Tag Archive | "new vehicle sales"

J.D. Power Projects Highest December SAAR in Eight Years


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — New-vehicle retail sales in December are expected to reach a SAAR of 14.2 million units, the highest level since 2006, according to a monthly sales forecast released by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

J.D. Power projects sales of 1.3 million units for December, which represents a 7% increase on a selling day adjusted basis compared with last December. The selling day adjustment was made because this year’s December has one more selling day than last year.

Vehicle inventory levels at the start of December 2014 were at a 71-day supply, five days fewer than November and six fewer than last December. The end of the year is typically a strong time for dealers as customers seek better deals when inventories are being cleared out for the next year’s models.

“The industry continues to demonstrate strong sales growth as the year comes to a close,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive practice at J.D. Power. “December 31 was the strongest sales day of the year in 2013, bringing in more than 118,000 units, or 10% of the month’s sales.”

LMC Automotive is still projecting total light vehicle sales of 16.5 million units, a number that was increased recently due to strong November and December sales. Sales in 2015 will continue to increase, and LMC is projecting the industry will sell 17 million units next year.

“The prospects for auto sales to overachieve in 2015 are moving closer to reality as 2014 goes out on a high note,” said Jeff Schuster, SVP of forecasting at LMC. “Economic bliss, driven by job creation, wage growth and low gas prices may drive consumers to showrooms at a faster pace.”

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Avg. New-Vehicle Transaction Price Up $3,900 Since 2009


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Rising transaction prices for new vehicles have been a big contributor to the health of the auto industry this year, J.D. Power analysts reported this week. They noted that the average new-vehicle transaction price has risen $3,900 since 2009 to $29,600.

Current transaction prices for new vehicle and the rise in sales could push up the value of vehicles purchased to the highest level ever at $407 billion, J.D. Power noted.

“When defining success in the auto industry, whether it is for a specific segment, manufacturer or model, it’s important to look beyond basic sales figures,” said Thomas King, vice president of J.D. Power’s Power Information Network.

King noted that not all vehicle segments have performed equally, with some delivering stronger volumes and lower price growth while others realized greater price growth but weaker sales. Retail sales in the large pickup segment, King pointed out, have increased 4.6% this year, which is below the overall industry sales increase of 5.7%. However, the average price of a pickup has risen by $2,700 over that same period, a gain of 7.5% compared to the industry average of 2.3%.

“From a sales perspective, large pickups have grown slightly slower than the industry overall, but from a price perspective, they have significantly outperformed the industry,” said King.

By contrast, compact SUVs have demonstrated exception retail volume growth of 22.1% so far this year. The average transaction price for models in this segment, however, have changed only slightly by an average of 0.6%. It is these statistical differences that is driving J.D. Power’s belief that sales numbers alone do not provide the best overall picture of industry success.

“With the rapid growth of average transaction prices over the past few years, success needs to be defined more broadly to include overall revenues in addition to sales volumes,” said King.

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New Forecasts Show Best September Sales Since 2007


SANTA MONICA, Calif. — New vehicle sales projections for September are up as much as 9.7% compared to the same period last year according to forecasts from TrueCar and J.D. Power. Over 1.2 million new light-vehicles will be sold in September which TrueCar is calling the highest number in 7 years.

“We expect another strong month for the industry with the best September since 2007,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “Incentive spending has tapered off from August, a month where we found increases attributable to shifts in segment mix, model year clearance and holiday events.”

The average new vehicle retail transaction price in September was $30,100, the highest ever for the month and exceeding 2013 by $450.

“While the strong sales pace is an indicator of the health of the industry, it is being complemented by record transaction prices for the month of September,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive practice at J.D. Power.

Kia is projected to have the strongest rebound from 2013 with a 23.7% increase in sales compared to last September, according to TrueCar. GM has the highest projected number of sales at 225,000 vehicles.

Average incentive spending by manufacturers was $2,801 per car, 6.2% lower than it was in August but still at healthy levels, said Krafcik.

