The Truth About Cars » Incentives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:47:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 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 » Incentives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Ford: Our Incentives Are Still Lower than Overall Segment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-incentives-still-lower-overall-segment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-incentives-still-lower-overall-segment/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1118913 A Ford spokesman said Friday that despite the automaker offering nearly $11,000 on particular F-150 models, their incentives are still under the segment average. “It’s not like every F-150 customer walking into a Ford dealer today — whether they’re in L.A. or New York — is going to get $10,000 off of every single model,” Truck […]

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2015 Ford F-150

A Ford spokesman said Friday that despite the automaker offering nearly $11,000 on particular F-150 models, their incentives are still under the segment average.

“It’s not like every F-150 customer walking into a Ford dealer today — whether they’re in L.A. or New York — is going to get $10,000 off of every single model,” Truck Communications Manager Mike Levine said.

“On average, we’re lower than the segment.”

Levine said the $10,819 we reported on yesterday was a specific truck in a specific area. Those numbers, such as $7,050 off, that Ford publicizes on its website aren’t indicative of every incentive available.

F-150 incentives

“That’s a very specific set of incentives that are all stacked together that gets you to $10,000,” he said.

According to Ford, those incentives include: $3,769 average dealer discount; $500 customer cash; $1,000 XLT customer cash; $300 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost bonus cash; $2,000 302A XLT Luxury Chrome or Sport packages.; $2,500 bonus cash; and $750 Ford Credit Bonus Cash, which requires Ford Credit financing.

Levine said the average incentive offered on a F-150 is $3,354, which is $800 lower than the segment average and lower than the automaker had offered one year ago.

Dealer inventories are down, Levine said, and Ford needs to stay competitive.

“For this particular truck, we’re helping customers get into a better truck. It’s something that we do from time-to-time, and it’s in line with what our competitors do,” he said.

Representatives from Ram and General Motors didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Ford Putting Nearly $11,000 on Hoods of Some F-150s http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-putting-nearly-11000-hoods-f-150s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-putting-nearly-11000-hoods-f-150s/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1117793 Ford is looking to boost sales of its full-size F-150 by offering more than $10,000 in incentives for some higher-trim models in some parts of the United States, Automotive News is reporting. Production issues have plagued the aluminum 2015 F-150 since its launch late last year. According to Ford, only half of the F-150’s normal inventory […]

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Ford is looking to boost sales of its full-size F-150 by offering more than $10,000 in incentives for some higher-trim models in some parts of the United States, Automotive News is reporting.

Production issues have plagued the aluminum 2015 F-150 since its launch late last year. According to Ford, only half of the F-150’s normal inventory has been available since June, which as hampered sales. The automaker says dealer stocks will be full by the end of September.

The company’s website offers nearly $11,000 off of 2015 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew with Chrome or Sport packages in some parts of the country.

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 9.09.07 AMWe found this offer available in the middle of Michigan, near Clare, on Ford’s website. Other parts of the country may receive up to $7,050 off similar models.

“The truck hasn’t sold up to expectations for the most part,” Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told Automotive News. “This may be a hint that in certain parts of the country, the issue might just be more than supply.”

Truck sales have been up for the first half of this year, but the F-150’s sales pace has been modest. F-Series volumes have dipped in each of the last five months, and second-quarter sales have dropped 6.5 percent.

 

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Editorial: Tax – Don’t Subsidize – Electric Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/editorial-tax-dont-subsidize-electric-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/editorial-tax-dont-subsidize-electric-cars/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1114993 All power is not created equal. That’s one of many takeaways from a comprehensive study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, one of the nation’s prominent think tanks. The paper focused on the relative impact of green-energy cars, concluding that an electric car in New Jersey doesn’t have the same environmental impact as an electric […]

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All power is not created equal.

That’s one of many takeaways from a comprehensive study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, one of the nation’s prominent think tanks.

The paper focused on the relative impact of green-energy cars, concluding that an electric car in New Jersey doesn’t have the same environmental impact as an electric car in California.

The initial reaction has been largely surface-deep: electric cars on the East Coast and in the South are powered by “dirty energy” and aren’t as clean as their gas-powered counterparts. That much is a quasi-fair assessment — the source for the electric cars’ power should be considered when it comes to ultimately determining their environmental impacts.

The study, however, is a larger look at the federal subsidies offered on electric cars.

“These factors generate critical questions as to the merits of the federal subsidy. The first factor questions the policy in terms of its sign: is it better to subsidize or tax electric vehicle purchases? The second factor raises concerns regarding the one-size-fits-all design of the subsidy,” the report states.

The second factor answers itself: a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works — and in terms of the electric car subsidy, it doesn’t work at all anymore.

It’s clear that well-heeled buyers — who may not actually need a tax perk anyway — are adopting expensive electric cars at a higher clip than middle-class Americans. In the first quarter of 2015, Tesla’s Model S outsold the Nissan Leaf despite costing nearly $40,000 more. In addition to the pricier pick, proportionately more electric-car buyers were from regions of the U.S. with higher subsidies than other parts of the country.

It’s hard to imagine how luxury car buyers deserve the same tax breaks as car buyers shopping in ranges half that of their counterparts, but it’s even harder to imagine how buyers in markets with comparatively “dirtier power” deserve clean federal tax rebates at all. As the report exhaustively details, the externalities of states’ electric-vehicle incentives weren’t considered before states began offering them. According to the report, 91 percent of pollution from electric cars is exported to states other than where the car is driven.

It’s clear there are innumerable factors when considering the efficacy of economic incentives for the “public good.” Markets often don’t respond quickly or with conscience when it comes to public initiatives. Electric vehicle purchases in the United States are clearly lukewarm now after gas prices have dropped considerably over the last 5 years. It’s equally clear that the future of transportation of a growing population needs to be powered by something other than a finite resource that requires breaking the earth, extracting ancient raw materials, refining them, and shipping them halfway across the world to be sold for less than milk in many markets. Relying on that incredibly destructive process for a lasting consistent energy resource makes little sense.

And still, gasoline is an incredibly potent and efficient fuel. A kilogram of gasoline has more potential energy than coal, methanol, ethanol, fat, gunpowder, TNT or even dynamite. Our reliance on gasoline is not without reason: it’s incredibly useful as an energy source.

But just like gasoline has in the past, electric energy requires progressive taxes and consideration to improve the infrastructure it relies on, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. California recently adopted a tiered system for its incentives based on buyer income. That’s a good first step, but it should also be expanded. The United States should consider a tiered tax on some electric cars based on income and use.

It’s clear the gas tax is outdated and ineffective at maintaining America’s roads and bridges. A tax on electric cars should not be considered as some kind of replacement, supplement or even complement to a woefully outdated gas tax that needs comprehensive reform.

