Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2013 06:39 PM
Happy days just keep happening for the US auto industry. Surprising even many in the business, the American car-buying recovery keeps on going and may even be acquiring new momentum. GM is among the outfits that are raising their expectations for full-year 2013 US sales to around 16 million units from the 15 million to 15.5 million vehicles most were predicting until now.
August sales reported today provided the latest boost of confidence and good news for auto brands. Overall sales rose by 17 percent over a year earlier, to the annualized selling rate of 16.1 million units, a statistic that reflects seasonal adjustments and came in at the highest point since late 2007. The industry hit a low of 10.4 million units for all of 2009 and has been climbing by double-digit percentages each year since then.
Individual brands mostly had banner performances in August. Subaru sales rose by 45 percent over a year earlier, with the brand topping 40,000 units for a month for the first time ever. Honda sales rose by 27 percent, Toyota by 23 percent, and Nissan by 22 percent. The Detroit Three chimed in with gains of 15 percent for GM and 12 percent each for Ford and Chrysler.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2013 07:11 PM
Toyota in July outsold Ford in the United States for the first time in more than three years. That was just one reason the Japanese automaker was the biggest winner of the week in the global auto industry as US monthly sales results were revealed today.
In addition to its 17 percent US sales gain over a year ago, Toyota this week also was expected to report robust profitability and lay down bullish production plans that would make it the first global automaker ever to manufacture 10 million units in a year.
Overall, the industry remained strong, posting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales of about 15.7 million for July, the second-highest monthly mark in six years and an indicator that full-year US sales likely will total around 15.5 million, which would be a 50 percent increase from just four years ago. In July, every automaker posted a sales increase over a relatively weak July 2012.Continue reading...
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...