The Truth About Cars » auto sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:57:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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 is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » auto sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com A Contrarian View Of Subprime Auto Loans http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/contrarian-view-subprime-auto-loans/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/contrarian-view-subprime-auto-loans/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:53:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=883713 The topic of subprime auto loans has been a hotly contested one at TTAC, with numerous commenters defending both the practice and the stability of recent run-up in subprime lending. Over at the Autos and Economics blog (operated by contributor Mike Smitka), David Ruggles (better known as “ruggles” around here) provides a well-reasoned defense of subprime lending, […]

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subprimechart

The topic of subprime auto loans has been a hotly contested one at TTAC, with numerous commenters defending both the practice and the stability of recent run-up in subprime lending.

Over at the Autos and Economics blog (operated by contributor Mike Smitka), David Ruggles (better known as “ruggles” around here) provides a well-reasoned defense of subprime lending, and why he thinks we are not headed for a subprime lending bubble. Despite that, other voices seem to think we are heading for one, if not in subprime then in the broader market.

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America’s 10 Best-Selling Cars In July 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/americas-10-best-selling-cars-july-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/americas-10-best-selling-cars-july-2014/#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 14:05:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=879866 In the prelude to the introduction of Toyota’s revamped 2015 Camry, the current Camry has been selling at a prodigious rate. July 2014 marked the fifth consecutive month that the Camry has been America’s best-selling car; the tenth such month in the last year. During these last five months, Toyota has averaged 42,000 Camry sales […]

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2014 Toyota Camry SE

In the prelude to the introduction of Toyota’s revamped 2015 Camry, the current Camry has been selling at a prodigious rate. July 2014 marked the fifth consecutive month that the Camry has been America’s best-selling car; the tenth such month in the last year.

During these last five months, Toyota has averaged 42,000 Camry sales per month, up 17% compared with the average monthly sales output from the same period one year ago.

Although not the most relevant figure when analyzing passenger car volume, the fight in which the Camry is currently participating doesn’t involve the second-ranked Honda Accord, so clear is its number one status. It has quickly become a foregone conclusion that the Camry will end 2014 as America’s best-selling car: the Accord would need to outsell the Camry by nearly 8400 units per month in each of the calendar’s remaining five months to make up the deficit.

Instead, the Camry is tangling with the Chevrolet Silverado to end 2014 as America’s second-best-selling vehicle line overall. The Camry is currently 20,453 sales back of the Chevy pickup. On a monthly basis, the Camry last outsold the Silverado in May. On a yearly basis, the Camry most recently outsold the Silverado in 2009.

Rank
Auto
July
2014
July
2013
%
Change
7 mos.
2014
7 mos.
2013
%
Change
#1
Toyota Camry
39,868 34,762 14.7% 262,323 242,244 8.3%
#2
Honda Accord
35,073 31,507 11.3% 220,351 218,367 0.9%
#3
Toyota Corolla/Matrix
30,833 23,357 32.0% 205,122 181,982 12.7%
#4
Honda Civic
30,038 32,416 -7.3% 197,135 191,120 3.1%
#5
Nissan Altima
26,654 29,534 -9.8% 203,107 197,321 2.9%
#6
Ford Fusion
23,942 20,522 16.7% 189,440 181,668 4.3%
#7
Hyundai Sonata
22,577 18,903 19.4% 128,924 121,913 5.8%
#8
Hyundai Elantra
22,213 23,958 -7.3% 134,710 150,202 -10.3%
#9
Chevrolet Cruze
20,926 25,447 -17.8% 166,264 159,136 4.5%
#10
Ford Focus
17,724 16,764 5.7% 138,680 151,549 -8.5%

Most assuredly, the Chevrolet Malibu is not the top GM rival for the leading Toyota. The Malibu was America’s 16th-best-selling car in an improved July, but sales are down 5% this year after falling 5% (from 2012′s 210,951-unit peak) in 2013.

Chevrolet’s Cruze, on the other hand, has made its way to the top of the passenger car leaderboard in the relatively recent past, if June 2011, can be called recent. (The Malibu was America’s best-selling car in May 2011.) The Cruze ranked second behind the Camry in June of last year. Cruze volume jumped 3% in 2012, 4% in 2013, and sales had risen 18% through the first five months of 2014. Cruze sales then plunged 21% in June.

The Cruze joined three other members of this top ten list – Civic, Altima, Elantra – in recording year-over-year decreases last month. Of those four cars, only one, the Elantra, has recorded a year-over-year decline through the first seven months of 2014. Cruze sales are up by 7128 units so far this year, but maintaining growth has clearly proven difficult over the last two months, what with stop-sale orders and all.

Four different passenger car nameplates generated more than 30,000 July sales, up from three in July 2013 and zero in July 2012. These figures speak to the  recent growth in the overall passenger car market, which grew 5% in July.

Overall “light truck” volume was up 14%.

