With an extra selling day compared to the same month one year ago, auto sellers in America had the chance to improve their numbers in April. Subaru, the two Korean brands, and Nissan all managed that feat, while the likes of Fiat Chrysler and Toyota did not. Honda, for one, was roughly flat.
It all adds up to a softening market impacted by rising transaction prices and higher borrowing costs. At this rate, there’s a very good possibility that total light-vehicle sales in this country will drop below 17 million this year for the first time since 2014.
Talking heads have been warning for days that the auto industry should prepare itself for a rougher than usual ride in 2019, speculating that sales for the first quarter would be softer than what we’ve seen in past years.
This proved to be true, as players such as the Detroit Three, Nissan, Toyota, and Mazda all conspired to drag the industry down by just over three percent compared to this time last year. Fortunes were better at places like Kia, Hyundai, and Honda, each of whom recorded jumps in volume – two of them quite healthy.
Most people don’t care to venture out into the frigid weather unless it is absolutely necessary, instead reserving time for indoor activities such as enjoying the heated delights of the nearest wood-burning stove. Given the sales results shown here for February, it would indeed seem that car buying doesn’t rank too high on the Top 40 of most Americans when the weather is foul.
Overall, sales were off nearly three percent compared to this time last year, fuelling speculation by talking heads that 2019 will be the first calendar year in ages that the industry fails to collectively move more than 17 million units.
Spring is springing in most parts of the country and, as if on cue, more customers are beating their way to a dealership’s door. The market is up, in both monthly and year-to-date measures.
Mazda, Toyota, and Volkswagen are all up on their own merits both from a monthly and year-to-date perspective. In fact, compared to the same month last year, just about all the major automakers moved more metal in March.
With only 24 selling days in which to make a buck in February, the nation’s automakers found themselves staring down the tunnel of a short month. In many parts of the country, the weather at this time of year doesn’t help matters, either.
Most major OEMs saw fewer machines wend their way off dealer lots, with a few notable exceptions.
Surely Volkswagen of America, tarnished by daily revelations related to its September diesel emissions scandal, would report an October sales decrease, right?
No, as we discussed earlier this month, incentives and a booming market helped Volkswagen to an October sales increase — of 74 extra sales.
In October 2015, industry-wide sales jumped 14 percent to more than 1.45 million units with above-average improvements from General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Hyundai-Kia.
Further to those results, these are the numbers behind the numbers.
5 x 10K: October marked the fifth occasion in 2015 — the fifth in the last 40 months — in which Ford sold more than 10,000 Mustangs in a single month. October’s total was just the fifth-highest achieved this year so far, but we’ve long since left prime Mustang buying season as the car is traditionally stronger in the spring and early summer. Prior to the Camaro’s return, Ford was selling nearly 14,000 Mustangs per month in 2006. The Blue Oval is averaging 10,632 in 2015.
September 2015 was a massive month for the U.S. auto industry, as the SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) shot past 18 million sales and year-over-year volume jumped 16 percent. The auto industry marked the end of the third quarter having produced five-percent growth compared with the same period one year ago, making possible the idea that American consumers, businesses, and governments will purchase and lease more than 17 million new vehicles in 2015 for the first time in 14 years.
That’s the overall theme. These are some of the more interesting numbers which help make it so.
2,630 Non-Golf Golfs: Even before Volkswagen’s dirty diesel scandal, the majority of Golf hatchbacks (ignoring the SportWagen for the moment) sold in the United States aren’t even available with a diesel engine. The gas-only GTI, gas-only Golf R, and electric-only e-Golf generated 69 percent of total Golf hatchback sales in September.
A study by Booz & Co, that calls itself “one of the leading management consultancies in the world,” predicts that India will be the world’s 4th largest car market by 2015 and will surpass the European Nations by 2015. I don’t doubt that India is a very important market with great growth potential. But Booz & Co must have consumed too much of its namesake.
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- Jwee I think it is short sighted and detrimental to the brand. The company should be generous to its locked-in user base, treating them as a resource, not a revenue stream.This is what builds any good relationship, generosity to the other partner. Apple does with their products. My iPhone is 5 years old, but I keep getting the latest and greatest updates for free, which makes me feel valued as a customer and adds actual value. When it is time for a new phone, Apple past treatment towards me certainly plays into my decisions (as did BMW's - so long subscription extracting pigs, its been a great 20 years). Imagine how much good will and love (and good press) Polestar would get from their user base if they gave them all a "68 fresh horses" update overnight, for free. Brand loyalty would soar (provided their car is capable).
- ToolGuy If I had some space I would offer $800 and let the vehicle sit at my place as is. Then when anyone ever asked me, "Have you ever considered owning a VW?" I would say "Yes."
- ToolGuy In the example in the linked article an automated parking spot costs roughly 3% of the purchase price of the property. If I were buying such a property, I would likely purchase two parking spots to go with it, and I'm being completely serious.(Speaking of ownership vs. subscription, the $150 monthly maintenance fee would torque me off a lot more than the initial acquisition cost.)
- ToolGuy "which will be returned as refunds to citizens of the state" - kind of like the Alaska Permanent Fund? Make the amount high enough and I will gladly move to California to take advantage (my family came close to moving there when I was a teen, and oodles of people have moved from CA to my state, so I'm happy to return the favor).Note to California: You probably do not want me as a citizen.
- ToolGuy Nice torque figure.