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October US Auto Sales Hit the Skids

Ford delays sales report due to fire at headquarters.

by on Nov.01, 2016

Jeep sales had been reliably strong for FCA during the past few years; however, they fell 7% in October.

The tempo of new vehicle sales slowed during October as every major automaker reported a drop during October.

Ford Motor Co., which also was expected to report a drop in sales, delayed the release of its October sales due to a fire in an electrical substation in the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. The fire, which happened yesterday, caused the evacuation and closure of the building.

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The big surprise was a 10% drop in sales by FCA, which had posted a long string of sales increases, stretching back more than five years until it had to re-state its sales figures this summer under pressure from lawsuits by dealers and Securities and Exchange Commission. (more…)

US Auto Sales Set to Hit Yet Another Record in 2017

The current, torrid pace of sales "cannot be sustained."

by on Nov.18, 2015

In some cases, dealers have been struggling with supply shortages as sales hit records.

The torrid pace of sales that should see the U.S. auto industry set a record this year is likely to continue into 2016, but next year could see the end of an unprecedented recovery after the worst downturn the industry has experienced since the Great Depression.

Sales are likely to begin “gently” leveling off next year after hitting an all-time peak of 17.7 million cars, trucks and crossovers, forecasts Steven Szakaly, the chief economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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“The industry remains healthy and continues to grow,” said Szakaly, during a media conference call ahead of the start of the 2015 L.A. Auto Show. But he went on to warn that, “We’re also seeing the beginning of the end of what has been a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for light vehicles.”

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US Car Market Could End Year With All-Time Sales Record

Down to a photo-finish

by on Nov.16, 2015

Ford's F-150 has led the sales charts again and helped push the industry towards a new record.

Just six years after plunging into its worst downturn since the Great Depression, the U.S. auto industry has staged an unexpected and unprecedented rebound, one that could see 2015 end with an all-time sales record.

And with fuel prices at their lowest level this decade, consumers are shifting back to pickups, SUVs and other higher-profit products that could also translate into a strong, if not record, year for earnings, as well.

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“It will be a photo-finish,” to see if 2015 beats the previous record set during the first year of the new millennium, said Stacey Boyle, an analyst with data tracking firm TrueCar, “but it will definitely be the second-highest year.”

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Volkswagen’s October Sales Survive Scandal, Drop Comes in November

Maker uses heavy incentives to retain buyers.

by on Nov.04, 2015

VW of America chief Michael Horn expressed appreciation to buyers who remained loyal to the brand in October.

When October auto sales were released, industry observers wondered if Volkswagen’s totals would include a dash in front of the numbers due to the diesel scandal the German maker is currently embroiled in.

The good news for VW is that it posted a small gain – 0.2% – last month, meaning no dashes, although many of its competitors enjoyed double-digit increases, often setting new records for the month of October.

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Volkswagen has been trying to win customers with steep discounts and rebates, as much as $2,000, as well as offering low-cost leases. (more…)

More Like ‘Treat or Treat’ as October Auto Sales Boom

Luxury cars sprinted off dealer lots last month.

by on Nov.03, 2015

The Lexus RC coupe posted strong sales gains in October, helping the brand to a 13.2% increase.

The U.S. auto industry ended October with way more treats than tricks as many makers enjoyed best-ever Octobers as trucks and SUVs flew off dealer lots joined by plenty of luxury vehicles although one brand did take a hit: BMW.

The Bavarian maker is locked in a battle with Lexus and Mercedes for luxury vehicle sales superiority in the U.S. and last month didn’t help its cause as sales fell 3.8% in October. The brand’s utility vehicle held up their end of the bargain, posting a 56.7% gain, but car sales offset those gains.

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“Trends in the luxury vehicle market are becoming more evident with the October sales another indicator of how important Sports Activity Vehicles are becoming to our market segment,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. (more…)

October Auto Sales Pushing Previous Records

Low gas prices encouraging truck, sport-utility sales.

by on Nov.03, 2015

Ford saw strong sales in October led, in part, but a significant increase in Ford Edge sales.

U.S. auto sales continue to enjoy a breakneck pace as the early results show automakers only reporting increases during October that could set new records.

