Small- and Large-Vehicle Segments Poised for Stronger Growth in 2013

Most of the 27 light-vehicle segments in the U.S. auto market achieved year-to-date sales gains through the first three quarters of 2013, according to analysis from J.D. Power and its strategic partner LMC Automotive. Large pickups advanced the most in the first three quarters—sales climbed 19.95% from last year’s same period. Compact crossovers (CUVs) . . . Continue Reading Small- and Large-Vehicle Segments Poised for Stronger Growth in 2013

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 ›

January Retail Sales Pace Up Significantly from Year-Ago Rate

Cars on Lot  U.S. new light-vehicle sales finished January on a strong note, with retail deliveries rising 15.7% from the same month in 2012 and total sales (retail and fleet) increasing 9.7% from January a year ago, based on analysis of retail transaction data from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. All changes are selling-day adjusted since there were 25 selling days in January 2013 vs. 24 in January 2012.

A few highlights from PIN and LMC Automotive analysis:

• Total light-vehicle sales reached nearly 1.042 million units in the first month this year, which translated to a 15.3 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR), up 1.4 million units from January a year ago.

• Retail deliveries totaled more than 822,000 units, which translated to a retail SAAR of 13.1 million units—up 2.2 million units from January 2012 and also up 1.1 million units from December 2012’s pace. 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 ›

August Retail Sales Surge, Fleets Dip; Strongest Performance in 4+ Years

Retail light-vehicle sales in August climbed 21% from a year ago to 1.094 million units, which translated to a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) of 12.6 million units—3.0 million units ahead of last August’s 9.6 million-unit pace, according to data and analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.*

A robust sales finish in the final days of the month added unexpected strength to retail numbers, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive experts, especially since fleet deliveries in August declined 8.6% from a year ago and were down 7.4% from July’s numbers on a selling-day-adjusted** basis. Continue reading ›

July Marks Fifth Month of 14.0-Million-Plus Sales Pace

July was the fifth of seven months this year that ended with an average annual selling pace, or SAAR, above 14.0 million units, according to analysis of Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data by J.D. Power with LMC Automotive.* Two fewer selling days in July this year (24) vs. last year’s same month (26) meant that automakers sold 18% more new cars and light trucks in the U.S. market, which translated to a SAAR of 14.1 million units. Sales continue to be strong through the first seven months of 2012, and total light-vehicle sales are up 14% from a year ago. A few more highlights are summarized from a final July sales update by PIN and LMC Automotive:

• In July, retail deliveries totaled nearly 970,000 units, which was up 17.8% from a year ago and up 6.8% from June’s retail sales, when selling-day adjusted. This translated to a retail SAAR of 11.5M units, down nearly 500,000 units from last month, but up a significant 2.0 million units from a year ago.

• Fleet sales climbed 19.4% from year-ago totals, but declined 21.7% from June on a selling-day-adjusted basis. July is traditionally a weak fleet sales month, and this month’s performance resulted in the lowest mix of fleet sales this year, according to Dave Cutting, senior manager of North American forecasting at LMC Automotive. The fleet SAAR averaged 2.5 million units. Continue reading ›

Some Unexpected Brands May Gain Sales with Engine Downsizing

Tyson Jominy

As we see new-vehicle buyers and lessees continue to shift from large to midsize vehicle segments and from midsize to small or compact segments, there has been a decrease in the size of engines. In addition, we are seeing that consumers who do not downsize are finding more fuel-efficient powertrain options at the segment and model level, according to our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data.

Detroit Automakers will Not be Left in the Lurch

An interesting change related to the shift to smaller engines this time around is who is leading the charge, and therefore who will stand to reap the gains. Two Detroit automaker brands, Ford and Chevrolet, are exclusively offering 4-cylinder engines in their freshened midsize cars—Fusion and Malibu, respectively. In addition, Ford offers 4-cylinder powertrains in their midsize crossovers and now offers a V-6 in the F-150 that is selling very briskly. In fact, the Ford EcoBoost powertrain sub-brand is turning out to be one of the early automotive successes of the decade. Continue reading ›

Small, Fuel-Efficient Vehicles on the Minds of Many Buyers in March

The Nissan Versa was the best-selling Sub-Compact in March.

Higher fuel prices helped prime sales of smaller and more fuel-efficient passenger cars, especially Sub-Compact and some Compact Conventional segment models, which boosted U.S. new-vehicle deliveries in March for nearly all automakers. The seasonally adjusted annual sales pace (SAAR) was more than 1 million units stronger than a year ago, and many automakers said March sales were their strongest since March 2008.

More than 1.4 million new vehicles were sold in the U.S. market during March, which was up 8.7% (on a selling-day-adjusted basis) from March 2011, when fewer than 1 million units were delivered, according to analysis from our Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.** The sales pace in March 2012 averaged 14.4 million units vs. 13 million units in March 2011.

At the segment level, Sub-Compact sales soared 36.3% and outperformed the industry, gaining nearly 1 point of share to garner 4.6% of industry sales, while Compact Conventional sales edged up only 3.1%, but still accounted for a 15.8% share of the market. Led by Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion, Midsize Conventional segment sales increased by 23.3% and the category captured 2 more points of share to end March with 18.4% of industry sales. Also noteworthy: Large Pickups, up 9.3% as a category and with the help of incentives, outperformed the industry’s 8.7% improvement as the segment garnered a 10.4% share in March 2012. Continue reading ›

Robust Retail and Fleet Closing Boosts US Auto Sales in February

Overall February new-vehicle sales were more robust than expected, due to strong closing retail sales and higher fleet deliveries than projected, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.*

Retail sales in February reached nearly 888,000 units—8.5% higher than totals in the same month last year, and 25% stronger than in January this year (selling-day adjusted). The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, for the month was 12.4 million units, which was 1.4 million units higher than February last year, and 1.5 million units stronger than in January 2012.

February fleet sales also improved more than anticipated, climbing nearly 21% from a year ago, and were nearly 9% higher than in the first month this year, although the fleet SAAR was down from January 2012. Fleet sales accounted for 22.6% of total sales in February. Continue reading ›

Two Domestic Trucks Remain Best Sellers in U.S.

Despite fuel costs that are 14% higher than last year and increased demand for compact models with more efficient powertrains this year, two domestic large pickups remain the best sellers in the US market through November, based on Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive research data.

During the first 11 months of 2011, nearly 500,000 Ford F-Series trucks were sold—up nearly 9% from the same period a year ago (selling day adjusted). The Chevrolet Silverado is the second best-selling model in the US market with sales of nearly 367,400 units for a 12% increase over last year. Another large pickup, the Ram 1500 from the Fiat-Chrysler Group just made the Top 20 model list this year. Ram sales climbed by nearly 25% from a year ago. Combined Ram LD and HD sales gave the truck seventh place standing in the US market. Continue reading ›