But the gas-guzzler tax, a penalty that creates very little revenue and even less discouragement from buying inefficient cars, is an interesting first step. The tiered system levies a tax that gets progressively larger as the car gets thirstier. Even the 16-cylinder, quad-turbo Bugatti Veyron, which swallows more gas than any other production car on the road, didn’t qualify for the steepest penalty. In 2012, the sin tax generated only $73.5 million in revenue — a fiscal drop in the bucket for the government.

Any tax revenue based on the electric car’s initial price could help fund infrastructure improvements to the power grid and offset environmental impacts felt beyond than where the vehicle is purchased. Just like municipal and state taxes vary by region and services, an electric car tax wouldn’t need to be a unilateral levy.

Like the gas-guzzler tax, a tax on electric cars isn’t meant to raise money — it’s meant to be a consideration: how much help is a tax break on a luxury car?

The appeal of electric cars and clean energy would still remain, and a graduated tax on cars based on MSRP could still persuade middle-of-the-road buyers to consider potentially cleaner electric cars when they head to dealer lots. But needlessly subsidizing wealthier buyers purchasing environmentally neutral — or marginally helpful — electric cars doesn’t serve a larger goal of cleaner transportation. The United States wouldn’t be the first country to revisit its electric-car incentives.

The power of public perception is very often greater than reality. In that respect, all power is clearly not equally created.

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Record Sales Pace Partially Fueled by Record Incentives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/record-sales-pace-partially-fueled-record-incentives/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/record-sales-pace-partially-fueled-record-incentives/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1106289 The Detroit Bureau is reporting that even though June was a record sales month for many automakers, many of those sales were partly fueled with record incentives from the manufacturer. Buyers could get up to $8,000 knocked of the price of a Kia K900 or up to $7,000 off of Ford hybrids or electric cars — […]

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Insane People at the Stock Photo Dealership

The Detroit Bureau is reporting that even though June was a record sales month for many automakers, many of those sales were partly fueled with record incentives from the manufacturer.

Buyers could get up to $8,000 knocked of the price of a Kia K900 or up to $7,000 off of Ford hybrids or electric cars — even $8,000 for the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi.

Despite the higher-than-normal incentives, the Detroit Bureau reported that the Average Transaction Price for a new car in June was $31,848, up around 1 percent over last year.

Two automakers increased spending on their incentives by more than 30 percent over the same time last year — Nissan and Hyundai. As a percentage of incentives offered to ATP, Kia (11.7 percent), Hyundai (10.5 percent), Nissan (10.3 percent), GM (10.2 percent) and FCA (10.2 percent) were the biggest spenders last month.

As expected, many of the heavily incentivized cars were slow-moving models or cars with narrow appeal, which automakers could immediately offset by selling massive amounts of huge crossovers with equally huge margins.

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Toyota Delivers Increased Incentives For Prius Models In April http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/toyota-delivers-increased-incentives-prius-models-april/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/toyota-delivers-increased-incentives-prius-models-april/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 11:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041001 Live in California and shopping for a Toyota Prius? Your bank account will love this news. CarsDirect reports Toyota has dropped a number of rebate incentives on the hood of the hybrid and its siblings for the month of April, going as high as 9.8 percent off MSRP. Thus, one could come away with not […]

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Live in California and shopping for a Toyota Prius? Your bank account will love this news.

CarsDirect reports Toyota has dropped a number of rebate incentives on the hood of the hybrid and its siblings for the month of April, going as high as 9.8 percent off MSRP. Thus, one could come away with not only a Prius c, but also a $2,000 discount off of the price, beginning at $20,365 before the dealer discounts come into play.

Alas, that incentive is for the 2014 model; the 2015 version comes with a $750 rebate. Meanwhile, the original Prius, as well as the Prius v and Prius Plug-in, come with a $500 boost in incentives. The incentive campaign will come to a close May 4.

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Whistleblower Incentive Legislation Passes US Senate Panel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/whistleblower-incentive-legislation-passes-us-senate-panel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/whistleblower-incentive-legislation-passes-us-senate-panel/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1009314 A whistleblower bill that would grant financial incentives to auto industry employees who expose safety defects won backing by a U.S. Senate panel Thursday. Reuters reports the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted 13-0 in favor of sending the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote, though when the vote would come has […]

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United States Capitol

A whistleblower bill that would grant financial incentives to auto industry employees who expose safety defects won backing by a U.S. Senate panel Thursday.

Reuters reports the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted 13-0 in favor of sending the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote, though when the vote would come has yet to be determined, per an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Once voted and approved on the floor, however, the bill would go forward to the U.S. House for their vote.

The legislation would give employees and contractors for automakers, suppliers and dealerships up to 30 percent of any penalties resulting from a federal enforcement action totalling over $1 million, but only if said employees “shared original information on product defects or reporting violations” with either the Transportation or Justice departments.

The panel vote comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began fining airbag supplier Takata $14,000/day for failing to cooperate in the agency’s investigation into the supplier’s airbag inflators linked to at least six fatalities and several injuries.

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GM Offers Gift Cards To 700K Affected By Ignition Recall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-offers-gift-cards-700k-affected-ignition-recall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/gm-offers-gift-cards-700k-affected-ignition-recall/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=941017 Just in time for Black Friday or Black Thanksgiving (for those heathens who really want Alex from Target to scan their cheap HDTV, instead of giving him the day off by voting with their wallets), General Motors will be giving their customers a $25 gift card if they bring in their vehicles affected by the […]

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Gift Cards Woo-Hoo

Just in time for Black Friday or Black Thanksgiving (for those heathens who really want Alex from Target to scan their cheap HDTV, instead of giving him the day off by voting with their wallets), General Motors will be giving their customers a $25 gift card if they bring in their vehicles affected by the February 2014 recall by December 1.

The Detroit News reports brochures about the gift card incentive began landing last week in the mailboxes of those who have yet to bring in their affected vehicle for a 30-minute part swap. Per GM representative Ryndee Carney, the promo went out to around 700,000 who haven’t ordered parts; those who did, but haven’t come in, weren’t eligible for the offer.

After said owners have their vehicles repaired, they will be given a code to redeem online for a $25 card from either Amazon, AMC, Applebee’s, Bass Pro Shops, Red Robin, Starbucks or Walmart, with delivery due between two to four weeks. Were all 700,000 to turn up, a total of $17.5 million would be given away in the promotion.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is on-board with the initiative, encouraging GM to do everything it can to repair those affected vehicles. A similar program was offered by Toyota in 2010 during its unintended acceleration recall drive, one that made a huge splash with response rates, according to vice president of corporate communications, Mike Michels.

