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Analysts Lowering Expectations for 2016 Auto Sales

Retail sales softening a bit, but fleet sales offsetting.

by on Apr.22, 2016

Analysts warn that retail sales may be softening, causing them to temper their estimates for 2016 retail sales.

Total light-vehicle sales in April are expected to increase 1% on a selling-day adjusted basis from a year ago, marking the strongest total sales in April on record, according to a new estimate from J.D. Power.

However, based on the modest growth exhibited year-to-date, LMC Automotive and J.D. Power are reducing their retail light-vehicle sales forecast for the year to 14.3 million units from 14.5 million units. The revised full-year outlook is a 1% increase compared with 2015, when retail new-vehicle sales totaled 14,245,231, which made it the best retail sales year since 2001.

News Now!

While the full-year retail forecast has been revised downward, LMC Automotive expects those retail sales to be recouped through increased fleet sales. (more…)

How Can the Best Car Brands Also Be the Worst?

Sorting through an array of confusing car quality studies.

by on Jul.23, 2015

Fiat Chrysler recently took the top spot in a quality survey...as well as the bottom rung in a different quality survey.

Who is a potential car buyer supposed to trust when they’re looking for a high-quality car?

In its newly released APEAL study, widely followed research firm J.D. Power and Associates ranked Porsche number one among luxury marques while Mini was named the top “non-premium” brand. Yet, just a month before, another Power survey, the Initial Quality Study, ranked Mini well below average.

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The IQS also named Fiat the absolute worst of 33 brands, with Chrysler only slightly better. Yet, in the Total Quality Index published by research firm Strategic Vision last week, Fiat Chrysler was named the industry’s top-ranked manufacturer, with six models, including the little Fiat 500 and the Dodge Charger muscle car, named best-in-segment. And yet another study, the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, put the Koreans at the top. (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Booming in May, Tracking for 17 Mil

Sluggish April being offset by this month’s results.

by on May.22, 2015

Sales in May are outperforming expectations, led in some measure by strong SUV and truck sales.

The economic “showers” that slowed new car sales in April are resulting blooming results in May as new vehicle sales are exceeding expectations thus far this month despite the slow tempo of economic growth in the U.S.

“The industry continues to outperform prior-year levels with respect to retail sales and transaction prices,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.

Sales News!

Total light-vehicle sales in May 2015 are projected to reach 1,591,100, a 3% increase on a selling-day-adjusted basis compared with May 2014. Fleet volume is expected to hit 290,500 units, accounting for 18.3% of total sales, up from 17.6% a year ago. (more…)

Dealers Helped Take Sting Out of Recalls, Finds JD Power Survey

Jaguar, Buick tops in customer service, in new survey.

by on Mar.18, 2015

John Csernotta of J.D. Power, left, presented Joe Eberhardt, center, and Eric Johnston, right, of Jaguar with a 2015 J.D. Power Customer Service Index award

While a record number of vehicles – about 64 million in all – were recalled in the U.S. last year, dealers helped take the sting out of things, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates.

Power’s latest Customer Service Index found that dealers went out of their way to make the repair process as painless as possible.

A Real Performer!

“Manufacturers have shown that it is possible to turn a potential negative into a positive when it comes to recalls if they’re done in a way that doesn’t inconvenience the customer,” noted Chris Sutton, vice president of J.D. Power’s U.S. automotive retail practice. (more…)

J.D. Power Gains More Insight into Buyer Behavior

Company acquires online consumer analytics firm.

by on Apr.23, 2014

J.D. Power will combine the information from the newly acquired Korrelate with data from the Power Information Network.

J.D. Power acquired an analytics firm to enhance Power’s ability to measure and track online shopping behaviors and trends of consumers. The move was announced today.

Korrelate provides the information about online shopping to advertising agencies, advertisers, media partners, data syndicators and publishers. Now the information will be combined with the Power Information Network (PIN) new- and used-vehicle retail sales data to improve the timeliness and depth in measuring the effectiveness of digital marketing.

Your Automotive Source!

“Consumer behavior is changing dramatically in today’s Internet-powered world,” said Finbarr O’Neill, president of J.D. Power. “The auto industry spends billions of dollars annually on digital marketing. Measuring online activity and linking it to actual vehicle sales will enable marketers to measure and optimize their digital strategy.” (more…)

Automotive Dependability Takes an Unexpected Tumble

JD Power study shows first decline in over 15 years.

by on Feb.12, 2014

J.D. Power's 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study showed a drop in reliability and quality for 2011 vehicles.

