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Posts Tagged ‘car sales’

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.

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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.

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“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…)

What Was Hot and Not in May

Convertibles are cold, despite the warm weather.

by on Jun.03, 2014

Porsche can barely keep up with demand for the all-new Macan sport-utility vehicle.

What’s hot and what’s not? One thing’s for sure: the U.S. new car market is back in gear after a chilly winter left many makers struggling with a shortage of buyers. But May saw shoppers flooding back into showrooms for what was one of the best months in a decade for the industry overall – and a number of players, notably including Jeep and Audi, set all-time records.

But, as always, the double-digit gains weren’t spread around uniformly. Volkswagen, for example, posted yet another decline, and appears to be losing even more momentum until its new, seventh-generation Golf hatchback finally reaches showrooms.

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Credit relatively stable fuel prices for the strong demand for pickups, big SUVs and other fuel-chugging models. Surprisingly, despite finally getting some warm weather, however, a number of convertibles were decidedly cold, at least in terms of sales.

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Stable Fuel Prices Lead to Big Shift in U.S. Car Sales

Toyota Prius takes a dive.

by on May.02, 2014

The improved fuel economy of full-size pickup trucks, like Ford's F-Series, have pushed trucks to the top of the lists of new vehicle buyers recently.

It’s been one of the nation’s most popular models in recent years – in fact, topping the charts for two years running in the critical California market – but you might not know it from the April sales charts. The Toyota Prius just barely managed to make it into the Top 20 for the month.

And Prius wasn’t the only sign of a shift in the U.S. automotive marketplace, as shoppers seem to respond to relatively stable fuel prices by putting more attention on trucks – especially full-size pickups – and crossovers.

Efficient Use of Your Time!

But don’t feel sorry for Toyota. The maker managed to plant three of its models among April’s 10 best-sellers, the original Prius hatchback making it four out of 20, according to an analysis of the month’s sales by tracking firm Autodata. (more…)

Tesla Gains New Ally in Fight to Sell Its Vehicles

FTC directors suggest maker should be able sell direct to buyers.

by on Apr.24, 2014

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been working to change franchise laws to allow Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to the customer.

Tesla’s long-standing fight with dealers to sell its cars at it’s own retail locations just got some support from an unexpected source: the Federal Trade Commission.

Three FTC directors in a blog on the commission’s webpage said the laws preventing new vehicles from being sold outside of the dealer franchise system were antiquated. Such laws are currently in place in Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia.

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“We believe this is bad policy for a number of reasons,” the trio of Andrew Gavil, director of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning; Deborah Feinstein, director of the Bureau of Competition; and Martin Gaynor, director of the Bureau of Economics, wrote in the blog. (more…)

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.

Playing it Safe!

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