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Fuel Prices Leave Efficient, Greener Offerings On The Lot http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/fuel-prices-leave-efficient-greener-offerings-lot/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/fuel-prices-leave-efficient-greener-offerings-lot/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934794 Falling fuel prices are helping to drive sales of SUVs and trucks as of late, but at the expense of more efficient, greener offerings. Automotive News reports dealers flush with fuel efficient and alternative fuel models are dropping truck-month style incentives on the hood to help move them off the lot. KBB.com notes that the […]

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Falling fuel prices are helping to drive sales of SUVs and trucks as of late, but at the expense of more efficient, greener offerings.

Automotive News reports dealers flush with fuel efficient and alternative fuel models are dropping truck-month style incentives on the hood to help move them off the lot. KBB.com notes that the Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max alone have seen increased incentives, with the latter jumping from $2,650 last September, to $4,900 this past September.

Meanwhile, strengthening fuel efficiency targets may lead to automakers producing vehicles that, according to Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Eric Ibarra, “consumers don’t want to buy” should gasoline and diesel prices remain low. Per forecasts by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the decrease in fuel costs will remain in play for at least another year, thanks to the oil boom in places like Alberta and North Dakota.

That said, dealerships aren’t too worried yet, believing consumers are ever-vigilant toward price spikes. Until then, SUVs and pickups will dominate the highways for another day.

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GM Offers Incentives To Speed Up Ignition Recall Repairs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/gm-offers-incentives-to-speed-up-ignition-recall-repairs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/gm-offers-incentives-to-speed-up-ignition-recall-repairs/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=850106 With 2.6 million vehicles needing new ignition switches fueling service bay backlogs, General Motors is offering its dealership network incentives to speed up the process. Automotive News reports dealership service and parts managers who install 90 percent or more of the ignition-switch replacement kits by July 7 will receive a $250 credit for use at […]

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With 2.6 million vehicles needing new ignition switches fueling service bay backlogs, General Motors is offering its dealership network incentives to speed up the process.

Automotive News reports dealership service and parts managers who install 90 percent or more of the ignition-switch replacement kits by July 7 will receive a $250 credit for use at an unnamed online gift shop. The credit carrot/stick combo is part of GM’s Ignition Switch Recall Completion Initiative, which will also offer $4,000 in credit to 50 qualifying dealerships chosen at random, while one dealership will receive $10,000; both credit incentives are meant to be split between service and parts managers.

Meanwhile, 199,457 vehicles have undergone the 70-minute surgery through June 16 according to the automaker, while 400,000 kits have arrived at dealership service bays thus far. GM holds that enough kits will be made to repair the majority of the affected vehicles by October. Customers will also receive new keys to go with the new switches.

Made in supplier Delphi’s plant in Mexico, the kits can also be applied to vehicles other than the ones they were meant to fix, but only if the affected customers aren’t able to have their vehicle repaired “in a reasonable time.” To ensure customers don’t miss out, GM will also conduct an outreach program via email in the next few weeks to those who haven’t begun the process of repairing their affected vehicles.

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VW Pulled By Competing Incentive Offers For New SUV Assembly http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/vw-pulled-by-competing-incentive-offers-for-new-suv-assembly/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/vw-pulled-by-competing-incentive-offers-for-new-suv-assembly/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836113 Though the seven-passenger SUV based upon the CrossBlue concept is ready to be built, Volkswagen is being pulled by incentive offers in the two locations fighting for the right to build the SUV: Mexico and Tennessee. Reuters reports VW would have made its decision by now as to where the new product would be assembled, […]

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Though the seven-passenger SUV based upon the CrossBlue concept is ready to be built, Volkswagen is being pulled by incentive offers in the two locations fighting for the right to build the SUV: Mexico and Tennessee.

Reuters reports VW would have made its decision by now as to where the new product would be assembled, but sources close to the issue have said the automaker will likely announce the location by the end of June at the earliest. Though Tennessee originally offered $300 million for the SUV, the state government now has to match or better what Mexico offered once the original deal was abruptly pulled off the table in January 2014 ahead of a contentious organized labor election at VW’s Chattanooga factory.

In Mexico, VW invested $700 million toward refurbishing its 50-year-old Puebla plant for production of the new Golf, which will be made alongside the Jetta and Beetle already in production by the plant’s 15,000 employees. If the nation is chosen, the new SUV would be made there or in Audi’s San Jose Chiapa, where the Q5 will be built beginning in 2016.

As for what VW knows about Tennessee’s new incentive offer, the automaker remains silent on the issue beyond confirming they are talking to state officials.

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Lawsuit Settlement Highlights Incentive Pitfalls http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/lawsuit-settlement-highlights-incentive-pitfalls/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/lawsuit-settlement-highlights-incentive-pitfalls/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 11:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=817658 A long-running lawsuit over the value of the land on which Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama plant is located has been settled. The Montgomery Industrial Development Board will pay former landowners $3.45 million to settle their claims. The particulars of the case illustrate the potential hazards faced by advocacy groups when they attempt to incentivize industrial development. […]

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A long-running lawsuit over the value of the land on which Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama plant is located has been settled. The Montgomery Industrial Development Board will pay former landowners $3.45 million to settle their claims. The particulars of the case illustrate the potential hazards faced by advocacy groups when they attempt to incentivize industrial development.

According to the story in the Montgomery Advertiser, the nearly decade-long lawsuit came to a head last November, when a jury awarded the plaintiffs $4.87 million in damages. The plaintiffs are a group of landowners whose acres were purchased by the Industrial Development Board (IDB) for the development of the Hyundai plant. The IDB is a quasi-public body whose members are appointed by the Montgomery City Council. In Alabama, these development boards are the bodies through which industrial incentive money is typically disbursed.

The landowners initially agreed to accept a price of $4,500 an acre for their land after negotiations with the IDB. This price was structured as part of an “option” deal: the land would only be purchased if it was found to be absolutely necessary to construct the plant. A conflict arose when a lone holdout, realizing the value of their position, negotiated a price of $12,000 an acre. This triggered a lawsuit by the other landowners, who had a clause in their contracts forbidding any one owner to receive more compensation than another. After a lengthy procession through the courts, the IDB has agreed to a settlement rather than prolonging the case. It’s still unclear where the money to pay for the settlement will come from. The Board’s website lists land sales, member fees, and certificates of deposit as some of the ways that it raises revenue; it’s also empowered to issue bonds, under the terms of state law.

