Tag Archive | "Sales"

March Sales Pace at 17.15 Million-Unit SAAR

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Total new-vehicle sales in March increased 0.6% vs. a year ago to 1,545,802 units, according to Autodata Corp. March’s seasonally adjusted annual rate increased to 17.15 million units — the highest rate of the year so far — from February’s 16.66 million. The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer:

BMW: Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 6.9% over last March for a total of 34,310 units sold in the month. The company credited growing customer confidence as the reason for a strong first quarter for 2015.

Sales of 3 and 4 Series cars increased by 46.6% year-over-year to 14,835 vehicles sold and the 2 Series saw an increase of 124.2%, moving 1,249 units. Mini brand sales increased by 59.2% over last March with the Cooper S and Countryman leading monthly sales.

Chrysler: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles saw U.S. vehicle sales increase by 2% in March. The group sold 197,261 vehicles for the month, its best March since 2007. FCA says it was the 60th straight month of year-over-year sales gains.

The Jeep brand recorded its best sales month ever, up 23% and its 18th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The Cherokee and Patriot set all-time sales records with the Patriot gaining 41% and the Cherokee increasing 5% year-over-year.

Chrysler brand sales increased 15%, the brand’s best March sales since 2013 and its ninth-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 200 were up 155% in March, the mid-size sedan’s best monthly sales ever and the largest year-over-year percentage gain of any FCA U.S. vehicle in March.

Dodge Brand sales were off by 24% for the month, down 46,049 units from last March’s 60,575. Ram brand sales were essentially flat with an increase of 1% year-over-year. Fiat 500 sales were down 5% for the month.

Ford: Sales were down 3% in March to 235,929 vehicles due to a 13% loss in fleet sales for the month. Non-fleet retail sales, however, were up 1% — hitting the best sales number in 9 years.

F-Series sales were strong, gaining 10% in March with the company’s Kansas City Assembly plant filling upcoming commercial orders. Van sales increased 42%, with 20,281 Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series vans being sold in March.

The new Mustang had sales increase of 36% to 12,663 vehicles representing the car’s best March performance since 2007. Lincoln sales have 7% increased year-over-year as the brand built momentum thanks to a 47% gain in Navigator sales.

General Motors: GM delivered 249,875 vehicles in March 2015, down 2% year-over-year. Fleet deliveries were up 5% and retail deliveries declined 5%. Low fuel prices increased demand for trucks and SUV’s coinciding with the company’s launches of the Colorado and Trax.

Chevrolet and Cadillac, both decreased year-over-year in March while Buick and GMC saw slight gains. The Silverado was GM’s biggest seller, increasing by 7% to 45,193 units for the month while the Equinox crossover SUV was the second best seller at 24,335 units in March.

Honda: Overall Honda sales were down in March declining 5.3% to 126,293 units sold, compared with last March’s 133,318 units. The Honda division was down 5.2% at 111,623 units and Acura was down 5.8% to 14,670 units.

The Honda Fit gained 58% in March on 6,640 units sold. Truck sales gained in March with total Honda truck sales up 0.8% on CR-V and Pilot sales.

Acura MDX and RDX total sales surpassed 9,400 units for the two SUVs. The TLX led all Acura vehicle sales with sales of 3,430 units.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America reported its best month of sales ever, selling 75,019 units representing a 12% increase versus last March. The company has seen a 7.5% gain in sales year-to-day, which the company is calling its strongest first quarter ever.

The Genesis saw the largest increase in sales in March, growing 141% year-over-year followed by the company’s sales volume leader the Elantra with a 34% increase.

Mazda: Mazda sales decreased by 8% in March to 32,132 vehicles compared with last March. The refreshed CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3 were all up 3% year-over-year combined.

The Mazda6 saw its best month of sales since March 2012 with 7,570 units sold — an increase of 32.1% year-over-year. The CX-5 had its second best month of sales ever with 10,899 vehicles sold.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz reported its best ever March sales of 29,921, increasing 9.2% from the same month last year. As a whole, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars posted a 2% quarterly gain with sales of 49,166 through March. On the light trucks side, volumes increased 18.6% to 28,990.

The C-Class was the sales leader in March with 7,365 units sold, an increase of 43.9% compared with a year ago. The E-class followed with 4,489 units sold followed by the M-Class at 4,023 units. The retail volume of Sprinter Vans increased by 24.2% to 2,379.

Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi sold 9,764 units in March representing an 8.5% increase in sales over this time last year. First quarter sales are also up year-over-year with a 19.9% increase over 2014.

The Outlander Sport crossover was the monthly sales leader with 3,226 units sold for the month followed by the Mirage subcompact with 2,488 units sold. The regular Outlander also saw an increase in sales in March with 1,615 units sold.

