The Truth About Cars » Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:30:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/sales/ Chart Of The Day: Subaru Sets Monthly U.S. WRX/STI Sales Record In July 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-subaru-sets-monthly-u-s-wrxsti-sales-record-july-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-subaru-sets-monthly-u-s-wrxsti-sales-record-july-2015/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1144009 After two consecutive years of growth, including record-setting U.S. sales achievements in 2014, what does the Subaru WRX do for an encore performance? An all-time monthly record of 3,716 WRX/STI sales in July 2015 starts the second-half off strongly after a first-half in which sales of Subaru’s rally-inspired nameplate jumped ahead of last year’s sales […]

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2015-Subaru-WRX-STI-profile

After two consecutive years of growth, including record-setting U.S. sales achievements in 2014, what does the Subaru WRX do for an encore performance?

An all-time monthly record of 3,716 WRX/STI sales in July 2015 starts the second-half off strongly after a first-half in which sales of Subaru’s rally-inspired nameplate jumped ahead of last year’s sales pace by 14 percent.

When setting a brand-wide sales record in 2014, Subaru’s WRX/STI-specific record of 25,492 units accounted for 5 percent of the brand’s total U.S. sales volume.

Last month, however, the WRX/STI tandem produced more than 7 percent of all Subaru USA sales, up from 4 percent at this time last year thanks to an 85-percent year-over-year improvement.

Subaru WRX:STI pie chart TTAC

Subaru sales in July shot beyond 50,000 units for the first time since August of last year.

With massive increases through the first seven months of 2015, Subaru has already sold more WRX/STIs this year than in all of 2013, when sales were beginning to surge. Subaru is on track for significantly more than 30,000 WRX/STI sales in calendar year 2015.

Combined, Volkswagen’s Golf GTI and Golf R are on track for approximately 25,000 U.S. sales in 2015.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Can Ford Control Ford GT Ownership Through Applications? Lexus Did http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-ford-control-ford-gt-ownership-applications-lexus/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-ford-control-ford-gt-ownership-applications-lexus/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1155385 If Ford wants to control sales of its extremely small production of Ford GT and vet its owners, it only needs to look at the Lexus playbook from 2010 to see how. On Thursday, Ford’s Group Vice President for Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair told a group of last-gen Ford GT […]

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Ford-GT-1

If Ford wants to control sales of its extremely small production of Ford GT and vet its owners, it only needs to look at the Lexus playbook from 2010 to see how.

On Thursday, Ford’s Group Vice President for Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair told a group of last-gen Ford GT owners that it would ask potential owners to submit an application through the automaker to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the supercar. Official pricing for the car hasn’t been announced, nor has the criteria for ownership been made public.

Ford said it would only make available 250 cars each year worldwide. There are more than 3,200 dealerships in America alone and more than 7,500 worldwide.

If all this sounds familiar (as in, 500 Lexus LF-A cars at $400,000 for thousands of Toyota dealers) you might be right.

In 2010, Autoblog detailed the extraordinary process that potential LF-A buyers had to go through to qualify to buy the car.

Included was a “lease” option with $60,000 in deposits required before getting the car, $297,000 due upon receipt of the car, and a $93,000 option to buy the car after the 24-month lease expired. The “lease” amount was $12,398.44 per month.

Ford hasn’t announced how much it will sell the Ford GT for, or how it would collect that money, but it appears that every part of the buying process for the supercar will be unique to the Ford GT alone.

In 2005, when the last generation of Ford GTs were sold in America, the first cars were going nearly $100,000 over the MSRP price, as chronicled by the defunct FordGTPrices.com. As production ramped up on that car in 2006, prices eventually normalized to MSRP, but as the former site’s administrator Paul Allen told us, the 4,000+ volume of the last generation car and the 250-per-year production of this car makes it a whole different animal.

In its bulletin to dealers, Ford said it would make available to dealership owners a separate number of cars — available by application as well — for them to buy. Those cars would still come from the 250 produced each year, but a Ford spokesman declined to say how many would be allocated to dealer owners.

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Sub-prime Borrowers May Get Bounced Out of the Club Next Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/subprime-borrowers-may-get-bounced-club-next-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/subprime-borrowers-may-get-bounced-club-next-year/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1154137 Next year may not be as kind to new car buyers with bad credit. If you’ve been paying attention to the market recently, it’s been an up-and-down ride for the past few days. Market volatility is just one of the indicators that the Federal Reserve may be considering a hike to the federal funds rate (probably […]

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Signing his life and wallet away for the next six or so years with a long-term auto loan agreement

Next year may not be as kind to new car buyers with bad credit.

If you’ve been paying attention to the market recently, it’s been an up-and-down ride for the past few days. Market volatility is just one of the indicators that the Federal Reserve may be considering a hike to the federal funds rate (probably not this year, though), which would impact borrowing rates in a record-setting year for the auto-loan business. 

“It has the potential to impact auto loans, any rate increase certainly can,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director for Automotive Finance for Experian. “The rate depends on so many other factors in the market … (A rate increase is) at some point, likely. But there’s not a strong chance that it will go up this year.”

Rates for loans have largely stayed the same since 2008, when interest rates were lowered to spur lending after the recession. Many of the low-rates today haven’t changed and automakers such as Subaru have offered interest-free loans on some of their cars.

“If you’re not a high-scoring consumer, the likelihood of obtaining those (good) rates and programs is more of a risk. There’s not a lot of chance of getting them if your score is under 600,” Zabritski said. “The new vehicle market is a very prime market.”

But that may all change by next year.

According to Experian, sub-prime borrowers (with credit scores between 500-600) and deep sub-prime borrowers (with credit scores lower than 500) comprise 34 percent of used car loans. Non-prime borrowers (between 600-700) are roughly 20 percent of that market, with prime and super-prime buyers comprising the rest.

Non-prime buyers may be considered sub-prime depending on market conditions and the lender.

Any rate hike would likely impact lower-tier borrowers, either making the loan unaffordable or by lenders tightening up their availability to reduce risk.

“The lenders are out there now, they have money to lend. If you were someone trying to buy a car in 2009, money was hard to come by. If you’re getting a loan today, certainly you have a lot of financial options,” she said.

Deep sub-prime and sub-prime borrowing were the second and third-fastest growing loan segments behind super-prime borrowers. Interestingly, super-prime borrowers received less money from lending companies than many other categories.

