Tag Archive | "retail sales"

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








General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)







Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)







Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)







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







American Honda (Acura, Honda)







Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)














Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)







Total 3




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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Harley-Davidson Upstaged by Polaris in Motorcycle Sales

Harley-Davidson Inc. reported disappointing retail sales of its motorcycles in the second quarter even as smaller rival Polaris Industries Inc. posted a strong showing, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Milwaukee-based Harley, the dominant supplier of heavyweight motorcycles in the U.S., reported a 30% rise in profit, reflecting higher profit margins and a rise in shipments to dealers for sales in the months ahead. In the second quarter, Harley dealers world-wide sold 90,218 new Harley motorcycles in the quarter, barely changed from a year earlier.

The company blamed bad weather in parts of the U.S. and said some customers apparently held off purchases because they were waiting for new models. Harley now expects its shipments to grow between 3.5% and 5.5% this year, down from an earlier forecast of 7% to 9%.

Harley said its share of the market for new heavyweight motorcycles with engines of 601 cubic centimeters or greater slipped to about 50% in the quarter from 53% a year earlier.

“We believe the flat retail sales are a temporary situation,” Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Officer Keith Wandell said in a call with analysts. He said riders were enthusiastic about new Rushmore and Street models.

Quality problems with imported parts for the new lighter-weight Street models reduced availability of that product, Harley executives said. Harley generally relies on U.S. suppliers but is using imported engine parts to hold down costs on the Street bikes, which retail for between $6,800 and $7,500 and are aimed at young urban adults. Larger and more luxurious Harley bikes can retail for as much as $39,000.

Supplies of the Street models should be much higher later this year, said John Olin, chief financial officer. Also hurting sales in the second quarter was the absence of new models of the Road Glide series, which is being retooled. Road Glide accounted for 10% of sales in the year-earlier quarter, Mr. Olin said.

Polaris, which posted a 21% increase in second-quarter profit, touted a big increase in sales of its recently relaunched Indian heavyweight motorcycle brand. Polaris said sales at its motorcycles division more than doubled to $103.1 million.

Harley’s profit came to $354.2 million, or 1.62 per share, up from $271.7 million, or $1.21 a share, a year earlier. Wall Street expected earnings of about $1.47 per share in the latest quarter, according to FactSet.

Harley’s revenue, including motorcycles and financial services, grew 12% to $2 billion. The company books revenue when it ships to dealers.

Minneapolis-based Polaris, which also makes snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles, reported net income of $96.9 million, or $1.42 per share, up from $80.0 million, or $1.13 per share. Sales increased 20% to $1.01 billion.

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Harley-Davidson Buoyed by Strong Overseas Sales

Via The Wall Street Journal

A harsh winter didn’t blow Harley-Davidson Inc. off the road.

The Milwaukee-based maker of motorcycles reported a 19% rise in first quarter profit, even though bad weather in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. reduced traffic at dealerships. Retail sales of Harley motorcycles in the home market were up 3% from a year earlier.

Retail sales of the company’s products outside the U.S. jumped 11%. In the Asian-Pacific region, growth was nearly 21%. The company cited strong sales in Japan, where buyers rushed in ahead of a consumption tax increase that took effect April 1. Harley said sales in Europe were helped by mild weather. Sales were strong across most of Europe but weak in Spain, company officials said.

Harley shares jumped 6.7% to $72.02 in recent New York Stock Exchange trading as analysts said the results were well ahead of expectations and new models appeared to be selling well. “We think the new bikes are working for Harley,” said Craig Kennison, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co.

Net income was $265.9 million, or $1.21 per share, up from $224.1 million, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected earnings of about $1.08 for the latest quarter. Revenue, including motorcycles and financing services, grew 9.9% to $1.73 billion.

Operating income from the Harley-Davidson Financial Services, which finances sales of motorcycles, fell 12% to $63.2 million. The company said it increased provisions for credit losses as the resale value of repossessed motorcycles declined and loan losses ticked up. A Harley spokesman said the loan loss provision rose to $114.5 million as of March 31 from $106.8 million a year earlier.

“We believe the overall loan portfolio is solid,” said Larry Hund, president of the financial services unit. He said between 75% and 80% of new motorcycle loans in the quarter were considered prime or highly qualified borrowers.

Harley’s accounts receivable jumped 25% from a year earlier to $325 million. The company cited higher shipments to overseas dealers, fluctuations in foreign currencies and more generous terms for customers in Brazil.

Harley said its share of the U.S. market for motorcycles with engines of 601 cubic centimeters or greater was 56% in the latest quarter, down slightly from 56.1% a year earlier. The company’s rivals include Japan’s Honda Motor Co. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Inc. as well as Germany’s BMW AG and Polaris Industries Inc., based in Medina, Minn.

