Tag Archive | "fleet sales"

Ford Relaunches Commercial Vehicle Dealer Program


DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is launching the Commercial Vehicle Center dealer program to replace the Business Preferred Network (BPN). According to officials, the new program  offers improved service, better parts availability and a new loyalty program.

The program is rolling out at 650 of Ford’s more than 3,000 dealers in the United States and replaces a program that was heavily used by smaller fleets to set up work trucks and vans.

“Nearly 30 years ago, Ford established its first program to improve the purchase experience for our commercial vehicle customers,” said John Ruppert, Ford general manager of commercial vehicle sales and marketing. “Now we are introducing the next chapter in our commercial vehicle story, not only by rebranding the program, but by further expanding a number of program elements to improve the overall customer experience.”

A Commercial Vehicle Center will offer a service counter that’s open at least 55 hours per week and new stocking programs that will improve parts availability, according to Ford.

Ford is also offering a new Commercial Advantage Rewards loyalty program that allows customers to earn various factory benefits that can be redeemed at a Commercial Vehicle Center location. Dealers can offer their own rewards through the program.

The centers will support Ford’s commercial vehicles, including Transit Connect compact vans, full-size Transit cargo vans, F-150 pickups, Super Duty chassis cabs, as well as F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks. Commercial Vehicle Center dealers will also offer the best selection of in-stock Ford commercial vehicles, and a range of financing options and incentives, according to Ford.

Ford is launching the Commercial Vehicle Center dealer program that will replace the Business Preferred Network (BPN) and offer improved service, better parts availability and a new loyalty program, Ford announced.

The program is rolling out at 650 of Ford’s more than 3,000 dealers in the U.S. and replaces a program that was heavily used by smaller fleets to set up work trucks and vans.

Much like a BPN dealer, a Commercial Vehicle Center will offer sales, service, and financing support for commercial buyers.

“Nearly 30 years ago, Ford established its first program to improve the purchase experience for our commercial vehicle customers,” said John Ruppert, Ford general manager, commercial vehicle sales and marketing. “Now we are introducing the next chapter in our commercial vehicle story, not only by rebranding the program, but by further expanding a number of program elements to improve the overall customer experience.”

A Commercial Vehicle Center will offer a service counter that’s open at least 55 hours per week and new stocking programs that will improve parts availability, according to Ford.

Ford is also offering a new Commercial Advantage Rewards loyalty program that allows customers to earn various factory benefits that can be redeemed at a Commercial Vehicle Center location. Dealers can offer their own rewards through the program.

The centers will support Ford’s commercial vehicles, including Transit Connect compact vans, full-size Transit cargo vans, F-150 pickups, Super Duty chassis cabs, as well as F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks. Commercial Vehicle Center dealers will also offer the best selection of in-stock Ford commercial vehicles, and a range of financing options and incentives, according to Ford.

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KBB Predicts 12% Increase in New-Vehicle Sales


IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book said this week it expects new-vehicle sales to increase nearly 12% year over year to a total of 1.43 million units in October, a predication that would put the seasonally adjusted annual rate at 197.9 million if realized. It would also be the highest October sales total since 2001.

Fueling the vehicle information site’s double-digit growth prediction is new-vehicle sales continue to roll off dealer lots after the industry experienced its strongest sales month in over a decade in September. Employment and fuel prices are other drivers of KBB’s prediction.

“Key economic indicators for auto sales are still strong, including jobless claims at a historic low as the national unemployment rate approaches 5%, fuel pricing nearing six-year lows, and interest rates that remain near zero,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “This momentum has pushed Kelley Blue Book’s forecast to 17.4 million for 2015, a 5.6% year-over-year improvement.”