Zabritski said the federal funds rate is dependent on many factors including GDP and market conditions, so it’s hard to predict any swing in the rates.

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At This Price, Nissan Just May As Well Pay You For a New Leaf http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/price-nissan-just-may-well-pay-new-leaf/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/price-nissan-just-may-well-pay-new-leaf/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152793 I live at the crossroads of liberal and libertarian. Despite what some of you have said, I’m not Marxist (although I have read plenty of his work, along with Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, Milton Friedman followers, et al.) and economics for me qualifies as a hobby. Therefore, the economy of how Colorado just made the Nissan […]

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2011 Nissan LEAF

I live at the crossroads of liberal and libertarian. Despite what some of you have said, I’m not Marxist (although I have read plenty of his work, along with Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, Milton Friedman followers, et al.) and economics for me qualifies as a hobby.

Therefore, the economy of how Colorado just made the Nissan Leaf one of the least expensive new cars in America is fascinating.

Right now, Leaf buyers in Colorado can receive the following perks: a $7,500 federal rebate, around $5,000 back from the state of Colorado, and $5,000 from Nissan if you finance your purchase through them. (Georgia, West Virginia and Connecticut are pretty high as well.)

All told, that’s $17,500 back in Colorado on a car that starts at $29,860 ($850 destination included) and your price — before negotiations with the dealer — is $12,360, if your shirt is starched, teeth are white and you max out rebates.

I called up a local Nissan dealer to confirm the details and after a little bit of checking (and a lot of trying to sell me on a lease) she confirmed I could score a Nissan for severely cheap.

FYI: A Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $12,995.

The financing rebate ends at the end of August, and Colorado’s $6,000 incentive (which is the highest in the nation) can’t last forever.

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Chart Of The Day: Mini Countryman Sales Are Crumbling In The United States http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-mini-countryman-sales-crumbling-united-states/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-mini-countryman-sales-crumbling-united-states/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 12:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1141985 A rising tide lifts all boats? Not in the Mini Countryman’s case. One of the oldest models on the block, the Countryman, is suffering from a sharp decline in U.S. sales even as consumers develop greater interest in subcompact crossovers. The addition of new rivals from rival automakers certainly doesn’t help. But the Countryman may […]

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Mini Countryman sales chart TTAC 3A rising tide lifts all boats?

Not in the Mini Countryman’s case.

One of the oldest models on the block, the Countryman, is suffering from a sharp decline in U.S. sales even as consumers develop greater interest in subcompact crossovers.

The addition of new rivals from rival automakers certainly doesn’t help. But the Countryman may also be affected by the arrival of a four-door version of the regular Mini Cooper. That Mini uses new engines and is significantly more economical.

2015 Mini Countryman green

Countryman volume is down 26 percent through the first seven months of 2015. Most recently, in July, year-over-year Countryman sales were off July 2014’s pace by 45 percent, a loss of 980 units.

Meanwhile, the category in which it competes is up 64 percent this year thanks to continued gains from vehicles like the Buick Encore and added sales from new urban crossovers like the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V. Subtract Mini from the equation and sales of these small, sometimes-AWD tall cars are up 74 percent.

The Countryman certainly lacks a certain freshness, and it wasn’t a terribly common vehicle at the best of times. (In the Countryman’s best ever month, August of last year, 2,412 were sold.) Through 56 months, Mini USA has reported 91,721 Countryman sales. Countryman volume peaked in 2014 after a 26-percent increase in 2012, a 1-percent uptick in 2013, and a 6-percent improvement last year.

Mini is on track for fewer than 17,000 Countryman sales in 2015, the approximate number of Countrymans sold in the model’s first full year.

Mini has, however, sold 9,297 copies of the Cooper 4-Door already this year, which more than makes up for the lost Countryman sales.

Perhaps true passenger cars can still be helpful, after all.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Chevrolet Impalas Going Quickly in South Korea http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/impalas-going-quickly-korea/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/impalas-going-quickly-korea/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152169 Buyers in South Korea have flocked to order the Chevrolet Impala by requesting more than 3,000 of the full-size sedans, which is two to three times higher than expected, BusinessKorea is reporting. The higher-than-expected draw in South Korea is part of a larger trend; according to the BBC, just around 6,000 cars were imported in 2000. In 2014, […]

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2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-005

Buyers in South Korea have flocked to order the Chevrolet Impala by requesting more than 3,000 of the full-size sedans, which is two to three times higher than expected, BusinessKorea is reporting.

The higher-than-expected draw in South Korea is part of a larger trend; according to the BBC, just around 6,000 cars were imported in 2000. In 2014, more than 196,000 cars were imported into the country, although many of those were European luxury models.

GM Korea forecasted 4,000 to 5,000 Impala models would be sold by the end of 2015, but Korean buyers are ordering 200 cars per day, which would exhaust their supply within one month.

Buyers in Korea are ordering the high-end models, too. The most popular pick for prospective Korean buyers is the 2.5-liter LTZ followed by the 3.6-liter LTZ, according to the report. The 2.5-liter LT is approximately 15 percent of the mix.

A spokesman for Chevrolet said Korea would be receiving Impala models built in Detroit.

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Chart Of The Day: Mitsubishi Is America’s Fastest Growing Auto Brand, Sort Of http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-mitsubishi-americas-fastest-growing-auto-brand-sort/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-mitsubishi-americas-fastest-growing-auto-brand-sort/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1141841 Relative to their own achievements during the first seven months of 2014, no auto brand in America is growing faster through the first seven months of 2015 than Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi? Yes, Mitsubishi. Compared with the January-July period last year, Mitsubishi volume is up 25 percent in 2015. Yet a 25-percent gain at Mitsubishi, which is […]

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Fastest growing automakers sales chart TTAC

Relative to their own achievements during the first seven months of 2014, no auto brand in America is growing faster through the first seven months of 2015 than Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi?

Yes, Mitsubishi.

Compared with the January-July period last year, Mitsubishi volume is up 25 percent in 2015. Yet a 25-percent gain at Mitsubishi, which is ending North American production, translates to only 11,391 extra sales, year-over-year. Moreover, if we reach back a decade, Mitsubishi sales through the first seven months of 2005 were 33-percent stronger than they are now — and that was three years into the brand’s free fall.