Harley officials said U.S. sales were hurt by a temporary halt to production of the company’s Road Glide models, which are being redesigned. Road Glides are popular among many riders who take long trips. The company declined to say how soon new models will be reintroduced. Harley also faces tougher competition from Polaris, which last year reintroduced the Indian brand.

Harley said it should benefit from two new models, the Low Rider and the SuperLow 1200T.

Harley projected capital spending of between $215 million and $235 million this year, up from $208.3 million in 2013.

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Industry Sales Pace at 15 Million Annual Rate

A recent uptick in gas prices pushed consumers toward fuel-efficient vehicles rather than back to the sidelines, with the annual sales rate jumping to 15.1 million vehicles, according to Autodata. This was the best monthly showing since February 2008. Volkswagen led the way with a 42 percent sales surge year over year, followed by Chrysler’s 40 percent increase.

Audi: Audi of America reported 8,531 luxury vehicles sold in February, surpassing the prior February record set in 2011. The company’s year-over-year vehicle sales increased 10 percent while it’s year-to-date growth increased 14.9 percent compared to 2011. Three Audi models recorded year-over-year sales increases of 15 percent or more, including the Audi A3, Audi A6 and Audi TT models.

BMW/MINI: BMW Group reported February sales of 26,184 vehicles, a 31.5 percent increase from the 19,919 vehicles sold during the year-ago month. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 29.2 percent from a year ago to 21,204 in February. MINI USA reported sales of 4,980 units, an increase of 42.2 percent from the 3,503 sold in February 2011.

Chrysler: Chrysler Group LLC recorded its best February sales month since 2008 with 133,521 units sold, a 40 percent increase from February 2010. The Chrysler brand recorded a 114 percent year-over-year increase, while the FIAT brand finished its first year of sales with its best month ever. Sales of the Fiat 500 were up 69 percent compared to the previous month. Both the Jeep and Dodge brands posted year-over-year sales increases in February as well.

Ford: Ford Motor Company experienced a 14 percent increase in sales vs. the year-ago month, with 179,119 vehicles sold. Retail sales alone increased 19 percent. The Ford brand was up 14 percent, while Lincoln posted a 16 percent increase vs. a year ago. Ford’s F-Series posted a 26 percent increase, totaling 47,273 pickups. Focus sales totaled 23,350 units.

GM: General Motors Co. announced total sales of 209,306 vehicles in February, up 1.1 percent compared to a year ago. Year-over-year sales of the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD were up 28 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Other sales highlights for February include double-digit sales increases for the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Equinox and Camaro, and the GMC Terrain.

Honda/Acura: American Honda Motor Co. posted sales of 110,157 units, an increase of 7.8 percent vs. February 2011, based on the daily selling rate. The Honda Division posted February 2012 sales of 98,899, an increase of 8.8 percent year over year. The Acura Division’s February sales totaled 11,258, up 0.1 percent compared to February 2011, with the TL and TSX models registering strong sales increases.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America announced record February sales of 51,151 units, up 18 percent vs. 2011. Overall retail sales rose 29 percent year over year, while sales of the Sonata, Elantra and Accent increased by 11 percent, 12 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Combined sales of the Genesis and Equus models were up five percent over 2011 as well.

Mazda: Mazda North American Operations recorded its February sales month since 1994 with 25,651 units sold, representing an increase of 32.3 percent vs. last year. Mazda2 sales totaled 2,701, marking a 210.5 percent year-over-year increase, while Mazda3 sales totaled 11,275 vehicles for a 39.6 percent increase. Mazda 6 reported its best month since March 2008 with 5,101 vehicles sold, a 79.7 percent increase over 2011.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA reported February sales of 19,679 vehicles, a 21.7 percent improvement over February 2011 and the highest February volume on record. Sales for the month of February were led by the C-, E-, and M-Class model lines. The C-Class led the way with sales of 5,240, up 17 percent over February 2011. The E-Class came in right behind with sales of 4,206 and the M-Class rounded out the top three with sales of 3,408, up 77.1 percent compared to February 2011.

