Tag Archive | "Toyota"

Sales Pace at 14.18 Million in January


Retail sales rose 11.4 percent in January, with the industry pacing at a 14.18 million seasonally adjusted annual sales rate — the highest rate since the government’s Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009, according to AutoData.

Toyota was the comeback kid, experiencing a 7.5 percent gain from a year ago after suffering through months of declines due to production issues caused by last year’s disasters in Japan and Thailand. At the top of the sales board were Chrysler Group and Volkswagen of America Inc., both brands registering double-digit increases. Mercedes-Benz rounded out January’s top three thanks to strong demand for its SUV and passenger car lineup.

Audi: Audi of America sold 9,354 vehicles in January, a 19.7 percent year-over-year increase from January 2011. The company’s performance marked the best January in Audi of America’s history. Sales of the Audi A6 increased 90 percent over 2011, sales of the Audi Q7 increased 15 percent, and sales of the Audi A7 totaled 643 vehicles.

BMW/MINI: BMW Group reported January sales of 19,739 vehicles, an increase of 5.8 percent from the year-ago month. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 3.1 percent from last January to 16,405. The best performing vehicles included the X3 SAV, up 56.9 percent to 1,687 units; the 6 Series, up 392.8 percent to 409 units; and the 7 Series, up 56.1 percent to 977 units. MINI USA reported sales of 3,334 automobiles in January, an increase of 21.2 percent from the 2,751 sold in January 2011.

Chrysler: Chrysler Group LLC sold 101,149 units in January, a 44 percent increase vs. January 2011 (70,118 units). The performance marked the group’s best January since 2008. The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck brands all posted sales gains, led by the Chrysler brand’s 81 percent increase. The group’s 44 percent increase was driven in large part by strong sales of the Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200, and Dodge Charger and Avenger sedans.

Ford: Ford Motor Company sold 136,710 vehicles in January, a 7 percent gain compared with January 2011. Retail sales increased 8 percent. Focus sales were up 60 percent, marking the best January for the model since 2003. Ford brand sales totaled 131,589 vehicles in January, marking the best January sales month for Ford brand since 2008.

GM: General Motors Company sold 167,962 vehicles in January, a 6 percent decrease vs. January 2011. GM’s total passenger car sales increased 3 percent in January, led by a 30-percent increase in sales of fuel-efficient, small and compact cars. The company’s crossover sales decreased 18 percent, and sales of trucks, which include full-size pickups, vans and SUVs, decreased 6 percent. Retail deliveries declined 15 percent year over year.

Honda/Acura: American Honda Motor Co. sold 83,009 in the U.S. in January, an increase of 8.8 percent over January 2011. The Honda Division posted sales of 74,628, an increase of 9.3 percent year over year. Civic sales increased 49.5 percent. The Accord posted sales of 13,659, up 1.5 percent from the same period last year. Acura Division’s January sales totaled 8,381 units, up 5.3 percent year over year.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America announced an all-time record January with sales of 42,694 units, up 15 percent vs. 2011. January retail sales were up 19 percent, led by a 13 percent increase in Elantra sales and a 27 percent increase in Genesis/Equus sales.

Mazda: Mazda North American Operations reported its best January since 1994 with U.S. sales of 23,996 vehicles, a 68.2 percent increase vs. last year. Mazda3 sales totaled 9,200 units, an 83.4 percent increase vs. last year. This was the model’s best-ever January. Mazda CX-7 and CX-9 crossover SUV sales were up 32.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, marking the best-ever January for both vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA posted a 25.8 percent increase in January, with 21,726 vehicles sold. This was the best January in the company’s history. Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles and SUVs fueled the company’s performance, with the C-Class leading the way with a 56.4 percent increase in sales. The E-Class followed with sales of 4,097, and the M-Class rounded out the Top 3 with sales of 4,002, up 61.1 percent.

Nissan/Infiniti: Nissan North America Inc. reported January sales of 79,313 units, an increase of 10.4 percent vs. last year. Nissan Division sales rose 12.5 percent for the month to 72,517 units, with Versa sales setting a new record with 9,418 deliveries (up 8.5 percent). Sales of Infiniti vehicles decreased 8.2 percent from the prior year to 6,796 units, while sales of the Infiniti QX totaled 1,020, an increase of 30.4 percent vs. last year.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales reported monthly sales results of 124,540 units, an increase of 7.5 percent over the year ago month on a daily selling rate (DSR) and unadjusted raw volume basis. Driven by an increase in sales of 2012 Camry and Camry hybrid, Toyota Division posted January sales of 112,266 units, an increase of 9 percent compared to the same period last year. The Lexus Division reported sales of 12,274 units, down 4.6 percent from last January.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen of America Inc. posted 27,209 units sold in January, a 47.9 percent increase compared to the year-ago period. Passat sales totaled 6,318 units, while Jetta sales totaled 9,564 units. Sales of the 2012 Beetle totaled 1,401, while Touareg sales increased 68 percent. Tiguan sales increased 50 percent. The TDI models experienced a 30.2 percent increase vs. 2011.