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

Jeep, on the other hand, has produced a 21-percent year-over-year increase through the first seven months of 2015, a gain of 82,515 sales. That latter figure is unparalleled in today’s U.S. auto market. Jeep has boosted its sales with nearly across-the-board gains. The Patriot is up 34 percent, the Cherokee is up 28 percent, the Grand Cherokee is up 4 percent, and the Wrangler is up 19 percent. Jeep has added 20,751 sales via the Renegade. Only the Compass, down 16 percent, has been a drag. Jeep sales have increased in each of the last five years and reached a record high in calendar year 2014.

Similarly, Mitsubishi is producing gains across its lineup. Lancer volume is up 19 percent, the Mirage is up 53 percent, Outlander volume has grown by 16 percent, and the Outlander Sport reported an 18-percent year-to-date gain. Only the disappearance of a few Galant sales (only 122 were sold by this point last year) and an inconsequential 26-percent i MiEV drop has slowed the brand’s growth.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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What’s Going on With The New Maxima? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/whats-going-new-maxima/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/whats-going-new-maxima/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1151721 Nissan’s new Maxima, which went on sale earlier this year, has already had a bumpy road. Last week, the automaker announced it would be recalling around 6,000 cars for an improperly installed fuel tank 0-ring that could leak and ignite after a crash, according to AutoGuide. Nissan hasn’t identified a fix for the problem yet. […]

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2016 Nissan Maxima (18 of 23)

Nissan’s new Maxima, which went on sale earlier this year, has already had a bumpy road.

Last week, the automaker announced it would be recalling around 6,000 cars for an improperly installed fuel tank 0-ring that could leak and ignite after a crash, according to AutoGuide. Nissan hasn’t identified a fix for the problem yet.

That may be in addition to (or the reason for) a stop-sale on the Maxima in July for an unspecified “quality assurance” problem with the cars. We reached out to Nissan for a comment and have yet to hear back. 

Early owners have reported minor problems including moon roof noises, headlight issues and electronic woes.

This isn’t the first generation of Maxima models produced in Smyrna, Tennessee, nor is it the only model that plant produces. But any further hiccups in initial quality could damage the car’s tenuous position.

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Toyota Asking Dealers To Stop Advertising Below Invoice, World Not Over Yet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-asking-dealers-stop-advertising-invoice-world-not-yet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-asking-dealers-stop-advertising-invoice-world-not-yet/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1151489 At an upcoming dealer meeting in Las Vegas next month, Toyota will ask its dealers to stop advertising cars below invoice in an attempt to help keep residual values higher and keep dealers from competing in a “race to the bottom,” Automotive News is reporting. If accepted, Toyota would join Honda in penalizing dealers who […]

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"Both certified Toyota dealerships -- and those pending certification -- were built as part of the company's Eco-Image USA II initiative that puts an emphasis on environmental sensitivity when building new facilities or updating current facilities. For instance, under the program, panels used on the building's exterior are made up of 90 percent recycled aluminum and Toyota assists dealers with cutting edge green options, including different power sources such as solar, wind and geothermal."

At an upcoming dealer meeting in Las Vegas next month, Toyota will ask its dealers to stop advertising cars below invoice in an attempt to help keep residual values higher and keep dealers from competing in a “race to the bottom,” Automotive News is reporting.

If accepted, Toyota would join Honda in penalizing dealers who advertise cars below invoice. According to the report, after three reported violations in one year, Honda could withhold marketing money from a dealer — which could be $400 per vehicle. It’s unclear how Toyota may penalize its dealers who don’t comply with the proposed new rule.

A less-than-happy dealer said he would consider suing Toyota for price fixing if the ad mandate were enforced.

“This is not in the best interest of the consumer, and I’m not going to keep my mouth shut,” said Earl Stewart, who runs a dealership in Florida.

A Boston-area Toyota dealer said keeping other dealers from advertising below invoice could keep unscrupulous dealers from bait-and-switch tactics to lure buyers to a showroom with one price, and sell them on another.

“It would be wonderful if this move could put some sanity into pricing,” said Mike Hills, general manager of Bristol Toyota-Scion.

Stewart said that he sells three out of four cars below invoice and that his dealership is a no-haggle dealership, something Lexus will reportedly adopt soon. He said that if he can’t advertise below invoice, he would lose business.

(It’s worth mentioning that dealer holdback allows some dealers to sell below invoice, but still make a profit on the car.)

At its Scion stores, Toyota is reportedly streamlining its online shopping process to encourage buyers to shop and pay for a car online before having it delivered*.

*Only in states where that sort of thing is legal, of course.

No word on whether balloons on cars would still be allowed.

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Chart Of The Day: Volvo XC90 Sales Are Way Up, Now Double It http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-volvo-xc90-sales-way-now-double/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-volvo-xc90-sales-way-now-double/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1138426 We’re finally beginning to see the impact a new SUV can have in Volvo showrooms. The second-generation XC90 posted a 209% year-over-year increase to 1,176 U.S. sales in July 2015. That equalled 796 more sales this July than last and the highest monthly total for the XC90 since December 2010. So is Volvo back? Well, […]

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TTAC Volvo XC90 sales chart

We’re finally beginning to see the impact a new SUV can have in Volvo showrooms.

The second-generation XC90 posted a 209% year-over-year increase to 1,176 U.S. sales in July 2015. That equalled 796 more sales this July than last and the highest monthly total for the XC90 since December 2010.

So is Volvo back? Well, not quite. Not yet.

Because the auto market is so seasonal, year-over-year change is a valid figure to consider, but it’s less useful when the previous year in the year-over-year comparison was the 13th year in the model’s lifespan. XC90 sales in July 2014, for instance, were 88% lower than in July 2004.

You know what that means. Even as XC90 sales exploded, on a year-over-year basis, in July 2015, the new SUV’s total was still paltry in comparison with the XC90’s glory days of yore.

Can Volvo return to those glory days of selling 3,000 XC90s per month in America? There are a number of factors working against the new XC90, not the least of which is supply. Automotive News says that Volvo had just a six-day supply of XC90s at the beginning of July. At the moment, Cars.com shows only 600 XC90s in stock at U.S. dealers.

Pre-production of the all-new Volvo XC90 in Torslanda

If Volvo can ramp up supply, however, the XC90 is still fighting a much more difficult battle now than it was a decade ago.

First, consider the competition. For example, in 2004, there was no Audi Q7. Now, there’s a second-generation Audi Q7, and even the aged outgoing model was selling more often in 2014 than it had in seven years. Infiniti now grabs 3,100 sales per month with their own three-row crossover, the QX60. Other key rivals have been released in all-new form at least twice since the XC90 was initially released and are marketed with far broader model ranges. The latest BMW X5, for instance, is sold with four different engines, including a diesel.

