S&P Chief Economist, J.D. Power Executive Offer Cautious but Positive Outlooks

Two experts from Standard & Poor’s and J.D. Power offered cautiously positive outlooks for the U.S. economy and for the U.S. auto industry to some 300 auto dealers and industry participants during the recent Western Automotive Conference, sponsored by J.D. Power and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist for Standard & Poor’s, said that the U.S. is in its fourth year of recovery with an average growth rate of 2%. On a global level, she cited challenges to be faced including a slowdown in China, the remaining effects of the debt crisis in the Eurozone, and spikes in global oil prices.

In addressing current conditions in the U.S., Bovino said the Fed is focusing on creating jobs and is offering incentives for businesses to invest and hire, which will lead to higher growth. She said there has been robust demand and hiring in the private sector in spite of shocks. Continue reading ›

U.S. Retail Sales in July 2013 Offset Lower Fleet Deliveries

Cars on Lot drawingJuly total (retail and fleet) new-vehicle sales rose 9.4% from the same month a year ago to 1.313 million units, which translated to a 15.8 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling pace (SAAR), according to analysis by J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive. At the segment level, Large Pickup sales were up by nearly one-fourth from a year ago and Compact Conventional car deliveries were nearly twice as strong as the overall industry pace.

Through the first 7 months of 2013, U.S. new-vehicle sales were up 8.5% from the same period in 2012.

The strength of retail deliveries in July 2013—which rose 12.7% from July 2012, helped bolster total sales, despite a decline in fleet sales. The fleet share of sales in July was the lowest for any month since 2009 (when “Cash for Clunkers,” or the CARS scrappage program, was in effect from July-August 2009). Fleet sales accounted for only 13.0% of the sales mix. Usually, fleet deliveries average between 19% and 22% of monthly sales totals. Continue reading ›

August Sales Post Positive Comparisons with July

Although total car and light-truck sales in August (995,180 units) sagged by 17.8% on a selling-day-adjusted basis* compared with last year’s same-month results (1,259,794 units)—when the federal government’s CARS cash incentive program was in effect—there was some positive news, based on J.D. Power sales analyses.

August deliveries (retail and fleet) improved by 2.6% from . . . Continue Reading August Sales Post Positive Comparisons with July

Trucks Outperform Cars in U.S. July Sales

July car and light-truck sales in the U.S. edged up just 1.3% (on a selling-day-adjusted basis), to 1,047,715 unit sales vs. 996,061 in July 2009, according to J.D. Power sales analysis. Deliveries were 51,654 units ahead of July 2009, which had one less selling day (26 days) than July 2010 (27 days). July’s sales . . . Continue Reading Trucks Outperform Cars in U.S. July Sales