Tag Archive | "SAAR"

NADA: 17.4 Million Units Possible for 2017


LOS ANGELES — Noting that the economic outlook is a little less certain than a week ago, the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Steven Szakaly called for a 17.1 million-unit year in 2017. But the NADA’s chief economist said he’ll have a better read by the end of February, beginning of March.

By that time, Szakaly added, the industry could be on pace to sell more than 17.1 million new vehicles. The key will be whether President-elect Donald Trump sticks to his promises of tax reform, increased infrastructure spending, and reducing the regulatory burden in the banking, automotive, and energy sectors.

“These will all be net benefits. The question, of course, is, will these net benefits be outweighed by possible net negatives, which are, of course, the outlook on immigration and the outlook on free trade,” said Szakaly today at an economic briefing ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. “At this point, it’s really difficult to determine which set of factors are going to win out.”

As for 2016, Szakaly said new-vehicle sales are on pace for a 17.4 million-unit year with seven weeks remaining. That would be 200,000 units less than 2015’s all-time sales record of 17.5 million units.

The chief economist described the market as stable but not growing, noting that pent-up demand is “effectively spent.” What’s sustaining auto sales momentum is that the overall economic outlook for 2017 remains strong, with projected gross domestic product growth at 2.6%, employment growth between 150,000 to 180,000 per month, and the price for regular-grade gasoline at less than $2 per gallon.

The easing of fuel economy regulations would benefit the economy even more, he added. Rising wages, which have been stagnant in many sectors, would also help. Szakaly said wages have been rising steadily for college-educated workers.

The chief economist listed rising interest rates as a concern, but said that even a 2% increase would add only $30 dollars to a monthly car payment. Currently, he noted, average interest rates are running at 4.8%, with monthly payments averaging between $485 and $500.

“That’s really not much when we think about what most of these vehicles are running and costing,” he said if rates were to rise by 200 basis points. “I think consumers will be able to pay that as we look at least out into 2017. I think what we’re looking at a 50 basis-point rise by the end of 2017.”

Szakaly also listed ever-increasing loan terms and higher vehicle transaction prices as concerns. As for the latter, Szakaly believes higher transaction prices will likely be offset by manufacturer incentives, which he described as “stable at a very high level.”

Incentives, he noted, have reached $3,900, on average, per unit, representing 10.8% of MSRP. The only time the industry has seen incentives that high was in 2008. The problem is high incentives tend to push down used-vehicle prices, which could push down trade-in equity for car buyers.

Szakaly said he also expects new-vehicle dealership to retail 15.3 million used vehicles in 2017, compared to an expected 15.1 million used sales in 2016. The total used-vehicle market will exceed 40 million retail sales in 2017, he added.

“I tend to favor the idea that we will see some significant reforms on the tax side. We will see some fairly large spending in terms of infrastructure, and I think we will see a reduction in the regulatory burden far sooner than we will see the negative consequences in immigration crackdown … reductions in free trade,” Szakaly said of the new administration. “Overall, I believe the second half of 2017 could very well surprise both for gross domestic product growth and for motor vehicles. If all of these policies come to fruition, we could see a year in the 17.3 or 17.4 million [range].”

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New-Vehicle SAAR Falls Below 17 Million in August, Manheim Reports


ATLANTA — The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for new vehicles fell below 17 million for the second time this year in August, according to Manheim. The firm, however, said the drop should not be cause for concern, noting that it “may be a good think.”

A lower SAAR, the company stated, points to manufacturers not overly pushing the market. Although incentives in August were up compared to a year ago, they were flat sequentially. This was caused by a lot of stair-step money not being dispersed during the month due to dealers not reaching their quotas.

Preliminary numbers also show that a reduction in lease incentives might have caused a year-over-year decline in lease penetration rates in August, according to the company.

While leasing and new-vehicle sales stumbled this month, used-car sales are thriving.

“In the first seven months of 2016, used unit sales by both franchised and independent dealers increased at the fastest pace of this recovery, and more than twice as fast as last year. While new retail unit sales have declined this year, used unit sales are up. That’s normal for this point in the automotive cycle, and we expect it will continue into 2017,” read Manheim’s Used Vehicle Value Index report for August.

Certified pre-owned sales rose 6% in August compared to a year ago and 4% year to date, according to Manheim. The company said it expects full-year sales to reach a record 2.7 million.

Wholesale used-vehicle prices declined slightly in August, according to Manheim. However, the recorded Manheim Used Vehicle Value reading for the month was still 2.1% higher than the same time last year at 126.9.

