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U.S. Auto Sales Hit 16.6 Million Units in June

GM sees small increase while others enjoy stronger results.

by on Jul.01, 2014

The all-new 2015 Audi A3 is helping the German maker to another banner year in 2014.

Overall June was another stellar month for U.S. automakers, General Motors faced positives and negatives. The automaker’s sweeping recalls managed to divert attention away from the troubles at Cadillac and its flat sales.

Despite those issues GM managed to eke out a 1% sales increase despite predictions that sales might fall under the weight of an unfavorable year-to-year comparison and the din from the recalls. But Cadillac sales increased less increasing by only one-tenth of 1%.

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Meanwhile, the luxury brands from Germany and Japan continued to post sales increases. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover and Lexus all reported sales hikes. Mercedes, Audi and Lexus posted double-digit increases. Among Cadillac’s rivals in the luxury space, only Infiniti and Volvo, both of which are facing challenges gaining credibility among luxury buyers, saw sales decline. (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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New Car Sales Soar in May

Ford defies expert predictions with small sales increase.

by on Jun.03, 2014

Jeep Wranger saw its best May sales ever last month. The Jeep brand overall was up 58% during the period.

Buoyed by fantastic weather and a fifth weekend for dealers to move metal, new vehicle sales during demonstrated renewed strength in May.

Those factors helped Jeep post its best monthly sales in history and led General Motors to predict it would gain marketshare this year.

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General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai and Audi all reported increased sales during May. (more…)

Chrysler Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance for 2014

Maker needs to grow volume in second half of year.

by on May.12, 2014

Chrysler is looking to make inroads into the competitive midsize market segment with the news 2015 Chrysler 200.

Following a 23% jump in revenue during the first quarter, Chrysler Group LLC expects sales to continue climbing during the balance of the year as the new Chrysler 200 rolls into showrooms, following the successful launch of the new Jeep Cherokee.

While Chrysler reported a net loss of $690 million for the quarter, a result of special charges taken because of Fiat SpA’s acquisition of the United Auto Workers VEBA’s ownership stake in Chrysler. Richard Palmer, FCA’s chief financial officer, said Chrysler was sticking with its original full-year guidance, which includes a substantial sales increase.

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“The key is we need to grow volume as we go into the second half,” Palmer said during a conference call with analysts. (more…)

U.S. Auto Sales Heating Up with the Weather

New models and trucks help automakers to strong April.

by on May.01, 2014

The Audi A3 helped the German maker to a 19% sales increase in April.

New models demonstrated their value to automakers in April as the latest cars and trucks launched over the past several months combined with a break in the frigid weather pulled buyers into showrooms, helping keep the annual sales rate at more than 16 million units for the second consecutive month.

Audi, Toyota, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover and Kia Hyundai posted double digit sales increase in January thanks in part of the launch of new or replacement models. General Motors, which was deluged with bad news, also benefitted from the strong sales of its latest models. Luxury vehicles also enjoyed a strong April, with Audi among those reaping the rewards with a 19% increase.

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“The launch of the all-new A3 Sedan gives Audi an even broader product portfolio and the opportunity to reach more luxury buyers in the premium compact segment,” said Mark Del Rosso, executive vice president of Audi of America. “In its first month of retail sales, the Audi A3 was a top seller in April, with over 2,000 vehicles sold.” (more…)

Automakers Enjoy April Sales Shower

GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan all see sales spikes.

by on May.01, 2014

GM rode strong truck sales to a 7 percent sales increase in April.

After going through the big chill this past winter, automakers entered a spring thaw in April, makers reporting some of the strongest sales results they’ve seen in months.

Industry analysts suggest a variety of factors may be working in the industry’s favor. For one thing, April marked the start of the traditional automotive buying season, likely getting a bit of a nudge as motorists snowed in by the Polar Vortex finally headed for showrooms.

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Key automakers, including Nissan and Chrysler, even a General Motors battered by recalls, posted sales gains for the month. And though Ford did report a modest 1% decline, Toyota is reporting a 13.3% increase. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Hopes to Boost Global Production by 25%

CEO Marchionne aiming for 6 mil target by 2018.

by on Apr.02, 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has big plans in mind for the newly-merged company.

Automakers often talk about economies of scale – a moving target in an industry where industry giants like Toyota Motor Co., General Motors and Volkswagen AG are all shooting to reach 10 million annual sales during the next year or so.

By comparison, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is little more than an also-ran, with a total worldwide sales volume of “just” 4.4 million vehicles last year, and a goal of 4.6 million in 2014. But with the company’s formal merger of its U.S. and Italian operations now complete, CEO Sergio Marchionne has some big aspirations.  He is targeting a nearly 25% increase in production over the next four years.

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“By 2018, Fiat will be able to make more than 6 million cars,” Marchionne said after a shareholders’ meeting in Turin, where the Fiat side of the company is headquartered. “I don’t want to give any details of the plan, but we are going in that direction.”

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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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Altima Takes Car Sales Lead from Camry in February

Nissan, Chrysler enjoy strong sales due to SUVs.

by on Mar.03, 2014

The Nissan Altima took over the car sales lead in February outselling Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

The cold February weather that settled across the nation set the stage for something of a revolution in showrooms across the country as the Nissan Altima replaced the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord as the best-selling passenger car in the U.S.

The final sales totals for the month of February showed Nissan selling a total of 30,849 Altimas, an increase of 11.3%. Sales of the Toyota Camry, the most popular car in America for more than a decade, fell 7.3% to 28,998 units, while sales of the Honda Accord fell 12% to 24,622.

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The decline in sales of the Camry and Accord also undercut the overall sales results for Toyota and Honda. Toyota sales slipped 4.3% despite and Honda’s fell 7% despite strong utility vehicle sales for both makers. (more…)