Yet the bigger factor that could inhibit the new XC90 from selling like the old XC90 is Volvo’s own standing in America. No longer is Volvo the only manufacturer which can wow with safety, and more pertinently, Volvo’s non-XC90 vehicles simply aren’t that popular. In July 2004, Volvo sold 9,180 vehicles which weren’t XC90s, 52% more non-XC90 vehicles than Volvo sold last month.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Interest in Hybrid Cars the Same, But Not When Money is Involved http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/interest-in-hybrid-cars-the-same-but-not-when-money-is-involved/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/interest-in-hybrid-cars-the-same-but-not-when-money-is-involved/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2015 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1150945 Two stories paint an interesting present reality for hybrid and electric vehicles in America. Interest in hybrid vehicles has stayed consistent for the last two years among people in the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. But apparently dealers and buyers can’t keep their hands off of those cars in Connecticut, where that state recently offered up to $3,000 […]

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2014-b-class-electric-drive-3

Two stories paint an interesting present reality for hybrid and electric vehicles in America. Interest in hybrid vehicles has stayed consistent for the last two years among people in the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. But apparently dealers and buyers can’t keep their hands off of those cars in Connecticut, where that state recently offered up to $3,000 on the hoods of those cars, Automotive News is reporting.

According to a Harris Poll, 48 percent of polled Americans say they would consider a hybrid vehicle next time they’re in the market for a car, which is roughly the same number of people who said so in 2013. Interest in electric and plug-in hybrid cars was up slightly to 21 and 29 percent of respondents, respectively.

Getting people to pull the trigger on that purchase, it seems, is still a matter of dangling a tangible benefit — fuel economy and environmental benefit may still not be enough.

Jeff Aiosa, who owns a Mercedes dealership in New London, Connecticut, said his electrified B-Class cars weren’t going anywhere until that state started offering money directly to consumers to buy one.

“We weren’t selling them heavily before,” Aiosa told Automotive News. “The program certainly created some amped-up demand.”

Connecticut is offering money off the cars directly from a $1 million fund aimed at moving cars off lots. The state is putting up to $3,000 on the hoods of some cars, depending on battery size, to incentive purchases of hybrids and electric cars. Through July, about one-quarter of the incentive money available had been claimed.

“This is the type of program that can be a win-win-win for the state, auto manufacturers, dealers and consumers,” said Leo Karl, who owns a Chevrolet dealership. Karl said he was nearly out of 2015 Volts, which qualify for $1,500 from the program, and expects that the 2016 Volt, which will qualify for $3,000, will go quickly too.

Interestingly, part of the Connecticut program allows dealers who sell the cars to keep up to $300 of the incentive.

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You’re Paying More for That 2016 Hellcat, Quite a Bit More http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/youre-paying-more-for-that-2016-hellcat-quite-a-bit-more/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/youre-paying-more-for-that-2016-hellcat-quite-a-bit-more/#comments Sat, 22 Aug 2015 16:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1150841 Just in time for super-low gas prices, Dodge’s Hellcats will cost $3,650 to $4,200 more next year — at least — Autoblog is reporting. The 2016 Challenger Hellcat will start at $65,190 — including destination and gas guzzler tax, an increase of $4,200 over 2015. The Charger will start at $68,640 — including destination and […]

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Just in time for super-low gas prices, Dodge’s Hellcats will cost $3,650 to $4,200 more next year — at least — Autoblog is reporting.

The 2016 Challenger Hellcat will start at $65,190 — including destination and gas guzzler tax, an increase of $4,200 over 2015. The Charger will start at $68,640 — including destination and tax, which is an increase of $3,650.

(Those prices don’t reflect the “market adjustment” one could likely see for the highly coveted, limited-production vehicles. Although, Dodge really doesn’t like that.)

Pricing isn’t official from Dodge, but Autoblog says they’ve confirmed the figures for next year. Roughly 900 customers who ordered Challenger and Charger Hellcats had their orders cancelled last month after Dodge said it would ramp up production of the muscle cars. The report says those customers would get $5,000 and $4,000 off their Charger and Challengers, respectively.

The report also details a similar price hike for most SRT models, the Challenger SRT 392 will see a $3,150 price hike to $51,190 and the Charger SRT 392 will jump $3,000 to $51,990.

For your extra dough, you get leather as standard.

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Chart Of The Day: Honda Odyssey Puts An End To Toyota Sienna’s Best Seller Streak http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-honda-odyssey-puts-end-toyota-siennas-best-seller-streak/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-honda-odyssey-puts-end-toyota-siennas-best-seller-streak/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1143953 Not since January of last year had the Honda Odyssey finished a month as America’s top-selling minivan. Indeed, not since October of last year had the Toyota Sienna not been America’s best-selling minivan. But in July 2015, Odyssey sales jumped 18 percent, year-over-year, enough to overtake the Sienna on a monthly basis. America’s whole minivan category […]

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USA minivan sales chart July 2015

Not since January of last year had the Honda Odyssey finished a month as America’s top-selling minivan. Indeed, not since October of last year had the Toyota Sienna not been America’s best-selling minivan.

But in July 2015, Odyssey sales jumped 18 percent, year-over-year, enough to overtake the Sienna on a monthly basis.

America’s whole minivan category is in a state of flux in 2015 as a shutdown at FCA’s Windsor, Ontario, facility produced a dramatic slowdown in Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country sales, particularly of the fleet variety. The one true minivan of the bunch, Mazda’s 5, has been discontinued. The improvements recorded by the Kia Sedona are impressive relative to Kia’s historic Sedona levels, but it remains a small part of America’s minivan segment.

Sienna sales, meanwhile, are up 12 percent and are on track to rise to a nine-year high after five consecutive years of U.S. sales growth. Sienna market share in the people carrier category grew to 29 percent through the first seven months of 2015, up from 22 percent at this stage last year.