It has become something of an industry gospel: automotive quality and reliability has long been on a steady, upward climb. But that conventional wisdom took a hit with the release of a new study showing an unexpected decline in vehicle dependability for the first time in more than 15 years.

The setback is largely the result of problems with engines and transmissions, according to J.D. Power’s 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study, particularly with the smaller 4-cylinder engines that have grown increasingly popular with motorists hoping to improve their mileage.

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“Until this year, we have seen a continual improvement in vehicle dependability,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “However, some of the changes that automakers implemented for the 2011 model year have led to a noticeable increase in problems reported.” (more…)

Jaguar, Mini Buyers Happier than Other New Car Buyers

Two brands top 2013 J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Survey.

by on Nov.15, 2013

According to J.D. Power, Jaguar buyers were the happiest with their purchase experience this year among luxury car buyers.

Jaguar and Mini buyers are happiest with their purchase experience, according to the results of J.D. Power’s 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study released today.

Jaguar ranked first among luxury buyers with a score of 740 points followed closely by Porsche (739) and Lexus (737).

The Last Word!

“This accolade demonstrates that our retailers continue to exceed customer expectations and are dedicated to delivering a great experience from the very beginning of the relationship,” said Jeff Curry, Brand Vice President, Jaguar North America, in a statement. (more…)

Volkswagen Group Tops Latest JD Power APEAL Study

GM, Ford follow close behind as Toyota slides.

by on Jul.24, 2013

Shining bright: the Porsche Boxster was one of the highest-ranked models in the 2013 JD Power APEAL.

Volkswagen grabbed the top spot in the latest J.D. Power APEAL study, a survey that focuses on the things that surprise and delight car buyers rather than the problems that frustrate them. The German maker’s Porsche and Audi brands topped the annual report while five individual VW Group models led their individual product segments.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. followed close behind. In fact, GM’s Chevrolet division had more segment winners than any other brand, a sudden surge that echoed Chevy’s unexpectedly strong performance in J.D. Power’s closely watched Initial Quality Survey, or IQS, last month.

An Appealing News Source!

Another surprise came with the poor performance of Toyota. Though its premium Lexus division landed in fifth place in the latest APEAL study, the flagship Toyota brand came in fifth from the bottom, two spots lower than the Japanese maker’s youth-oriented Scion division.

Perhaps less unexpected was the continued dominance of well-equipped luxury vehicles over mainstream brands and products. Only a handful of non-luxury brands scored above the industry average and none landed in the Top 10.


Lexus Tops Vehicle Dependability Study – But GM Narrows Gap

Today’s cars, in general, are lasting longer than ever.

by on Feb.13, 2013

The Lexus RX350 tops its segment in the VDS.

Today’s vehicles are more reliable than ever, according to a new study, though Lexus remains the king when it comes to long-term dependability.

Nonetheless, the gap between import and domestic brands continues to close, with General Motors giving close chase to Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus, finds the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study.

“The continuous improvement in long-term dependability means consumers should have more confidence in three-year-old vehicles, whether they are keeping their current vehicle or shopping for a used car, truck, crossover or SUV,” says David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates, or JDPA.

Come Along for the Ride!

Based on the responses from 37,000 owners of 2010-model cars, trucks and crossovers, the annual study shows that the number of problems being reported has fallen five percent since the previous report, known by the shorthand VDS.  On average, there were 126 problems for every 100 vehicles, or 126 PP100 in Power-speak, down from 132 in the 2012 study.  That’s the lowest figure since Power launched the widely-quoted measure of vehicle reliability in 1989.


Downsizing Doesn’t Mean Downgrading, Says J.D. Power’s New APEAL Study

“Better vehicles than we’ve ever seen.”

by on Jul.25, 2012

Chevy wins three awards for products including the Sonic and the Volt, shown here.

American motorists no longer need worry about what they’ll have to sacrifice trading in a larger vehicle for a smaller one.  A new study by J.D. Power and Associates finds that, “across the board,” manufacturers are offering small car buyers the sort of features and amenities they might not even have found in larger vehicles of a decade ago.

And from the most basic transportation all the way to the most expensive and exotic, the industry is delivering far more than ever before, according to Power’s annual APEAL study, which looks at automotive performance, execution and layout.

Your Auto Source!

“Automakers are designing better cars than we’ve ever seen,” said Dave Sargent, Power’s director of global automotive operations. “It’s not just one or two manufacturers.  It’s across the board, which means that for consumers it’s a great time to be in the car market.”