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Toyota, Lexus Offer Special Military Financing Program


TORRANCE —The captives for Toyota and Lexus are now offering special APRs and rebates to qualified military personnel and inactive reserves through participating dealers.

“In appreciation for all that they have done, and continue to do, we hope these rebates and special APRs make it a bit easier for our men and women in uniform who are in the market for a new vehicle,” said Mike Groff, group vice president of sales, marketing and product development for Toyota and Lexus financial services.

“We understand that it’s certainly a tough economic time right now for many military families, so it’s our hope that these special APRS and rebates, which can be coupled with other incentives, will help our troops save some much-needed and hard-earned money.”

In recognition of their service, qualified Toyota buyers under the Welcome Home Special APR Program can receive a 1.9 percent APR for up to 60 months when financing any new 2011 or 2012 Toyota vehicle through a participating Toyota dealer and TFS, according to the company. A $500 military rebate also may be used in conjunction with the special APR, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

Lexus buyers who qualify under the Welcome Home Special APR Program can receive a 0.9 percent APR for up to 60 months on new 2011 or 2012 ES and IS (includes all sedans, Convertible and IS F) and 2012 RX350 vehicles, or 1.9 percent APR for up to 60 months on any other new Lexus vehicle when financing through a participating Lexus dealer and LFS, according to the company.

A $750 military rebate also may be used in conjunction with the special APRs.

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Toyota Wins KBB’s Best Resale Value Brand Award


IRVINE — Kelley Blue Book’s 2012 Residual Analysis Report showed that Toyota’s entire lineup for 2012 is expected to retain the greatest amount of its original value after five years. The results of that analysis led KBB to name Toyota and its Lexus brand as 2012 winner of the site’s

Both brands regain the titles they claimed from Kelley Blue Book back in 2010. Across its fleet, Toyota improved its 60-month average residual value by 2 percentage points compared to its 2011 average, allowing the company to best last years’ winner, Subaru, and a few others for KBB’s award, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

“Despite Toyota’s success in the 2012 residual rankings, the company lost market share in the U.S. due to its supply shortage following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The challenge for Toyota next year will be to regain this share without depressing its residual values,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting, Kelley Blue Book. “A number of actions that could quickly increase sales and market share also could jeopardize its residual value crown, including over incentivizing and increasing daily rental volume. Clearly, Toyota’s actions through the next year will be pivotal in shaping its future direction.”

Based on vehicle sales and overall economic factors, Kelley Blue Book’s 60-month residual values for 2012 model-year vehicles are forecasted to average 35.5 percent of their original MSRP after five years of ownership, up just 1.5 percentage points from last year. The 60-month residual value increased by 0.9 percentage points for the light-car segment and 3.0 percentage points for the truck segment.

With the exception of vans and hybrid utilities, the average segment residual value for all truck segments, including SUVs and full-size trucks are projected to be higher than the average residual value in every car segment, except for high-performance cars, according to Kelly Blue Book. The truck segment is projected to maintain 38 percent of its value after 60 months, while the car segment is expected to maintain just 34 percent. Only two segments, the near-luxury segment and the sports-car segment, declined on a year-over-year basis.

Gas prices and catastrophic natural disasters played a significant role in new-vehicle sales and strong swings in vehicle segment preference throughout the year, according to Kelly Blue Book. Other key factors affecting the future values of 2012 model-year vehicles include unemployment, a stagnant housing forecast and some of the lowest consumer confidence numbers seen in decades.

The unemployment rate remains at 9 percent heading into 2012, but forecast have the rate dropping to 8.7 percent next year. Those that are out of work are finding it more difficult to find jobs, with an average 41 weeks unemployed, according to the company.

Kelley Blue Book projects that 2011 will close with 12.5 million vehicles sold, a one million-unit increase from 2010. A similar increase is projected for 2012.

As the Japanese get back into full production in the new year, KBB said it expects a pickup in sales activity as consumers waiting on the sidelines get back into the game. With an expectation for some increased consumer spending, Kelley Blue Book is forecasting 13.5 million in vehicle sales for 2012.