The Grand Caravan/Town & Country’s market share has tumbled from 49 percent through the first seven months of 2014 to just 31 percent so far this year. Honda’s market share in July, specifically, was 30 percent. Both the Sienna and Odyssey outsold the combined FCA efforts in May of this year.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Chart Of The Day: U.S. SUV/Crossover Market Share Surges In July 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-u-s-suvcrossover-market-share-surges-july-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-u-s-suvcrossover-market-share-surges-july-2015/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1141010 U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped 14 percent in July 2015, a year-over-year improvement equal to more than 67,000 extra sales compared with July 2014. As a result, just under 36 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s volume was produced by utility vehicles in July 2015, a three-percentage-point increase over the same period one […]

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TTAC SUV market share chart July 2015

U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped 14 percent in July 2015, a year-over-year improvement equal to more than 67,000 extra sales compared with July 2014.

As a result, just under 36 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s volume was produced by utility vehicles in July 2015, a three-percentage-point increase over the same period one year ago.

Passenger car volume, meanwhile, slid 3 percent last month, a drop of around 18,000 sales as the overall market grew by more than 5 percent, or 75,000 units.

Strengthened by new nameplates which only barely fit the already loose definition of an SUV/crossover/CUV – vehicles like the Honda HR-V and Fiat 500X – the utility vehicle sector’s share of the market has increased, on a month-to-month basis, in six of the last twelve months. While this suggests that the upward trend is gradual, recent gains are clearly more rapid.

As recently as March, for example, “only” 33 percent of the new vehicles sold in the United States were SUVs and crossovers, on par with figures from last summer and below the level of last November, January, and February.

2014 Nissan Rogue

July’s quick rise to 36 percent didn’t occur simply as a result of new nameplates, of course. 16 of the 20 most popular utility vehicles in America in July posted year-over-year improvements, including ab0ve-average increases from the Nissan Rogue, Ford Explorer, Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Traverse, Hyundai Santa Fe, GMC Acadia, Ford Edge, and Jeep Patriot.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Chart Of The Day: 2014’s U.S. Full-Size SUV Sales Pace Wasn’t Sustainable http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-2014s-u-s-full-size-suv-sales-pace-wasnt-sustainable/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-2014s-u-s-full-size-suv-sales-pace-wasnt-sustainable/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137298 There were six new full-size SUVs from General Motors. Ford refreshed the Expedition. Lincoln did the same with their upmarket Expedition, the Navigator. The year was 2014, and U.S. sales of Detroit’s biggest, baddest, full-size SUVs were booming, relative to the recent past. Twice in the first seven months of the year — and three […]

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TTAC COTD GM full-size SUV sales chart July 2015

There were six new full-size SUVs from General Motors. Ford refreshed the Expedition. Lincoln did the same with their upmarket Expedition, the Navigator.

The year was 2014, and U.S. sales of Detroit’s biggest, baddest, full-size SUVs were booming, relative to the recent past.

Twice in the first seven months of the year — and three times over the course of the year — Chevrolet sold more than 10,000 Tahoes. By year’s end, Suburban volume had risen to a seven-year high. The GMC Yukon generated more sales in the final three-quarters of the year than in any of the previous five calendar years. Ford averaged 3,700 monthly Expedition sales over the course of the year, up 43 percent from its monthly average from the previous six years. On four occasions at the end of 2014, Lincoln sold more than one thousand Navigators, something the brand had done just twice since December 2011.

15Expedition_02_MR

Yet the overarching modern interest in SUVs and crossovers was not going to permit these behemoths to continue their rapid rate of growth on their way back to 2002-like sales levels. This became most obvious at General Motors in the second-quarter of 2015 and into July: sales of their body-on-frame SUV sextuplets plunged 22 percent compared with the same period one year ago.

In July, more specifically, the Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, Yukon XL, Escalade, and Escalade ESV tumbled 24 percent, a loss of 6,597 sales for General Motors compared with July 2014. In fact, the six-nameplate lineup didn’t even sell as often in July 2015 as in July 2013, before the new breed of SUVs were introduced.

This doesn’t mean the vehicles don’t continue to be major profit generators for their respective automakers. But as crew cab pickup trucks become the norm, truck platforms which formerly produced a large chunk of their volume with full-size SUVs now produce a portion of that volume with upmarket Silverados, Sierras, F-150s, and Rams.

Thus, it does mean that these once commonplace SUVs are far less consequential in the broader vehicular landscape of 2015. The six GM BOFs and Ford’s two nameplates owned 4.4 percent of the U.S. new vehicle market in 2002. Through the first seven months of 2015, that figure stands at 1.6 percent.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Could the Ford Taurus be Imported From China? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-taurus-imported-china/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-taurus-imported-china/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1144049 The Ford Taurus, once the flagship in Ford’s range, apparently has fallen on hard times. Sales are down 28 percent through July, it hasn’t done much to outrun its perception as a perennial fleet queen and police fleet buyers are picking the Explorer-based Interceptor over the sedan. Automotive News details the fall and rise and fall again […]

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New Ford Taurus

The Ford Taurus, once the flagship in Ford’s range, apparently has fallen on hard times.

Sales are down 28 percent through July, it hasn’t done much to outrun its perception as a perennial fleet queen and police fleet buyers are picking the Explorer-based Interceptor over the sedan. Automotive News details the fall and rise and fall again of the Ford Taurus (thanks mostly to former Ford CEO Alan Mulally) and throws in a little tidbit in the middle:

If sales keep falling, analysts speculate Ford could eliminate U.S. production of it and … import the small volume it needs here from China …

Oh boy. 

It’s clear that Ford will have to make a decision about the Taurus soon. The current Taurus was last redesigned in 2009 and slightly updated in 2012. In April, Ford announced it would redesign the Taurus, but only in China.

Sales of the full-size Taurus peaked only a couple years ago, but the Taurus is on pace to sell 45,000 cars this year — including police cars — it’s lowest total ever.

In fact, the move to a full-size sedan — something Mulally pressed for early on in his tenure — may be what is killing the Taurus. By comparison, the Ford Fusion outsells the Taurus nearly four to one and is about $5,000 less for roughly the same car.

All that may be contributing to the tough time the Taurus is having in the States, and there’s always the Lincoln Continental right around the corner too.

So could the Taurus be Ford’s first import from China?

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Quattro Receives Re-brand in Australia, Now Called Audi Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/quattro-receives-re-brand-in-australia-now-called-audi-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/quattro-receives-re-brand-in-australia-now-called-audi-sport/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 18:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1143417 You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG. In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called […]

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Audi R8 V10

You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.

In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called quattro GmbH (without the capital Q, because Audi), which is the name of the all-wheel drive system that made the brand so popular with Group B rally fans. It’s compounded by the fact normal Audi’s wear the quattro nameplate when they sport all-wheel drive, so it’s not that exclusive of a name.

