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Analysts Predicting December Sales Slide

This year expected to be fourth-best sales result ever.

by on Dec.28, 2017

New vehicle sales in December are expected to decline 7%, according to analysts.

Despite dropping millions of dollars on advertising during the holidays, analysts estimate that sales of new vehicles in December 2017 will drop 7% year-over-year with virtually every major manufacturer seeing its sales drop.

However, manufacturers can take comfort from the fact that this December will be the best sales month of 2017. This year will end at 17.1 million units sold, which is a 2% drop from last year, but still the fourth-largest sales total in history.

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“December should be the biggest sales month of the year, and despite our expectations for significant year-over-year declines, the projected SAAR of 17.6 million would be the third-highest of the year,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  (more…)

December Sales Soar – But VW Gets Left Behind

German maker hammered by fallout from diesel scandal.

by on Jan.05, 2016

VW was the exception during a month that saw U.S. car sales soar to record levels.

(This story will be updated as additional sales numbers are released.)

Automakers got a month-long gift from consumers in December, sales pushing the U.S. auto industry to an all-time high as it closed the books on 2015.

The surge in demand was nearly universal, records falling for brands large and small. The big exception was Volkswagen. Hammered by the ongoing fall-out from it diesel emissions cheating scandal, it reported a double-digit decline for December, a day after it was sued by the U.S. Justice Department.

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Estimates are that total industry sales for 2015 will reach 17.8 million units, surpassing the old record of 17.35 million set in 2000. The big question is whether that momentum will carry over into 2016, a question heightened by the start-of-the-year slump on Wall Street.


US Automakers Close 2014 on High Sales Note

Low interest rates, growing economy push consumers into showrooms.

by on Jan.05, 2015

The Chevy Silverado enjoyed its best December sales since 2005. GM reported an increase of 19% overall.

With General Motors and FCA US, the former Chrysler Group, setting the pace, sales of new vehicles surpassed expectations in December and provided the entire automotive business with a fresh boost as it entered the new year and with consumer confidence on the upswing, looking forward to year of strong sales.

“Everything you need to have a great month was in place: Consumers felt good about the direction of the economy, interest rates and fuel prices were low, and our dealers did a great job introducing customers to our incredible range of new and redesigned vehicles,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations for General Motors.

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Honda, Acura, Nissan and Ford also reported sales increases in December, which saw a major advertising by several brands and a drop in fuel prices combine to help spur traffic into the nation’s showrooms. (more…)

December Likely to Bring Record Spending on New Cars

Automakers offer tempting deals to draw in buyers.

by on Dec.23, 2013

A new Ford F-150 rolls off the maker's assembly line in Kansas City, Missouri. Strong pickup demand helped boost car sales in 2013.

With millions of dollars of television commercials airing this month and millions more in incentive money on the table, automakers are expected to end the year with a bang, sales expected to be up at least 4% from December 2012 – with the industry anticipating all-time record consumer spending.

While new-vehicle sales started off slowly in December, they are expected to finish strong at the end of the month, according to a monthly sales forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.  That would be good news for industry planners worried about a recent bulge in dealer inventories that’s already led several manufacturers to trim back production.

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Consumers in the U.S. are expected to spend more than $34 billion on new vehicles in December, a historic high for the month. That reflects not just the end-of-year sales burst but also record transaction prices, according to the forecast. The optimism was reinforced by a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce which indicated the U.S. economy was expanding more rapidly than first thought. The Commerce Department now estimates the U.S. economy grew by 4.1% during the third quarter.


Car Sales Surge – and May be Bad News for Buyers

Incentives down, prices up.

by on Jan.03, 2013

Toyota's Camry nabs the sales crown for 2012.

Automakers have closed the books on 2012 and appear to be carrying enough momentum to continue their recovery in the year ahead.  That is likely to mean record profits for both Detroit and foreign manufacturers, according to industry experts – but it could mean fewer discounts and notably higher transaction prices for consumers.

While a few makers have yet to report their final numbers, December appears on track to have yielded a low double-digit gain for the U.S. auto industry, perhaps as much as 15% compared to the final month of 2011.  That will likely mean that the past year, as a whole, was the industry’s best since 2006, just before the automotive market – and the economy as a whole – began sliding into recession.

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The annualized rate of sales in December came 15.3 million units basically the same as in November. Nonetheless, the year was a good one for the industry as most carmakers posted solid sales gains – and giving credence to recent forecasts that sales should reach the mid-15 million range for all of 2013.

Meanwhile, average transaction prices soared to an all-time record high last month of $31,228, according to data analyzed by


Car Sales Holding Strong in December

Could set torrid pace going into 2013.

by on Dec.21, 2012

Analysts say strong demand for luxury cars is driving December sales.