Nissan: March was the second best month of sales ever for Nissan, despite a decrease in sales of 2.7% year-over-year to 145,085 units. March was also the best month of sales in company history for Nissan’s trucks, led by gains in the brand’s crossovers Rogue, Murano and Pathfinder.

Rogue crossover sales set an all-time record of 27,418, up 41.2% over the previous year. Sentra sales were up 10.1% over last March to 21,277 units.

Toyota: Toyota U.S.A reported March 2015 sales of 225,959 — an increase of 4.9% from March 2014 on a volume basis. Toyota division moved 194,905 units in March representing 4.4% increase.

Lexus set a new March sales record with a year-over-year increase of 8.6% to 31,054 units. Total light truck sales were up 11.5% to 105,997,which was a March record.

Camry sales topped 40,000 units in March, Corolla sales hit 35,532 and RAV4 sales rose to 25,243. Lexus SUV sales set a new March record, up 23.9% for the month.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen reported sales of 30,025 units in March for a year-over-year loss of 18.23%. The Golf family of cars increased in size with the addition of the Golf-R and SportWagen with family sales totaling 4,643 units, representing an increase of 133.4% over last March.

The refreshed Jetta saw sales fall 26.2% compared with last march to 11,583 units of combined sedan and wagon sales. The Golf GTI delivered 1,997 units for a 97.3% increase.

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NADA Keeps U.S. New Car Sales Forecast at 16.94 Million

The National Automobile Dealers Association Monday reaffirmed its outlook for U.S. auto industry sales to rise 3.1 percent to 16.94 million this year, despite slightly negative gross domestic product impact early this year because of bad weather and West coast port strikes, reported The Detroit News.

NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly, in a call with reporters, said he expects U.S. auto sales in March to hit the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.9 million. Sales were strong in January and February and automakers will release March sales figures on Wednesday.

“We still think this is a very positive market,” he said, adding light vehicle sales will outpace overall economic growth for the sixth year.

Szakaly said he doesn’t expect the Federal Reserve to boost interest rates until September, which will be good for “motor vehicle sales throughout the very important summer selling period.”

Szakaly said U.S. wage and income growth of at least 1.5 percent to 2 percent will be critical for continued growth in new car sales. Without it, he said, there could be negative impacts to car sales late in 2015 and in early 2016.

NADA expects light truck sales to represent 56 percent of the U.S. market this year, a few percentage points higher than last year, mostly due to lower gasoline prices, Szakaly said. He said there’s been a “tremendous boom for light trucks,” though small and midsize car sales have suffered somewhat the past few months as consumers have shifted preferences to crossovers, SUVs and trucks.

“(We have) seen the market for hybrids and electric vehicles also take a slight hit over … the last few months,” he said.

The used car market also has been strong this year, with used car prices up 3.7 percent since December, said Jonathan Banks, executive analyst for NADA Used Car Guide.

Analysts including those at NADA predict used car inventory will reach pre-recession levels by 2017, as consumers increasingly trade in leased vehicles. The high inventory level and a slowdown in growth of new car sales could cause used car prices to drop.

“We’re going to see some moderation in used car prices, but we think it’s going to be slow,” Banks said.

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Volvo Cars to Build U.S. Plant to Spearhead Sales Recovery

Volvo Cars will invest $500 million in its first U.S. assembly plant under plans announced on Monday, plugging a longstanding gap in the Swedish carmaker’s manufacturing base as it pursues a global comeback under Chinese ownership, reported Reuters.

Volvo is in advanced talks with several U.S. states and will announce a location within weeks, Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said in embargoed comments made before the announcement. Production will begin in 2018.

Following its sale to Zhejiang Geely by Ford in 2010, Volvo has stepped up investment in new models and production, adding a pair of Chinese factories to its two older European plants.

North American manufacturing is “the last piece in establishing our global footprint”, Samuelsson told Reuters.

The plant will serve export markets as well as the United States, where Volvo is aiming for a return to annual sales of 100,000 vehicles. Reuters reported in January that a factory investment was being considered.

While the carmaker’s global deliveries rose 9 percent last year to almost 466,000, largely thanks to China, U.S. sales fell another 8 percent to 56,000 vehicles.

The choice of the United States over Mexico – where rivals such as BMW have announced a series of plant investments – underlines Volvo’s determination to “rebuild the brand” among American consumers, the CEO said. “We want to give a clear signal that the U.S. is a home market for us.”

He declined to identify the shortlisted sites but said the decision would reflect the availability and cost of skilled workers and logistics including the export of finished cars.

Samuelsson said he was neutral on whether U.S. staff are represented by the United Auto Workers union – a politically divisive issue that has dogged plant decisions by Volkswagen and others.

“It’s up to the people who work for us to choose how they want to be organized,” he said. “We have no opinion on that.”

