Large Pickup Truck Demand Comes Back; Compacts Remain Strong Sellers

2014 F-150Consumer demand for large trucks and compact crossovers (CUVs) continues to surge in the U.S. market. The Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado are ubiquitous best sellers in the U.S. market through the first nine months of 2013, according to data analyzed by J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Two compact CUVs—the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape—also rank among the 10 best-sellers. Overall, one of eight vehicles purchased in the first nine months this year is a compact CUV or a large pickup.

Both the F-150 and Silverado large pickups outpaced the industry with combined gains soaring 21% to reach nearly 898,400 units—up some 155,000 units from the same period in 2012. Practically a stand-alone brand, the F-Series has been the best-selling model in the U.S. market for 31 straight years. More than 537,605 light- and heavy-duty F-Series trucks were delivered in the first three quarters of 2013—up 92,471 units from a year ago. The redesigned Silverado also saw sales surge by 62,575 units, to 360,775 units year-to-date. 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 ›

May U.S. Auto Sales Finish the Month on a Higher Note than Anticipated

buyer looking at carNew car and light-truck sales in May finished the month higher than projected, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The better-than-expected performance was propelled by a strong retail market especially during the last four days of the month—which included the Memorial Day weekend—and accounted for 25% of May’s retail totals.

Automakers in the U.S. market sold 8.2% more new vehicles than in the same month of 2012. Both months in both years had the same number of selling days. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) averaged more than 15.2 million units for total sales (retail and fleet).

Fleet sales were not as strong as retail deliveries. May retail sales were up 10% and totaled 1.177 million units, which translated to a 12.7 million-unit SAAR—more than 1 million units stronger than the retail pace a year ago. May’s retail SAAR was the strongest in five years.

PIN and LMC Automotive also reported that nearly all manufacturers posted year-over-year retail sales increases. Through the first 5 months of 2013, total sales were up 7.3% from the total in the same time period of 2012. Continue reading ›

Detroit Automakers Gain Traction with May Light-Truck Sales in U.S. Market

CarDealership Compact CUV 06This spring, strong demand for large pickups and compact crossovers (CUVs) shored up May’s light-vehicle totals. Both Ford Motor Co. and Fiat-Chrysler Group reported double-digit increases and said their results were stronger than before the Great Recession that ended in 2009. Ford officials said commercial truck purchases increased related to positive changes in the housing and energy sectors.

Some 156,000 more new cars and light trucks were sold in May 2013 than in the previous month this year (April). According to analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive, May deliveries rose 7.8% from April on a selling-day adjusted basis. Sales totaled 1.442 million units, up 8.2% from year-ago tallies. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) in May averaged 15.2 million units, which was significantly stronger than a weaker 13.9 million-unit pace in May 2012. Continue reading ›

Large Pickups and Compact CUV Models Capture Share in April

Ford 2013 EscapeIn April, two light-truck segments—large pickups and compact crossovers (CUVs)—outpaced the industry’s 4.3% increase significantly and each gained nearly 2 more percentage points of market share, while the largest-volume midsize sedan segment lost favor and nearly 2 points of share in the U.S. market during the month.

Compact crossovers (CUVs) soared by 22.4% in April and garnered a 12.9% share of industry sales in the U.S. market—up from 11.0% a year ago. These small vehicles outsold large pickups in April, which also captured a larger 11.9% share of sales, up from 10.2% a year ago. Large pickup deliveries roared ahead 22% in the past month vs. April 2012.

Midsize sedans and coupes, one of the most overcrowded and competitive of 22 segments, saw sales dip 5.9% from a year ago. The U.S. market’s highest-volume segment’s share slipped to 16.4% from 18.2% in April 2012. Also, model dominance in this segment has been moving around. Two months ago, in March, the Nissan Altima was the monthly sales leader, while in April, the Honda Accord led the pack of midsize cars, even with lower sales than in the same month a year ago. Perennial sales leader Toyota Camry ranked second in sales during these months, although Camry was still the midsize sedan sales leader through the first four months of 2013. Continue reading ›

Large Pickups, Compact Crossovers Bolster April U.S. Auto Sales

14725154-car-dealership-woman-receiving-car-key-from-salesmanU.S. light-vehicle sales in April 2013 were set to reach 1.286 million unit sales, which would be up 4% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis,* according to an update from J.D. Power and Associates and its strategic partner, LMC Automotive. The sales rate in April would translate to a slightly lower 14.9 million-unit seasonally-adjusted selling pace.