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Toyota, Lexus Perceived Quality Scores Improve, ALG Reports


SANTA BARBARA — A study by ALG, an independent subsidiary of TrueCar Inc., indicated that Toyota’s perceived quality score rose more than two percent over the last six months, closing the gap with leading mainstream brand Honda. Additionally, Lexus once again came out on top among luxury brands, according to the company’s Fall 2011 Perceived Quality Study (PQS).

“The continued rally of Toyota is evidence of the brand’s widespread reputation for quality and ownership loyalty. This is the third straight survey where Toyota has shown relatively strong growth,” said Eric Lyman, vice president of residual value solutions for ALG. “If this trend continues, the brand might soon regain the top spot from Honda in the mainstream category.”

Twice a year, ALG surveys approximately 3,000-4,000 U.S. consumers to gauge perceptions of a number of mainstream and luxury automotive brands for its PQS, reported F&I and Showroom magazine. Of the 23 brands included in the Fall 2008 survey that remain in the survey today, Ford brands, Kia and Hyundai have racked up the biggest long-term gains, according to ALG. Hyundai led the group by moving from 18th place to 9th place, Ford Cars and Ford Trucks moved from 15th to 7th and 8th to 3rd place, respectively, and Kia jumped from 23rd place in 2008 to 18th place.

“These three automakers have made impressive efforts to improve brand perception and we can see that it has truly paid off in the mainstream rankings,” Lyman added. “The perception of where luxury brands stand in relation to each other seems to be solidly cemented in the minds of consumers, owing to the consistency of the luxury rankings.”

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Auto/Mate Fully Integrates With Toyota’s Dealer Communication System


CLIFTON PARK — Auto/Mate Dealership Systems has completed full integration of its dealership management system, Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS), with the Toyota DMS integration program.

Toyota dealerships using AMPS can now communicate seamlessly with Toyota Motors Sales USA Inc. through integration points in all departments, including sales, F&I and accounting. The Lexus interfaces have also been successfully developed and tested with TMS, reported F&I and Showroom.

“The trend by auto manufacturers to incorporate open standards into their systems greatly benefits dealerships,” said Mike Esposito, president and CEO of Auto/Mate. “Not only does it eliminate the high costs that legacy DMS vendors traditionally charge for custom development; it allows all DMS vendors to potentially provide seamless integration with manufacturers, thereby increasing competition and choices in the market, which further reduces costs for dealerships.”

The technology used in Toyota’s Dealer Daily communications system is based on standards set by the Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail, an organization that promotes the use of non-proprietary technology.

In February, Auto/Mate announced a partial integration of AMPS with 13 interfaces; now every module in AMPS is able to connect in real-time with TMS via a web-based portal. The final integration approval was granted after Auto/Mate’s participation for more than a year in the Toyota Dealer Daily Open Access Project. The latest updates to AMPS include:

ŸFixed Ops: AMPS seamlessly sends parts inventory, retrieves vehicle shipping information, special service campaigns, allows for parts orders and returns, transmits repair order information, retrieves operation codes, sends customer updates and retrieves national service history data.

ŸF&I/Sales: On demand or automatically, AMPS acquires and transmits vehicle inventory adjustments, retail delivery and credit contracts.

ŸAccounting: Redundancies are eliminated with AMPS as it transmits financial statement information, retrieves warranty payment data and transmits all customer information updates.

Auto/Mate’s AMPS is a robust, easy-to-use dealership management system with more than 20 integrated modules to help dealers manage their business. It supports an unlimited number of users, workstations and printers, and can be implemented in any size dealership.

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Spring 2011 ALG Perceived Quality Study Highlights Continued Rebound Of Toyota And Lexus Brands


SANTA BARBARA – Toyota’s Perceived Quality Score rose four percent over the last six months and Lexus once again captured the luxury category’s highest Perceived Quality rating in 2011, according to the Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study from ALG, a subsidiary of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. and the industry benchmark for residual values and depreciation data.

The study also shows that Land Rover (up 2.5 percent) and Kia (up 5.6 percent) experienced the biggest gains in perception among luxury and mainstream brands respectively.

“The continued rebound of Toyota is a testament to the brand’s solid reputation for quality and ownership loyalty. Toyota isn’t out of the woods yet, however, as the company faces the repercussions of another large recall earlier this year,” states Eric Lyman, director, Residual Value Solutions, ALG.

“We also see the success of Land Rover being fueled by the growing popularity of its driver-oriented Range Rover Sport and the Evoque, helping the brand slowly notch perception improvements. For Kia, the consumer quality recognition is the payoff for a recent revolution in product quality and design supported by aggressive marketing campaigns.”

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