There’s no question that Hyundai’s arrival has been a major boon to Montgomery, and to Alabama in general. The state and local government incentives offered to the company were instrumental in getting the new plant built. Even so, this lawsuit attests to the fact that incentive packages often carry hidden costs, especially in the legal arena. Caught between the promises made to Hyundai and the need to fairly compensate landowners, the Board got stuck in a bad negotiating position. Now it will have to cough up much more money than originally planned.

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New PSA Boss Tavares Prepares To Rebuild Company http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-psa-boss-tavares-prepares-to-rebuild-company/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/new-psa-boss-tavares-prepares-to-rebuild-company/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:15:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=797482 Though PSA Peugeot Citroen secured funding in a three-way deal between itself, the French government and Dongfeng, new boss and former Renault COO Carlos Tavares has a hard road ahead of him as he rebuilds the ailing automaker. Reuters reports Tavares will focus using the joint venture it shares with Dongfeng to go after 1.5 […]

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Carlos Tavares

Though PSA Peugeot Citroen secured funding in a three-way deal between itself, the French government and Dongfeng, new boss and former Renault COO Carlos Tavares has a hard road ahead of him as he rebuilds the ailing automaker.

Reuters reports Tavares will focus using the joint venture it shares with Dongfeng to go after 1.5 million sales by 2020, bring exports to Southeast Asia and establish a research center. He will also tighten up both working capital and the number of models sold in each market, as well as squeeze savings from PSA’s suppliers.

However, development woes, pricing issues on some models, and the use of heavy discounts and incentives are all roadblocks on Tavares’ “Back in the Race” plan expected to be issued in full Monday, as well as currency challenges in Latin America and Russia and lower-cost products from around Asia.

As part of the plan, Tavares is expected to halve the number of models it currently offers. On the bright side, the 308 and 2008 both delivered a combined 5.2 percent sales increase in the first two months of 2014, as well as an 8.5 percent Q1 2014 gain over PSA’s home market.

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Chevrolet Offers Incentives, Extends Truck Month To Take Back Sales Crown http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/chevrolet-offers-incentives-extends-truck-month-to-take-back-sales-crown/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/chevrolet-offers-incentives-extends-truck-month-to-take-back-sales-crown/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:02:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=788658 Though Ram knocked Chevrolet off the monthly sales throne for the first time since August 1999, the brand is ready to reclaim their part of Truck Mountain by offering incentives and extending their annual Truck Month into April. Automotive News reports brand vice president Brian Sweeney threw down an additional $1,000 on the hoods of […]

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2014-Chevy-Silverado _12_

Though Ram knocked Chevrolet off the monthly sales throne for the first time since August 1999, the brand is ready to reclaim their part of Truck Mountain by offering incentives and extending their annual Truck Month into April.

Automotive News reports brand vice president Brian Sweeney threw down an additional $1,000 on the hoods of 2014 Silverado double-cabs in pursuit of “the heart of the pickup market.” Furthermore, Chevy’s second Truck Month boosts incentives offered last month, dropping a maximum discount of $8,974 into the bed of the Silverado 2500 HD crew cab or $8,162 for the light-duty double cab V8 model.

Lease offerings were also boosted for the reclamation battle, as one email from a Northeastern United States gave details for a regional lease agreement of $269 per month with $1,900 due upon signature; the Ram’s terms were $259 per month, but with a higher down payment of $2,999 upon signature.

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Leaked Documents Link Anti-Union VW Incentive Offer To TN Governor’s Office http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/leaked-documents-link-anti-union-vw-incentive-offer-to-tn-governors-office/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/leaked-documents-link-anti-union-vw-incentive-offer-to-tn-governors-office/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:15:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=786417 Leaked documents linked to the United Auto Workers battle for the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. point to a connection between Governor Bill Haslam and the German automaker regarding a $300 million incentive in exchange for over 1,300 jobs at a proposed SUV plant within the state. WTVF-TV reports the incentives were contingent “to works […]

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Leaked documents linked to the United Auto Workers battle for the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. point to a connection between Governor Bill Haslam and the German automaker regarding a $300 million incentive in exchange for over 1,300 jobs at a proposed SUV plant within the state.

WTVF-TV reports the incentives were contingent “to works council discussions between the State of Tennessee and VW being concluded to the satisfaction of the State of Tennessee.” By the time Volkswagen entered into election talks with the UAW in January, however, the Haslam administration formally notified the automaker that it was withdrawing the offer, citing that it had kept the offer on the table past the 90-day window normally reserved for incentives when the incentive in question had no such expiration date.

Though Haslam has denied any such connection to the incentive — dubbed “Project Trinity” — U.S. Senator Bob Corker claimed as early as February of this year that the offering would be made should the workers at the Chattanooga plant vote against representation by the union.

As for the UAW, organizer Gary Casteel stated the following in response to whether the now-public documents were a game-changer in the union’s appeal to the National Labor Relations Board over the election results:

To me, it puts pressure on the state to do what they should have done in the first place — and that’s give the incentives with no strings attached, just like they would any other company, union or non-union.

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Barclays: GM Suffering From Worst Large Pickup Launch In 15 Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/barclays-gm-suffering-from-worst-large-pickup-launch-in-15-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/barclays-gm-suffering-from-worst-large-pickup-launch-in-15-years/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 15:29:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=757225 Though the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado took home North American Truck/Utility of the Year at last month’s Detroit Auto Show, the large pickup and its brother, the GMC Sierra, have suffered from “the least successful large pickup launch over the last 15 years” according to Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson. Automotive News reports the truck twins […]

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2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Exterior

Though the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado took home North American Truck/Utility of the Year at last month’s Detroit Auto Show, the large pickup and its brother, the GMC Sierra, have suffered from “the least successful large pickup launch over the last 15 years” according to Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson.

Automotive News reports the truck twins “faced a full-court press” from the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, though winter weather also played a role in lower sales across the board. General Motors executives have come to the defense of their products, proclaiming average transaction prices of $4,000 to $5,000 more than the previous generation pickups and a combined market share hovering around 33 percent over the past few months, though the latter point held between 35 and 40 percent of the market in years past.

With dealers begging for stronger promotion and better incentives for the pickups, Chevrolet will host its Chevy Truck Month promotion. The month-long sale will offer supplier pricing (dealer invoice plus destination charges and a $150 fee) on light- and heavy-duty Silverados, and will be heavily pushed during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with television advertising beginning March 18.

In addition, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC will all hold Open House events throughout the month of March. The month-long sale will offer supplier pricing on nearly every 2014 vehicle sold under each brand, with the exception of the SS and Corvette Stingray for Chevrolet.

