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Ram Outsells Silverado for 1st Time

Ford F-150 retains solid segment leadership.

by on Apr.02, 2014

The addition of the Ram 1500 Diesel has helped the truck gain new momentum in the market.

One month doesn’t a trend make.  And it’s too early to see whether General Motors’ worsening recall problems are having an impact – but for the first time ever, Fiat Chrysler’s Ram 1500 outsold rival GM’s Chevrolet Silverado 1500 last month  to become the U.S. market’s second-best-selling full-size pickup truck.

March also marked the first time since 1978 that Chevy’s big rig wasn’t in second place in the fast-reviving truck segment, behind only the long-dominant Ford F-150.

Keep on Truckin'!

The numbers were close, Ram delivering 42,532 pickups last month compared to the Silverado’s 42,247. And Chevy can take solace in the fact that it remains entrenched in second place for the year to date, holding a more than 10,000-unit lead over the Ram brand: 107,757 Silverado 1500s to 96,906 Ram 1500s.


March Car Sales Show Signs of Early Spring Thaw

by on Mar.21, 2014

Headed in the right direction? Demand for new models, such as this Jeep Cherokee, is helping the auto industry boost sales after a slow winter.

Sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers are showing signs of coming back to life after hibernating during the bleak winter months of January and February.

After an unexpectedly strong surge in demand last year, sales started to slide as winter storms appeared to keep many potential buyers away from showrooms. But industry analysts are hoping that this only delayed another uptick in demand for 2014, and could actually lead to an especially strong spring buying season.

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Preliminary figures for March are already showing signs of a thaw, according to the monthly sales forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.


March Car Sales Looking Strong

Buyers spending more – but taking longer to pay off loans.

by on Mar.22, 2013

U.S. car sales are maintaining a strong pace for March, according to several mid-month reports.

New car sales have remained steady in March and are expected to increase by 8 to 10%, year-over-year, according to new estimates from J.D. Power and Associates.

Using data from a broad network of dealers, Power estimates both retail light-vehicle sales and the total light-vehicle rate are consistent with February’s strong performance market.  That would work out to around 12.1 million vehicles by consumers and 15.3 million when fleet buyers are included in the mix.

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Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles. They also tend to be more profitable than fleet sales, especially those to daily rental companies. Most makers have been shifting focus to the retail side of the market – in part because that also tends to prop up residuals, or trade-in values.


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.


Toyota Retains Large Incentive Advantage

Only Honda spends less attracting shoppers; others far more.

by on Apr.02, 2010

Pedals, smeddles, Toyota moves metal as well as any automaker and at far less cost.

For every $500 that Toyota offers in incentives, other automakers have to counter with incentives ranging from $420 to more than $3,000 to generate the same consideration levels among new car shoppers, according to a report from CNW Research.

The data are for equivalent cars among brands.

The study was conducted during the first quarter of 2010 when Toyota unintended acceleration woes dominated national news coverage, shows that with the exception of Honda, major automakers still lack the innate advantage that Toyota’s reputation has among new car buyers.

During March, Toyota, helped be record level incentives, saw sales rebound to pre-recall levels. About 40% of Toyota buyers came from other makers last month.

Among the big six makers in U.S. sales, Honda retained its consideration advantage, since it only has to spend $425 to Toyota’s $500, continuing a Honda edge, varying from $325 to $475,  that has existed for a decade, according to CNW.

Chrysler was at the other end of the scale, needing $3,100, an all time high for the decade.


Incentive Equivalent Big Six

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Toyota 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
GM 1,950 2,100 2,075 2,150 1,975 1,850 1,125 1,175 1,500 2,000 1,750
Ford 1,550 1,475 1,550 1,575 1,525 1,375 1,525 1,575 1,500 1,250 950
Chrysler 1,750 1,975 1,650 1,525 1,075 1,525 1,775 2,050 2,275 2,675 3,100
Nissan 1,275 1,350 1,150 1,025 875 900 1,025 1,050 1,050 1,075 800
Honda 350 325 325 375 350 425 475 450 425 450 425
Source: CNW Research. Calendar Years, in U.S. dollars. The ratio is Toyota $500 : Other Brand. 2010 data are Q1



U.S. Auto Sales “Tracking Very Strongly”

Incentives help key makers, notably Toyota.

by on Mar.15, 2010

Auto sales are trending up an incentives, like those on the 2010 Toyota Corolla, get much of the credit.

Spurred by some of the heftiest incentives in some time, industry observers report seeing significant signs of growth in the U.S. auto industry during the first part of March.

At least one well-regarded analyst is forecasting that demand could reach an annualized rate of 13 million for the month overall should the pace continue.  That would be one of the best months the American market has experienced since the recession began, in late 2008, excluding the impact of last year’s Cash for Clunkers program.

“U.S. auto sales ar tracking strongly,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache, in a new report, adding that “several factors appear to be contributing to the uptick.”

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Among the most significant forces in the market: an increase in incentives spending by makers like General Motors and Toyota.  The Japanese makers has traditionally been reluctant to put much money on the hood, but heeded dealer calls for an incentive campaign after the disastrous, double-digit decline in sales, last month.