In Australia, Audi is looking to fix this organizational and marketing nightmare. Enter Audi Sport.

The performance division itself, quattro, will not change its name, but the products developed by Quattro (screw it, I am using capitals) will now be marketed under the customer-friendly Audi Sport umbrella. CarAdvice reports 15 dealers will have Audi Sport-specific showroom areas by the end of the year for selling RS models and Audi’s halo car, the R8. S models will still be sold under the more plebeian Audi banner.

The additional moniker is a pilot project by Audi that could be found in other regions in the future. Considering the sub-branding success of BMW and Mercedes — the latter has completely re-engineered how it’ll name all vehicles in the future — it’s probably about time Audi did the same.

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A First: Macan Is Porsche USA’s Best Seller In July 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/first-macan-porsche-usas-best-seller-july-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/first-macan-porsche-usas-best-seller-july-2015/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1135266 In July 2015, for just the second time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan outsold its bigger brother Cayenne. Also in July 2015, for the first time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan was the best-selling Porsche in America. But is Porsche just using the Macan to […]

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2015 Porsche Macan S

In July 2015, for just the second time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan outsold its bigger brother Cayenne.

Also in July 2015, for the first time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan was the best-selling Porsche in America.

But is Porsche just using the Macan to appeal to Cayenne buyers who want something smaller or less expensive, thereby cannibalizing Cayenne volume in the United States?

TTAC Cayenne vs. Macan sales chart

This chart aims to answer that question. Here are the numbers behind the red, green, and blue lines.

In the 15-month period leading up to the Macan’s launch, Porsche sold 23,126 Cayennes in the U.S. Alongside the Macan for the last 15 months, Porsche has sold 19,560 Cayennes, a 15-percent decline in a booming utility vehicle market.

2015 Porsche 911 GTS

Has the Macan eaten into the Cayenne’s share of the Porsche pie? Undoubtedly. But the Macan has more than made up that 15-percent gap. Up from the 23,126 Cayennes sold in the 15 months leading up to the Macan’s launch, Porsche has sold 34,582 Cayennes and Macans in the last 15 months, a 50-percent improvement in Porsche’s utility vehicle total.

More recently, the Cayenne has clawed back some of its lost volume even as the Macan continues to strengthen. Year-over-year, Cayenne sales are up 1 percent over the last three months. And while the Macan climbed to the top of Porsche’s U.S. sales leaderboard in July, the Cayenne is the consistent leader, with 1,693 more sales than the Macan over the first seven months of 2015; 3,624 more than the third-ranked 911.

Speaking of the 911, it was last Porsche USA’s top-selling model in October 2014. As Cayenne volume dropped to a 32-month low and the Macan’s low stock saw sales of the smaller utility fall to its second-lowest total ever, the 911, Porsche’s longest-running model, was the brand’s best seller.

It was short-lived, of course. 911 sales are down 3 percent through the first seven months of 2015. The Macan, on the other hand, achieved its highest U.S. sales total yet (1,537) in April of this year and nearly matched that figure with 1,533 sales in July. More than 1,000 Macans have been sold in the U.S. in each of the last five months, something Porsche hadn’t done in any of the previous nine tries.

2015 Porsche Cayenne S

As for their standing in the broader SUV/crossover marketplace, the Cayenne and Macan, while huge profit generators for Porsche, aren’t among the most popular premium utilities. (Year-to-date, they rank 66th and 72nd overall, respectively.)

BMW sold 35,162 X5s in the first seven months of 2015, nearly four times the Cayenne’s total. The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is more than twice as common as the Cayenne. Cadillac has sold 19,241 regular and long-wheelbase Escalades already this year. Mercedes-Benz GL sales are up 10 percent to 14,693 units, 1.6 times the Cayenne’s 9474-unit total. The Lexus GX460, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Range Rover, and Audi Q7? They all outsell the Cayenne, as well.

Then there are a wide array of entry-level premium crossovers which routinely outsell the Macan: RDX, Q5, NX, GLK, X3, XC60, MKC. They’re hardly comparable, of course, as their average base price is 30-percent lower than the Macan’s $52,600 MSRP.

The degree of frequency with which Porsches of all stripes are commonly seen on your school run continues to correlate quite directly to your zip code. Yet while the two most popular Porsches remain rare by the high-volume standards of ubiquitous BMW and Mercedes SUVs, they’re clearly driving the brand forward.

With 50 percent of the brand’s volume coming from the Cayenne and Macan, Porsche set an annual U.S. sales record in calendar year 2014. Through the first seven months of 2015, brand-wide sales are ahead of last year’s record-setting pace by 10 percent and the two utilities now collect 58 percent of Porsche’s U.S. volume. For the first time in the brand’s U.S. history, Porsche topped the 5,000 sale mark in April 2015, a period during which the Cayenne and Macan accounted for 63 percent of all Porsche sales.

0.13 percent of the new vehicles sold in America in the first seven months of 2015 were Porsche passenger cars. Porsche’s overall market share, however, increased to 0.30 percent through the end of July, up from 0.28 percent in the same period one year ago, 0.27 percent in 2013, 0.24 percent in 2012, and 0.23 percent in 2011.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Cadillac Slowing its Plans to Sell Cars in Europe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-slowing-plans-sell-cars-europe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-slowing-plans-sell-cars-europe/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 22:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1140154 Cadillac likely won’t push to sell more cars in Europe before 2020, the company’s CEO Johan de Nysschen told analysts on Tuesday. “We’ll go to that market when we have the right powertrains and the right cars,” he said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News. Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains […]

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004-2016-cadillac-ct6-1

Cadillac likely won’t push to sell more cars in Europe before 2020, the company’s CEO Johan de Nysschen told analysts on Tuesday.

“We’ll go to that market when we have the right powertrains and the right cars,” he said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News.

Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains to help it gain a foothold in European markets. According to the report, Cadillac has sold only 838 cars in Europe so far this year. Cadillac wants to sell 500,000 cars globally by 2020, de Nysschen said.

Instead of Europe, de Nysschen told J.P. Morgan Auto Conference attendees (we guess our invitation just got lost in the mail, or something) that Cadillac would focus on strengthening its position in China, Russia and the Middle East.

