By on January 2, 2012

When U.S. new-vehicle sales will be announced tomorrow, there should be gains of around 10 percent compared to December the year before, a panel of 30 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters reckons. The gain will mostly go on account of the fabled pent-up demand, which suddenly is a bad thing. Gains are linked to buyers who delayed purchases do not indicate a strengthening economy, analysts tell Reuters.

TrueCar expects the biggest gains for December from Hyundai, up about 40 percent, and Chrysler, up 34 percent. For the full year, TrueCar thinks U.S. auto sales will reach 12.8 million, up 10.3 percent.

We will cover it in  full tomorrow. No grade the analysts this time, as Bloomberg’s panel appeared to have eloped to Aspen  and Aruba.


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13 Comments on “New Car Sales Expected Up Around 10 Percent In December And For The Year...”

  • avatar

    Its funny how the two companies with dramatic increases are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Hyundai/Kia specializing in the most fuel efficient vehicles while CH/Jeep/Dodge specializing in the least fuel efficient vehicles. Nissan seems to have taken a dump, probably with recovering inventories of Toyohonda.

    Edmunds forecast

    I wonder if Chrysler Co’s meteoric rise in the last quarter can be attributed to it not being owned by the Govt. anymore. Chrysler’s biggest customer base historically has been die hard conservatives who have written off Chrysler after the bailout. Now that Chrysler is out of Govt. ownership, it looks like this group may be warming up to them. Hopefully GM will benefit too once the Govt. is out of the picture.

    • 0 avatar

      “I wonder if Chrysler Co’s meteoric rise in the last quarter can be attributed to it not being owned by the Govt. anymore.”

      I doubt it has that much of an impact. Although some like to moan about bailouts, I suspect the majority of people don’t let political considerations or past grievances impact their buying decisions.

      I suspect the real reason is the dramatic improvement in their product. The Pentastar is a huge improvement on the old V6 that sounded like bolts in a blender at high RPMs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is arguably best in class at it’s price point, the minivans and pickups are now solidly competitive, the LH cars have no direct competitors now that the Panthers have ceased production – even the lowly 200 is much nicer than the wretched Sebring. It seems they have taken some of the money saved by the “cleansing effects of bankruptcy” and the devaluation of the US dollar and put it into improving the product.

      Chrysler is doing really well in Canada – they are pretty much running neck in neck with GM for #2 in sales (Ford is #1 overall), and I think a big part of this is they have been somewhat more aggressive in bringing their prices more in line with the US now that the Canadian dollar is worth about the same as the US dollar.

      “CH/Jeep/Dodge specializing in the least fuel efficient vehicles.”

      This is not sustainable. If the new Dart is class competitive with the Focus, Cruze, and Elantra, and if they can come up with a solidly competitive D class offering to replace the 200 / Avenger then the Mopar turnaround has a shot at being successful in the long run…

    • 0 avatar

      I suspect the overwhelming reason for Hyundai/Kia and Chrysler sales is low prices. The perception of quality helps, but a low MSRP, and in Chrysler’s case cash on the hood, seals the deal.

      • 0 avatar

        the reason for growth at Hyundai/Kia and Chrysler has little to do with prices and everything to do with new model intro’s. 2011 was the first full year of Sonata, Elantra, Optima, the 200, JGC,and whatever else Chrysler is making these days that I care little about. VW was similar. None of these guys are growing 30-40% again next year.

    • 0 avatar

      Two months back I bought my wife a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit V6 4X4 when one caught her eye as we were passing through Phoenix, AZ, on our way home to New Mexico.

      No pent-up demand. No political considerations. She saw it on a flatbed at the dealership being delivered (it was a swap) and she liked the way it looked (styling) and the color. Done deal in under an hour.

      We kept her 2008 Highlander Limited 4X4. It is now our third vehicle, just in case the JGC lives down to its reputation of old or if it develops a yearning for warranty attention. So far, so good. Have more than 2000 problem-free miles on the clock. Runs good, my wife tells me.

      And, politically, I’m very conservative although I am an Independent. I have always voted for the best candidate for the job, regardless of political party or affiliation.

      Price didn’t matter. With all the incentives currently available at that time it went for about 10% under MSRP before tt&l and optional stuff I bought and had delivered to our address in NM. Altogether, including everything, it cost me about 9% over MSRP.

      But what the heck? Buying any Chrysler product is buying Italian AND it is imported from Detroit! Can’t be all bad, as long as it runs.

      • 0 avatar

        I have rented a number of SUVs to drive to remote areas for work, and the current Jeep Grand Cherokee is by far my favourite. The old one was reasonably capable, but the whole vehicle looked and felt cheap and nasty. The current model is a night and day difference in perceived quality and refinement.

        Last February I did a trip in a JGC that included 300+ km on snow covered unpaved roads, and in November I did a trip with a JGC to Northern Alberta / Northeastern BC which included some offroad travel, as well as a mix of slush covered gravel and freezing rain covered winding mountain roads. The “Quadra Drive” system in the JGC gave me the same feeling of control I get in my Subaru and some Audis.

        I neither need nor want an SUV for my personal vehicle, but if I did, the JGC would be near the top of my short list to consider.

