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Posts Tagged ‘suv sales’

Auto Market Likely to Maintain Near-Record Momentum

But shift to utes could accelerate, forecasts Toyota autos chief.

by on Dec.02, 2016

The Toyota RAV4 may soon be Toyota's best-seller.

After several tenuous months, U.S. new car sales slipped back on their record track in November, and while it’s likely the industry has hit the peak of the current economic cycle, demand is likely to remain strong for several more years, forecast the U.S. head of automotive operations for Toyota.

What consumers will be buying is another matter, according to Senior Vice President Bob Carter, who stressed that the shift from conventional passenger cars to utility vehicles and other light trucks “is going to continue to accelerate in the future.”

Barring a sudden slowdown of the American market, sales should just nip past last year’s all-time record of around 17.5 million, said Carter, during a meeting with journalists in Detroit. “By anyone’s estimation,” he said, “that’s fantastic.”

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Delayed a Day, Ford Sales Also Take a Tumble

Lincoln a rare bright spot.

by on Nov.02, 2016

Ford's Super Duty provided a rare bright spot for the automaker in October.

A day late – and a dollar short, it seems, as Ford Motor Co. says its sales also took a double-digit dip during October, in line with the overall U.S. new car market slide.

The news wasn’t entirely bad, however, Ford reporting growth by its long-struggling luxury brand, Lincoln, as it rolls out an assortment of new and updated products, including the all-new Continental flagship sedan.

By the Numbers!

Ford issued its numbers after a day-long delay due to a fire that knocked out electrical power to its corporate headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. The rest of the industry didn’t fare especially well, even without Ford’s downward pull. While a few makers reported strong, and even record, sales for October, the market was down about 4% year-over-year.

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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.

Sales News!

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…)

Heavy Lifter: Much Riding on New Volkswagen Atlas

New ute will be the largest VW model sold in the U.S.

by on Oct.28, 2016

The VW Atlas makes its debut.

In Greek mythology, Atlas carried the world on his back. The new Volkswagen Atlas won’t have quite as big a load to shoulder, but it will still be the troubled brand’s heavy lifter.

The long-awaited sport-utility vehicle made its debut during a preview on the Santa Monica Pier Thursday night, and it will soon start rolling out of the expanded Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Atlas will join VW’s two other SUVs and, if all goes according to plan, help the automaker gain some much-needed momentum in a fast-growing market that has largely passed it by.

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“This is the beginning of a new future for Volkswagen in America,” declared Hinrich Woebcken, the long-time BMW executive who was named CEO of Volkswagen Group of America early this year. The launch of the Atlas, he continued, means that “We are here to stay in North America.”

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Buick Confirms TDB Report: Will Halt Verano Production

Brand shifting focus to SUVs.

by on May.27, 2016

Heading off into the sunset, the Buick Verano.

General Motors  will end U.S. production and sales of the compact Buick sedan, confirming a report first posted by TheDetroitBureau.com this spring.

The move reflects the broad market shift from conventional passenger cars to sport- and crossover-utility vehicles. Buick utility-vehicle line-up is expected to account for as much as 70% of its sales over the next several years, according to senior brand planners.

Product News!

Sales of the Verano were down nearly 12% for the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2015. And last year’s total sales of 31,886 of the sedans was a 27% drop from 2014.

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Buick Reportedly Planning to Kill Off Verano

Move would mark another shift from cars to SUVs.

by on May.10, 2016

Buick will be dropping the Verano as it shifts from passenger cars to light trucks.

Just days after Fiat Chrysler outlined plans to phase out several of its passenger car models and shift production to its SUVs and pickups, reports have surfaced indicating General Motors’ Buick will drop the small Verano sedan model as the brand shifts its own focus to a growing line-up of sport-utility vehicles.

The move would not surprise industry observers who have been observing more and more American motorists walk away from traditional passenger cars in favor of utility vehicles, pickups and other light truck models that, in recent months, have accounted for as much as 60% of new vehicle sales in the U.S.

Tracking Trends!

The shift has forced manufacturers to rethink both manufacturing and product development strategies. And, in some cases, it has led them to cut back or even idle production at some of the plants producing slow-selling sedan and coupe models, such as Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and the Orion Assembly Plant that produces the Verano.

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EV, Hybrid Owners Swapping Green Rides for SUVs

Improved fuel efficiency of SUVs helping to draw green model owners.

by on Apr.22, 2016

If you're driving one of these now, the odds are better than ever your previous vehicle was a hybrid or an EV.

All of those new SUVs trundling down America’s roadways may have more in common than what meets the eye. With increasing frequency, those new sport-ute owners are former EV or hybrid devotees.

A new study from Edmunds.com shows that just 27.5% of all hybrids and electric vehicles traded in this year were swapped for another like model. It’s a substantive drop from the 38.5% from 2015.

The Last Word!

And the vehicle they’re most likely to replace their gas sipper for? Yup, an SUV. Edmunds found that a hybrid or electric trade-in is more likely to go toward the purchase of a ute 33.8% more often than another hybrid or EV. (more…)

Automakers Struggle as Small Car Sales Slide

Midsize models also taking a hit as cheap gas lures shoppers to SUVs and CUVs.

by on Apr.12, 2016

Dodge will now offer just 3 versions of the Dart.

Desperate to reverse declining sales of some of its smallest passenger cars, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is trimming back the line-up of its compact Dodge Dart line and cutting as much as $1,600 off the sticker price of the three remaining models.

The Detroit maker isn’t alone. Across the industry, automakers are struggling to shore up demand for their sedans and coupes, especially the compact and smaller models that have been especially hard hit by the past year’s sharp dip in fuel prices.

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Manufacturers are ramping up incentives, trimming model lines and, in some cases, cutting production or moving it offshore in a bid to reduce production costs.

“We are repositioning the Dart lineup to better align production and dealer inventory with consumer demand and preference,” Tim Kuniskis, FCA’s head of passenger car brands.

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South Korea’s Ssangyong Set to Make Push into US Market

For SUV model could be on sale by late 2019.

by on Mar.08, 2016

Ssangyong's first model built under Mahindra ownership, the Tivoli Air SUV.

The U.S. car market has been getting a bit more crowded lately, as new brands like Tesla and Faraday Future have entered the fray against more established manufacturers, and Apple and Google reportedly get ready to launch their own car lines.

Now, another brand is eyeing the market, the Korean-based Ssangyong Motor Co. Owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra, it may make its “make or break” bid as early as 2019, CEO Choi Johng-sik said.

Global News!

But a report by the Reuters news service cautions that there may be some disagreement between officials at Ssangyong headquarters in Korea and their bosses in India that could delay or scuttle the venture.

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Honda Tops List of Best SUV Buys Under $25K

Asian automakers dominate KBB.com’s top 10 list.

by on Mar.04, 2016

Honda's CR-V is one reason why crossovers and sport-utiliies are outselling sedans for the first time ever.

New vehicle sales are still red hot and sport-utility vehicles are among the vehicles generating the heat these days, in particular compact SUVs.

Small SUVs offer buyers a lot of upside: elevated ride height and four-wheel drive capability as well as good gas mileage allowing buyers to hedge against a return to gas prices above $3 a gallon some day.

Picking up on the Trends!

Perhaps their best selling point is the selling price: a well-equipped small SUV can be had for less than $25,000. (more…)