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

J.D. Power’s King Discusses U.S. Auto Market Shifts at Joint Conference

Thomas King Speaking at S&P ConferenceJ.D. Power’s Thomas King, senior director, Power Information Network® (PIN), recently shared insights on changes in new-vehicle demand in the U.S. market at the Standard & Poor’s/J.D. Power Auto Industry Hot Topics Conference in New York.

Analysts from S&P, J.D. Power, and strategic partner LMC Automotive, presented their views and analysis of the current and future state of the U.S. and global auto industry to an audience of more than 160 Wall Street analysts and reporters. Continue reading ›

Labor Day Sales Events Boost August U.S. Light-Vehicle Delivery Totals

Buyer and Dealership ManagerU.S. new light-vehicle sales in August were more robust than anticipated, mainly due to a heady retail sales finish over the Labor Day weekend. Retail sales even outperformed the accurate monthly forecast from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive, which already had projected one of the strongest sales months in six years.

There was an extra boost from holiday sales, especially on August 31 since Labor Day weekend was counted in August’s sales total as the month ended on a weekend. J.D. Power experts say they are not sure yet how much August sales will pull forward from September results. Total consumer spending on new vehicles in August was the highest on record—reaching $38.5 billion,—mainly due to strong transaction prices and higher sales, according to J.D. Power analysis.

Retail sales in August climbed 17.7% above retail totals in the same month of 2012. The final week of August sales totals (August 26 – Sept. 3) captured nearly 35% of the month’s retail sales volume, according to Dave Cutting, senior manager of North American Forecasting at LMC Automotive. Retail deliveries totaled 1.34 million units and the seasonally adjusted selling pace (SAAR) of 13.8 million was the highest since 2006. Continue reading ›

U.S. Auto Market Reaps Double-Digit Gain in June; Best Monthly Pace Since 2007

Car buyer gets keys from DealerAutomakers in the U.S. market finished the month of June with new-vehicle total sales increasing 13.5% (on a selling-day adjusted basis*) to 1.40 million units from 1.28 million units in the same month in 2012, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and our strategic partner LMC Automotive. The selling pace in June was the strongest in six years and outperformed most forecasts.

Through the first six months of 2013, total new-vehicle deliveries also increased, but not by as much as the June figure; YTD sales were up 8.4%, to 7.82 million unit sales from 7.26 million in the same six-month period a year ago. Trucks outperformed cars in the first half and gained 1.80 percentage points of share from a year ago. The Detroit-based automakers also captured a larger share of the U.S. auto market in the first half—46.1% vs. 45.2% in 2012.

In June, the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for retail and fleet sales averaged 15.9 million units—the strongest rate since 2007. The year-ago total light-vehicle SAAR was a much weaker 14.4 million units. 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 ›

In 2012, the Best News Comes for Small Vehicle Segments

Small cars were in demand with consumers in 2012.

Small vehicles resonated with new-vehicle buyers in 2012, partly due to higher prices at the pump during the year (prices reached $4 per gallon in some states) and due to the attraction of new models and more fuel-efficient powertrains.

Compacts accounted for some 5.97 million unit sales, or 41.3% of the market in 2012, up from 5.08 million unit sales in 2011 or 39.9% of the U.S. auto market. This represents a 1.43-percentage point share gain in 2012, according to data collected by J.D. Power and AssociatesPower Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Among the compact segments,Compact Sport and Sub-Compacts were the best performers in 2012, achieving a 39.3% and  33.1% increase over 2011, repsectively. More than 571,400 sub-compacts were sold and market share rose by one-half point to slightly less than 4% (3.95%). Two new models joined the category for 2012—Chevrolet Spark an, Toyota Prius C . The best seller in the segment was the Nissan Versa, followed by the Chevrolet Sonic and the Hyundai Accent. In addition, Fiat 500 sales more than doubled, and even the tiny Smart car sold nearly twice as many units in 2012 as in 2011. Continue reading ›

December and Calendar 2012 Finish Year with Encouraging Sales Numbers

Dealer LotThe 2012 calendar year finished on a resilient if not strong note with double-digit gains from 2011 for retail and even fleet sales. Despite a slightly slower pace at the end of the month, which may have been stalled by the down-to-the-wire “fiscal cliff” negotiations, nearly all multi-franchise automakers sold more new vehicles in December in the United States than in the previous year, according to analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Total sales for 2012 also finished with double-digit gains from 2011.

Some final highlights for December and the 2012 calendar year:

For Calendar Year 2012:

• Total light-vehicle sales in the U.S. market finished 2012 at 14.46 million units, which is 13.5% above sales of 12.75 million units in 2011.

• 2012 retail deliveries reached 11.73 million units, up 13.6% from 2011 on a selling-day-adjusted basis.

• Fleet sales were slightly less robust in 2012—increasing by 12.8% from 2011. Continue reading ›

U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales in September Best Since 2008

Retail light-vehicle sales during the last week of September were much stronger than expected, pushing up the month’s retail seasonally adjusted sales pace, or SAAR, to 12.4 million units—the second highest average retail pace this year, according to analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Total sales were strong as well—highest since March 2008—and finished with a 14.9 million SAAR.

In September, retail car and light-truck deliveries climbed 16.8%* from last year to just under (2,700 units less) 1 million units At the same time, September retail totals slipped 1.5% from a strong retail performance in August, when adjusted on a selling-day basis. Yet, September’s retail SAAR was 1.9 million units stronger than in the same month of 2011.

Fleet sales declined 4.1% and accounted for only 16% of total sales in September, which was down from a 19% share of total sales a year ago. Nearly 190,000 fleet units were delivered. The fleet SAAR averaged 2.5 million units—up 600,000 units from last month, but down 100,000 units from September 2011. Continue reading ›

Small-Vehicle Demand Bolsters September U.S. Sales

Consumers continued to replace their aging cars and trucks with more fuel-efficient new models in September—especially since higher gasoline prices* helped prime demand for sub-compact or compact new vehicles with smaller engines and even alternative powertrains, in particular hybrids. In addition, discounts on outgoing 2012 models plus excitement about new and redesigned models helped boost sales by nearly 13% from the same month last year.**

Total U.S. new-vehicle sales in September reached 1.187 million units, which translated to a relatively strong 14.9 million-unit seasonally adjusted selling rate (SAAR), according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. September’s sales pace was significantly stronger than last year’s 13.1 million-unit SAAR. 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 ›