According to Manheim, wholesale pricing this year has been supported by a retail market that has experienced higher volumes, stabilizing margins and respectable turn rates. But primarily, Manheim stated, wholesale pricing has been supported by the improved efficiencies in dealers’ used-vehicle operations.

A couple issues that played a part in last month’s decline in used-vehicle pricing, according to Manheim, were a lack of growth in hourly earnings and a cut to the average work week during the month. In terms of aggregate demand, Manheim added, the combination of these factors equated to a loss of 300,000 jobs during August.

For the second consecutive month, the number of people employed part time for economic reasons grew in August, the company stated.

“How did the financial markets react to this? With glee. They took it as a sign that rates would not be hiked at the September meeting, even though the normalization of monetary policy is long overdue. Federal-funds futures put the odds of a rate hike this month at only 32%, and only 60% by December,” Manheim noted in its report.

However, this mindset is misguided, according to Manheim. The company said it expects employment growth to slow over the next year and, and in order for the market to thrive, employment needs to grow. But low interest rates will not help employment growth, the firm added.

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NADA Maintains 17.7 Million Sales Forecast for 2016


MCLEAN, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is sticking to its initial forecast of 17.7 million news cars and light trucks for 2016, despite current economic and political uncertainties.

“We’ve had six straight years of steadily rising sales, which has been a fantastic period of growth, and vehicles per household have returned to the same level prior to the Great Recession,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., on Tuesday. “But most pent up demand has been satisfied. For 2017, we expect new-vehicle sales to reach 17.1 million units.”

Szakaly listed the rising employment rate, leases, and cheap gas and diesel prices as reasons why sales will remain strong throughout 2016.

“For 2016, light trucks will account for about 59% of the new-vehicle sales market and cars will account for 41%,” he said. “Leases are increasing, which now accounts for more than 34% of the market.”

He added that although interest rates on auto loans are expected to increase by about 0.50%, consumers shouldn’t notice the change due to automakers rolling out incentives to counteract the higher rate.

While slightly higher interest rates won’t do much to curtail new-vehicle sales, Szakaly did have some ideas of what could. “The aging vehicle fleet discourages long-term vehicle sales; average loans terms for new vehicles have risen to 68 months; and new-vehicle transaction prices are continuing to rise, up about 3% this year, while wages remain stagnant.”

Millennials, he concluded, will be the greatest growth factor for new-vehicle sales in the foreseeable future. “Until millennials come of age with higher wages, get married and have children, the auto industry will experience stagnant growth periods.”

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KBB Predicts Record Sales in April


IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book said this week it expects new-vehicle sales to grow by 4% compared to the same-year period in 2015. The expected growth should deliver record new-vehicle sales of 1.51 million and a SAAR of 17.5 million.

Retail sales, the firm said, are expected to account for 80.3% of volume this month, down from 80.9% in April 2015.

“Following a disappointing March, we expect sales to get back on track in April with the SAAR in the mid-17 million range,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  “Increased fleet sales and rising incentive spending among automakers remain the factors to watch, but retail demand appears to be holding steady, signaling the industry’s strong run isn’t over quite yet.”

Compact SUVs/crossovers, mid-size cars, full-size trucks and mid-size SUVs / crossovers should also realize volume growth this month, according to KBB. Compact cars, however, are expected to be lone segment to show a decrease in volume compared to the same time last year.

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April Vehicle Sales Paced at 16.5 Million-Unit SAAR


WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Total new-vehicle sales in April increased 0.6% compared with a year ago to 1.45 million units, according to Autodata Corp. April’s seasonally adjusted annual rate was 16.5 million units – down from last month’s SAAR of 17.15 million. The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer:

BMW: BMW Group sold 32,428 units in the U.S. market in April, the company reported, a 9.6% increase from a year ago. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 6.9% from a year ago to 26,952, while MINI brand sales increased 24.7% from a year ago to 5,476.

BMW’s passenger car segment led the way 19,014 units sold vs. 16,923 units sold in in April 2014. Sales of the BMW 3 and 4 Series, combined, increased 5.9% from a year ago to 10,374 units sold, while sales of the 2 Series increased 38.8% to 1,009 vehicles.

BMW truck sales fell 4.1% from a year ago to 7,938 units sold.

Chrysler: April sales for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles increased 6% from a year ago to 189,027 units sold — the OEM’s best April since 2007. The group also extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 61-consecutive months.

