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. Retail Sales Volume was Second-Strongest This Year

May was another month of year-over-year sales growth in the U.S. auto market, even though the impact of Memorial Day weekend sales at the end of the month was weaker than anticipated, according to analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.*

May’s seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 13.7 million units (SAAR) slipped below 14.0 million units, which has been a benchmark in each of the prior four months of 2012. Still, retail sales were the second-highest this year and totaled more than 1.07 million units, up 18.5% from a year ago on a selling-day-adjusted basis.** Fleet sales rose 6.9% to more than 261,200 units.

Most Multi-Franchise Automakers Post Retail Sales Gains

All multi-franchise automakers, except for the BMW Group, posted year-over-year retail and total U.S. sales gains in May. Toyota Group outperformed all other automakers with sales up 73% from a year ago, when inventories were hindered by production setbacks after the March 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster. Continue reading ›

April US Retail Growth Pace Rises at End of Month; Fleets Add Momentum

April was another month of growth for the U.S. auto industry in 2012. Strong end-of-month retail sales and higher fleet sales helped continue the trend of sales gains, based on data collected and analyzed by J.D. Power with LMC Automotive.*

Retail sales reached 908,685 units in April, which was 9.3%** higher than last April and translated to a seasonally adjusted selling rate (SAAR) of 10.3 million units, which was lower than a year ago and last month due to fewer selling days this year. Fleet sales were strong in April, climbing 40% from a year ago. Continue reading ›

Chrysler and VW Groups, Mazda Post Jackpot US Sales Increases in January

Although January often is the weakest sales month of the year in the US auto market, many automakers posted double-digit sales gains over the same month in 2010, indicating a good beginning for 2012. It appears that total light-vehicle sales might rise by more than 11% over January 2011 and that would translate to a 14.1 million-unit seasaonally adjusted selling rate (SAAR), according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive analysis.*

All multi-franchise automakers, except for General Motors, posted increases, as did two of four independents—Mazda and Subaru. Fiat-Chrysler and Volkswagen Groups led the January gains with year-over-year increases of 48% and 44%, respectively. Not only did Chrysler Group LLC report stronger sales for its Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands than a year ago, but the company also said it earned a net profit of $183 million in 2011 vs. a loss of $652 million in the prior year.** VW Group sales in January were bolstered by strong demand for the Passat, now built in Tennessee. Among the independents, Mazda was a star with deliveries soaring 68%. Continue reading ›