Sales Volume 

Market Share 2

Manufacturer

Oct-15

Oct-14

YOY %

Oct-15

Oct-14

YOY %

General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)

250,000

226,819

10.2%

17.5%

17.8%

-0.3%

Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)

219,000

187,897

16.6%

15.3%

14.7%

0.6%

Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)

198,000

180,580

9.6%

13.8%

14.1%

-0.3%

Fiat Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep, RAM)

191,000

170,480

12.0%

13.4%

13.3%

0.0%

American Honda (Acura, Honda)

135,000

121,172

11.4%

9.4%

9.5%

0.0%

Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)

120,000

103,117

16.4%

8.4%

8.1%

0.3%

Hyundai-Kia

110,000

94,775

16.1%

7.7%

7.4%

0.3%

Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)

50,000

49,130

1.8%

3.5%

3.8%

-0.3%

Total 3

1,430,000

1,277,821

11.9%

Historical data from OEM sales announcements

While General Motors is expected to lead the way in sales volume, Ford Motor Co.’s expected 16.6% increase in new-vehicle sales from a year ago would be the biggest gain in October. Expected to lead the way, according to KBB, is the F-150, which is pushing overall F-Series volume to new levels of growth this year. Ford’s refreshed Explorer should also be a solid driver of growth this year for the automaker.

The Volkswagen Group is also expected to show a slight gain in sales volume, despite its recent troubles, the site noted. “With most brands experiencing growth this month, Volkswagen Group should report fairly even sales totals in the wake of their diesel emissions issue,” said Gutierrez. “Audi and Porsche will be driving the sales growth for the manufacturer, as the Volkswagen brand posts negative figures, largely due to the stop-sale of its diesel models, which previously made up nearly 20 percent of the brand’s sales volume.”

By vehicle segment, compact utility vehicles are expected to lead the way for the third month in a row with nearly 40% growth. This segment has seen five new models enter the segment in the past year, which has resulted in more than 20,000 units sold per month. Still, the rest of the segment continues to strengthen at double the rest of the industry’s pace.

With low fuel prices and exploding popularity of small utilities, small and mid-size cars will continue to lose market share in October. These are already two of the most competitive segments in the market, and year-to-date sales in both segments have declined. While Kelley Blue Book said it expects an increase in volume in October, due to strong overall sales momentum in the automotive industry, it also believes market share will drop by more than a full percentage point for these car segments.

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As Fleet Sales Stall, Automakers Report Mixed Results


DETROIT — Auto sales in the United States cooled off in July as the two biggest American carmakers, General Motors and the Ford Motor Company, reported declines that they attributed partly to lower sales to rental car fleets.

The drop in sales at G.M. and Ford were offset by strong performances at Toyota and Honda, which a year ago were struggling to overcome inventory shortages because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Over all, the industry reported sales on Wednesday of 1.15 million vehicles during July, which was an 8.9 percent improvement over the same period a year ago, according to The New York Times.

That lags the 14.8 percent increase the industry recorded during the first six months of 2012. While sales are still on track to top 14 million vehicles for the entire year, analysts said growth appeared to be slowing somewhat.

“The good news is that demand is stable and it is not fueled by incentives and discounts,” said Jesse Toprak, chief market analyst for the auto research Web site TrueCar.com. “On the other hand, we’re not seeing that blockbuster month.”

Industry incentives remained flat in July compared with the previous month, with an average discount per vehicle of about $2,200, according to Edmunds.com, an auto information site that compiles incentive data.

Most automakers said that truck sales slipped during July and car sales increased. Executives noted that consumers continued to be heavily influenced by the fuel economy of vehicles they purchase.

G.M., which will report quarterly earnings on Thursday, turned in the worst performance of any major automaker, selling 201,000 vehicles during the month, down 6.4 percent from a year ago.

Sales of the Chevrolet Cruze, a hot subcompact last July, plunged amid a surge of interest in the Honda Civic.

G.M. said its sales to retail customers rose slightly, but sales to rental car fleets fell 41 percent.

G.M. executives said that rental car deliveries dropped because more cars had been ordered earlier in the year. But the company is not expecting the falloff to be repeated.

“This was a one-month issue,” said Alan Batey, who took over this week as G.M.’s interim head of global marketing.

