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Posts Tagged ‘march 2012 car sales’

What Gas Crisis? Auto Sales Still Gain Momentum

Buyers spending on fuel-efficient offerings at record pace.

by on Apr.03, 2012

Nissan scores an all-time sales record.

Undeterred by rising fuel price, new vehicles sped out of showroom during March at a rate the industry hasn’t seen since the start of the Great Recession.

Nissan North America sales hit an all-time high, while Audi had its 15th consecutive record month.  Toyota reported its highest March sales since 2008.  On a seasonally-adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, sales shot to 14.7 million for March, well in excess of the roughly 14 million most industry analysts are expecting for all of 2012.

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The question is whether the pace will continue. “I don’t expect it to,” cautions David Sullivan, of the consulting firm, AutoPacific, Inc. He fears the sharp rise in fuel prices will “choke things off” when potential buyers have to divert money from their new car budget to fuel.

But other analysts counter that, if anything, motorists may see that as reason to trade in.  Significantly, General Motors said it sold more high-mileage offerings than at any time in its history – vehicles getting at least 30 mpg on the highway accounting for 40% of its overall mix last month.  Small car sales, in particular, accounted for 29% of Ford Motor Co.’s overall sales – even though demand for the subcompact Fusion actually declined while sales of the compact Focus model were up by a third.


March Sales Hold Strong Despite Fuel Price Worries

More buyers downsizing as gas nips $4.

by on Mar.23, 2012

Improved availability of Japanese products, like the 2012 Toyota Camry, is helping boost March sales.

Sales of new vehicles have remained strong during March as the industry finishes off a robust first quarter – even though some observers had been worried that the market might begin to drag as fuel prices continue climbing towards record levels.

In another sign of strength in the automotive sector, Volkswagen of America has confirmed plans to add 800 jobs at its assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., joining other automakers in adding jobs at assembly plants in the South and Midwest to keep pace with the demand for new vehicles. VW opened that Chattanooga plant last year as part of its plans to rebuild its market share in the US.  (For more on VW’s plans, Click Here.)

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So far this year, sales of VW brand models have increased 40%, officials from the German automaker said this week.

Meanwhile, Kelley Blue Book, KBB, a leading provider of information about new and used cars, estimates new-vehicle sales will reach 1,425,000 units in March.  That works out to a seasonally adjust annual sales rate, or SAAR, of 14.6 million.