Sales for Chrysler brand increased 26% from a year ago to 27,704 units sold. Leading the way was the Chrysler 200 with a 348% sales increase from a year ago. Jeep sales were up 20%, representing the brand’s best monthly sales ever and its 19th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

Ram Truck brand sales were up 4%. Leading the way was the Ram pickup truck with 37,921 units sold. Sales of the ProMaster Van were up 43%, while Cargo van sales decreased by 86% from a year ago. Dodge sales were down 16%, with the Avenger and Caravan posting the largest year-over-year decreases.

Ford: April sales increased 5% from a year ago to 222,498 units sold — the vehicle OEM’s best April since 2006. Retail sales grew 7%, while fleet sales were up 1%. Sales of Ford’s SUVs were in high demand, with sales reaching an all-time April sales record of 62,730 vehicles sold.

The new Ford Edge was up 78% over last April, while sales of the Escape were up 5% from a year ago. Ford’s F-Series brand posted a gain of 8%. The Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum premium models made up 60% of F-Series sales.

Lincoln Sales increased 25% in April vs. a year ago, the brand’s best April results since 2008. The Navigator SUV posted the largest sales gain with a 36% increase from a year ago.

General Motors: Retail sales at GM increased 5.9% from a year ago to 269,056 units sold. Light trucks made up the bulk of monthly sales, with sales increasing 17.7% to 181,209 units sold. Total car sales decreased by 12.2% to 87,847 units.

GM’s crossover sales were strong, with the Chevrolet Equinox posting a 42% sales increase from a year ago. The Traverse realized a 28% increase from a year ago.
Chevrolet sales increased 7% from a year ago to 128,805 units sold, while GMC sales rose 8.1% from a year ago to 37,657 units. Cadillac sales were up 1.1%, with sales totaling 13,427 units. Only the Buick brand showed a sales decrease in April, with sales falling 10.4% from a year ago to 14,418 units sold.

Honda: American Honda sales posted a 1.8% sales increase in April, with sales totaling 130,068 units. Honda division sales decreased 2.7% to 115,194 units sold, while Acura sales increased 5.3% from a year ago to 14,874 units sold.

Honda truck sales increased 2% from a year ago to a April record of 52,635 units sold. CR-V sales also set an April record, with sales increasing 3.4% from a year ago to 29,452 units sold. The outgoing 2015 Pilot posted a 28% sales increase, with sales totaling 11,222 vehicles.

Acura’s TLX was a high mark for the brand in April, with 4,093 units sold. The MDX was the sales leader with 4,970 units sold, a 4.1% decrease from a year ago.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America posted its best April ever, with sales increasing 3% from a year ago to 68,009 units sold. The Elantra was the monthly sales leader with 21,911.

On a percentage basis, the Genesis sedan had the best month with a 142% increase over last year, followed by the Azera with a 30% sales increase from a year ago.
Mazda: Mazda reported its best April sales in 20 years, with sales increasing 7.5% from a year ago to 24,123 units sold.

Mazda6 sales were up 30.9% from a year ago, with sales totaling 4,995 units — the model’s best April since 2006. The CX-5 was the sales leader for the month, with sales totaling 8,960 units.

Mercedes-Benz:
Sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including Mercedez-Benz, Maybach and SMART, increased 10.6% from a year ago to 32,429 units sold. The Mercedes-Benz brand alone posted a 12.8% year-over-year increase, with sales totaling 29,188 units.

The C-Class was the top seller for the brand with 6,665 vehicles sold, a 30.3% increase from a year ago. The M-Class was the bestselling truck, with sales increasing 29.1% from a year ago to 4,945 units sold. Sprinter van sales increased 15.5% from a year ago to 2,764 vehicles sold for the month.

Mitsubishi:
The vehicle OEM posted a 25.6% sales increase from a year ago — the company’s 14th consecutive year-over-year sales increase — with sales totaling 8,216 units. The Outlander Sport crossover SUV was the brand’s bestselling model, with 2,674 units sold. Mirage sales totaled 2,407 units.

Nissan: The Nissan Group set an April sales record with 109,848 units sold in April, a 5.7% increase from a year ago. Both the Nissan and Infiniti divisions posted positive increases for the month.

Overall sales of trucks, SUVs and crossovers were up 23.7% from a year ago, with the Nissan Rogue setting an April sales record of 21,767 units. Sales of the Murano crossover increased 72.9% to 4,121 units sold. The Altima was the overall sales leader in terms of units, with 22,108 units sold. That total, however, was down 11.6% from a year ago.

The Infiniti QX60 was the luxury division’s sales leader, with 2,829 units sold —a 24% increase over last year.