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Presidents Day, Warmer Weather Provide Small Jump In February Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/presidents-day-warmer-weather-provide-small-jump-in-february-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/presidents-day-warmer-weather-provide-small-jump-in-february-sales/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=754449 Brief warming spells between polar vortices and Presidents Day sales boosted sales in February, though rising inventories and incentives raise questions about sales momentum heading into the oncoming spring selling season. Automotive News reports seasonally adjusted annualized rates of 15.4 million units from TrueCar and Cars.com, and 15.3 million from Kelley Blue Book, up from […]

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Mazda-Dealership

Brief warming spells between polar vortices and Presidents Day sales boosted sales in February, though rising inventories and incentives raise questions about sales momentum heading into the oncoming spring selling season.

Automotive News reports seasonally adjusted annualized rates of 15.4 million units from TrueCar and Cars.com, and 15.3 million from Kelley Blue Book, up from 15.2 million SAAR projected last month after snowstorms and colder temperatures across most of the country kept consumers out of the showroom.

Meanwhile, fleet sales also took a hit this month, contributing to overall SAAR projections of 15.5 million from Barclays Capital, 15.7 million from LMC Automotive, and 15 million-plus from Wells Fargo Securities. Wells Fargo Securities senior analyst Richard Kwas also estimates March’s SAAR could surpass 16 million units, a figure last seen in August and November 2013, while he and J.D. Power senior vice president of the global automotive practice John Humphrey both believe the negative effects bestowed by winter weather systems earlier in February would be mitigated by stronger push in sales — boosted by Presidents Day promotions — at the close of the month.

Part of that push comes at the heels of more incentives. TrueCar listed increases of 3 percent over January, 5 percent from the same point in 2013, and a year-over-year of 20 percent for Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Toyota and Volkswagen. Ford also boosted their year-over-year to 16 percent, while General Motors and FCA’s Chrysler Group saw their incentive spending fall. Transaction prices also rose this month, with LMC predicting a record average of $29,000 per unit, beating the previous record from last February by over $400 per vehicle.

At the start of February, automakers began with an 88-day supply of inventory, the highest since 2009 when automotive sales collapsed at the start of the Great Recession. LMC expects the inventory should thin by spring — projecting a 16.2 million SAAR for 2014 — though warned production levels could drop if the backlog is still an issue come June, forecasting a 2.5 percent decline in North American production to 16.5 million units.

Even more interesting will be the month of March. It could be the first indicator of over-exuberance about the auto market, or it could be the sign of things picking up after a nasty bout of cold weather.

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Ford Raises Incentives To Clear Growing Fusion Inventories http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/ford-raises-incentives-to-clear-growing-fusion-inventories/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/ford-raises-incentives-to-clear-growing-fusion-inventories/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=753497 As inventories of Ford’s Fusion continue to outpace demand — the result of a second plant brought online last year to keep up with demand for the newly redesigned midsize sedan — the automaker has been raising incentives to move more Fusions out of the lot. Automotive News reports most dealers around the United States […]

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As inventories of Ford’s Fusion continue to outpace demand — the result of a second plant brought online last year to keep up with demand for the newly redesigned midsize sedan — the automaker has been raising incentives to move more Fusions out of the lot.

Automotive News reports most dealers around the United States are offering potential Fusion owners zero-percent financing for 60 months plus $1,000 cash back, with discounts up to $3,000 available for trade-ins to those who decline the financing; lessees receive no money due at signing with no payment for the first month of the lease.

The incentives — the most generous offered since the Fusion’s new look debuted in 2012 — come as inventories of the midsize sedan climbed to 97 days as of February 1 — up from 84 days in January — while sales of midsize cars overall have declined from a peak of 200,000 since August of last year, with winter weather holding back more sales.

Though Ford is spending $2,900 in incentives on every Fusion — Toyota’s Camry and Nissan’s Altima both hold higher incentives — the automaker’s chief analyst, Erich Merkle, says the car still commands the highest transaction price in the segment, and is confident inventories will thin as winter gives way to spring:

The midsize sedan segment is the most competitive segment in the industry right now. The good thing is average transaction prices are still very healthy.

 

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Tennessee Lawmakers Threatening To Kill Subsidies If UAW Wins VW Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/tennessee-lawmakers-threatening-to-kill-subsidies-if-uaw-wins-vw-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/tennessee-lawmakers-threatening-to-kill-subsidies-if-uaw-wins-vw-plant/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:40:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=739385 Should the United Auto Workers win the upcoming election to represent workers at Volkswagen’s Chatanooga, Tenn. plant, the automaker may find itself shunned by state lawmakers as far as further subsidies are concerned. Volkswagen is seeking a new site this year to build their CrossBlue-based mid-size SUV in 2016, wooing both powers that be in […]

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Should the United Auto Workers win the upcoming election to represent workers at Volkswagen’s Chatanooga, Tenn. plant, the automaker may find itself shunned by state lawmakers as far as further subsidies are concerned.

Volkswagen is seeking a new site this year to build their CrossBlue-based mid-size SUV in 2016, wooing both powers that be in Tennessee and Mexico for subsidies. However, Republicans in the Tennessee state legislature are threatening to back down on $580 million in state and local incentives the government offered to the automaker in 2008.

Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and state senator Bo Watson both said VW would have “a very tough time” attracting anymore tax dollars from the coffers should the UAW win representation, and while they were happy to have the automaker in their backyard, it didn’t mean they were ever given a “green light” to force unionization into the plant. They also criticized VW for giving union supporters an unfair advantage against anti-unionization lobbyists, a charge the automaker denied in a statement supporting the workers’ right to be approached by union supporters and opponents prior to the upcoming election.

Furthermore, VW also stated they would have recognized the UAW through a card check in lieu of an election, but insisted on the workers voting for representation to reflect the automaker’s belief that “democracy is an American ideal,” according to vice president of human resources Sebastian Patta.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Governor Bill Haslam warned that the legislature would play a huge role in approving incentives to help fund the project — being too large for the state’s FastTrack incentive program as it is — and that the impact of UAW representation would affect the state’s ability to recruit other companies to the state.

Longtime UAW critic United States Senator Bob Corker originally remained mum on the upcoming vote, but after the union’s regional director Gary Casteel offered his praise of Corker’s statement by prompting other politicians to do the same in respect of the upcoming vote, the former mayor of Chattanooga felt the union was attempting to stifle other voices from commenting on the issue before stating that he would “return home [to] ensure [his] position was clear”: that the UAW would make VW “the laughingstock” of the automotive industry. Casteel fired back, calling Sen. Corker a flip-flopper prone to being swayed by special interests before restating his belief that UAW representation at the plant would improve the quality of life for both workers in the VW plant and everyone in Chattanooga.