TrueCar also projects over 3 million used car sales from dealerships and private parties in September, a slightly lower number than last year. Both TrueCar and J.D. Power are forecasting 16.4 million new light- vehicle sales for 2014.

Edmunds also released their September forecast showing similar projected numbers while commenting that as good as the numbers have been, buyers had responded to more low financing deals and lease offers which boded well for new car sales going forward.

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New-Vehicle Sales Up 13.8 Percent Through October


October sales were up 13.8 percent through October, according to Autodata Corp. Year over year, sales were up 6.9 percent, while October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate came in at 14.29 million units — down from last month’s 14.94 million reading but up from October 2011’s 13.34 million SAAR.

Several automakers, including Volkswagen, reported record sales for October, while Toyota and BMW realized major sales gains vs. a year ago. Nissan and Hyundai attributed their sales declines to Hurricane Sandy.

Audi: The German automaker reported its 22nd consecutive month of record sales in October, posting a 14.5 percent sales increase from a year ago. Sales totaled 11,708 units. On a year-to-date basis, Audi sales increased 18.1 percent vs. 2011, with 112,402 units sold.

BMW: The BMW Group sold 32,339 units in October, up 18.5 percent from October 2011. On a year-to-date basis, sales were up 8.4 percent, with 267,267 units sold so far this year. BMW brand sales increased 20.9 percent vs. a year ago, with 26,451 units retailed for the month.

Chrysler: The domestic automaker has already topped its total sales for 2011, recording a 10 percent increase vs. a year ago. Sales for October totaled 126,185 units. The achievement also marked the 31st straight month of year-over-year sales gains.

Ford: Total U.S. sales for the company were unchanged from a year ago, but retail sales were up 2 percent compared to October 2011. Sales in October totaled 168,456 units, with car sales increasing 2 percent. Sales of utility vehicles were up 2 percent, while F-Series pickup sales were up 8 percent, Econoline sales were up 19 percent and Transit Connect sales were up 22 percent.

General Motors: GM posted its highest October sales in the U.S. market since 2007, with sales totaling 195,764 units — a 3.6 percent rise from a year ago. Passenger cars realized a 15 percent sales increase vs. a year ago. All of GM’s brands increased their retail sales — Chevy by 4.6 percent, GMC up 7.5 percent, Buick up 15.4 percent and Cadillac up 16 percent.

Truck sales were up as well, with crossover sales climbing 3 percent and full-size pickup sales up 8 percent from a year ago.

Honda: The Japanese carmaker posted an 8.8 percent sales gain in October vs. a year ago, with 106,973 units sold. The Honda division sold 94,810 vehicles, up 8.7 percent from October 2011, while Acura’s sales totaled 12,163 units, up 9.4 percent from the same period last year.

Top sellers included the Accord, with 28,349 units sold, a 25 percent increase from a year ago. Civic sales were up 27 percent, with 20,687 units sold, while the CR-V, Crosstour, Ridgline and Fit all recording sales gains in October.

Hyundai: Sales for the Korean automaker totaled 50,271 units in October, a 4 percent decline from a year ago but an 8.2 percent increase on a year-to-date basis. In a press release, Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales, attributes this decline in October to the difficulties caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Mazda: The automaker reported a 1.6 percent increase in sales vs. a year ago, with sales for October totaling 18,622 units. On a year-to-date basis, Mazda’s sales were up 8.8 percent on 228,104 units sold. The Mazda3 realized a 34 percent increase vs. October 2011, with 9,518 units sold. The company reported that its SKYACTIV technology accounted for 81.5 percent of its monthly sales.

Mitsubishi: Total sales for the manufacturer were down 9.1 percent from a year ago on 3,981 units sold. Sales of the Outlander Sport spiked 17.9 percent compared to a year ago with 1,675 units sold, marketing the model’s second best sales month since it hit the market two years ago.

