Posts Tagged ‘New Car Sales’
December 26th, 2012
Toyota Motor Corporation expects worldwide 2012 auto sales of 9.70 million units, up 22% over 2011, a new record for the company and enough to regain the title of world’s largest automaker from General Motors.
Riding on strong demand and high profits in the North American market, where Toyota expects sales of around 2.4 million units for 2012, the Japanese auto giant has fully recovered from a 2011 marred by Japan’s most serious natural disasters in modern history. Despite a weak European car market, an extremely strong yen and hotter than ever competition, Toyota presses on with profits for the fiscal year ending in March 2013 expected to reach $9.1 billion.
Sales would have been even more impressive were it not for the continuing Chinese-Japanese territorial dispute over the East China Sea islands. Both Japan and China claim the small island chain as national property, leading to an anti-Japanese backlash among Chinese consumers that has led to the boycott and even vandalism of Japanese-produced goods, including automobiles. China is now the world’s largest new car market.
Toyota projects calendar-year 2013 sales to rise around 2%, to 9.91 million units. Experts say this figure is relatively conservative, with sales of 10 million possible, especially if China and Japan can find an amicable resolution to the current conflict. No automaker has ever sold 10 million cars in a single year.
September 6th, 2012
New car sales are at the highest levels we’ve seen in more than 4 years. August’s 20% increase in sales over the same month in 2011 came as gas prices spiked and the average age of vehicles on American roads reached its highest level ever. But it’s not just fuel-efficient hybrids and small cars that are driving the slow uphill climb, even though Toyota Prius line sales doubled over 2011 numbers. Ford F-150 and RAM 1500 sales were both up around 20% in August. The new Ford Escape set a sales record, and Explorer sales reached their highest levels since 2006. Volkswagen reported its best August since 1973. So what’s behind the shift? 3 top reasons…
1. Need-Based Sales: An Aging Fleet
It’s no secret: cars and trucks just plain wear out over time. The average age of consumer vehicles on U.S. roads is now more than 11 years, or around 150,000 miles. Work trucks and grocery-getters alike are being replaced as it’s no longer cost-effective to keep repairing the same old jalopy.
2. Available Credit and 0% Financing
Except for rare cash buyers, consumers need credit in order to get into a new car. Not only is that credit open once again to a greater number of buyers, but those with good credit are seeing more 0% financing promotions than at any time in recent memory. Financing a $25,000 car at 0% (with 20% down) saves around $50 per month over financing the same car at typical 3.9% rates.
3. Fuel Efficiency: New Records Every Month
The average sales-weighted fuel efficiency of new cars sold in America now stands at 23.8 mpg, an increase of 1.3 mpg just since 2011 numbers. Crossovers with 30 mpg, 40 mpg cars and 50 mpg hybrids can save their owners thousands over the life of the vehicle. Gas prices over $4 per gallon in parts of the country are a strong driving force for fuel-efficient car sales, and consumers are finding increased mpg in every segment.
August 20th, 2012
Since overtaking Lexus in 2011 in a quest for the title of the #1-selling luxury automaker in the U.S., BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been locked in a fierce sales battle ever since, but a new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests BMW may not be playing fair. BMW reported U.S. sales of 21,297 units in July, besting the 19,312 by Mercedes-Benz, but this figure has been called into question.
Industry insiders have learned that a significant portion, perhaps thousands, of those “sales” are still on dealer lots, with some even listed in advertising for sale as brand-new cars. BMW paid its dealerships bonuses of between $2,500 and $7,000 per car on July 31 to purchase scores of new vehicles as “demo units,” ostensibly to used for test drives and marketing. Fine, but nothing in the brand’s agreement with its dealers prevents these cars from being sold as “new” in the future, even though BMW counts a dealer-purchased demo model as a legitimate sale. And that’s exactly what is now happening.
Now that 21k+ sales figure, just edging out Mercedes-Benz with Lexus not far behind, is being called into question by industry analysts, not to mention stock traders. How many cars were “sold” to BMW’s own dealer network, seemingly in an expensive corporate effort to boost public perception about the brand’s health? We don’t know for sure, but you can be there’s more than a little grumbling going on at Lexus and Benz, with calls for greater transparency soon to follow.
May 11th, 2012
U.S. new car sales are poised to hit their highest level in 5 years as exorbitant gas prices, loosening credit, an aging vehicle fleet and a blitz of all-new or redesigned models continue to entice buyers toward showrooms. Sales through the first 4 months of 2012 are up 10.3% with industry analysts expecting around 14.5 million units by years end.
U.S. consumers bought 12.8 million vehicles in 2011, up from 11.6 million in 2010 and just 10.4 million during an industry-wide collapse in 2009. Totals this year are expected to reach their highest level since 2007, when car companies pushed 16.1 million units.
Automakers are now struggling to keep with the quicker-than-expected pace, with third shifts or third work crews increasing production at plants nationwide and around the world. Ford, Chrysler and GM have all raised their sales forecasts since the beginning of 2012.
April 16th, 2012
The average new car transaction price rose to an all-time record of $30,748 in March, up from just $28,771 a year ago. The new record comes even as gas prices have shifted consumer buying habits toward traditionally cheaper smaller cars and compact crossovers, away from larger cars and SUVs.
Automakers are offering lower incentives and cash rebates, now averaging around $2,400 per car, as production is now more in line with demand with no need to deflate prices. The days of Dodge sedans with $6,000 rebates are behind us, at least for now.
Despite choosing smaller cars, consumers are springing for higher trim levels and expensive infotainment options adding thousands to a car’s MSRP. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra starts at around $16k, but upgrade to the Limited trim, add the Technology Package and a couple accessories and that price jumps to nearly $25k. Buyer behavior these days reaches much closer to the top trim than the base model.
A higher average transaction price hasn’t equated to fewer cars sold. At around 1.4 million units, March marked the highest total since early 2008.