Other critics weighed in on the election, such as the group called Southern Momentum, who quoted a factory worker leading the anti-unionization coalition at the plant as saying, “A vote for the UAW is a vote against the expansion of the plant, plain and simple.”

The election will take place from Wednesday to Friday of this week under supervision by the National Labor Relations Board. Around 1,500 workers will be eligible to vote during the three-day period.

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Domestic Automakers’ Inventories Soar Past 100 Days’ Supply http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/domestic-automakers-inventories-soar-past-100-days-supply/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/domestic-automakers-inventories-soar-past-100-days-supply/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=738929 Inventories of unsold cars and light trucks have swollen to their highest levels since the recession while sales growth in the U.S. market has slowed significantly in the past five months. That combination could mean larger discounts and incentives and lower profit margins in 2014. According to Automotive News, all three domestic automakers started February with […]

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Inventories of unsold cars and light trucks have swollen to their highest levels since the recession while sales growth in the U.S. market has slowed significantly in the past five months. That combination could mean larger discounts and incentives and lower profit margins in 2014. According to Automotive News, all three domestic automakers started February with more than a 100-day supply of unsold vehicles. Industry-wide automakers had 88 days’ worth of vehicles at the start of February, the highest February inventories have been since 2009, when the industry was at its nadir.

As a portent of things to come, on Friday GM began a nearly month long Presidents Day promotion on Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles, with some of GM’s biggest incentive offers in months.

In January, sales declined 3 percent and the seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate fell to 15.2 million, the lowest since April. Much of that decline was attributed by automakers to the severe winter weather that blanketed much of the country. Analyst, though, say that there are other factors besides the weather.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said that after four years of growth, the sales pace “appears to have stalled.”

“The industry stands at a crossroads,” Jonas told AN. “We really think the best of the U.S. auto replacement cycle is over. The incremental buyer is moving from someone who needs to replace their car to one who just wants to, making financial willingness to lend and credit availability more important than ever.”

Car companies are minimizing the impact of rising inventories and so far most are not giving in to increasing incentives.

GM’s inventory grew by about 32,000 units in January in a month that saw sales fall 12% from the previous year. That resulted in a 114-day supply of vehicles as of Feb. 1, the highest among major automakers, up significantly from 81 days a month earlier.

Ford Motor’s Feb. 1 supply was up to 107 days, after starting the year at 73 days, and Chrysler Group had a 105-day supply, up from 79 days. Chrysler’s inventory situation was helped by strong sales of the new Jeep Cherokee.

 

 

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Early ELR Adopters Receive Free Charging Stations http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/early-elr-adopters-receive-free-charging-stations/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/early-elr-adopters-receive-free-charging-stations/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 18:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=726882 If you should become one of the early adopters who purchase a Cadillac ELR soon, the brand has announced that they will throw in a free charging station as a gift for paying $75,000 over the next 36 to 72 months for the luxury plug-in hybrid. Normally, the 240-volt charging station would be installed at […]

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2014 Cadillac ELR

If you should become one of the early adopters who purchase a Cadillac ELR soon, the brand has announced that they will throw in a free charging station as a gift for paying $75,000 over the next 36 to 72 months for the luxury plug-in hybrid.

Normally, the 240-volt charging station would be installed at an owner’s home starting at $1,000, with financing available for installations between $1,000 and $3,499 spread over 24 months at 0 percent and $0 down, and 2.99 percent over 84 months with $0 down for installations above $3,500. The price range is determined after Bosch Certified Contractors look over factors affecting installation, including age of the home, location of installation, permits et al.

On top of the incentive, ELR owners will also acquire the services of their own ELR Concierge Representative, who will help their owner with information on battery care, home charging, service scheduling and other concerns regarding their purchase.

No word on when Cadillac will cease offering free stations, though the $699/month lease incentive for well-qualified consumers currently on offer will end on January 31 of this year.

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Bright Future For Auto Lending in 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/bright-future-for-auto-lending-in-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/bright-future-for-auto-lending-in-2014/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 15:19:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=684794 According to credit reporting bureau TransUnion, auto finance has a bright future ahead in 2014, with easier access to credit and bigger loans for consumers. The company expects the average debt load per auto consumer will be $17,996 by the fourth quarter of 2014, up $1,000 from Q4 2013. TransUnion’s Vice President of Automotive Peter […]

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Dealer Customer Stock Photo

According to credit reporting bureau TransUnion, auto finance has a bright future ahead in 2014, with easier access to credit and bigger loans for consumers.

The company expects the average debt load per auto consumer will be $17,996 by the fourth quarter of 2014, up $1,000 from Q4 2013. TransUnion’s Vice President of Automotive Peter Turek says this is good news for all involved, as high demand for vehicles will lead to more loans and incentives as both lenders and dealers compete for consumers.

Of course, one downside to this new gold rush comes from subprime lending and the delinquencies they tend to spawn in their wake, though Turek believes they will remain at levels far below those found at the start of the Great Recession in 2008 in part due to strong used-car prices. TransUnion notes that 29.8 percent of all loans in Q3 2013 are subprime, nearly five percent lower than in Q3 2008 when the bottom fell out.

Leasing will also have it good in 2014, though TransUnion was mum on how good beyond stating it would be better than 2013, where 1.3 million leases were signed in the first half of the outgoing year. Turek says that, much like strong used-car prices, leasing will also offset delinquency rates, as financing for leases are made upon new cars for consumers with above-average credit ratings.

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November U.S. Car & Truck Sales Up 9% Overall, Led By GM & Chrysler http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/november-u-s-car-truck-sales-up-9-overall-led-by-gm-chrysler/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/november-u-s-car-truck-sales-up-9-overall-led-by-gm-chrysler/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 22:41:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=670210 Automaker Nov. 2013 Nov. 2012 Pct. chng. 11 month 2013 11 month 2012 Pct. chng. BMW Group 36,411 36,540 0% 332,725 304,597 9%     BMW division 31,752 31,213 2% 271,891 244,061 11%     Mini 4,575 5,248 –13% 59,910 59,667 0%     Rolls-Royce 84 79 6% 924 869 6% BMW Group 36,411 36,540 0% 332,725 304,597 9% Chrysler Group […]