The report didn’t detail how Cadillac would combat crumbling or slowing economies in China or Russia, but it’s clear that Cadillac is going to wait until its portfolio is much, much stronger before it attempts to seriously compete with the Germans in their own backyard.

Global sales of Cadillacs are up 1.5 percent, led by a 7.4-percent rise in China, and despite a 2.4-percent slowdown in America.

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Could Cadillac Leave General Motors to Be on Its Own? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-leave-general-motors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-leave-general-motors/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1139346 According to Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen, it probably could. According to Automotive News, de Nysschen told analysts that Cadillac would have a “a far higher degree of autonomy and self sufficiency” within two years, and the company could report its own profits and losses, separate from GM. Already, Cadillac contributes “a very sizeable contribution to the overall profit […]

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2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport front

According to Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen, it probably could.

According to Automotive News, de Nysschen told analysts that Cadillac would have a “a far higher degree of autonomy and self sufficiency” within two years, and the company could report its own profits and losses, separate from GM.

Already, Cadillac contributes “a very sizeable contribution to the overall profit at General Motors” de Nysschen said, so let’s cut the dead weight already and keep the ugly sorority sisters in the basement?

Not so fast.

The Cadillac CEO admitted that the brand’s narrow portfolio and fledgling dealer overhaul could keep it under the GM umbrella — at least until 2018. The company is planning on several new models, including crossovers and sedans to help steady its financial base, that would begin arriving around 2018.

The company will sell 500,000 cars globally by 2020, de Nysschen reiterated to analysts yesterday. Last year, Cadillac sold 263,697 cars — more than 170,000 of those in the U.S. alone.

Chief engineer Dave Leone said that in the interim Cadillac needs to offer more than its German competitors for less money to gain traction in the luxury market — unlike it had in previous years.

Already, Cadillac has changed substantially its relationship with its dealers. The automaker said it would begin focusing its incentives on dealer experience and not necessarily sales, and it’s encouraging dealers to build standalone, boutique showrooms.

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Auto Loans Top $1T; Sub-prime Loans Grow 10 Percent Over 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/auto-loans-top-1t-sub-prime-loans-grow-10-percent-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/auto-loans-top-1t-sub-prime-loans-grow-10-percent-2014/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 21:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1138674 Credit-reporting agency Equifax says that as of June 2015 more than $1 trillion has been loaned or leased in the United States. The total dollar amount is 10.5 percent higher than last year. The average loan amount is $20,800, which is a 3.65 percent increase over last year, and the average sub-prime loan is $18,200. Sub-prime […]

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GUARANTEED APPROVAL 2

Credit-reporting agency Equifax says that as of June 2015 more than $1 trillion has been loaned or leased in the United States. The total dollar amount is 10.5 percent higher than last year.

The average loan amount is $20,800, which is a 3.65 percent increase over last year, and the average sub-prime loan is $18,200. Sub-prime loans comprised 23.5 percent of newly originated auto loans.

More than 9 million new loans were made up to April 2015, which is a 5.8-percent increase over last year. Overall, more than 73.7 million cars are financed through loans in the U.S.

Now that the average car loan is six years or longer, buyers may be able to afford taking longer, more expensive loans, and rising consumer confidence may spur more people into buying.

“Strong sales numbers in both the new-car and used-car markets, coupled with the availability of quality financing for consumers are a few of the main reasons the industry has reached the one trillion dollar mark,” Dennis Carlson, Deputy Chief Economist at Equinox, said in a statement. “It clearly reflects that the improving economy has provided the impetus for consumers to replace their aging vehicles and begin to satisfy their pent-up auto demand.”

For context, the current student debt burden in the U.S. is around $1.2 trillion, which some have said is an “epidemic,” (although college debt usually doesn’t have any collateral). And if the sub-prime figure raises an alarm, David Ruggles has a fairly cogent argument why that may not be a bad thing.

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Chart Of The Day: July Marks 11 Months On Top For The Honda CR-V http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-july-marks-11-months-top-honda-cr-v/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-july-marks-11-months-top-honda-cr-v/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 12:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1133417 Beginning in September 2014, the Honda CR-V began a streak as America’s best-selling SUV/crossover, a streak which has now extended through July 2015. Eleven consecutive months is no mean feat — the Toyota Camry’s current streak as America’s best-selling car is only six months long. The CR-V is strengthening, however. In July, year-over-year volume jumped […]

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TTAC COTD best-selling SUV sales streak Honda CR-V

Beginning in September 2014, the Honda CR-V began a streak as America’s best-selling SUV/crossover, a streak which has now extended through July 2015. Eleven consecutive months is no mean feat — the Toyota Camry’s current streak as America’s best-selling car is only six months long.

The CR-V is strengthening, however. In July, year-over-year volume jumped 11 percent to 31,785 units, 2,532 units more than the second-ranked Ford Escape managed. During this increasingly lengthy period of dominance, no one challenger has really stood up to take the fight to the CR-V.

Since the beginning of 2015, the Ford Escape has been the second-place finisher twice (in January and July), the Toyota RAV4 twice (in February and June), the Chevrolet Equinox twice (in April and May), and the Nissan Rogue once (in March). It’s as though James Harden is shooting around on a basketball court beside some playground in Los Angeles waiting for a one-on-one matchup while kids peeking out from around the corner keep pushing one of their friends out to put up a fight.

2015 Honda CR-V

Although this particular streak displays special CR-V strength — sales climbed to a record high 335,019 units in calendar year 2014 and are on pace to top 350,000 in 2015 — we’re not witnessing something new from Honda. The CR-V was America’s best-selling utility vehicle for four consecutive years beginning in 2007 and then, after a one-year break, it was America’s best-selling utility vehicle in each of the last three years, as well.

The difference now is the vehicle’s astounding consistency, like a tennis player that not only ends the year as the top-ranked player but also wins every tournament every weekend.

In 2012, when the current annual CR-V streak began, the Escape was the top-selling utility vehicle in America in June, July, August, and September. In 2013, the Escape led in each of the first three months and in May, June, and in September. Again in 2014, the Escape led in January, February, and March; the RAV4 in August.

