25, 2014

Cold weather and icy roads are convincing many buyers to seek out AWD-equipped crossovers like this new Toyota Highlander.

The harsh winter weather that has enveloped much of the country this month – ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures crippling major metropolitan areas in the Midwest, Southeast and along the Atlantic Coast — has chased consumers out of showrooms.

It also appears to have led to a modest shift in what U.S. motorists have been buying, with more of an emphasis on crossovers and SUVs, in particular, and all-wheel-drive models, in general.

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Carmakers have been reluctant to make any predictions about the monthly sales with key markets such as Atlanta, Dallas, Washington D.C. and Chicago hit hard by combinations of ice, snow and severe cold. But preliminary numbers – with final sales totals due out next week – aren’t promising. If so, it would prove to be the second month in a row with the industry in the minus column, along with the temperature, a sharp reversal from last year’s booming automotive recovery.

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Automakers Struggle to Deal with Winter Storms

Production levels drops as parts deliveries get delayed.

by on Feb.13, 2014

Three of Ford's plants, including the plant in Wayne, Mich., has seen production delays due to the winter storms hitting the U.S.

Winter storms are continuing to batter the auto industry as the freezing weather stalls sales and closes down assembly lines, according to executives around the industry as the latest storms swept through the South.

Companies such as Kia and Porsche were forced to shut down their offices in Atlanta when the governor of Georgia ordered schools and businesses closed ahead of this week’s storm, which paralyzed much of the Southeast.

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Mike Sprague, Kia executive vice president of sales and marketing, said this week the adverse winter weather has definitely had an impact on sales in recent weeks. It’s cut into showroom traffic, he noted. The flip side is the freeze on sales in only temporary, he said. “At some point it’s going to turn around and there is going to be a lot of pent up demand,” he added. (more…)

China Echoes US, January Sales Taking a Tumble

But the market is still growing at an enviable rate.

by on Feb.13, 2014

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has reason to be happy: sales are up in China, unlike many of Ford's competitors.

Late to market, Ford Motor Co. has been racing to catch up with its competitors in China. The maker got a solid boost there last month, sales surging by 53% year-over-year.

But Ford is one of the few makers to be celebrating. After more than a decade of massive growth that has transformed China into the world’s largest automotive market, demand has been sputtering in recent months, and January sales clearly reflected the overall economic slowdown plaguing the country.

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That said, even at a mere 7% increase compared to January 2013, Chinese car sales still managed to maintain at least some momentum – in sharp contrast to the U.S. where demand last month showed a worrisome setback after the booming pace set in 2013. (more…)

As Sales Slow, Automakers Could be Heading for Incentives War

Good news for consumers could be a disaster for industry’s bottom line.

by on Feb.12, 2014

GM's move to offer more than $7,000 in incentives on its 2014 Silverado has made investors nervous about a possible incentive war.

When General Motors announced it would offer more than $7,000 in discounts on some of its big Silverado pickups the news sent many shoppers rushing to showrooms – but it also sent shivers racing down the spines of automotive investors increasingly worried that slowing sales may trigger the sort of incentive wars that trashed industry profits during the years leading up to the recent recession.

All the ingredients are there for a classic price war, automotive analysts warn. January auto sales took a sharp dip that may have been impacted by more than just the cold weather gripping the nation. In turn, there are now a growing number of vehicles piling up on dealer lots across the country, a situation that may force manufacturers to sharply increase current rebates and other incentives.

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“Rising inventory levels combined with several more waves of bad weather will result in a short-term spike in incentives,” said Eric Lyman, vice president of Editorial and Consulting for ALG, formerly known as the Automotive Leasing Guide. “The danger is that this could be the beginning of an escalating arms race for market share.” (more…)

Bad Weather Puts a Freeze on January Car Sales

Economic concerns also played a role.

by on Feb.03, 2014

Chrysler was one of the few makers to shake off the January freeze with products like this 2014 Ram 1500.

The record cold weather that has swept across much of the U.S. in recent weeks has apparently put car sales in the deep freeze – a situation analysts suggest was worsened by the slide in stock prices that has again raised concerns about the nation’s on-again/off-again economic recovery.

While a few manufacturers were able to buck the downward trend, key makers including General Motors and Volkswagen saw sales tumble last month.  And the industry, on the whole, saw average transaction prices – the amount consumers actually paid after factoring in incentives and options – slide after months of reaching new records.

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“Given the difficult weather in our largest sales regions, we are fortunate to have held in at retail as well as we did,” said John Felice, vice president of marketing, sales and service for Ford, which experienced a 7% decline in sales during January.

“In areas where the weather was good, such as in the West, sales were up,” Felice added, noting, “The poor weather also had an impact on the timing of some of our fleet deliveries. A bright spot is Lincoln, which had its strongest sales in four years.”

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Mercedes Lands Luxury Sales Crown as Industry Closes Books on 2013

Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Audi and Subaru among other makers celebrating.

by on Jan.03, 2014

Mercedes-Benz wrestled the luxury car title away from BMW this year.

Mercedes-Benz took away the luxury vehicle sales crown from archrival BMW as carmakers closed the books on a successful 2013 that sets the stage for a continuing rebound.

With the U.S. auto industry recording its best year since before the start of the Great Recession, a number of automakers had reason to celebrate. Honda, Nissan, Audi and Subaru were among those reporting all-time record sales, while General Motors retained its position as the nation’s largest automaker.

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But Toyota finished 2013 with bragging rights for not only having the best-selling passenger car in the country, but also having the industry’s highest retail sales. And Ford’s F-150 retained its crown as not only the best-selling truck, but also the best-selling vehicle overall. (more…)

Ford Claims Early Victory in Sales Sweepstakes

Maker declares itself America’s best-selling brand – but may get an argument from Honda.

by on Dec.30, 2013

Ford's Fusion set a sales record this past year.

They’re still testing the ball before the big celebration in Times Square tomorrow night, and the industry won’t officially announce final 2013 sales numbers until later in the week – but no matter, Ford Motor Co. is already declaring victory, pronouncing its flagship Ford marque North America’s best-selling brand for the fourth year in a row.

The maker notes it has a significant lead over second-place Toyota as it regains strength in parts of the country long dominated by imports. But at least one of the Detroit maker’s Japanese competitors has been downplaying the sales numbers, claiming victory of its own.

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“The great news is that we are not overly reliant on any one segment – we’re seeing double-digit sales growth in cars, trucks and utilities,” said John Felice, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a year-end statement. “The Ford brand has had more retail share growth than any other brand in the country, with our most significant gains coming from import-dominated coastal markets. With 16 launches next year, we’re looking to keep our sales momentum going.”

There’s no question Ford had a good 2013 – albeit with a few headaches that could cause it problems next year.

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