US November Sales Strike Upbeat Pace; Toyota Posts Small Gain

November’s average annual selling pace (SAAR) in the US auto market reached 13.6 million units, which was the highest monthly rate this year and significantly stronger than last November’s 12.3 million-unit SAAR, based on analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data and LMC Automotive. The SAAR in November also outpaced the 13.2 million-unit pace in October 2011.

Overall light-vehicle sales climbed 9.3% (on a selling-day-adjusted basis*) to 992,312 units from 871,299 units a year ago. Deliveries last month were partly bolstered by owners needing to replace their current vehicles, an early spate of holiday ads, and the upbeat mood of consumers during the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events. Continue reading ›

Hyundai Production Up Most; Detroit 3 Post Significant Gains

Through the first 10 months of 2011, production in North America has risen by 9% from a year ago—or by 920,000 units, based on research from LMC Automotive.

Hyundai Group production was up by nearly half (+48%) with higher output of existing models and the fact that more models are being produced locally in . . . Continue Reading Hyundai Production Up Most; Detroit 3 Post Significant Gains

October Retail Sales Finish Slightly Ahead of Expected Pace

Robust light-vehicle sales in the US market during the final days of October helped push the month’s sales totals higher than anticipated, according to J.D. Power and LMC Forecasting analysis and data.* Retail deliveries averaged a 10.5 million-unit selling pace in October, which matched September’s retail sales pace. Fleet sales averaged nearly a 2.7 million-unit rate, which was up by 900,000 units from October 2010.

Total October deliveries (including retail and fleet) rose 11.5% from the same month a year ago to 1.02 million units from nearly 950,000 unit sales in the same month last year. The annual selling rate (SAAR) in October averaged 13.2 million units, which was 1 million units stronger than last October’s 12.2 million-unit pace. It was the strongest selling pace since February 2011. Continue reading ›

Fiat-Chrysler Group Gains Most Share Among 11 Corporations

Fiat-Chrysler Group posted the best year-over-year sales percentage gain among the 11 multi-franchise automakers in August—sales improved by 25.6%* from last year, according to J.D. Power’s Automotive Forecasting Division. Also, Chrysler’s Jeep brand posted one of the strongest year-over-year increases at the brand level, as Jeep sales climbed 51.9% from August 2010. For the . . . Continue Reading Fiat-Chrysler Group Gains Most Share Among 11 Corporations

US Sales in July Helped by Strong Demand for Compact, Midsize CUVs

July was the fifth consecutive month this year in which automakers sold more than 1 million new cars and light trucks in the US market. Nearly 1.06 million light vehicles were sold in July in the United States, which was up nearly 4.8% on a selling-day-adjusted basis* from July 2010, when there was one . . . Continue Reading US Sales in July Helped by Strong Demand for Compact, Midsize CUVs

North American First-Half Output Rises 8% from 2010

Despite setbacks related to the Japan crisis, North American (US, Canada, and Mexico) production levels for the first half of the year are 8% higher than in the same period of 2010. In the first 6 months of 2011, 6.4 million units were built, up from 5.9 million units in the first 6 months . . . Continue Reading North American First-Half Output Rises 8% from 2010

First-Half Sales in U.S. Improve; Compacts, Light Trucks Gain

Through the first half of 2011, new car and light-truck sales in the United States were up 12% from the same six-month period in 2010. Automakers delivered 6.3 million units in the first half compared with 5.6 million units in the first half of 2010.

More light trucks were sold in the first six months this year than in the same period a year ago. Our analysis indicates that the light-truck share of the market in the first half was 50.3%, up from 49.2% a year ago. Although light trucks were more popular, compacts, especially Compact Conventional models, posted a major sales and share gain this year, outpacing last year’s most popular segment in the industry in the first half—Midsize Conventional cars. Continue reading ›

US Sales in June Bolstered by Demand for Pickups and Compacts

David Cutting

In June, more than 1.05 million new cars and light trucks were sold in the US market, which was up slightly less than 3% from 981,429 unit sales in the same month a year ago (on a selling-day-adjusted basis*). The average annual selling pace (SAAR) in June was 11.4 million units, which was weaker than last month’s 11.7 million-unit SAAR, but stronger than the year-ago pace of 11.1 million units.

Large pickups and the combined compact segments outperformed the industry in June as we projected, and the three Detroit-based automakers captured slightly more than one-half of industry sales (50.16%), mainly due to depleted inventories for two of the major Japanese automakers: Toyota and Honda Groups. On a year-to-date basis, the US market is up 12.1%. Hyundai Group’s impressive 32.5% sales gain through June this year comes at the expense of Toyota (down 4.6%) and Honda (up 1.6%). Continue reading ›

Japan Situation Improves; Shortfalls Remain in World’s Regional Markets

Jeff Schuster

Through May, the major effects from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and continuing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant on the auto industry remain concentrated in that country, but there has been an increase in lost production volume in China, India, and in North America, as parts sourced from Japan are in short supply. The impact on markets in Europe and South America are less severe since the Japanese OEM volume in these regions is not as significant.

Globally, J.D. Power has raised its estimate of lost volume through the second quarter to 2.2 million units from 2.1 million units, although we now expect more than 70% of the volume to be made up during the balance of 2011. Overall, the global risk to 2011 production volume remains at 860,000 units, with additional risk of further reduction concentrated in Asia.

The impact of the Tohoku earthquake disaster on our short-term production outlook through June 2011 calls for a loss of 1.6 million units in production in the Asia Pacific region. In North America, production will be about 450,000 units lower, while Europe may lose about 100,000 units and South America’s production will be diminished by only 11,000 units. Continue reading ›

May US Auto Sales Edge Up Slightly; Hindered by Some Inventory Shortages

David Cutting

New car and light-truck sales in the US market in May rose 4.3%* from the same month last year on a selling-day-adjusted basis. Since there were only 24 selling days in May this year vs. 26 in May 2010, total unit deliveries were down by about 41,000 units, to 1.06 million vs. 1.1 million in May 2010. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) in May averaged 11.7 million units, up from last May’s 11.6 million-unit SAAR, but still the lowest sales pace this year.

Retail sales actually were stronger in May—rising 6.6% from May 2010 to 833,847 units, which was equal to a 9.3 million-unit SAAR, while fleet deliveries were down 3.5% from a year ago, and represented a 2.4 million-unit SAAR, according to analysis of our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data.

Inventory shortages from Japan’s automakers impacted by the crisis in that country following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hampered US sales. Japan’s three major automakers—Toyota, Honda and Nissan Groups—together lost more than 7 percentage points of market share in May compared to last year. The three companies’ combined market share in May was 25.99% vs. 33.05% in the year-ago month. Continue reading ›