Tag: Sales

By on May 14, 2020

Image: Ford

You read earlier this week how midsize pickups, despite adding the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator to their ranks, suffered in terms of market share this year. It’s been a wild ride, these past few months, but the biggest strike against the purchase of a midsize truck remains the same as before: the existence of full-size trucks — which automakers seem far more likely to discount, boosting their vehicle-per-dollar proposition.

Especially in these pandemic times.

Detroit moved an unexpectedly large number of half-tons over the past two months, greasing the wheels via a sudden love affair with zero-interest, 84-month financing. Full-size trucks dipped instead of dived, but midsizers have now picked themselves up and dusted themselves off. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2020

Production at General Motors’ Mexican assembly plants could start up next week, following a go-ahead from the country’s leadership to resume factory activity. The faster GM’s able to come back online south of the Rio Grande, the better.

In an earnings briefing last week, GM, like its rival Fiat Chrysler, pointed to a declining inventory of lucrative pickups — a segment that proved extremely resilient over the past two months, even during the depths of the coronavirus lockdown. With U.S. plants resuming work on Monday, a concurrent Mexican restart is what the company needs. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2020

2020 Mazda CX30 Soul Red - Image: Mazda

The fiscal year that wrapped up at the end of March was not a good one for Mazda, the company claims, with profit cut almost in half amid fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Mazda revealed a full-year operating profit of just $408 million — its lowest showing in 8 years.

Smaller than its Japanese rivals and heavily dependent on the North American consumer, Mazda was hit hard by lockdown orders that dried up sales in the U.S. and Canada in March. (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2020

2018 Toyota Camry XSE - Image: Toyota CanadaAfter years of steady decline, including an 8-percent decrease in calendar year 2019, U.S. sales of midsize cars stabilized in the early part of 2020.

In a manner of speaking.

Like the overall market, midsize car sales in the first quarter of 2020 declined. But the segment’s decrease was only marginally worse than the decline reported by the overall market, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as the decreases reported elsewhere in the passenger car sector.

Meanwhile, at the top of the midsize heap, the Toyota Camry continued to improve its market share, expanding the size of its slice in a shrinking pie. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2020

As assembly plants cautiously fire up and buyers slowly return to the new vehicle market in North America, automakers have their fingers crossed, hoping that an increase in demand from frightened first-time buyers will offset lost sales from both the newly jobless and hard-hit rental agencies.

Data out of Europe and China seems to suggest the fright factor is real, but just how much (and for how long) automakers can depend on it really depends on the virus itself. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2020

Image: FordThe arrival of a reincarnated Ford Ranger in 2019, along with the debut of the Jeep Gladiator, caused midsize truck market share to climb to a 13-year high in America’s pickup category. In fact, over the span of six years, midsize trucks nearly doubled their share of America’s truck market.

The primary cause of those market share gains, the new Ranger, ended its abbreviated first sales year on the midsize podium roughly 33,000 sales back of the Chevrolet Colorado.

In the early days of 2020, however, the Ford Ranger is running nearly dead even with the Colorado. But no longer is the Ranger driving the midsize pickup truck market forward. The segment’s share of the truck market is backsliding.  (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2020

gm

The Detroit Three has something of a problem. Sales of their cash-cow, bread-and-butter full-size pickups hardly waned during the extended pandemic lockdown, and are, as of a week ago, selling just as they had before anyone heard of the coronavirus. And yet the plants tasked with building them still aren’t online.

Automakers that just months ago were concerned with higher-than-average inventory levels now have the opposite problem. (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2020

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If full-size pickups were a human infected with coronavirus, friends and family would characterize it as a “fighter” in media interviews. It’s tough, they’d say ⁠— it’ll get through this alright.

And so it did, shaking off the pandemic-borne sales slump afflicting the U.S. auto industry and returning to almost normal, pre-virus levels last week. Compared to other segments, the pickup’s illness was a far milder case. Which isn’t to say other segments aren’t recovering. They are, just not as quickly as those much-loved trucks. And you have to wonder if certain segments will ever be the same again. (Read More…)

By on May 7, 2020

vw

Hey, things crop up. Little things, like a global pandemic that ground the economy (and vehicle production, and sales) to a halt for two months, can just appear out of the blue and wreak all sorts of havoc.

Because of just such an occurrence, Volkswagen of America’s long-awaited return to black ink will have to wait. (Read More…)

By on May 5, 2020

gm

Your author can’t explain why his neighbor purchased a new Chevrolet Blazer Premier, but he can understand why General Motors felt the need to insert a new crossover between the Equinox and Traverse. CUV white space = $$$, I think the famous equation goes.

With this in mind, the existence of the new Chevrolet Trailblazer, slotted between the Trax and Equinox, is equally understandable. Boasting a brace of three-bangers and more space and MPGs than a Trax, the decidedly non-BOF Trailblazer serves as a larger stepping stone to the Chevy brand.

Timing, however, was not the Trailblazer’s strong suit. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2020

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid - Image: Toyota Canada

Perhaps you read on Sunday how the week ending April 26th was the fourth consecutive week of rising U.S. sales. If you haven’t yet, please do so before we report you for venturing outdoors.

Yes, the recovery in U.S. auto sales is well underway, helped along by easing coronavirus measures and holdout states finally getting on board with online sales. Normal volume remains well down the road, however. And for some segments of the industry, pre-pandemic sales levels are even further out of reach. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2020

Image: General Motors

It’s something we’ve touched upon in the recent past: the fact that, in these pandemic times, a private vehicle is the safest way to get around (from a contagion standpoint). It seems we’re not the only one to rethink the attributes of a personal car. Japanese driving schools are suddenly doing a booming business. Cars.com reports a sudden surge in non-car-owning visitors.

According to data accumulated from numerous countries, automakers could find a slew of newfound buyers once the strictest lockdown measures end. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2020

2019SantaFe

Barring some health miracle and a financial windfall distributed evenly across the country’s populace, U.S. auto sales are in for a grim 2020. IHS Markit predicts a 26.7-percent slump for the year. April, which bore the full brunt of state-level lockdown measures, saw numerous automakers, perhaps all, return their worst monthly showing in years — or decades.

Amid all this dismal sales news and OEM financial bloodletting is a ray of hope for automakers and dealerships alike. States are opening up, and with declining COVID-19 cases in several major markets — and the approval of online sales in others — volume is on the upswing. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2020

2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e blue - Image: Toyota

It’s the Toyota Prius’ party and it can cry if it wants to. Two decades after its North American debut, the Prius is reportedly set to mark the occasion with a special edition. Whether or not the new reigning champ of the hybrid scene, the Prius’s own RAV4 Hybrid stablemate, is invited to the bash remains unknown.

Yes, the Prius has come a long way since its 2001 introduction, but time can either solidify a front-runner’s position or see it fall behind the pack, overtaken by changing trends. The Prius falls into the latter category. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2020

Amid steep drops in operating profit and a dismal sales outlook, both Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler are appealing to the state in a bid to generate sales demand.

Both automakers appealed to the German government for assistance on Wednesday, Reuters reports, ahead of a meeting of auto industry leaders. With vehicle production making up a big part of Germany’s GDP, the shutdowns enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19 has left the sector hurting. That pain is expected to last through 2020. (Read More…)

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