In 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 ›
New 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 ›
U.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 ›
March new car and light-truck sales in the U.S. market ended on a slightly weaker note than anticipated in a forecast update by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Yet, the month’s sales volume was robust and the strongest since 2007, which also saw the beginning of the Great Recession.*
Retail sales in March reached 1.148 million units, up nearly 9% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis. There were 27 selling days in March this year vs. 28 in the year-ago month. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) averaged 12.0 million units, which was 500,000 units stronger than a year ago, but down by about 100,000 units from the pace in February 2013. Fleets edged up slightly from a year ago and accounted for nearly 21% of total light-vehicle sales—although that was slightly lower than a 22% share of the sales mix in March 2012. Continue reading ›
A strong retail sales finish at the end of the month pushed up February total light-vehicle (retail and fleet) sales in the U.S. market by 8.1% (selling-day adjusted) to nearly 1.2 million units.
Robust February sales translated to a 15.34 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR), according to analysis by our Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. February was the fourth consecutive month with a SAAR of at least 15.2 million-units.
Retail new-vehicle sales rose 8.9% from a year ago to slightly more than 928,000 units, which translated to a 12.1 million SAAR that was the strongest start of a year since the beginning of 2008. In addition, although fleet sales accounted for a slightly lower portion of total sales than a year ago—22.1% vs. 22.6% in 2012—fleet deliveries were up 5.3% when adjusted for one less selling day this year. Continue reading ›
Small cars were in demand with consumers in 2012.
Small vehicles resonated with new-vehicle buyers in 2012, partly due to higher prices at the pump during the year (prices reached $4 per gallon in some states) and due to the attraction of new models and more fuel-efficient powertrains.
Compacts accounted for some 5.97 million unit sales, or 41.3% of the market in 2012, up from 5.08 million unit sales in 2011 or 39.9% of the U.S. auto market. This represents a 1.43-percentage point share gain in 2012, according to data collected by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.
Among the compact segments,Compact Sport and Sub-Compacts were the best performers in 2012, achieving a 39.3% and 33.1% increase over 2011, repsectively. More than 571,400 sub-compacts were sold and market share rose by one-half point to slightly less than 4% (3.95%). Two new models joined the category for 2012—Chevrolet Spark an, Toyota Prius C . The best seller in the segment was the Nissan Versa, followed by the Chevrolet Sonic and the Hyundai Accent. In addition, Fiat 500 sales more than doubled, and even the tiny Smart car sold nearly twice as many units in 2012 as in 2011. Continue reading ›
Compacts were popular choices for new-vehicle buyers in the U.S. market in August, due in part to the rise in gas prices—topping $4 per gallon on the West Coast. Car and light-truck sales in August rose 15.5% from a year ago, to 1.283 million units on a selling-day-adjusted basis,* according to analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.**
New car buyers continued to replace their older vehicles with new fuel-efficient compact models that included more purchases and leases of cars with alternative powertrains. At the same time, more large pickups were purchased than a year ago, which a Ford economist said may align with the fact that housing values moved in a positive direction recently compared to 2010 (based on the latest S&P Case Schiller index).
Continue reading ›
Compacts, especially compact crossovers (CUVs), which are small, car-based utilities, are even more popular with female new-vehicle buyers and lessees this year than they were a year ago, according to J.D. Power research.
During the first 8 months (January-August) of 2011, six of the 10 new-vehicle models with the highest percentages of female purchasers or lessees were compact CUVs, and the other four were compact car models, according to our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data. During the same time period a year ago, the 10 models with the highest percentages of female buyers/lessees also were compacts, but only five of the 10 were compact CUVs. Continue reading ›
Retail light-vehicle sales in July were up only 5.5% from a year ago. Although the month’s sales began on a strong note following the July 4th holiday weekend, the sales pace slowed as the month progressed. The retail seasonally adjusted annual selling pace (SAAR) in July averaged 9.5 million units vs. 9.2 million units a year ago. Fleet sales were up 1.0% in July this year vs. last July and finished with a 2.6 million-unit selling rate, up from 2.3 million units in July 2010. However, fleets accounted for just 15.6% of total sales in July vs. 16.2% a year ago. Also, seasonality factors were recently revised by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, resulting in some monthly SAAR changes for each month this year.
In July, total new-car and light-truck (retail and fleet) sales rose 4.8% from last year on a selling-day-adjusted basis.* (Unadjusted totals were up by less than 1% from July 2010.) Automakers delivered 1,057,172 cars and light trucks in July 2011—only 9,457 more unit sales than in July 2010. However, since July 2011 had one less selling day than in July a year ago, the total light-vehicle SAAR represented a 12.2 million-unit pace vs. 11.5 million units in July of 2010.
New Vehicles Remain Slightly Longer on Lots before Being Sold
On an encouraging note, the credit environment in the US auto industry appears to be steadily improving. Based on analysis of our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data, retail finance sales were up 1.7 percentage points from last July and lease penetration was up 0.7 points. Yet, at the industry level, cars and light trucks remained on retailer lots four days longer before selling than in June, and the retail turn rate averaged two days longer than a year ago. Continue reading ›
Nearly one-third more compact conventional cars were sold in the US market during March 2011 compared to a year ago—207,298 unit sales vs. 150,808 unit sales in March 2010—a difference of more than 56,000 units. In fact, compact conventional cars accounted for 16.7% of industry sales—the largest share for any segment last month. Two reasons for the surge in compact sales may have been nationwide average gas prices of about $3.70 per gallon and new models in this segment drawing consumer attention.
Our data indicates that the Honda Civic remained the Compact Conventional segment leader in March, with 31,213 unit sales. That was an increase of more than 8,700 units from year-ago delivery totals for the Civic, as the sell-down of the current-generation model continues before the new 2012 model-year version arrives later this spring. Some 29,000 Toyota Corollas were sold in March despite fewer incentives. In addition, General Motors benefitted from demand for its new Chevrolet Cruze—18,000 new Cruze compacts were sold last month. That’s a significant upswing from a year ago, when its predecessor, the Chevrolet Cobalt, posted sales of just over 10,000 units. Continue reading ›