China Rolls Out New Green-Vehicle Subsidies and Awareness Campaign

China Bustle and Street TrafficChina’s urban air quality has long been a source of concern for China’s government and citizens, as the country’s relatively environmentally unregulated factories spewed harmful emissions into the air. Now that the country has become the global leader in annual light-vehicle sales—and the number of light vehicles in operation has exceeded 120 million units, more than triple the number from 2000—China’s air quality challenges are an even greater concern.

Early this year, air pollution in China’s major cities, such as Beijing, was so challenging that residents stocked up on face masks and air purifiers. This kind of smog incidence is partly behind several modest programs that China’s government administrators rolled out recently.

These include another incentive program for buying fuel-efficient vehicles and a “No Car Day” campaign to help curb increasing levels of vehicle pollution in large cities, according to news reports in The Wall Street Journal and China Global Times. Continue reading ›

Large Pickups Bolster July U.S. Sales; Consumers Enticed by Easier Credit Terms

CarDealership Compact CUV 06In July, consumers continued to replace aging vehicles and take advantage of easier credit, including low-interest rate loans and longer terms. New-vehicle sales totaled 1.313 million units in July and were up 9.4% on a selling-day adjusted basis from July 2013, according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate in July was 15.8 million units. There was one more selling day in July 2013 than in July 2012.

Large pickups and compacts—especially compact cars and compact crossovers—outpaced most other segments as nearly all U.S. automakers reported higher sales than in July 2012. Some U.S. automakers said they had their best July sales since 2006—before the Great Recession. Continue reading ›

First-Quarter Passenger-Vehicle Sales in China—Better than Expected

China-02China’s passenger-vehicle sales ended the first quarter with a double-digit gain from the same quarter a year ago, mainly due to new product launches, increases in luxury or premium brand sales, in addition to dealer incentives, based on analysis and data from J.D. Power’s strategic partner LMC Automotive.

A 14% gain in passenger-vehicle sales to 1.43 million units during March bolstered first-quarter totals. First-quarter light-vehicle sales in China rose by 15% from the same period in 2012 to 5.44 million units.

SUVs and Luxury Cars Create Enthusiasm in China Market

The best-performing segment in China during the quarter was the SUV segment, which saw sales surge by 43% from the same quarter in 2012. New product launches added momentum to demand in this category. Continue reading ›

April U.S. Auto Sales Edge Up, Primed by Retail Deliveries

CarLot03New car and light-truck sales in the U.S. market in April were weaker than expected, mainly due to slower fleet sales, according to analysis by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and its strategic partner, LMC Automotive. On a bright note, sales of compact crossovers and large pickups in April outperformed the industry’s increase nearly fourfold.

Total sales (retail and fleet) in April edged up 4.3% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis*, and the April seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) averaged 14.9 million units—the slowest pace since October 2012. It was the first time in the first four months of the year that the pace dipped below 15.0 million units.

Retail sales were slightly better than anticipated, finishing the month at 1.032 million units, which was an increase of 9.1% from April 2012 on a selling-day adjusted basis. The retail SAAR was 12.1 million units, which was significantly stronger than last April’s 10.6 million-unit pace, and was 100,000 units stronger than the pace in March. Continue reading ›

February U.S. Auto Sales Remain Strong with Robust 13.1 Million-Unit Pace

2012 WAC Humphrey-27-MNew-vehicle sales are expected to remain resilient through the rest of February even though the retail selling rate is weaker than it was in January of this year, according to the monthly sales forecast update from our Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive. The forecast is based on analysis of transaction data during the first 14 selling days of the month.

Retail light-vehicle sales this month are projected to reach 931,100 units, which would be 9% higher than in February 2012 and would translate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.1 million units, up from last February’s 11.7 million unit pace, but weaker than the 13.1 million-unit retail pace in January 2013.

Total light-vehicle sales (retail and fleet) this month are estimated to reach 1.176 million units—up 7% from deliveries in February 2012 on a selling-day-adjusted basis.* Fleet deliveries are expected to remain at the same level as in January—accounting for 21% of the sales mix. The total light-vehicle SAAR is projected to reach 15.2 million units, which is the fourth straight month at or above 15.2 million units. Continue reading ›

January Retail Sales Pace Up Significantly from Year-Ago Rate

Cars on Lot  U.S. new light-vehicle sales finished January on a strong note, with retail deliveries rising 15.7% from the same month in 2012 and total sales (retail and fleet) increasing 9.7% from January a year ago, based on analysis of retail transaction data from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. All changes are selling-day adjusted since there were 25 selling days in January 2013 vs. 24 in January 2012.