Mr. Batey replaced Joel Ewanick, who resigned this week after the company said he had failed to meet its standards in negotiating a sponsorship deal with an English soccer club. Mr. Ewanick’s departure raised questions about how G.M. might alter its marketing strategy to recoup lost market share.

“Fleet sales are part of the reason for G.M.’s lackluster results in July, but not the only reason,” Mr. Toprak said. “Some of their biggest sellers have lost momentum in the marketplace.”

However, Mr. Batey said G.M. would not change its marketing plans, including a recently introduced program that allows Chevrolet buyers to return new vehicles if they are not satisfied. “There is no change in direction,” he said. “It’s all about execution.”

Ford said its United States sales declined by 3.8 percent during the month to 173,000 vehicles. The company also cited soft rental car fleet sales as a prime reason for the drop.

Sales of Ford pickups fell 9 percent during the month, but the company enjoyed healthy sales of small cars and the new version of its Explorer S.U.V. “Fuel economy continues to be a top consumer purchase driver across our lineup,” said Ken Czubay, head of Ford’s United States sales and marketing.

Other automakers were not as affected by cutbacks in rental car orders. Chrysler, the smallest of the Detroit automakers, said its sales in July increased 12.6 percent to 126,000 vehicles, as consumers continued to buy popular models like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 200 sedan.

“July was another solid month for Chrysler as we again demonstrated our disciplined and methodical approach to growing sales and profits,” said Reid Bigland, head of United States sales for Chrysler.

The big foreign automakers continued to gain market share with new models and improved inventory levels.

Toyota said its American sales climbed 26.1 percent during the month to 164,000 vehicles, and Honda reported a 45.3 percent increase to 116,000 vehicles. A year ago, both companies were hard-pressed to fill showrooms because of manufacturing and supplier problems in Japan.

The German carmaker Volkswagen reported a 27.5 percent increase in sales for its VW and Audi brands combined. The company is increasing production at its new plant in Tennessee to keep up with demand for popular products like the Passat sedan.

The auto companies generally agreed that sales would increase slightly this fall, particularly in pickup trucks.

“Signs of a housing recovery and good news on consumer confidence and household income should keep the light vehicle selling rate in the 14 million range and drive seasonally higher truck sales as we move toward fall,” said Kurt McNeil, a senior United States sales executive at G.M.

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Analysts: Fleet Sales Mask Low Demand


Fleet sales are expected to once again prop up June car and truck sales when figures are released Thursday, masking weak demand among retail customers, reported The Detroit News.

Industry analysts believe June sales will outpace June 2009 as businesses and governments replenish their aging motor pools after delaying purchases amid the recession.

But overall sales are expected to fall from May, due to a volatile financial market and wary consumers.

Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates, predicts this month’s sales will total 971,000 cars and light trucks, up 13 percent from a dismal year-ago pace. That was the month that General Motors Corp. filed bankruptcy, and the auto industry was struggling with historically low sales.

“With the recovery not progressing as expected, it’s gut-check time for the automotive industry,” he said.

Schuster forecasts June’s selling pace dipped to 10.9 million vehicles on an annualized basis, down from 11.5 million in May but up from 9.7 million a year ago.

Pricing firm TrueCar.com expects the seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of sales will total 11.1 million vehicles. TrueCar.com forecasts June sales at 985,266, up 14.8 percent from a year earlier but down 10.5 percent from May. Edmunds.com, meanwhile, forecasts an 11.2 million SAAR and a 16.6 percent increase in June sales.

The boost from moribund 2009 levels is largely attributed to fleet orders by rental car companies, but that demand is expected to ebb later this year, putting increased importance on a resurgence in consumer demand.

Yet all automakers are better-positioned this year to benefit from a slow recovery in retail orders after cutting costs last year and, in the cases of GM and Chrysler Group LLC, receiving tens of billions in federal aid, according to a new report from Standard and Poor’s.

Fleet sales are serving an important purpose for GM, in particular, which is loading rental cars with more options like DVD players and navigation systems, which are helping fetch higher prices and boosting resale values.

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