Live from the Newsroom: Ask J.D. Power Expert about Social Media

Jacqueline Anderson

Social media can positively or negatively affect the bottom line in business. Recently, J.D. Power’s Jackie Anderson, director of social media and text analytics, was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Castner about what companies are doing right with social media and what they are doing wrong—especially when they are . . . Continue Reading Live from the Newsroom: Ask J.D. Power Expert about Social Media

J.D. Power’s O’Neill Sees Industry Revival with Rosier Sales in the U.S. Market

AutoForum- Fin O'Neill 1New-vehicle sales in the U.S. market have already recovered by more than 10% annually since 2010, Finbarr O’Neill, president of J.D. Power and Associates, said in remarks this week at the company’s 2013 Automotive Forum. The conference was sponsored with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City before the New York International Auto Show* press briefings this week.

Total U.S. sales of cars and light trucks this year should surpass 15.3 million units, which is up from 14.4 million unit sales in 2012, O’Neill confirmed. He also said that new-vehicle sales are projected to surpass 16.4 million units by 2015.

O’Neill also told industry participants at the conference that retail light-vehicle sales are solid and increasing while the daily rental market and fleet sales are well under control, which is very different from the mid-2000 period, when manufacturers relied too heavily on discounts and fleets. At the same time, he said that J.D. Power’s data finds that the average transaction price of a new vehicle has increased by $3,500 since that period. Credit is looser, and leasing has risen to 23% of the sales mix, based on data collected by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN). Continue reading ›

Consumer Demographics and Preferences are Changing Radically

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John Humphrey

Significant changes in population and other demographics in the United States will affect the automotive industry in the years to come, according to John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates, in remarks to participants at the recent J.D. Power 2013 International Automotive Roundtable in Orlando, FL, that was co-sponsored with NADA. Humphrey summarized a few of the major changes:

Between 2012 and 2020, the U.S. population will grow nearly 10%—from 313 million to 341 million. Most of this growth will occur in already large markets, with much movement from rural to urban areas. Currently, the most populous U.S. states are California, Texas, New York and Florida, and most of these will experience the most growth in the next decade. This growth trend will have a significant impact on what products OEMs offer in specific markets—in terms of utility, fuel economy, weather conditions—and the retailing strategies needed to attract and retain customers in these markets. Continue reading ›

Honda Executive Sees Sunnier Sales, Bigger Role for North America R&D

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John Mendel

John Mendel, executive vice president, automotive sales, at American Honda Motor Co., expressed optimism about the future of the auto industry as well as Honda Group’s goal to sell 6 million units worldwide by 2017 during last month’s J.D. Power and Associates 2013 International Roundtable in Orlando, FL, that was co-sponsored with NADA.

Excerpts from Mendel’s outlook for the auto industry and growth plans for Honda and Acura in addition to responses to a Q&A session moderated by Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO of AutoNation, Inc., will be highlighted in several posts during the next week.

Outlook for the Auto Market in 2013

“We’re very optimistic about the future, collectively as an industry, and without question for our own business. Think about it—we continue to come out of one of the worst economic crises in our history. Certainly the Great Depression of the ‘30s was worse. But the auto industry at that time was a much smaller and far different business than it is today. Continue reading ›

Auto Industry Receives High Scores in Social Media Marketing Satisfaction

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Jackie Anderson

J.D. Power’s first cross-brand 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study, which measures consumer experience in engaging with companies through social media, finds that the automotive industry ranks among the highest in customer satisfaction with social media marketing and servicing engagements. The study, which is based on an online survey of 23,274 respondents from general population online panels in the United States, examines how consumers use social media to connect with companies in six major industries for two distinct purposes: social marketing and social servicing interactions.

A few interesting findings from this year’s study analysis of respondents’ evaluations are highlighted:

• The auto industry is different from the other five industries evaluated because consumers engage and have social media relationships with the automaker or OEM, the product, and with the dealer. Continue reading ›

2012 J.D. Power Roundtable: Adding Momentum to Auto Industry Recovery

In less than two weeks, members of the auto industry will get together for one full day of networking, idea sharing, gaining fresh insight, and discussing key issues affecting manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and customers at our J.D. Power International Automotive Roundtable at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

This year’s Roundtable, to be held on Friday, Feb. 3, includes a reception immediately following the event that is co-sponsored by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). The one-day event, which precedes the annual NADA Convention and attracts industry participants from around the world, will feature insight and projections about the automotive industry from our own J.D. Power experts, in addition to perspectives from key executives representing major automotive manufacturers and dealer groups. Continue reading ›

Performance Returns as a Mainstay in a Recovering Auto Industry

More than half a dozen mass-market and premium brands displayed models with higher-horsepower powertrains at this week’s L.A. Auto Show, many with the capability to hit speeds nearing 200 mph without limiters.

Ford introduced a new Shelby Mustang GT500 with an engine that exuded 650 horsepower.

• The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible will be equipped with a 580-horsepower supercharged V-8.

BMW showed one of its performance models, the M5, powered by its most powerful street engine—a 560-horsepower unit that can propel the M5 to 60 mph in 4 seconds, according to the automaker. Continue reading ›

November US Sales Strengthen; 2011 Forecast Raised

Retail car and light-truck sales in the first half of November* were stronger than anticipated, translating to a projected retail sales pace of 11.3 million units—the highest monthly selling rate in more than three years, according to a monthly sales update based on analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data and LMC Automotive. The retail sales pace outdistances last year’s retail pace by some 1.6 million units.

Projected retail sales in November (791,900 units) provides good news as calendar 2011 proceeds to a close. In fact, the improving performance of the past 3 months suggests that the current momentum, primarily driven by replacement demand and improvements in vehicle availability, is not an aberration, suggests John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power. Continue reading ›

Creating An Electric Vehicle Industry in China Will Be No Easy Task

Tim Dunne

Over the past several years, international media have been reporting with increasing frequency about China’s intention to lead the world in the development of hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs). Since we are at the beginning of Year Three of China’s green-vehicle campaign, now might be a good time to assess how much progress has been made.

The short answer is, unfortunately, not much.

Total sales of hybrid vehicles in China in 2010 were estimated to be in the thousands of units. By comparison, hundreds of thousands of hybrids were sold in Japan, the United States and Europe. If one considers only the number of EVs sold in China in 2010, the sales figures are believed to be even smaller than for hybrids. Continue reading ›

Impact of Japan Crisis on Auto Industry Creates Some Shortages

Jeff Schuster

Japan’s earthquake and tsunami on March 11 and the disruption of power from the continuing nuclear plant crisis have dampened the country’s automakers’ chances for near-term market recovery through the second quarter. In addition, we are beginning to see the effect of vehicle and parts shortages in other regions through downtime and reduced daily output.

The short-term volume impact on North American production will be a loss of at least 320,000 units through the second quarter, which we expect to be made up in the second half of the year at the top-line level. As inventory falls for Japanese brands, however, we will likely see some of the lost volume made up by the Korean and Detroit-based OEMs. This could mean measurable share gains for the Detroit-based automakers and for the Hyundai Group.

Our Automotive Forecasting division has calculated that the short-term impact on global light-vehicle production will be a loss of 2.1 million units through June 2011. We also expect that half of that volume will be made up during the rest of the 2011 calendar year. Continue reading ›