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 ›

Tepid September U.S. Sales Impacted by Strong August Deliveries

2013 Ford EscapeSeptember U.S. new car and light-truck sales were expected to be less than stellar after strong August totals that included near-record Labor Day deliveries, according to J.D. Power and media reports. In addition, there were two fewer selling days in September 2013 than in September a year ago, which impacted totals.

New-vehicle sales reached 1.136 million units and were up 4% from the same month a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis, which matched a monthly forecast update from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. On an unadjusted basis, deliveries were down 4% from last year.

Retail Sales Slip a Fraction of a Point in September

Retail sales finished the month at just under 917,000 units—down slightly from last September (-0.1%) when adjusted for fewer selling days. The September tally represented a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.1 million units. Fleet sales improved by 25.5% from a year ago and represented a 3.1 million-unit SAAR. Continue reading ›

Labor Day Sales Events Boost August U.S. Light-Vehicle Delivery Totals

Buyer and Dealership ManagerU.S. new light-vehicle sales in August were more robust than anticipated, mainly due to a heady retail sales finish over the Labor Day weekend. Retail sales even outperformed the accurate monthly forecast from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive, which already had projected one of the strongest sales months in six years.

There was an extra boost from holiday sales, especially on August 31 since Labor Day weekend was counted in August’s sales total as the month ended on a weekend. J.D. Power experts say they are not sure yet how much August sales will pull forward from September results. Total consumer spending on new vehicles in August was the highest on record—reaching $38.5 billion,—mainly due to strong transaction prices and higher sales, according to J.D. Power analysis.

Retail sales in August climbed 17.7% above retail totals in the same month of 2012. The final week of August sales totals (August 26 – Sept. 3) captured nearly 35% of the month’s retail sales volume, according to Dave Cutting, senior manager of North American Forecasting at LMC Automotive. Retail deliveries totaled 1.34 million units and the seasonally adjusted selling pace (SAAR) of 13.8 million was the highest since 2006. 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 ›

First-Half 2013 Auto Sales Feature Spike in Trucks, Compact Sales

1Salesperson and Couple at DealershipU.S. new-vehicle sales ended the first six months of 2013 on an upswing, according to J.D. Power research and analysis from the Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The first half of 2013 saw the strongest June sales in the past six years with deliveries of 1.4 million units, which should lead into strong sales momentum in the second half of the year. Retail delivery demand is firmly in pre-Great Recession territory, according to J.D. Power analysts.

Total new-vehicle deliveries in January-June 2013 were up 8.4% to 7.82 million unit sales from 7.26 million sales in the same six-month period a year ago. Light trucks outperformed cars in the first half and captured 1.8 more points of share than in the same period of 2012.

Another first-half headline: the Detroit-based automakers together captured nearly 1 additional point of industry share in the U.S. auto market in the first half—46.1% vs. 45.2% in 2012. General Motors Co. remained the sales leader in the U.S. market during the first six months of 2013 with 18.17%, while Ford garnered a 16.32% share of the market. Toyota Group was next with a slightly smaller 14.18% portion, followed by Fiat-Chrysler with a slightly expanded 11.65% share of the new-vehicle market. Continue reading ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›