Toyota: Toyota sales rose 1.8% to 203,329 units sold in April. The Toyota division posted an increase of 0.5%, with sales totaling 177,453 units. Lexus division sales rose 11.7% from a year ago to 25,876 units.

The Camry was the sales leader for Toyota with 34,066 units sold. That April sales total, however, was down 10.4% from a year ago. The RAV4 was up almost 22%, with sales totaling 22,914 units.

Sales of Lexus SUVs were up 23.5% from a year ago, with the RX leading the way despite posting a 16.2% sales decrease from a year ago.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen group sales increased 1% from a year ago to 27,175 units sold in April, with the Audi and Bently divisions both posting positive gains. The Volkswagen division sales fell 2.7% from a year ago to 30,009 units sold.

Golf sales were up 206%, with sales totaling 5,508 units – the model’s best April since 2000. The new Golf GTI alone posted a 97% increase, with 1,905 units sold, while the Jetta Sedan led all vehicles with 11,440 units sold — 5.4% sales increase from a year ago.

Audi sales were led by the Q5 SUV, which posted a 14.2% sales increase (sales totaled 2,762 units), and the A3 sedan (sales totaled 3,187 units).

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2014 U.S. Vehicle Sales Rise to 16.5 Million Units


WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — December’s total new-vehicle sales increased 10.8% vs. a year ago to 1.5 million units, according to Autodata Corp., capping off a year in which sales increased 5.9% from a year ago to 16.5 million units. December’s seasonally adjusted annual rate did fall from November’s 17.2 million-unit rate — the highest rate of the year — to 16.92 million, but December’s SAAR was still the second highest rate of the year. The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer.

BMW: The BMW Group reported a 9.5% sales increase in December over the same month a year ago, with sales totaling 48,141 vehicles sold. The company sold 375,782 vehicles for all of 2014, a 5.3 % increase and a new U.S. sales record.

The best-performing vehicles for BMW in December were the 3 and 4 series, with sales of those models increasing 16.3% to 19,464 units. Reflecting the current popularity of SUVs, sales of the OEM’s X5 increased 18% from a year ago to 47,031 units sold in December.

Mini sold 10,000 fewer units, a 15.6% decrease, in 2014 than it did in 2013, with sales totaling 56,112 units. However, the brand did score its best December on record, selling 6,615 units for the month.

Chrysler: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported a 20% year-over-year increase in December, with sales totaling 193,261 units. FCA says this was the group’s best December since 2004, with the monthly performance capping of a year in which the OEM increased sales 16.1% from a year ago to 2.1 million units sold.

All three Ram Truck brand and three Jeep brand vehicles set records in December. Chrysler’s car sales hit record strides as well, with the Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart, Challenger, and Journey posting best-ever unit sales in December.

Ram Truck sales were up 32% in December and finished the year with a 28% increase vs. 2013. Officials said this was the best full-year sales performance since 2005. Jeep brand sales in December were up 19% from a year ago, while Chrysler brand sales increased 53% and Fiat Brand sales were up 1% for the month.

Ford: Ford posted its best December sales performance since 2005, with sales increasing 1% from a year ago to 220,671 vehicles sold. For the year, sales totaled 2,5 million, which was flat compared to 2013. Company officials noted that sales didn’t show an increase because of the new F-150 changeover and a planned 15% reduction in daily rental sales.

The F-150 was the fastest turning vehicle in showrooms this year, however, with trucks averaging just five days on dealer lots in December. Ford sold 74,355 trucks in December and 753,851 for the year.

The Ford Fusion and Escape both had record sales years, with both models posting combined sales of more than 306,000 units for all of 2014. The Escape also posted it best December in company history, with sales totaling 25,603 vehicles.

Lincoln sales were up 21% compared with last December and were up 16% for the year, with 94,474 vehicles sold. Navigator sales alone increased by 90% in December, with 1,792 trucks sold.

General Motors: GM delivered 274,483 vehicles in December, a 19% increase from a year ago and the OEM’s best December in seven years. Total vehicle sales for the year were up 5.3% over 2013, with 2.8 million cars and trucks sold for all of 2014.

Five GM vehicles, the Chevrolet Corvette and Spark, The Buick Enclave and Encore, and the GMC Sierra all posted record annual sales in 2014.

GM’s average transaction price saw 27 consecutive months of year-over-year increases and stood at a record $36,300, according to J.D. Power estimates. The ATP increased $1,000 per unit over November and $3,000 per unit over a year ago in December.