Nissan: Down by 3.2 percent from last October, Nissan sales totaled 79,685 units in October. Al Castignetti, vice president of the Nissan Division, credits this drop to the major disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy on the East coast. The top seller for October was the Versa with 8,311 units sold.

Toyota: The Japanese automaker sold 155,242 units, a 15.8 percent increase vs. a year ago. Toyota reported a 16.8 percent increase on a “daily sales rate” basis vs. the same period a year ago. The Toyota division sold 77,520 units for the month, up 24 percent from last year, while Lexus sales rose 15.2 percent to 11,647 vehicles sold. Hybrids recorded a 69.7 percent sales increase from last year with 24,065 units sold.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen had its best October sales since 1972, with 34,311 units sold, up 22.4 percent from October 2011 and 35.6 percent on year-to-date basis. The carmaker also realized its 26th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. The Passat and Tiguan each reported record sales for October, rolling 8,355 and 2,752 units, respectively.

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Auto Sales to Hit 14.5 Million in 2012


A recent report from asset management firm Alliance Bernstein highlighted strong sectors in the U.S. economy, one of which is retail automotive sales.

According to the report, real personal spending by consumers increased 2.9 percent during the first quarter of 2012, and spending on big ticket items, such as cars, was up 15.3 percent. New-vehicle sales reached 14.5 million units, annualized, which beat the firm’s previous forecast of 13.75 million units for the year. The company added that auto industry analysts recently upgraded their forecast to 14.5 million units.

A range of factors are driving increased consumer spending, including an improved employment picture, improving consumer confidence and net worth, as well as stronger cash flow from record low borrowing costs.

Related to the jobs picture and the overall economy, another report from Alliance Bernstein says that despite recent lower-than-expected employment reports, the outlook on the jobs front is positive. The initial report for April 2012 showed that payroll employment rose by 115,000. Alliance Bernstein noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revises these reports two months after it issues them, and that these revisions track the business cycle. The firm said it believes the BLS will revise the April jobs number upward.

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F&I and New-Vehicle Profitability Drive Profit Gains for AutoNation


FORT LAUDERDALE – AutoNation Inc. reported increased profitability in each of its business sectors for the first quarter, with revenue up 10 percent and gross profit up 6 percent. Officials attributed the healthy profit gains to F&I performance and new-vehicle sales.

Net income from continuing operations rose almost 6 percent to $74 million for the quarter compared to the year-ago period. Revenue rose from $3.3 billion last year to 3.7 billion, with new-vehicle unit sales increasing 8 percent on a same-store basis and 10 percent overall, according to F&I and Showroom magazine.

Driven by increases in F&I and new-vehicle gross profits, overall gross profit for the dealer group increased 6 percent from the year-ago period to $603 million in the first quarter. F&I gross profit increased 7.2 percent per vehicle retailed to $1,213.

Officials also attributed the company’s gross profit gains to the $4.6 million, or $82 on a per new-vehicle retailed basis, related to additional incentives on premium luxury vehicles previously sold.

“The renaissance in auto retail is well underway, reflected in a seasonally adjusted U.S. industry annual selling rate of 14.5 million units for the first quarter of 2012,” said Mike Jackson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We have increased our 2012 U.S. industry new-vehicle sales forecast to mid-14 million units, as we see continued momentum in U.S. auto sales.”

During the first quarter of 2012, AutoNation repurchased 11.7 million shares of common stock, or 9 percent of the shares outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2011, for an aggregate purchase price of $405.4 million. From April 1 through April 24, 2012, the company also repurchased 2.1 million shares for an aggregate purchase price of $70.8 million. As of April 24, 2012, there were approximately 122 million shares outstanding.

By segment, AutoNation’s domestic-brand stores experienced a 16 percent increase in new-vehicle unit sales, with income ($50 million) up $7 million from the year-ago period. The group’s import stores, which income of $62 million, also increased new-vehicle unit sales by 6 percent. New-vehicle unit sales for the group’s premium luxury stores were up 14 percent. Net income for those stores increase by $1 million to $59 million.

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