Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2012 06:09 PM
Over the last few years, new-guard brands including Hyundai and Kia have joined surprisingly strong runners such as Volkswagen in usurping share of the U.S. auto market, especially as the Great Recession and the Japanese natural disaster last year threw the entire industry into turmoil.
But it might be a surprise to know that one of the industry's foremost gurus on Wall Street is predicting when the dust settles three years hence, the only significant gainers in market share compared with now will be three of the hoariest names in the business: Ford, General Motors and Toyota.
The reason, said John Murphy, of Merrill Lynch, in the latest version of his annual automotive sector three-year outlook, "Car Wars," is that those old-guard brands will be doing the best job of replenishing their product lines. And in the car business, nothing matters as much to sales bursts and share gains as fresh sheet metal.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 2, 2012 02:02 PM
Conventional wisdom about American auto buyers is that all they need to do is catch a whiff of a surge in gasoline prices, and they flock to higher-mileage vehicles — or, in a more extreme reaction, despair of buying a new vehicle at all because they're worried. U.S. auto sales for February showed consumers reflexively moving quickly to the former behavior while, to the industry's relief, continuing to power overall sales ahead at a brisk pace.
Small cars including the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Optima, Toyota's Prius hybrid and even the recently maligned Chevrolet Volt gained significantly in sales, especially as the month went on and media and political chatter about the arrival of $4- and $5-a-gallon gasoline picked up.
"They're more likely to have an effect on [sales] mix within the industry than on the total sales number," Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen of America, told reporters about rising gas prices. The trend, for example, is boosting sales of short-in-supply diesel versions of VW models such as its mid-size Passat sedan.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2011 03:20 PM
No wonder Chrysler executives went out of turn this morning and announced their September sales before their traditional mid-day monthly slot. The company posted a whopping 27-percent increase in U.S. sales last month despite the increasing apprehension of American consumers about the economy in general.
It was sort of like Florida trying to jump the gun and host its presidential primary before Iowa. But Chrysler's news apparently was too exciting to wait. Not only were its overall sales up significantly in September, but the retail-sales component soared by 50 percent. That's right: In the sales component that most reflects the mood of the buying public, Chrysler and its dealers far outperformed the fleet-sales component that is tied to commercial purchases and is far more volatile.
The joy was North American, as Chrysler Canada posted its best September sales since 2011.Continue reading...