Early September Retail U.S. Sales Pace Remains Robust

John Humphrey

After a strong close over the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-3), retail light-vehicle sales in September maintained a relatively healthy pace through the first half of the month. However, sales are expected to level off through the rest of September—but still will rise 12% from September 2011, based on a monthly forecast update from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) with strategic partner LMC Automotive.*

Through the first 14 selling days of the month, retail car and light-truck sales increased 15% from a year ago, reflecting a healthy market, although we expect retail sales to level off through the remainder of the month. Retail deliveries are projected to reach 952,200 unit sales, which translates to a seasonally adjusted annul rate (SAAR) of 11.8 million units, which is up by more than 1 million units from September 2011, but lower than August’s 12.6 million-unit retail sales pace. Continue reading ›

Automakers Change Their Strategy in China Market

Marvin Zhu, a senior analyst with LMC Automotive, who writes for China Automotive Monthly published by J.D. Power Asia Pacific, offers insight about the changing strategies of automakers in China.

Automakers in China are changing their way of thinking in a market that is diversifying. Foreign brands are starting a new campaign to expand capacity.Volkswagen Group is going to set up new plants in Ningbo and Xinjiang, while Nissan Motor Co. will add a Dalian plant for Infiniti. General Motors, Ford, PSA, Hyundai, Honda, BMW and Toyota Groups are all going to have new plants ready for vehicle production in 2012. As these companies’ performance in other markets is expected to be less than robust, the booming Chinese market is much more of a sure bet. Continue reading ›

Compacts Outdistance Midsize Cars in March

David Cutting

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 ›