U.S. Auto Market Reaps Double-Digit Gain in June; Best Monthly Pace Since 2007

Car buyer gets keys from DealerAutomakers in the U.S. market finished the month of June with new-vehicle total sales increasing 13.5% (on a selling-day adjusted basis*) to 1.40 million units from 1.28 million units in the same month in 2012, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and our strategic partner LMC Automotive. The selling pace in June was the strongest in six years and outperformed most forecasts.

Through the first six months of 2013, total new-vehicle deliveries also increased, but not by as much as the June figure; YTD sales were up 8.4%, to 7.82 million unit sales from 7.26 million in the same six-month period a year ago. Trucks outperformed cars in the first half and gained 1.80 percentage points of share from a year ago. The Detroit-based automakers also captured a larger share of the U.S. auto market in the first half—46.1% vs. 45.2% in 2012.

In June, the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for retail and fleet sales averaged 15.9 million units—the strongest rate since 2007. The year-ago total light-vehicle SAAR was a much weaker 14.4 million units. Continue reading ›

Commentary—No Return from “Online Buzz?”

Jeremy Detgen_v

Jeremy Detjen

Coca-Cola created a large debate about a week ago, with their conclusion that “online buzz has no measurable impact on short-term sales,” according to an Ad Age article.

Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola’s vice president of integrated marketing communications and capabilities, expanded on this finding by stating that in isolation it is true, but should not “obscure the role that social media plays.” This statement was based on an internal Coca-Cola study that shows social media alone does not add much value to short-term sales, but when combined with other channels is more effective than any one channel on its own.

It is important to note that online buzz is only one metric of social media success, and at best it is a measure of high-level engagement or brand recognition. So it makes sense that it does not impact sales directly. Clark goes on to clarify that “in beta testing with Facebook, [they]’ve been able to track closed-loop sales from site exposure to in-store purchase with very promising initial results that are above norms for what [they] see with other media.” Continue reading ›

February U.S. Auto Sales: Upbeat; Higher Light-Truck Sales than Expected

Dealer Consumer handshaker03Even with one less selling day in February this year and news about the national sequester that was slated to be put into action on March 1, news about new car and light-truck sales was positive and upbeat.

Light-vehicle sales in February rose 8.1% (when selling-day adjusted) from the previous year’s same month totals. Sales reached 1.19 million units and were up 19% from January of this year, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s strategic partner, LMC Automotive. That translates to a seasonally adjusted selling pace of 15.34 million units.

In early sales reports from the manufacturers, four major automakers—General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Fiat-Chrysler and Toyota Group—reported gains from a year ago, while Honda and Hyundai Groups said sales were stable or up slightly. Nissan Group’s sales slipped in single digits from last February. Among European automakers, Volkswagen and BMW Groups also posted higher sales as did Daimler Group. The parent of Mercedes-Benz and smart brands may have led automaker gains with an increase of more than 22% (unadjusted) from a year ago. Continue reading ›

Compacts, Car Models Add Momentum to February US Sales Totals

In February, fuel-efficient, compact models, including new and redesigned entries from the Detroit-based automakers, were in demand in the US market. On a selling-day-adjusted basis*, February deliveries were up slightly more than 11% from a year ago, and the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) translated to just over 15.0 million units, based on analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.

The Volkswagen Group (+26.8%) and Chrysler Group LLC (+34.8%) posted the largest year-over-year increases and outpaced the industry, despite a spike in gasoline prices, which are up by as much as 45 cents per gallon since the first of the year. At the same time, smaller models were more popular this year. Sub-compact segment deliveries climbed 38% in February vs. a year ago and accounted for 4.3% of industry sales, up from a 3.46% share in the prior year.

Positive factors driving February 2012 deliveries include an improving US economy, a drop in the unemployment rate, an advance in consumer confidence, and better stock market numbers, in addition to pent-up demand from owners replacing their older vehicles. Continue reading ›

US Auto Industry Gets a Sales Boost in January

Despite a number of winter storms, US consumers turned out in January to lease or purchase 17.2% more new cars and light trucks than in the same month of 2010—slightly higher than already upbeat forecasts earlier in the month from J.D. Power and Associates.

Retail deliveries were strong in January 2011—up 25.3% from January . . . Continue Reading US Auto Industry Gets a Sales Boost in January

August Sales Pace Likely to Reflect Slow Recovery

In its latest monthly sales forecast, J.D. Power and Associates expects retail new-vehicle sales to reach 857,000 units in August, representing a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) of 8.9 million units, which may be down slightly from July’s relatively strong retail selling rate of 9.2 million units. August’s retail sales pace also will . . . Continue Reading August Sales Pace Likely to Reflect Slow Recovery