Now things have changed. Month after month, no SUV or crossover sells as often in America as the Honda CR-V. Moreover, CR-V sales are growing despite the increasing breadth of the SUV/CUV market. In nine of the last eleven months, year-over-year CR-V volume has increased.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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You Can Buy a 2016 Acura Honda Accord for $22,925 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-buy-new-acura-accord-22925/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-buy-new-acura-accord-22925/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 21:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137746 The refreshed, mid-size Acura Honda Accord will start at $22,925 and run all the way up to $35,400, according to Car and Driver. That represents a mild increase from $150 to $950, depending on trim, and a continued price war with its lifelong, bitter and everlasting rival, the Toyota Camry. Apples-to-apples on the high end: The […]

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2016 Honda Accord

The refreshed, mid-size Acura Honda Accord will start at $22,925 and run all the way up to $35,400, according to Car and Driver.

That represents a mild increase from $150 to $950, depending on trim, and a continued price war with its lifelong, bitter and everlasting rival, the Toyota Camry.

Apples-to-apples on the high end: The Accord will cost $635 more than a comparably equipped Camry (2016 Camry XLE V-6 with Technology and Navigation vs. 2016 Accord Touring V-6). Apples-to-apples on the low end: The Camry is $170 more (2016 Camry LE Automatic vs. 2016 Accord LX w/CVT).

Shedding two doors will add anywhere from $1,670 to $545 to the bottom line. The coupe will run from $24,595 for the base LX with a manual to $35,945 for the V-6 Touring model.

The redesigned Accord was unveiled last month in California and boasts integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a slew of other small changes for its mid-cycle refresh.

The Accord also comes available with a suite of safety features, dubbed Honda Sense, that can be added at any trim level and will be standard on Touring models. The same safety suite is only available on the XLE trim of the Camry, which is the top trim.

Both the Accord and Camry are expected to replace their V-6 engines with turbo fours, albeit in different applications. Toyota will use the turbo four to replace the top-end engine option, whereas Honda will use a smaller turbo four to replace its standard engine.

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This Year Could Be the Biggest Car-buying Year in 15 Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/year-biggest-car-buying-year-15-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/year-biggest-car-buying-year-15-years/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 20:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137538 Automakers could sell more than 17 million new cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, approaching the sales record set in 2000 of 17.4 million, Automotive News is reporting. Analysts raised their forecasts after a strong July for automakers and new cars that will be reaching showrooms in high-selling segments by the end of the […]

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dealership2

Automakers could sell more than 17 million new cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, approaching the sales record set in 2000 of 17.4 million, Automotive News is reporting.

Analysts raised their forecasts after a strong July for automakers and new cars that will be reaching showrooms in high-selling segments by the end of the year. Last month was the 18th consecutive month for increasing sales.

Our own Timothy Cain thinks that regardless of the final number, 2015 will be a very, very, very good year for automakers.

Cain writes:

It’s been 18 months since monthly auto sales volume last decreased. That decrease, mind you, was brought about by a slight decline in the lowest-volume month of the year, January. In other words, growth in America’s auto industry is notable both for its rapidity and its consistency. It’s that consistency that makes it hard to believe the current pace won’t continue. Regardless of the outright volume attained by manufacturers competing in the U.S., 2015 will undoubtedly be better than 2014. Already, through just seven months, an additional 434,000 new vehicles have been sold compared with the same period one year ago.

Spurred by cheap gas prices, trucks are pacing the overall market as the fastest-selling segment in the U.S. this year. Sales of trucks grew 13 percent this year.

Automakers such as Honda and Chevrolet will introduce newer versions of their Accord and Malibu respectively in the coming months, and that should further stoke car sales, Automotive News points out.

The Wall Street Journal notes that while new car purchases are happening more frequently, and at higher prices, used car prices are finally starting to dip, which may be a relief to low-cost and entry buyers.

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Chart Of The Day: Many Parts Of FCA’s Lineup Are Growing Faster Than The FCA Lineup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-many-parts-fcas-lineup-growing-faster-fca-lineup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chart-day-many-parts-fcas-lineup-growing-faster-fca-lineup/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 12:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1135810 Each and every month, a great deal of attention is paid to the length of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. growth streak. July 2015, for example, was the 64th consecutive month in which FCA, formerly known as the Chrysler Group, reported a year-over-year sales gain. Yet so much of FCA’s rate of expansion in the U.S. […]

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TTAC FCA USA sales chart July 2015

Each and every month, a great deal of attention is paid to the length of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. growth streak. July 2015, for example, was the 64th consecutive month in which FCA, formerly known as the Chrysler Group, reported a year-over-year sales gain.

Yet so much of FCA’s rate of expansion in the U.S. market is muddied by dreadful results in a few small corners of their lineup.

The Fiat brand suffered a 15-percent decline in July sales compared with the same period one year earlier. As the 500X finally began generating proper volume — 962 copies were sold last month — the 500L posted a 78-percent drop. The 500’s 17-percent year-over-year slide was its ninth consecutive decrease.

Discontinued models help to clarify the year-over-year picture, but they don’t help us forecast that which is ahead. The Dodge Avenger has been winding down for more than a year. July Avenger volume plunged 98 percent, a loss of 4,240 units, to just 78 sales. Similarly, the Ram Cargo Van has no future. Sales of the Grand Caravan-based commercial product plunged 97 percent.

As for the Grand Caravan and its better-selling Chrysler Town & Country sibling, their plant’s shutdown earlier this year for retooling dramatically hindered their volume in the first-half of 2015. In July, too, they were jointly down 33 percent.

2014 Fiat 500L Lounge

To say these products don’t count is to ignore history. In July 2014, the Fiat brand, Avenger, Ram C/V, and the Windsor-built vans added nearly 30,000 units to FCA’s U.S. sales tally, but setting them aside for a moment allows us to get a clearer picture of the status of the bulk of FCA’s lineup. Jeep set a 22nd consecutive monthly sales record. Dodge sold more Challengers last month than in any July in the model’s history. Chrysler 200 volume jumped 85 percent.

If FCA can’t eventually find minivan recovery, if Fiat sales continue to go down the toilet, if the Ram ProMaster City can’t pick up where the Ram Cargo Van left off, if the 200 can’t continue to make up for the Avenger’s losses, than this snapshot tells us little. Moreover, besides Fiat, minivans, and discontinued models, there are struggling models in the FCA lineup: the Durango and 300 are in decline and Ram P/U growth has slowed considerably of late.

Nevertheless, a closer look at FCA sales figures makes it appear as though the automaker’s growth is even more significant than a first glance suggests. If Fiat and minivans recover, is FCA thus poised to continue its surge? Or will the recent recall/buyback flap and a product rollout schedule with few all-new product rollouts put an end to the fun and games?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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