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Automaker Nov. 2013 Nov. 2012 Pct. chng. 11 month
2013 11 month
2012 Pct. chng. BMW Group 36,411 36,540 0% 332,725 304,597 9%     BMW division 31,752 31,213 2% 271,891 244,061 11%     Mini 4,575 5,248 –13% 59,910 59,667 0%     Rolls-Royce 84 79 6% 924 869 6% BMW Group 36,411 36,540 0% 332,725 304,597 9% Chrysler Group 142,275 122,565 16% 1,639,361 1,499,420 9%     Chrysler Division 21,024 18,766 12% 282,222 282,454 0%     Dodge 41,506 40,075 4% 548,654 472,598 16%     Dodge/Ram 72,761 65,149 12% 880,469 742,641 19%     Fiat 3,075 3,603 –15% 39,491 40,065 –1%     Jeep 45,415 35,047 30% 437,179 434,260 1%     Ram 31,255 25,074 25% 331,815 270,043 23% Chrysler Group 142,275 122,565 16% 1,639,361 1,499,420 9% Daimler AG 37,345 32,658 14% 306,898 273,694 12%     Maybach – 5 –100% – 45 –100%     Mercedes-Benz 36,386 31,949 14% 298,489 264,636 13%     Smart USA 959 704 36% 8,409 9,013 –7% Daimler AG 37,345 32,658 14% 306,898 273,694 12% Ford Motor Co. 189,705 177,092 7% 2,268,644 2,030,107 12%     Ford division 182,978 171,360 7% 2,194,934 1,955,341 12%     Lincoln 6,727 5,732 17% 73,710 74,766 –1% Ford Motor Co. 189,705 177,092 7% 2,268,644 2,030,107 12% General Motors 212,060 186,505 14% 2,555,921 2,349,984 9%     Buick 15,072 13,289 13% 190,130 163,935 16%     Cadillac 16,172 14,517 11% 164,378 131,534 25%     Chevrolet 145,089 128,867 13% 1,793,632 1,684,555 7%     GMC 35,727 29,832 20% 407,781 369,960 10% General Motors 212,060 186,505 14% 2,555,921 2,349,984 9% Honda (American) 116,507 116,580 0% 1,390,057 1,290,011 8%     Acura 14,559 12,246 19% 149,685 140,182 7%     Honda Division 101,948 104,334 –2% 1,240,372 1,149,829 8% Honda (American) 116,507 116,580 0% 1,390,057 1,290,011 8% Hyundai Group 101,416 94,542 7% 1,159,326 1,161,993 0%     Hyundai division 56,005 53,487 5% 657,778 643,572 2%     Kia 45,411 41,055 11% 501,548 518,421 –3% Hyundai Group 101,416 94,542 7% 1,159,326 1,161,993 0% Jaguar Land Rover 6,047 4,400 37% 59,654 49,452 21%     Jaguar 1,446 713 103% 15,408 10,962 41%     Land Rover 4,601 3,687 25% 44,246 38,490 15% Jaguar Land Rover 6,047 4,400 37% 59,654 49,452 21% Maserati 887 208 326% 3,715 2,397 55% Maserati 887 208 326% 3,715 2,397 55% Mazda 20,754 21,691 –4% 260,983 249,793 5% Mazda 20,754 21,691 –4% 260,983 249,793 5% Mitsubishi 6,071 3,574 70% 55,804 53,677 4% Mitsubishi 6,071 3,574 70% 55,804 53,677 4% Nissan 106,528 96,197 11% 1,138,662 1,042,366 9%     Infiniti 13,152 11,897 11% 103,223 107,250 –4%     Nissan Division 93,376 84,300 11% 1,035,439 935,116 11% Nissan 106,528 96,197 11% 1,138,662 1,042,366 9% Subaru 36,621 28,206 30% 384,511 299,788 28% Subaru 36,621 28,206 30% 384,511 299,788 28% Suzuki* – 2,224 –100% 5,946 23,412 –75% Suzuki* – 2,224 –100% 5,946 23,412 –75% Toyota 178,044 161,695 10% 2,045,199 1,888,361 8%     Lexus 25,611 22,719 13% 239,090 213,559 12%     Scion 4,968 5,606 –11% 63,998 67,983 –6%     Toyota division 147,465 133,370 11% 1,742,111 1,606,819 8%     Toyota/Scion 152,433 138,976 10% 1,806,109 1,674,802 8% Toyota 178,044 161,695 10% 2,045,199 1,888,361 8% Volkswagen 48,695 52,916 –8% 556,839 553,242 1%     Audi 13,636 12,067 13% 141,048 124,469 13%     Bentley 320 212 51% 2,519 2,078 21%     Lamborghini* 46 44 5% 506 476 6%     Porsche 3,966 3,865 3% 39,077 32,091 22%     VW division 30,727 36,728 –16% 373,689 394,128 –5% Volkswagen 48,695 52,916 –8% 556,839 553,242 1% Volvo Cars NA 4,233 6,141 –31% 56,345 61,967 –9% Volvo Cars NA 4,233 6,141 –31% 56,345 61,967 –9% Other*** 253 246 3% 2,783 2,702 3% TOTAL 1,243,852 1,143,981 9% 14,223,373 13,136,963 8%

Sales of cars and light truck in the United States went up 9% overall to 1.24 million units delivered in November, selling at the fastest clip in almost seven years. The SAAR rose to 16.4 million units, exceeding analyst predictions of about 15.8 million vehicles. That’s the best seasonally adjusted annual rate since Feb. 2007, before the start of the global recession. November sales were the best since 2003 and close to the best November ever.

General Motors and the Chrysler Group’s sales were up more than the industry average, at +14% and +16% respectively with pickups and the new Jeep Cherokee spurring the increases. The new Cherokee sold over 10,000 units in the first full month that it has been available since a somewhat botched launch. Toyota and Nissan were also up by double digits, 10% and 11%, while Honda sales were more or less flat, down 0.1% from last November’s record sales. Ford was up 7% and announced that it was scaling back production in its North American plants in the first quarter of 2014, making about 2% fewer cars than the same period in 2013. Subaru continued to do very well, with sales up 30% over last year. Volkswagen, though, went against industry trends and was down 8%.

Lincoln had its second straight month of double digit increases, up 17% from November 2012.

Chrysler Group sales did well despite the fact that Fiat deliveries were down 15% and car sales at Chrysler and Dodge were down 7%, offset by a 26% increase in demand for light trucks.

Hyundai set a November record with 56,005 units delivered, up 5% from last year, led by the Santa Fe, Accent, and Elantra.

Jaguar Land Rover continues to do well with group sales up 37%. Land Rover set a November record at 4,601 on strong sales of the Evoque and redesigned Range Rover flagship and now that the F Type is at dealers, Jaguar posted an increase of over 100% to 1,446 unites.

VW’s CEO for America, Jonathan Browning said that the brand will not follow other companies aggressive incentives, one reason for a 16% decline in VW brand sales, with the Jetta, Passat and Tiguan all doing worse than last year. At VW’s Audi brand the news was better, up 13% on strong demand for crossovers.

