By on August 5, 2017

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso - Image: FCAJuly 2017 was the first month in which we could ascertain the year-over-year U.S. sales direction of the one-year-old Fiat 124 Spider.

That direction is down.

In fact, the rate of year-over-year decline — 124 Spider sales fell only 6 percent in a passenger car market that was down 15 percent — was by no means severe. But it’s yet another sign that when American roadster buyers want a Mazda Miata, they buy a Mazda Miata. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2017

2017 Cadillac ATSL China - Image: GM ChinaExpand your horizons. See the forest, not just the trees. Look west of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Cadillac sales plunged in the United States in July 2017, dropping by more than a fifth to only 11,227 units. That 22-percent dive was the worst for Cadillac’s U.S. operations since April of last year. The 11,227-sale result represented a five-month low for Cadillac in the United States and the lowest-volume since 2011.

But Cadillac is increasingly a less U.S.-centric automotive brand. Just three short years ago, two-thirds of Cadillac’s volume was produced in its American home market. Fast forward to July 2017 and the majority of Cadillac’s volume isn’t produced in the market where it’s suffering from such dwindling demand.

Rather, Cadillac generates the bulk of its global volume outside of America, where Cadillac demand is rapidly increasing. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2017

2017 Subaru Impreza Limited - Image: SubaruGlobal Subaru operating income rose 19 percent to $1.06 billion in the quarter ending June 30. Net income was up 4 percent to $733 million on an 11-percent revenue increase to $8.9 billion.

Why?

Subaru’s long since gone to look for America. And while U.S. auto sales keep on slowing — falling for a seventh consecutive month in July 2017, for example — Subaru’s U.S. sales keep on rising. July, in which Subaru begins the current fiscal year’s second quarter, was Subaru’s 68th consecutive year-over-year monthly increase.

The U.S. market generated six out of every ten global Subaru sales between April and June. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2017

2017 Honda Civic hatchback - Image: HondaCanadian auto sales jumped 5 percent in July 2017, a big jump for an industry that has now posted growth in six of 2017’s first seven months.

Year-to-date, sales are well ahead of 2016’s pace: 58,000 units greater than in the first seven months of 2017. In fact, on a quest for the Canada’s first ever year of more than 2,000,000 sales, the industry would now need a genuine downturn in 2017’s final five months to avoid a hugely successful year.

More proof that the Canadian auto industry’s on a hot streak? Even passenger car sales are… well, they’re only down slightly. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2017

2016 Toyota RAV4 Limited - Image: ToyotaToyota Motor North America’s executive vice president for sales, Bob Carter, is not ready to rain down doom and gloom on the state of the U.S. auto market.

From Toyota’s perspective, even the July results — 2017’s seventh consecutive month of decline, and the worst decline yet — didn’t represent the end of the American auto industry as we know it. In fact, total Toyota/Lexus U.S. volume actually increased 4 percent despite a shorter sales month than in July 2016.

While aware of the overall climate, in which Toyota sales are down more than 2 percent this year, Toyota’s U.S. sales boss says he’s “energized,” according to Automotive News“The industry is not at a pace where it was in 2016 — we didn’t expect it to be at the pace of 2016,” Carter says, “but it’s still very healthy.”

And not without good reason. (Read More…)

By on August 2, 2017

2014 Dodge Avenger R/T - Image: FCAEvery midsize car on sale in the United States reported declining year-over-year volume in July 2017. Every car except the Dodge Avenger, which came back from the dead with 10 reported sales after a nine-month hiatus. 2014 was the Avenger’s last model year.

But forget that sales stat quirk — Pentastar Avenger Blacktop Edition, be still my soul. Every other midsize nameplate generated fewer sales in July 2017 than July 2016, with losses piling up fastest at Ford and Hyundai, with the Fusion and Sonata, respectively.

Between major Fusion and Sonata losses and decreased volume everywhere else, U.S. midsize car volume fell by a fifth in July 2017 — a 36,000-unit decline. (Read More…)

By on August 1, 2017

2017 Audi A4 - Image: AudiJuly 2017 auto sales were expected to decline for a seventh consecutive month, sliding further and faster than at any point this year. In the end, with incentive spending up 5 percent, U.S. auto sales dropped 7 percent in July 2017, a year-over-year decrease worth roughly 105,000 sales.

Detroit was to blame for much of the losses, in part because of steep reductions in fleet volume. General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles combined to lose 76,000 sales. General Motors came within 4,050 sales of losing the top seller’s crown to Toyota as GM July volume fell to a five-year low. At Ford Motor Company, total Ford/Lincoln volume fell to a six-month low. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles suffered steep declines at Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat.

Detroit automakers were by no means the only manufacturers losing U.S. auto sales in June. The Honda brand was down 2 percent, Nissan slid 4 percent, Kia and Volkswagen both fell 6 percent, and Hyundai plunged 30 percent.

But there were also bright spots. Audi sales rose 3 percent for its 79th consecutive monthly increase. Subaru sales, rising 7 percent in July, improved for a 68th consecutive month. And at Toyota, where the RAV4 was by far and away America’s top-selling utility vehicle in July, total volume rose 4 percent to 193,155 units, the best month for the brand in 2017 and the second-best of the last two years.  (Read More…)

By on August 1, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Silverado - Image: ChevroletAmerica’s auto industry is expected to report today its seventh consecutive month of decline, a drop of at least 5 percent based on forecasts and some sharp declines from three of the largest manufacturers: GM, Ford, and FCA.

Incidentally, GM, Ford, and FCA are America’s three biggest sellers of pickup trucks, and for the most part, pickup trucks are allowing a degree of buoyancy at the Detroit Three despite plunging passenger car sales. But after pickup truck sales rose 4 percent through the first-half of 2017, pickup truck sales declined in July 2017. Slightly. Somewhat.

And it was mostly General Motors’ fault. (Read More…)

By on August 1, 2017

2016 Chevrolet Impala LTZ Detroit - Image: GMAs U.S. auto sales are forecasted to fall between 5 and 6 percent in July 2017, the reports released this morning by the traditional Detroit Three — General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — appear to be worse than average.

Due to decreased year-over-year volume at each of its four brands, including a harsh 30-percent decrease at Buick, General Motors plunged 15 percent to 226,107 sales. That loss equalled 41,151 fewer sales for America’s largest automobile seller. At Ford Motor Company, total sales fell 7 percent despite rising F-Series sales. Car volume tumbled 19 percent at Ford and Lincoln, and SUV/crossover sales were up only slightly. At FCA, meanwhile, a 10-percent overall decline was caused by decreased volume at Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat.

Fortunately, there remain reasons for optimism. (Read More…)

By on July 28, 2017

2018 Subaru Forester - Image: SubaruDespite all of the attention being called to the U.S. auto industry’s downturn in early 2017, first-half auto sales slipped only 2 percent from 2016’s all-time record highs.

But the rate of decline in July 2017 is expected to be the worst of the year so far, with forecasters generally calling for drops of at least 5 percent.

That will represent a loss of at least 76,000 sales in July alone. (Read More…)

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