After weathering pandemic-related shutdowns, chip shortages, and barren lots, some dealers are complaining our nation’s rail system is suddenly no longer up to the task of delivering new cars. A few are saying they have a point, whilst others muse it is a bit of karma for three years of price gouging and “additional dealer markups”.
Don’t say we don’t read yer comments. Last week’s report on the state of American car sales during the first quarter of this year was absent the usual Excel chart o’ numbers thanks to a phalanx of manufacturers choosing to release figures at their leisure.
Here’s the chart, nerds – complete with snazzy up and down arrows.
Have we mentioned it’s a weird time in the automotive industry? New car supply seems to ricochet between firehose and non-existent, interest rates are higher than Willie Nelson, and let’s not mention that coffee in the dealership waiting area. Still, it is our job to try and suss through this noise – even if auto companies are getting increasingly lax with their number reporting, a task they once undertook every ten days. Now we’re lucky to get a glimpse four times a year.
See? Told ya it was weird.
If you’re thinking that an ever-climbing percentage of the average household income is being allocated toward car debt – you’re exactly right. According to third-party industry watchers, the number of notes with a monthly payment of $1,000 or more has risen to record heights.
After taking a drubbing in 2021, the last annum was also a headache for most of the world’s automakers. Nevertheless, General Motors has narrowly retaken the title of America’s best-selling car company after losing it last year for the first time since the Great Depression.
The latest research from Carfax has led the company to report that more than 1.9 million vehicles on the road have rolled-back odometers – noting that this represents a 7 percent increase against the previous year.
“Many people think odometer fraud disappeared with the invention of digital odometers,” stated Emilie Voss, Public Relations Director for Carfax. “But that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re still seeing the number of vehicles on the road with a rolled-back odometer rise year-over-year.”
We’ve spilled plenty of digital ink on these virtual pages about the so-called ‘chip shortage’, a conundrum of the world’s automakers that cropped up in the early days of the pandemic and has stubbornly caused headaches ever since. While the situation may be improving, recent numbers show production levels continue to be impacted – even at this late stage of the 2022 calendar year.
Despite ongoing dealer markups, rising interest rates, and evidence suggesting that new vehicles are suffering from a lapse in quality control, the automotive market is allegedly improving – at least in terms of sales volume. U.S. light-vehicle deliveries increased last month from the abysmal levels witnessed in October 2021. But the entire issue basically comes down to the industry managing to produce more cars than it had been.
You've likely heard about the craziness that's happening at car dealerships right now. We've reported on insane markups, for example. And I've heard whispers, anecdotally, that so-and-so's friend's co-worker's cousin who's going with this girl who works at 31 Flavors got screwed when trying to buy a new car.
It’s of no surprise to anyone that new vehicles can be hard to find these days. Some production has been throttled thanks to supply chain challenges, more than a few dealer lots are bereft of product, and everyone seems to be at the end of their rope.
But spare a thought for customers in Japan who wish to buy a new Lexus LX. According to reports, the wait time for one in that part of the world has grown. To four years.
The U.S. light-vehicle market doesn’t appear to be in the best health. While many automakers now opt against issuing monthly sales reports, those that still do are posting some pretty brutal numbers.
This does not bode well for an industry that seemed pretty certain that 2022 would be its recovery year. However, it is on-brand with the slew of announcements made by manufacturers warning about supply constraints and an inability to manufacture at scale. There has also been a growing sense that some consumers may be shunning vehicles that have spent the last several months trading well above what seems rational. Wholesale pricing actually declined by roughly 6 percent since the January record. Though you may not see that represented on dealer lots or even have noticed if it was because last month still saw transactions averaging 14 percent higher than they were last year.
If you frequent this website, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an article discussing how smaller car dealerships are being incorporated into larger entities over the last few years. As with most other industries, the trend has been accelerating and Automotive News just shared the metrics showing how far we’ve come over the last decade. According to the report, consolidation among mega dealers has made heaps of progress of late and should continue on with their mission of never-ending growth because none of them want to become the little guy after every pint-sized showroom has been bought up in North America.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]
- SCE to AUX "Despite the EV segment having enjoyed steady growth over the past several years, sales volumes have remained flatter through 2023."Not so. How can EV sales be increasing and flatter at the same time?https://insideevs.com/news/667516/us-electric-car-sales-2023q1/Tesla and H/K/G are all up for EV sales, as are several other brands.
- ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
- ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
- Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."