A few highlights from PIN and LMC Automotive analysis:

• Total light-vehicle sales reached nearly 1.042 million units in the first month this year, which translated to a 15.3 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR), up 1.4 million units from January a year ago.

• Retail deliveries totaled more than 822,000 units, which translated to a retail SAAR of 13.1 million units—up 2.2 million units from January 2012 and also up 1.1 million units from December 2012’s pace. Continue reading ›

December and Calendar 2012 Finish Year with Encouraging Sales Numbers

Dealer LotThe 2012 calendar year finished on a resilient if not strong note with double-digit gains from 2011 for retail and even fleet sales. Despite a slightly slower pace at the end of the month, which may have been stalled by the down-to-the-wire “fiscal cliff” negotiations, nearly all multi-franchise automakers sold more new vehicles in December in the United States than in the previous year, according to analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Total sales for 2012 also finished with double-digit gains from 2011.

Some final highlights for December and the 2012 calendar year:

For Calendar Year 2012:

• Total light-vehicle sales in the U.S. market finished 2012 at 14.46 million units, which is 13.5% above sales of 12.75 million units in 2011.

• 2012 retail deliveries reached 11.73 million units, up 13.6% from 2011 on a selling-day-adjusted basis.

• Fleet sales were slightly less robust in 2012—increasing by 12.8% from 2011. Continue reading ›

Demand for Replacement Vehicles Spurs December U.S. Auto Sales

Car buyer gets keys from DealerDecember nearly always is a strong sales month in the auto industry, and this past year’s 12th month auto sales results were no exception. Consumers in the United States continued to replace their aging vehicles at a faster pace than in the previous year.

The month’s light-vehicle deliveries rose 13.3% from a year ago to 1.353 million units, which translates to a 15.2 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR), nearly matching an earlier forecast from our Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Sales in December were also boosted by consumers replacing vehicles totaled or damaged in late October’s Hurricane Sandy super storm on the East Coast.

Two German Automakers Post Leading Sales Gains in December

December also remained a strong month for luxury deliveries, as anticipated in earlier J.D. Power analysis. Two European automakers, Volkswagen and BMW Groups, sold nearly 40% more new vehicles than they delivered in December a year ago. Volkswagen Group’s Audi and Porsche luxury brands posted stellar sales in December and for calendar 2012. Porsche’s sales rose by more than 60% from a year ago. In addition, the mass-market VW brand was helped by strong sales of newer models such as the U.S.-made Passat and the Jetta. Continue reading ›

December U.S. Auto Sales Expected to Continue Double-Digit Climb

John Humphrey

John Humphrey

Despite economic uncertainty related to down-to-the-wire “fiscal cliff” negotiations about tax hikes and expenditure cuts that are slated to happen at the start of 2013, consumers continued to head to dealer showrooms in December to buy and lease more new vehicles than they did a year ago. U.S. new-vehicle sales remain resilient and are likely to increase by 14% from last year, according to the monthly forecast update from our Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Based on sales transactions during the first 13 selling days of December, retail sales this month are anticipated to reach 1.153 million units, which is 15% higher than last December’s 1.04 million units on a selling-day adjusted basis.* This estimate translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.2 million units, which is stronger than last December’s 11.3 million-unit pace, but not as strong as the 13.2 million-unit SAAR in November, 2012—which turned out to be the highest monthly retail selling rate since January 2008. Continue reading ›

Retail U.S. Auto Sales Remain Robust in First Half of October

Deirdre Borrego

U.S. retail light-vehicle sales during the first 17 selling days of October continued to increase at a robust pace that was similar to the pace in September, according to a monthly sales forecast update developed by our Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

In October, retail sales are likely to reach 943,200 units, which is a 13% increase (on a selling-day adjusted basis) in volume vs. the same month a year ago. This translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.0 million units, which would be the second consecutive month of a retail pace above 12 million. Rates in September and October of this year would be the best in four years (since April and May 2008).

Total light-vehicle sales this month, which include retail and fleet deliveries, are projected to rise 11% from October 2011, with volume surpassing 1.134 million units. This translates to an overall SAAR of 14.8 million units, which is just 100,000 units below September’s 14.9 million-unit SAAR.

Fleet deliveries in October are anticipated to account for 17% of total sales—slightly below the 5-year average of 19% for October, which Continue reading ›