Early automaker reports indicate that sales (unadjusted) will rise about 9% from a year ago, partly due to higher demand for large pickups and compact crossovers.

The Detroit Three led sales gains with double-digit increases from April 2012. They outpaced two of their top-volume Japan-based rivals—Toyota and Honda Groups. In early results, the third major Japanese automaker, Nissan Group, reported one of the best year-over-year gains—sales were up 23% on an unadjusted basis from April 2012.

Demand was particularly strong for large pickups with improvement in the housing and construction markets. The resilience of the U.S. consumer’s pent-up demand also bolstered sales, according to Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. He said consumer spending remains remarkably stronger than the economy suggests it should be. Continue reading ›

Large Pickups and Cars Remain Best-Selling Models in 2012

2012 Ford F-150 SVT RaptorThe Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado LD and HD versions were the best-selling models in the U.S. auto market in 2012. Together, more than 1 million of these two truck models were sold last year. In addition, another truck, Chrysler Group’s Ram pickup (LD and HD) ranked seventh among all models sold, with deliveries of more than 293,300 units.

On the car side, the Toyota Camry, which was redesigned for the 2012 model year, remained the top-volume car and best-selling midsize sedan in the U.S. market. It also was the third-best-selling model overall in 2012, with sales of more than 404,000 units. Two additional redesigned-for-2013 midsize sedans—the Honda Accord (No. 4) and Nissan Altima (No. 6)—were among the 10 best-selling models in 2012. Continue reading ›

May U.S. Sales: Bolstered by Toyota and Honda Delivery Gains

The strength of new car and light-truck sales during May helped offset some concern about a slowing U.S. economy. There is still pent-up demand in the U.S. market as vehicle owners replace their aging cars and trucks, while an easing in credit makes it easier to finance long-term loans, which helps drive sales growth, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.*

In May, total light-vehicle sales reached nearly 1.335 million units, up 16% from the same month a year ago (on a selling-day adjusted basis).** May’s seasonally adjusted annual sales pace (SAAR) averaged only 13.8 million units, which was below April’s 14.4 million-unit pace, but better than last May’s 11.7 million-unit pace.

The sales gains in May were led by Japanese automakers’ year-over-year double-digit increases, which were signs of a full recovery from last year, when these automakers were hampered by production setbacks in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in that country. Continue reading ›

Brawn, Utility and Performance Attract Male Buyers in US Market

Grace Hamulic

Premium sporty cars and large pickups remained the most popular models with male buyers during the first 11 months of 2011, based on real-time transaction data from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN).

Six of the 10 new-vehicle models with the highest percentages of male buyers or lessees this year are light trucks—large pickups or vans. The two best-selling models in the US market through the first 11 months of 2011—the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado—are among the models with the highest percentages of male buyers. Both the F-Series and Silverado have posted higher sales this year vs. 2010, and the category’s sales have also outpaced the industry this year—year-to-date, large pickup sales are up slightly more than the industry’s 10% gain. Continue reading ›

Two Domestic Trucks Remain Best Sellers in U.S.

Despite fuel costs that are 14% higher than last year and increased demand for compact models with more efficient powertrains this year, two domestic large pickups remain the best sellers in the US market through November, based on Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive research data.

During the first 11 months of 2011, nearly 500,000 Ford F-Series trucks were sold—up nearly 9% from the same period a year ago (selling day adjusted). The Chevrolet Silverado is the second best-selling model in the US market with sales of nearly 367,400 units for a 12% increase over last year. Another large pickup, the Ram 1500 from the Fiat-Chrysler Group just made the Top 20 model list this year. Ram sales climbed by nearly 25% from a year ago. Combined Ram LD and HD sales gave the truck seventh place standing in the US market. Continue reading ›