Tag: Sales

By on April 2, 2020

Surprising exactly no one, sales numbers for the automotive industry in this country are grim. With stay-at-home edicts being encouraged in most states and various social distancing measures in place to help temper the spread of COVID-19, it’s understandable that a limited numbers of customers are darkening the doors of the few showrooms that remain open.

The first two months of this year were reasonably robust, so the negative numbers can almost entirely be chalked up to March’s challenging conditions (to put it mildly). As a programming note, the brands of Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz won’t we releasing their numbers until later in the month. This explains the holes in our chart.

(Read More…)

By on April 2, 2020

GM

With all domestic assembly plants shuttered for some length of time and sales barreling towards zero in many markets at the end of March, the coming few months could play out in a number of ways. Sure, no crystal ball can be expected to return bang-on predictions, but that’s not stopping analysts from crafting a number of plausible scenarios.

As projected by J.D. Power, April looks like a wash for new vehicle sales, but the recovery could be more rapid than some fear. Or, just as easily, it might not be. (Read More…)

By on April 1, 2020

We’ll have a full tally of first-quarter U.S. auto sales for you tomorrow, but the expected declines in volume have far more to do with what happened in the past two weeks than anything afflicting individual companies in the months prior. If your gig is industry analysis, things have never been wilder.

Analysts at J.D. Power had their hands full tabulating exactly what happens when 265 million Americans are suddenly told not to leave their homes. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2020

fca

The growing movement to ditch monthly sales reporting in favor of quarterly updates will blur the impact of this month’s coronavirus-related shelter-in-place orders.

Many automakers, the Detroit Three most notably, left monthly sales reports in the dust long ago, meaning the March decline will have to mingle with the business-as-usual months that preceded it. Right now, it’s left to analysts to tell us the damage.

One has a good idea of what happened this month. (Read More…)

By on March 25, 2020

Everything seemed hunky dory after the New Year’s celebrations wrapped up and all the party hats and disposable drink cups were swept from the floor. Unbeknownst to the auto industry, however, the ship was heading into a sea roiled by a storm no one saw coming. Now, with the first quarter of 2020 almost in the rear-view, the radar mast is overboard, the bilge pumps are running non-stop, and the crew can only guess when the skies will clear.

The impact of COVID-19 on U.S. auto sales is far from set in stone, but the best-guess picture is becoming clearer. Clearer, and worse for the industry. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

BMW dealers are having a problem with the 8 Series. The returning flagship appears to be a bit too rich for North American tastes and retailers are growing annoyed.

According to Automotive News, retailers are upset that BMW didn’t issue enough marketing support to make the public aware that it even exists, and feel that the amount of configuration available works against the vehicle. As a result, many dealerships are sitting on expensive halo vehicles nobody seems to want; the 8 Series now has the highest day supply of any BMW model currently produced.  (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2020

Image: Hyundai

Hyundai Motor America has ceased production at its Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant after a worker tested positive for coronavirus. Unlike the temporary production shutdowns by Honda, Nissan, and the Detroit Three, Hyundai’s idle period seems to be reactionary, not proactive.

That said, the automaker plants to use the downtime to add to its laundry list of measures aimed at protecting workers. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2020

Nissan Titan XD assembly plant, Image: Nissan

Joining a growing list of automakers, including — as of Wednesday — the Detroit Three, Nissan has announced it will cease production in the United States.

While an automaker with falling sales and bloated inventory isn’t likely to find itself in a car-less position when production resumes, those same elements spell nothing good for a company that was already in dire straits before the pandemic hit. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2020

The final impact of COVID-19 on the country’s auto industry is becoming increasingly less blurry. In the U.S., the Magic 8-ball foresees a significant hit to dealers and automakers in 2020, with J.D. Power now saying the already cooling market will see 3 million purchases vanish from sales ledgers.

The viral sales cull would bring the industry back to 2012-2013 levels, though at this point there’s too much uncertainty to predict when things return to normal. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

2018 Lexus LS500 AWD - Image: LexusOver the course of three decades, Lexus has accomplished remarkable feats in the U.S. marketplace. While the modern luxury landscape proves how challenging it is for a (non-Tesla) upstart such as Genesis to garner even an ounce of market share, Toyota’s premium brand generated relatively high volume levels from the get-go.

By 1991, only the third year on the market, Lexus had already overtaken all other import premium brands. By 1998, Lexus was able to top monthly luxury sales leaderboards. Then in 2000, Lexus became America’s top-selling premium marque. The Lexus LS, the brand’s flagship sedan, was an especially important piece of the puzzle in those early days. In fact, when Lexus first outsold Mercedes-Benz and BMW on an annual basis, the LS was one of just three Lexus nameplates. Nearly 43,000 copies of the LS were sold in 1990, for example, at a time when BMW’s 7 Series did just a quarter of that volume; and with Mercedes-Benz some 17,000 units abaft.

But as the LS gained license to move upmarket, as the Great Recession came and went, as the tastes of luxury car buyers became the tastes of luxury SUV buyers, the LS became something of a forgotten flagship. By the end of the fourth-generation LS’s tenure, Lexus was selling barely more than 300 LSs per month in America.

Yet with the launch of a new model in 2018, Lexus intended to dramatically increase the U.S. sales volume for its biggest and most costly sedan. And if at first it looked as though Lexus might just have forecasted accurately, a second glance reveals just how far off the mark even Lexus can be. (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

This won’t be the last prediction you read that erases millions from the United States’ 2020 new vehicle sales tally.

Morgan Stanley now says the rapidly growing COVID-19 pandemic (the World Health Organization declared it one midday Wednesday) will send auto sales tumbling at a far steeper rate than initially forecasted. At the beginning of the year, of course, no one had heard of this illness. (Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

Some 12 years and one month ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered the firm’s first electric vehicle… to himself. Fast-forward to today, and electric vehicle are sprouting from automakers the world over — including the “legacy” automakers Teslaphiles so often deride as out of touch.

On Monday, the company that opened the floodgates for EV proliferation marked a production milestone once thought of as inconceivable: its millionth car. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2020

Denis Le Not 2019 Nissan Altima unveil - Image: Nissan

The new-for-2019 Nissan Altima, arriving in the fall of 2018, marked a significant departure from the previous model. For starters, there was no V6 on offer; a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with variable compression technology set up shop as the uplevel option. Also different was the appearance of all-wheel drive.

In Chris’ review of an attractive AWD Altima, he made note of Nissan’s enthusiasm for the technology, with the automaker’s U.S. brass claiming a significant take rate for Altimas with four driven wheels. That may be true in the U.S., but how does a traditionally front-drive model fare when it’s only available in AWD? Canada has the answer. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2020

The affliction of quarterly sales reporting seems to be particularly virulent, as the practice has jumped from its domestic host and is now infecting foreign automakers. Regardless, some OEMs still report sales on a monthly basis.

Despite gathering economic gloom and an approaching pandemic, February was a hot month for new vehicle sales, though the numbers weren’t entirely organic. (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2020

Volvo’s not whispering in anyone’s ear, but Volvo dealers surely are. That’s how we’ve learned that Volvo Cars plans to insert two new vehicles at the top and near the bottom of its current lineup.

According to dealers, a range-topping XC100 will soon take its place atop the model ladder, with a coupe-like crossover slotted well below. How else is Volvo supposed to keep its sales momentum? (Read More…)

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