Volvo said production capacity would be close to the 120,000 vehicles at its larger Chinese plant, with model plans still under wraps. The arrival of the new XC90 flagship SUV as an import is counted on to halt the U.S. sales slide this year.

Volvo may find the going tougher than in its U.S. heyday, which saw 2004 deliveries approach 140,000. Since then, BMW and its German rivals, VW’s Audi and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, have grabbed a bigger share of the luxury market.

Toyota’s Lexus brand is also gaining ground, and a product offensive by Ford’s Lincoln and General Motors’ Cadillac offers more non-German options to U.S. premium buyers.

Volvo’s plant investment nonetheless demonstrates confidence that it can claw its way back under newly appointed Americas chief Lex Kerssemakers.

“We’re going after a market share of 1 percent with a clear identity that we know is very attractive to some customer groups,” Samuelsson said. “It is a tough market – but I wouldn’t say it’s tougher than Europe or China.”

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Hyundai Motor Targets 5 Percent U.S. Sales Growth This Year

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor aims to boost its U.S. sales by 4.7 percent this year, ahead of the industry’s projected growth rate, despite a consumer shift to SUVs and pick-up trucks, reported Reuters.

Sales of Hyundai’s mainstay sedans, the Elantra and Sonata, have slowed in the United States as consumers take advantage of lower fuel prices to switch to less fuel-efficient larger vehicles, strongholds of U.S. and Japanese firms.

Hyundai said on Tuesday it aims to increase its U.S. sales to 760,000 vehicles this year, from 726,000 last year, and will launch its revamped Tucson SUV in the U.S. market in the second quarter.

Its planned growth rate would be more than double the expected industry growth rate of 2 percent.

“The 5 percent target looks challenging. There are not many Hyundai SUVs to sell in the U.S.,” said Ko Tae-bong, auto analyst at Hi Investment & Securities.

He said supply is tight for Hyundai’s SUVs, as it does not produce the Tucson in the United States, and relies on Kia’s U.S. factory for production of Santa Fe SUVs. Hyundai also does not sell pick-up trucks.

Reuters reported last week that Hyundai is in talks with the state of Alabama to build a new assembly line next to its current line in Alabama.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday that the new Hyundai production facilities, which plan to start production in April 2017, will make Santa Fe SUVs, although that is subject to change.

Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo left for the United States and Mexico on Tuesday for a five-day trip to visit factories and design centers for both Hyundai and Kia, and the site of Kia’s new production plant in Monterey, Mexico.

Ko said Hyundai should make Tucson SUVs and pick-up trucks in the United States to increase market share and reduce reliance on sedan sales.

A Hyundai executive said last week the carmaker was considering producing pick-up trucks, but added that there were “many hurdles.”

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VW Keeps Profit Outlook, Raises Sales Target After Record Earnings

Volkswagen stuck to its guidance for operating profit after posting record earnings last year on double-digit gains in sales of luxury Audi and Porsche models, reported Reuters.

Europe’s largest carmaker said on Friday the group operating margin could come in a range between 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent, same as last year’s projection.

Operating profit rose 8.8 percent to 12.7 billion euros ($14.25 billion), up from 11.67 billion in 2013 and slightly above analyst projections of 12.6 billion euros.

The German group raised its forecast for revenue, saying it could exceed last year’s record 202.5 billion euros by as much as 4 percent.

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VW’s Audi beats Mercedes with record January sales

Audi outsold Mercedes-Benz in January as demand in China and the United States helped Volkswagen’s flagship division post record sales and analysts said the lead over its German rival may widen, reported Reuters.

Audi said on Monday sales rose 10 percent last month to 137,700 cars and sport-utility vehicles with the world’s two largest car markets and Germany all posting double-digit gains.

Audi sold 15 percent more vehicles in China, its No. 1 market, even though overall demand there is slowing, and managed 4.7 percent growth in Europe despite a 13 percent slide in Russia.

“We have made a good start to the year although global economic uncertainties remain considerable,” Audi sales chief Luca de Meo said, adding that January sales laid the ground for another increase in volumes this year.

With overhauls of its top-selling A4 saloon and the flagship Q7 SUV coming to dealerships this year, and more SUV offerings in the pipeline, Audi’s advantage over Mercedes may expand to 178,000 cars by 2020 from 136,000 last year, research firm IHS Automotive said.

By comparison, the gap between the top-selling luxury car maker BMW and Audi may widen to 92,000 vehicles from 69,000, IHS said, leaving the pecking order in the three-way German contest unchanged.

Audi said January sales benefited from strong momentum for the enhanced A3 compact series and the revamped TT sports car.

Mercedes last Friday posted record sales of 125,865 models in January, a 14 percent gain from a year earlier.

BMW is expected to publish its January deliveries later this week.

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