December has become a pivotal month for car sales and this December is looking particularly strong with sales up an estimated 15% thanks to a year-end push by luxury carmakers.

In fact, some analysts are predicting that 2012 could end with one of the strongest bursts of buying seen all year, setting a torrid pace going into 2013.

The J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network and LMC Automotive new-vehicle retail selling rate remains robust near the close of 2012, with potential buyers unfazed by the current level of economic uncertainty generated by the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington D.C.

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December new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 1,152,500 units, which represent a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, or SAAR, of 12.2 million units. December’s selling rate remains strong and is 500,000 units higher than the expected 2012 full-year rate. Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles. When fleet sales are added in, that could push the SAAR past the 15 million units, the report estimated.


F-Series Again Tops Chart as Truck Sales Rebound

Does trend signal economic upturn?

by on Jan.05, 2012

The majority of Ford F-150s are now being ordered with 6-cylinder engines.

Fuel prices may be nudging back up again but Americans are once again racing to plunk their money down on pickups, vans and SUVs again, light trucks collectively accounting for 54.8% of the U.S. market last month – with the Ford F-Series wrapping up 2011 as the best-selling vehicle in the country for the 30th year in a row.

While Americans might have been racing to buy small cars and hybrids early in the year, demand clearly slipped as 2011 came to a close, Honda selling just 690 of its Insight hybrids last month, or less than one per dealer.

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Pickups, it turned out, dominated the sales charts, the Chevrolet Silverado slipping into the number two sales slot behind Ford’s F-150, and a range of other trucks – from the newly redesigned Ford Explorer to Chrysler’s relaunched Jeep Grand Cherokee – reporting December gains well into the double-digits.


Domestic Automakers Rebound in 2011; Will 2012 Bring Japanese Revival

Toyota, Honda end year down but promise comeback.

by on Jan.04, 2012

After setting its third consecutive annual sales record, Subaru will aim for a fourth with new models like the BRZ sports car.

Carmakers celebrated another 10% gain in car sales for 2011 as they finished the year with sales at the best level in years.  There were a few notable exceptions, however, as two of Japan’s three largest makers wrapped up 2011 with further sales declines – while promising to turn things around in 2012.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales was 13.6 million units as several manufacturers, including Chrysler, Kia, Hyundai, Subaru and Volkswagen, wrapped up 2011 with impressive gains during December. Kia, for example, posted a 42.6% increase in the final month of the year, while Chrysler sales were up 37.6% increase for December.

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Notably, December saw transaction prices rise to record levels while incentives dipped for the month, following a months-long trend despite the push by some Japanese makers to try to rebuild their market share by putting plenty of cash on the hood.


2010 Car Sales End on a High Note

Most makers score gains but Toyota again posts decline.

by on Jan.04, 2011

Ford gains ground in import-friendly California with the new Fiesta.

Car sales finished 2010 on a high note with virtually every manufacturer posting sales increases, and with the seasonally adjusted annual rate of car sales, or SAAR, coming in at a year-high 13.3 million.

The unofficial sales tally for 2010 was over 11.5 million units, with the year finishing stronger than anticipated as recently as 90 days ago, according to Ford sales analyst George Pipas.

The December and year-end sales data also confirmed that General Motors, Ford Motor Co. , Chrysler, Hyundai and Kia had made deep inroads into territory once dominated by Toyota, which saw its sales slip by 5% in December as it finished the year with a small decline in sales.

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The domestic brands all posted double-digit sales increases for the month and for the year, while both Korean brands set sales records and Volkswagen AG, which has struggled for years to figure out the U.S. market enjoyed its best sales since 2003.

Smaller Japanese brands such as Mazda also finished the year with solid sales gains and, in Subaru’s case yet another record.  Honda and Nissan also posted increases for the month and the year. Sales by BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz also increased during 2010.


GM, Ford Report Strong December Sales – and Predict Solid 2012

December bring best numbers of the year.

by on Jan.04, 2011

Strong demand for products like the Chevrolet Equinox helped GM report a double-digit sales gain.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. both reported strong sales numbers for December – leading both domestic makers to forecast the pace of the ongoing recovery will continue picking up in 2011.

Ford reports its sales surged 6.7% for December, while GM nudged into double-digit territory, with a 16% jump for the month when compared with December 2009.  Preliminary indications are that, for the industry as a whole, December 2010 saw a seasonally-adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, of 13.3 million vehicles, which would be the highest monthly figure for all of 2010.

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But the pace seems all but certain to continue picking up, officials with both makers said.

GM predicted total industry sales will reach 13.5 million units in 2011 as the economy continues to improve. That forecast represents a robust 14% improvement over the 11.8 million sales posted for all of 2010, as the industry began to improve from the recession.