      • 0 avatar

        The styling and color is what attracted my wife to the JGC. It does have that legendary Jeep 4wd system and the HUGE wheels and tires, so it is very capable. But what really sets it apart from her 2008 Highlander Limited 4X4 is the JGC Overland Summit interior. It really is nice, and quiet. Lots of padding and insulation. Did I mention it was quiet? Killer sound system too, at a price.

        The JGC V6 clearly is a ladies’ SUV because men would most likely prefer the 5.7 or SRT8 V8 versions, were they to buy one. The V6 is more than competent even with the added weight of the three skid-plates, hooks (Trail-rated), Class IV Hitch and the 5″ JGC running boards I bought and installed myself. Even so she managed to get stopped for cruising at 90+mph on US70, going uphill. No citation, just a state cop looking over her new JGC and tell her he had bought a 2011 for his wife. Small world.

        The Quadra-Trac II system can be set to whatever terrain the JGC is driving on to get maximum grip and traction, but she leaves it in Auto-mode all the time, and it has worked very well both on-road and off, in snow or on asphalt. The auto-headlights are weird. They come on even when the car’s not running. Better to leave it in OFF mode.

        The Highlander was not cheap in 2008, were it not for the heavy discount we got buying the last Japan-built Highlander on their lot (and also the most expensive one they ever had). But the JGC is by no means inexpensive. They’ve got a lot of margin to work with so, for those looking to buy one, get a fair price from Edmunds or TrueCar to get an idea what there is to work with. Retail ranges from $45K for the V6 to $50+K for the 5.7 and $64+K for the SRT8. But they have a lot of margin to work with. Were I to buy one for myself I would shop around on carsdotcom and similar sites with nationwide inventory lists, and go where I got the best deal.

        We didn’t care about the price because we had not anticipated buying one, so I did no research. And I never trade – always buy outright. She wanted it, she’s happy with it and that’s what makes my world go ’round.

  • avatar

    From the shanty via observing the USA via online media, news, etc and the limited info obtained via local TV broadcast news, local and national and reading a multitude of online news sources it appears that non-wealth creators, the taxpayer-paid bureaucrat and those in positions below the bureaucrats within the bureaucracies; the cohort that compared to a huge cohort within the private sector (where wealth is created) is experiencing a lack of economic security.

    Sure, other groups with discretionary income but there remains a multitude of “common folks” experiencing a horrid lack of discretionary income and struggling just to attain the basics of life.

    • 0 avatar

      there remains a multitude of “common folks” experiencing a horrid lack of discretionary income and struggling just to attain the basics of life.

      Is this something new?

      Was there ever a time in history where this was not the case?

      • 0 avatar


        The common folks were able to buy a new car due to easy and low credit. That has ended for many. Common folks are holding onto their last purchases instead of springing for a new vehicle.

        And considering the past generation of car buyers, this is a new development. While being poor does not represent a new time in history, this impact is new in 2012.

  • avatar

    I’m in the market for a new vehicle. Actually I’m ready to buy if I can get the right price for what I want. So I’ve been “in the field” recently and got a good perception of the beat on the street.

    100% of all salespeople have said that used cars are only going to those with poor credit because anyone that can afford new is going that way. Why would I want a 2010 model with 20k miles for only a $3000 discount off a new one?! Used car prices are insane and “poor” people are going to drive their beaters until they MUST buy a new vehicle. Not sure why this is as nobody has any money, but it’s NOT A GOOD THING. This is causing demand destruction in the industry without a doubt.

    As for new cars, Hyundai/KIA has people believing they are getting more for their money than Honda/Toyota. I’m not quite sure they are there yet on a quality level, nor are they that cheap. I wasn’t impressed but they do load up their vehicles with options that recently were only offered in luxury lines. Most car buyers are sheep and easily duped by gadgets. Score to the Koreans for being savvy there.

    I don’t get Chrysler…they don’t have anything that even interests me. Fuel isn’t cheap and their lineup is thirsty. They have nothing in the all important midsize segment. SUV’s and RAM trucks will not last forever, neither will aging boomers buying retro styled muscle cars. I wouldn’t be so quick to throw praise at their feet.

    Then there’s me. I find the vehicle I want, am ready to buy, and the dealer will not offer anything better than MSRP. WTF? I tell him that until he’s ready to deal I’ll keep driving my Honda. It’ll go another 100k miles if I need it to. And right there is the problem. I don’t have to buy a new vehicle. The economy still isn’t good enough to move new models on options and styling alone. Mfg’s need to squeeze margins more and sell ’em cheap which IMO isn’t happening yet.

  • avatar

    Our neighbor across the street recently bought a new Equinox. He has some special GM plan. His discount? A whopping $300.00 off MSRP! Are you kidding me? I was shocked when he told me that, as there are thousands of dollars on the hood of Malibus and Impalas. Depends on demand. That’s great if an OEM can get it, I just hope for GM’s sake and our neighbor’s the product lives up to its premium price!

    My cars aren’t going anywhere anytime soon!

  • avatar

    Chrysler and Hyundai/Kia are kicking butt because of the products/value they are offering. Both companies are offering all-new or refreshed products that are resonating with the buying public. It’s that simple.

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