Nissan/Infiniti: Nissan North America Inc. posted February U.S. sales of 106,731 units vs. 92,370 units a year earlier, marking an increase of 15.5 percent. Nissan Division posted a record February with 97,492 sales, an increase of 17.1 percent over the old record of 83,226 units set in 2011. Infiniti delivered 9,239 vehicles in February, an increase of 1 percent vs. 9,144 units a year earlier.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Co. reported monthly sales of 159,423 units in February, a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase on a daily selling rate basis and 12.4 percent on an unadjusted raw volume basis. Led by sales of the Camry and Camry Hybrid and the Prius family, the Toyota Division recorded February sales of 142,745 units, an increase of 7 percent vs. the year ago month. The Lexus Division reported sales of 16,678 units, up 15.9 percent over last February.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen of America Inc. realized its best February since 1973 with 30,577 units sold. The company’s performance also represented a 42.5 percent increase vs. a year ago. Sales of the Passat totaled 8,189 units for the month of February, while the Jetta sedan remains the volume leader for Volkswagen with sales totaling 11,694 — its best February ever. The 2012 Beetle sold 1,303 units while the Tiguan sold 2,280 units.

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AutoNation’s New-Vehicle Sales Up 11 Percent in December

FORT LAUDERDALE — AutoNation Inc. reported that new-vehicle unit sales in December 2011 totaled 24,342 units, an increase of 11 percent year over year.

Retail new-vehicle unit sales for AutoNation’s domestic segment were up 17 percent (7,609 units), while import sales were flat (11,621 units). Additionally, premium luxury sales were up 32 percent (5,112 units) vs. December 2010.

For the fourth quarter, new-vehicle unit sales increased 12 percent, with domestic up 19 percent, import up 1 percent, and premium luxury up 31 percent year over year. For full year 2011, AutoNation retail new-vehicle unit sales increased 7 percent, with domestic up 17 percent, import flat and premium luxury up 15 percent vs 2010.

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New-Vehicle Sales Pacing at Three-Year High in November

WESTLAKE VILLAGE — New-vehicle retail sales are experiencing further recovery and strength through the first half of November, according to a monthly sales forecast developed by J.D. Power and Associates Power Information Network (PIN) and LMC Automotive.

November new-vehicle retail sales are projected to come in at 791,900 units, representing a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 11.3 million units — the highest monthly selling rate in three and a half years, according to the report.

“Retail light-vehicle sales in November are outperforming expectations on a month-to-date basis, providing good news as 2011 comes to a close and the focus starts to shift to 2012,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. “The improving performance of the past three months suggests that the current momentum, primarily driven by replacement demand and improvements in vehicle availability, is not an aberration.”

Total light-vehicle sales in November are expected to come in at 975,600 units, an 8 percent increase year over year, according to the report. Fleet sales are expected to decrease by 6 percent compared with November 2010, but will account for 19 percent of total sales, according to F&I and Showroom magazine.

After a solid October and expectations for a strong November, LMC Automotive is increasing its forecast for 2011 to 12.7 million units (from 12.6 million units) for total light-vehicle sales and to 10.3 million units (from 10.2 million units) for retail light-vehicle sales. Additionally, LMC Automotive is maintaining its forecast for 2012 at 13.8 million units for total light-vehicle sales and 11.2 million units for retail light-vehicle sales.

“The upward forecast revision to 2011 represents the first increase to the forecast all year and tempers the cloud of uncertainty that has been over the automotive market for several months,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “The current recovery pace appears sustainable into 2012. As long as there is not an external shock or economic setback, the selling rate could be stable above the 14 million-unit level during the second half of 2012.”

Light-vehicle production volume in North America has increased by 920,000 units, or 9 percent through the first 10 months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, according to LMC Automotive. The Detroit 3 OEMs are seeing nearly a 14 percent increase in year-to-date production through October, while European OEMs are up 38 percent.

Hyundai Group production is up 48 percent after increased production of existing models and additional localization of models in 2011, according to the report. Japanese manufacturers, as a group, posted an 8 percent decline year to date in October from the same period in 2010, which can be attributed the Japan earthquake disaster and flooding in Thailand.

The impact of the flooding is expected to continue through the fourth quarter, causing further downtime to their North American operations. Toyota is recovering faster than initially anticipated, with lost volume estimated to be 5,000 units in the fourth quarter. The impact to Honda is expected to be more severe due to the location of their Thai plants. Honda’s fourth-quarter loss in North America is estimated at 35,000 units.

Overall vehicle inventory improved to a 58-day supply at the beginning of November from 50 days at the beginning of October. Car inventory improved to a 53-day supply, up from 43 days in October, while truck levels are stable with a 62-day supply.

Several manufacturers continue to remain below the industry norm of a 60-day supply: Hyundai/Kia began November with 28 days’ supply, Honda was at 37 days’ supply and BMW was at 28 days’ supply, according to the report. Despite some setbacks, the 2011 North American production outlook remains on track for 12.9 million units, an increase of nearly 9 percent from 2010. While overall production volume in 2011 is the highest since 2007’s 15 million-unit level, it remains well below the mid-15 million level during the 2001-2006 time period.

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