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US Auto Sales Rebound in November

VW may be biggest surprise with 24% increase over last year's results.

by on Dec.01, 2016

GM sales were up more than 10% in November, led, in part, by the Chevy Malibu, which enjoyed its best November since 1997.

With General Motors and Volkswagen AG leading the way, the U.S. auto industry busted out of a mini-slump in November, albeit with some help from major promotions.

GM’s total U.S. sales in November were up more than 10% over last year as Buick, Cadillac and GMC posted double-digit gains.

Sales News!

“GM’s November performance reflects the continued strength of our U.S. business. We gained profitable retail share, commercial and small business deliveries were strong and we commanded the industry’s best average transaction prices,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s vice president of U.S. Sales Operations. (more…)

Delayed a Day, Ford Sales Also Take a Tumble

Lincoln a rare bright spot.

by on Nov.02, 2016

Ford's Super Duty provided a rare bright spot for the automaker in October.

A day late – and a dollar short, it seems, as Ford Motor Co. says its sales also took a double-digit dip during October, in line with the overall U.S. new car market slide.

The news wasn’t entirely bad, however, Ford reporting growth by its long-struggling luxury brand, Lincoln, as it rolls out an assortment of new and updated products, including the all-new Continental flagship sedan.

By the Numbers!

Ford issued its numbers after a day-long delay due to a fire that knocked out electrical power to its corporate headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. The rest of the industry didn’t fare especially well, even without Ford’s downward pull. While a few makers reported strong, and even record, sales for October, the market was down about 4% year-over-year.

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October US Auto Sales Hit the Skids

Ford delays sales report due to fire at headquarters.

by on Nov.01, 2016

Jeep sales had been reliably strong for FCA during the past few years; however, they fell 7% in October.

The tempo of new vehicle sales slowed during October as every major automaker reported a drop during October.

Ford Motor Co., which also was expected to report a drop in sales, delayed the release of its October sales due to a fire in an electrical substation in the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. The fire, which happened yesterday, caused the evacuation and closure of the building.

Sales News!

The big surprise was a 10% drop in sales by FCA, which had posted a long string of sales increases, stretching back more than five years until it had to re-state its sales figures this summer under pressure from lawsuits by dealers and Securities and Exchange Commission. (more…)

The Sky Isn’t Falling, Says GM President

Batey counters concerns raised by Ford CFO that auto sales have peaked.

by on Aug.02, 2016

GM North America Pres. Alan Batey introduces the 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback at the NAIAS.

It’s been a great ride for the U.S. auto industry. After crashing into the worst recession in decades, it rebounded to record sales of 17.5 million vehicles last year and, until recently, seemed poised to top that number again in 2016.

But there’s been a growing chorus of concern in recent weeks, industry insiders like Ford Motor Co. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks warning that the ride is over, and that U.S. car sales are about to start the inevitable slide. Just don’t count General Motors North America President Alan Batey among those who says the downturn is about to begin.

Perspective!

“We think the industry will plateau at some time, but everything we see says that into the near future the industry will remain strong,” Batey told reporters.

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New Vehicle Sales Expected to be Flat in July

Many analysts believe sales run peaked last year.

by on Jul.29, 2016

New car sales are expected to flatten out in July, but makers are still tracking for a record year.

New vehicle sales are expected to drop 1% year-over-year to a total of 1.5 million units in July 2016, resulting in an estimated 17.5 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The estimate is in line with a growing consensus that sales of new vehicles peaked during the summer and fall of 2015 and the growth of sales has flattened out in recent months. However, the competition for those sales has intensified as the recent furor General Motors use of incentive “increases” revealed.

Auto Insider!

Chuck Stevens, GM’s chief financial officer, said the discounts GM offered over the Fourth of July was a “tactic” and not a signal that GM was preparing to make broader use of incentives. (more…)

Used Car Buyers Charged Up about EVs and Hybrids

Top three fastest selling used cars in U.S. are electrics.

by on Jul.22, 2016

The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid is the fastest-selling used car in America through May.

Looking for a good used car? Well, if you find a hybrid or an EV you like, don’t dawdle on buying it because it’ll be off the lot before you know it.

According to iSeeCars.com, five of the top 10 fastest selling used cars in the U.S. in the first half of this year were hybrids or full electrics, including the top three movers. Perhaps even more astonishing, only one of the top 10 is an American car.

The Last Word!

Overall, iSeeCars.com found that one- to three-year-old used cars took an average of 42.4 days to sell. The top 10 fastest selling cars, however, were much faster—ranging from just 19.7 days on the market to 29.4 days. (more…)

Global Auto Sales Expected to Set New Records

Small crossovers, utes expected to lead sales charge.

by on Jun.20, 2016

Small crossovers, like the Fiat 500X, will drive sales to new records globally, according to BMI Research.

Global autos sales are still expected to show a marked improvement in 2016 and the boom in auto sales should continue into 2017 as consumers globally continue to snap up small crossover vehicles, according to a new estimate from BMI Research.

Sales of new vehicles worldwide are growing 3.4% compared with 1.9% in 2015, BMI reported.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

For the most part, developed states are continuing to drive this growth, particularly in North America and Europe, according to the report. (more…)

Buick Reportedly Planning to Kill Off Verano

Move would mark another shift from cars to SUVs.

by on May.10, 2016

Buick will be dropping the Verano as it shifts from passenger cars to light trucks.

Just days after Fiat Chrysler outlined plans to phase out several of its passenger car models and shift production to its SUVs and pickups, reports have surfaced indicating General Motors’ Buick will drop the small Verano sedan model as the brand shifts its own focus to a growing line-up of sport-utility vehicles.

The move would not surprise industry observers who have been observing more and more American motorists walk away from traditional passenger cars in favor of utility vehicles, pickups and other light truck models that, in recent months, have accounted for as much as 60% of new vehicle sales in the U.S.

Tracking Trends!

The shift has forced manufacturers to rethink both manufacturing and product development strategies. And, in some cases, it has led them to cut back or even idle production at some of the plants producing slow-selling sedan and coupe models, such as Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and the Orion Assembly Plant that produces the Verano.

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US New Vehicle Sales Soar to Near-Record Levels

Makers still blowing trucks and utes out dealership doors.

by on May.03, 2016

Ford's SUV sales in April were red hot with the Explorer up 22% for the month.

Any concerns about a possible weakening for new vehicle sales this year have been set aside by strong demand for trucks and utility vehicles at near record levels last month.

Hungry buyers helped boost sales and transaction prices in April with Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, Toyota and Audi all posting sales increases for the month. Unsurprisingly, Volkswagen sales continued to slide, but General Motors’ drop overall sales was a surprise.

The Journal of Record!

Ford reported its sales increased 4% versus a year ago and retail sales also grew 3%, driving the company’s best April retail results since 2006.  (more…)

Summer Blend Makes Gas Prices Rise

Refineries shifting to special seasonal mix.

by on Apr.05, 2016

Gas prices are on the rise as producers move to the summer blend of fuel.

With the summer driving season fast approaching, the price of gasoline continues to climb, pushing the average price beyond $2 per gallon, according to a new report by AAA.

Despite increasing for 36 of the past 41 days, the national average is at its lowest price point for this same date since 2009, according to AAA.

The Future Is Now!

“The average price of $2.06 per gallon represents an increase of two cents on the week and 24 cents on the month. Pump prices continue to reflect year-over-year discounts, and drivers are saving 34 cents per gallon versus this same date last year,” the organization noted. (more…)