Analysts say the industry’s overall numbers were helped by five weekends in the sales period along with early holiday promotions, attractive financing offers and pent-up demand. Sales went up at the end of the month as automakers and dealers had Black Friday sales events.

Incentives were up slightly from last year, but down 2% from last month to an average of $2,507 per vehicle.

Average transaction prices were down $198/vehicle from last year to $30,634, the first year to year decline in ATP in almost 3 years, though GM, Toyota and Chrysler reported record ATPs in November.

Table courtesy Automotive News

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Never Say Never: Hydrogen, Diesel En Vogue Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/never-say-never-hydrogen-diesel-en-vogue-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/never-say-never-hydrogen-diesel-en-vogue-again/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:44:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=654082 Remember this piece from the Honda Summer 2008 Hydrogen Collection? It was supposed to point the way to future of green fuel technology before the Tesla brought plug-in sex appeal down the ramp with their Roadster and, later on, the S, as well as the trend of compliance EVs from Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Kia. But with […]

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Honda FCX Clarity

Remember this piece from the Honda Summer 2008 Hydrogen Collection? It was supposed to point the way to future of green fuel technology before the Tesla brought plug-in sex appeal down the ramp with their Roadster and, later on, the S, as well as the trend of compliance EVs from Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Kia.

But with sales of plug-in hybrids advancing far slower than originally expected regulators are taking another look at alternative ZEV powertrains.

Back in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama set a goal for 1 million EVs on the road by 2015, going so far as to place a $5 billion bet on Tesla and Fisker among other automakers. Since then, only 95,000 units have managed to leave the showroom for the open road, with sales of over 500,000 predicted for 2015 by West Bloomfield, Mich.-based Baum & Associates analyst Alan Baum. With the current administration downplaying their role in the EV market, President Obama is awarding $4 million to aid in the development of fuel cell technology and storage for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Leading the charge toward the hydrogen future is California. Aside from passing a measure to provide 100 hydrogen fueling stations as part of their clean technology vision, the state’s legislature has fine-tuned the Zero-Emission Credit formula to better benefit hydrogen vehicle producers — such as Honda and General Motors, who announced a partnership to develop their respective technologies back in July — while drawing down power from Tesla to as much as 40 percent by 2015 for each S sold.

Back in D.C., Audi is putting the pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency to change their mileage formula for the showroom window sticker, and to level the playing field in taxation between diesel and gasoline. The reasoning, according to Audi of American president Scott Keogh, is that the current formula favors gasoline power on the assumption that most driving is done in the city; diesel it at its most efficient on the highway, and is one-third more efficient than gasoline in otherwise equal conveyances according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The diesels used today are cleaner as a result of the advent of ultra-low sulfur fuel and tailpipe exhaust treatment.

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Hyundai Slashes Sonata Production & Incentives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/hyundai-slashes-sonata-production-incentives/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/hyundai-slashes-sonata-production-incentives/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 13:30:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=653674 The Hyundai Sonata is the oldest car in its segment and a new model is expected next year. Normally, when a car is about to be replaced by the next generation of that model, automakers usually start increasing incentives to move the metal. Sonata sales are down 11% from last year. Now, Hyundai has slashed […]

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Hyundai production line Alabama plant

The Hyundai Sonata is the oldest car in its segment and a new model is expected next year. Normally, when a car is about to be replaced by the next generation of that model, automakers usually start increasing incentives to move the metal. Sonata sales are down 11% from last year. Now, Hyundai has slashed production of its midsize car, allowing it to reduce incentives to the second lowest in the segment. Average incentive spending on the Sonata is down to ~$2,200. Only Honda’s Accord, with about $840 in incentives available is discounted less.
Production of the car is also down 11% through October. That has freed up capacity for the Elantra compact, whose sales are up 21% year to date. Both cars are assembled for the U.S. market in an Alabama factory.

An all-new Sonata is expected to be introduced next April at the New York Auto Show. The current model has been on sale since 2011.

Hyundai currently has a 42 day supply of the Sonata compared to the the segment average of 76 days.

 

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Production of 2014 Chevy Volts Begins, Along With a $5,000 Price Cut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/production-of-2014-chevy-volts-begins-along-with-a-5000-price-cut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/production-of-2014-chevy-volts-begins-along-with-a-5000-price-cut/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:06:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=498417 General Motors announced that the 2014 edition of the Chevy Volt will start rolling off the assembly line at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant today. They also announced that when those new Volts arrive at dealers in a few weeks they’ll be $5,000 cheaper than the 2013 model. The move is in response to price cuts […]

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voltparade_r

General Motors announced that the 2014 edition of the Chevy Volt will start rolling off the assembly line at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant today. They also announced that when those new Volts arrive at dealers in a few weeks they’ll be $5,000 cheaper than the 2013 model. The move is in response to price cuts and lease deals on competitors’ EVs. After Nissan cut the price of the Leaf by $6,400 in January, its sales are up 300% from last year for the first half of 2013, just barely outselling the Volt. In July, Ford lowered the price of the Focus Electric by $4,000 and the recently launched Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Spark EV are offering $199/month leases.

The base MSRP on the 2014 Volt’s Monroney label will read $34,995, plus $810 to get it from the factory to the dealer. After applying the $7,500 federal tax credit, that puts the effective price of the Volt at $27,495, about what a nicely equipped Chevy Cruze would cost. One of the criticisms of the Volt has been that it’s expensive compared to the Cruze, with which the Volt shares a platform.

So far this year, Volt sales are up 9% to 11,463.

GM said that it has made “great strides” in reducing the manufacturing cost of the Volt, though no dollar figures were released. GM execs have said that the 2nd generation Volt, scheduled to go on sale in 2015, will cost them between $5,000 and $10,000 a unit less to build than the current model.

Apparently one reason for the current price cut is how people now use the internet to shop for cars. The lower MSRP is expected help the Volt show up in consumers’ search results. “Before, if you were going to price-shop a hybrid or a plug-in, the Volt didn’t even show up because of price point,” GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said.

Though the recent price cuts have raised the sale of EVs and PEVs, they’re still a small fraction of the market. Total U.S. sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids were 41,447 units for the first six months of the year. Chrysler sold more Darts that that figure, and the Dart isn’t exactly moving up the sales charts in its segment.

Chevy dealers were already discounting the Volts they had in stock and GM itself is offering rebates of $4,000 on 2013 Volts and $5,000 on the 2012 models still in stock, so the price cut is not going to have much of a real world effect on transaction prices. Truecar.com reports that the average transaction price on the Volts that were s0ld was $38,578, with a total average incentive per car at $10,489. The dealer part of those incentives are essentially subsidized by a GM bonus program for dealers who hit company determined sales objectives.

 

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