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 ›

Compact Car and Large Pickup Deliveries Boost August U.S. Auto Sales

Compacts were popular choices for new-vehicle buyers in the U.S. market in August, due in part to the rise in gas prices—topping $4 per gallon on the West Coast. Car and light-truck sales in August rose 15.5% from a year ago, to 1.283 million units on a selling-day-adjusted basis,* according to analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.**

New car buyers continued to replace their older vehicles with new fuel-efficient compact models that included more purchases and leases of cars with alternative powertrains. At the same time, more large pickups were purchased than a year ago, which a Ford economist said may align with the fact that housing values moved in a positive direction recently compared to 2010 (based on the latest S&P Case Schiller index).

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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 ›