GM sales rose 16% with Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC reporting increases of at least 13%. Buick was the laggard in the group with sales slipping 0.2%.

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Fiat Chrysler continued its run of monthly sales increases to 67 consecutive as sales rose 15%, largely due to a 33% increase for the Jeep brand. Ford enjoyed a strong October with a 13% leap, in large measure due to another strong month for the new F-150 full-size pickup truck, which rose 3.3%. (more…)

October Car Sales Rebounding from Brief Slowdown

Market largely overcomes impact of government shutdown.

by on Oct.28, 2013

Car dealers have been able to regain momentum since the government shutdown ended.

Despite the turmoil created by the government shutdown – and the subsequent impact on consumer confidence — sales of new vehicles are showing unexpected resilience in October with analysts predicting a welcome increase for the full month.

Sales are expected to rise 7% in October to a total of 1.22 million units, according to data tracking service Kelley Blue Book, with other analysts making similar predictions. A combined forecast by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive was even more bullish, with an anticipated 8% gain for October.

“Sales in the third week of the month strengthened relative to the first two weeks, which is evidence of vehicle buyers delaying their purchase until the shutdown was resolved,” said Power’s senior automotive analyst John Humphrey.

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That’s in sharp contrast to the dire predictions made by some industry executives earlier in the month, notably Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, who had cautioned that sales could decline as much as 10% in the wake of the government shutdown.

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Superstorm Fails to Drench October Car Sales

Makers report some storm impact – but also expect a lift later as motorists replace ruined vehicles.

by on Nov.01, 2012

Despite the massive Superstorm Sandy, the auto industry had a solid October and expects further gains to follow.

Though a senior GM executive estimates half of the maker’s dealers in New Jersey are still not open in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the maker said its sales nonetheless hit their highest October levels since 2007. And most of the industry’s other major players also appear to have come through the late-month disaster in good shape.

If anything, industry officials say the storm clouds might have a silver lining in that there could be a flurry of activity in the months ahead as consumers and fleet customers alike race to replace vehicles ruined in the storm.

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Though a number of makers have yet to report in, the indication is that the industry remained on track for the best October since before the recent recession began. But some analysts are now estimating that sales could have been reduced by as much as 30,000 units or more as those on the East Coast prepared for the storm and then struggled to stay out of harm’s way.

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Sandy Taking Steam Out of Strong Oct. Sales

But November demand could surge as the Eastern Seaboard dries out.

by on Oct.30, 2012

Mother Nature overwhelms what had been a strong October for the US auto industry.

Hurricane Sandy is taking the steam out of what was on track to be a strong October for U.S. car sales.

The still-massive storm shut dealerships across New England and the mid-Atlantic states, including major metropolitan areas such as New York, Washington D.C. Baltimore and Philadelphia. And heavy winds, rain and storm continue impacting business as far west as Ohio, Michigan and beyond.

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Prior to the wicked and deadly storm, analysts had expected October sales to increase by roughly 11.5 % from October 2011. Before the storm warnings went up, True Car.com, a source of pricing information for new car buyers, estimated October 2012 would see a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate, or SAAR, of 14.9 million new vehicles, up from 13.3 million in October 2011 — though down very slightly from the 14.94-million-unit SAAR of September 2012.

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Can Makers Maintain October’s Sales Momentum?

Best month since August 2009 – trend or an aberration?

by on Nov.01, 2011

Kia sets another sales record, as did Audi and several other makers.

Sales of new vehicles once again showed considerable strength during October after a slow summer that had many worrying the industry – along with the overall U.S. economy – might be heading into a double-dip recession.

With collective sales coming in at an annualized rate of about 13.3 million, October was the best month since August 2009, at the end of the Cash-for-Clunkers program, according to J.D. Power and Associates.  But the question nagging industry leaders and analysts alike is whether October’s strong performance was merely an aberration or the beginning of a long-desired upward trend in a market still recovering from its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

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Several manufacturers, including Audi, reported records for October, while Honda broke out of a long slump and, with Chrysler leading the way, Detroit’s automakers continued to report better sales.

However, Toyota suffered another setback last month as overall sales dropped 4.3% despite larger inventories and rising incentives as well as what Toyota executives described as a strong start for sales of the new Camry.

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