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SAAR Hits 17 Million On Strong June Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/saar-hits-17-million-on-strong-june-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/saar-hits-17-million-on-strong-june-sales/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:47:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=857465 For the first time since 2006, the SAAR topped 17 million, as the first half of 2014 finished on a strong note. Buick, Audi and Jeep posted double digit gains, while Maserati sales rose 233 percent, on account of having more than two vehicles in its lineup. Volvo, the Chrysler brand, Smart, Acura and Volkswagen […]

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2014-Maserati-Ghibli-blue-Main_rdax_646x396

For the first time since 2006, the SAAR topped 17 million, as the first half of 2014 finished on a strong note.

Buick, Audi and Jeep posted double digit gains, while Maserati sales rose 233 percent, on account of having more than two vehicles in its lineup. Volvo, the Chrysler brand, Smart, Acura and Volkswagen brand were the big losers. The average transaction price rose to $32,342, a 1.4 percent increase since this time last year. For a full table, see Automotive News.

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Analysis: Google Cars Gets Ready To Retail Rumble http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/google-cars-retail-sales-rumble/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/google-cars-retail-sales-rumble/#comments Wed, 06 Mar 2013 07:25:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=480094 Google’s autonomous car program tends to get the lion’s share of attention when discussing the tech giant’s auto initiatives. But lurking in the background is a more immediate project that has the potential to finally “disrupt” (as Silicon Valley types are so fond of saying) online automotive sales. The last party to attempt such a […]

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Google’s autonomous car program tends to get the lion’s share of attention when discussing the tech giant’s auto initiatives. But lurking in the background is a more immediate project that has the potential to finally “disrupt” (as Silicon Valley types are so fond of saying) online automotive sales.

The last party to attempt such a feat was TrueCar, an innovative and well-intentioned company that ultimately ran afoul of dealers, regulators and the OEMs. TrueCar was forced to pull itself back from the brink and re-invent itself as a more dealer-friendly company, a process painstakingly documented by Ed and Bertel before I ever appeared on the masthead.

What TrueCar did was distort the information asymmetry that car dealers rely on to make money. TrueCar was able to provide data on everything from dealer invoice to transaction prices and allowed dealers to compete with one another for a sale – a major taboo in the world of car sales.

Now, Google is rolling out a service, the imaginatively named Google Cars, beyond its initial Bay Area test market. Consumers will be able to log onto Google Cars and use the handy one-stop filter box (rather than clicking through various menus and sub-menus to boost a given site’s pageview count) and get inventory, pricing and retailer information for the exact car they’re looking for, down to the color. With 66 percent of dealer website visits arriving from Google, it only makes sense for the tech giant to try and capture some of that value. Under the Google program, users can shop for their cars via the first page of any given Google search. Google will get a minimum of $10 per lead, which is determined by a bidding system. One California Toyota dealer told Automotive News that he was paying $22 per car and $26 per truck or crossover, slightly more than the $20 paid to competing services.

Reviews have been mixed, according to AN. Some dealers like the flexibility of bidding for leads, while others expressed frustration that potential customers can contact dealers anonymously (via disposable phone numbers or email accounts, which expire after a set number of unanswered calls or emails), which they say diminishes the effectiveness of the leads.

Regardless of the potential issues, Google Cars cannot be ignored. Google’s massive size and resources will allow it to be far more aggressive than TrueCar ever was when interacting with dealers and OEMs. Regulators may be a thorn in Google’s side (never underestimate the lobbying power of NADA and other dealer bodies), but again, it has the resources to put up a proper fight against the usually dominant entities.

On a smaller scale, Google Cars is likely to cause a lot of headaches for the established players in the online auto retail spaces. Current juggernauts like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, Cars.com and even TrueCar are all threatened by Google Cars, thanks to the strength of the Google brand and most of all, the superior user experience. Once consumers know that they can access a high-quality car shopping tool without ever leaving Google and have the benefit of Craigslist-style anonymity it will be a tough sell for the other sites to get their customers back. About the only criticism levied at Google Cars in this area is the lack of content, like car reviews and automotive news. But Google has never been a content company and they are wise in avoiding this space. Better to aggregate the near-infinite amount of automotive content (aggregation is one of Google’s strengths, after all) that will likely be consumed by dedicated auto enthusiasts rather than consumers. A successful Google Cars could also cause indigestion further down the on-line food chain, at sites that live mostly off selling leads, and who dress-up the lead generation with content, which all too often is not their own.

Aside from the millions it should generate for Google, the car shopping tool is yet another way for them to collect data on consumer purchases. In this case, Google will amass significant personal information relating to what is likely the second largest purchase of one’s life, data that goes beyond whether you like a tan interior or a manual transmission. Google already can sense purchase intent from your browsing data, actively perusing a shopping service would confirm this intent. Yes, it’s ironic considering that Google subscribes to the idea that “information wants to be free“, but there’s a reason behind the internet adage “if you’re not paying for it, you are the product”.

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