U.S. Auto Sales Reach Post-Great Recession High Mark in March

Salesperson and Couple at DealershipSales of new cars and light trucks in the United States may hit their best mark in March since before the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, despite news about the fiscal cliff and sequester in Washington, D.C. Economic news was more positive with better employment figures in March, which is giving car buyers renewed confidence.

 New-car shoppers continued to replace aging vehicles and took advantage of easier credit including low-interest-rate loans. A proliferation of new and refreshed models—including popular crossovers and large pickups—also enticed buyers into showrooms. Discounts on large pickup models that are being replaced by new 2014 models as well as a recovery in the housing sector helped prime the market for large pickups. It should also be noted that March typically is a strong month for the auto business.

 In early reports, J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and its strategic partner LMC Automotive report that automakers sold 1.45 million units in the third month of 2013. If sales are adjusted for one less selling day in March this year, deliveries rose 7.4% from March 2012, which translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.2 million units. Continue reading ›

Compact Crossovers, Not Minivans, are Favorites with Female Buyers

Grace Hamulic

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 ›