Honda: Honda had its second best year yet in 2014 with 1,540,872 vehicles sold, a 1% increase vs. 2013 sales. The American Honda division also reached a new high, selling 1.4 million cars and trucks for the year.

In December, light-truck sales increased 6.2% from a year ago to 67,479 units, bringing the yearly sales total to 702,351. Acura also posted strong sales in December, reporting a 13.1% gain from a year ago on sales of 17,809 vehicles. The performance delivered the division third best year since 2007.

The Civic once again surpassed the 300,000-unit sales mark in 2014, while the CR-V sold 335,019 units for the year. The Fit also realized its best December sales, with 6,450 vehicles sold in December — a 39.7% increase from a year ago.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America reported record December sales, which increased 2% from a year ago to 64,507 units. For the year, Hyundai sold 725,718 vehicles, which the company says is the fifth consecutive year of record U.S. sales.

The Santa Fe and Tuscon followed the upward trend of SUV sales with increases of 21.5% and 13%, respectively, in December. The Sonata and Genesis cars also posted significant sales increases for the month (24% and 17%, respectively).

Mazda: The OEM realized its best December sales performance ever, with sales increases 8% from a year ago to 24,808 units sold. The company also posted its highest annual sales total in 20 years with 305,801 vehicles sold.

Mazda also posted its best annual sales performance since 1994 in terms of retail-only sales, with sales totally 278,880 vehicles sold. The feat was achieved despite the company’s decreasing reliance on fleet sales. December was also the best month yet for the CX-5, with sales increasing 14.9% from a year ago to 7,721 units sold.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA scored its best December sales performance yet, delivering 34,009 vehicles for the month. Annual sales also broke records, with 366,589 vehicles sold.

The redesigned C-Class was the company’s top seller, with 75,065 units sold in 2014. Following behind was the E-Class with 66,400 units sold. The best-selling SUV was the M-Class, with sales increasing 13.1% from a year ago to 46,726 vehicles sold.

Sprinter sales increased 18% for the year to 25,745 units sold, while smart Car sales increased 12.8% to 10,453 units.

Mitsubishi: December was the OEM’s 10th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases, with sales totaling 6,545 units. The company also realized a 24.8% annual sales increase in 2014, with sales totaling 77,643 units.

The Outlander Sport was the top-selling model with 2,755 units sold in December and 31,054 units sold for the year. The Mirage led all car models for the year, with sales totaling 16,708 units for the year.

Nissan: Nissan set a December sales record with 117,318 units sold, a 6.9% increase from a year ago. For the year, the OEM recorded an all-time record, with Nissan and Infinite sales totaling 1.4 million units, an 11.1% increase vs. 2013 sales.

Altima sales increased 30.3% in December vs. one year ago to 32,331 units sold, a December record, according to company officials. Sales of the Nissan LEAF totaled 3,102 units in December, which was also a record for the all-electric vehicle.

Toyota: Toyota sold 215,057 vehicles in December, an increase of 12.7% from December 2013 on a volume basis. Total annual sales were 2.4 million units, an increase of 6.2% over last year.

Lexus reported an all-time monthly sales record in December, with sales increasing 14.7% from a year ago to 39,879 units sold. Lexus sales increased 13.7% for the year to 311,389 units sold. It was the first time since 2007 that Lexus topped 300,000 vehicles in a single year.

Leading the way for Toyota was the Camry, with sales in December increasing 5.5% from a year ago to 31,618 vehicles sold. Additionally, Corolla sales rose about the 30,000-unit mark and realized a 33.5% sales increase from a year ago.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen’s December sales increased 4.5% from a year ago to 53,837 vehicles sold. On an annual basis, sales fell 2.9% vs. 2013 to 552,720 vehicles sold.

Sales for Volkswagen division fell 10% from 2013 totals to 366.970 units sold. For December, sales fell 0.1% to 34,058 units sold.

Audi Sales were up for the year, increasing 15.2% over 2013 to 182,011 units sold. For December, Audi sales increased 13.1% from a year ago to 19,238 vehicles sold.

Porsche Cars North America set an all-time U.S. sales record for the year, with sales increasing 11.1% from its record-setting 2013 performance to 47,007 units sold. December sales totaled 2,275 vehicles sold, a slight increase over last December.

Porsche introduced the Macan this year, which achieved sales of 7,241 units for all of 2014. Sales of the Cayenne SUV totaled 16,205 units for the year, which was down from 2013. And despite sales falling in December vs. a year ago, the Cayenne was the OEM’s best-selling model for the month with 934 units sold.

Additionally, Porsche sold 10,442 911s for the year, a slight increase over last year.

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