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BLOG: Jesse Snyder
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It’s been a great year for U.S. auto sales. Monthly totals keep beating expectations -- and year-ago numbers.
So a solid November isn’t a surprise. But it didn’t end the suspense: Will 2015 U.S. auto sales surpass the 17.4 million record set in 2000?
The short answer: More likely than not.
“It’ll be a photo finish,” says Eric Lyman, v ... Continue reading "In chase for record, it all comes down to December's deals" » Dec 1, 2015 4:15 pm U.S. ET Permalink
We’re 10 months into the best U.S. auto sales year.
I’m calling it early. After a terrific October, I think 2015 light-vehicle volume will top the previous peak in 2000 of 17,395,142 sales.
Wait. Don’t pop that cork just yet.
The industry hasn’t yet set a record. And it may not want to this year.
This year’s sales through 10 months are 407 ... Continue reading "Will we set a sales record? (Do we want to?)" » Nov 3, 2015 5:00 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Are you surprised that the Volkswagen brand squeaked out a 0.6 percent sales gain despite diesel emissions violations and stop-sale tags on a quarter of its fleet?
Don’t be. Any sales gain is an illusion. And VW’s worst retail period is just starting.
First, let’s readjust the view of September sales. And straighten the kinks out of a sales calendar tha ... Continue reading "Look again: VW dropping but industry is rocking" » Oct 1, 2015 5:45 pm U.S. ET Permalink
August was another month that U.S. auto sales beat expectations. Did automakers go crazy on spiffs to hit the highest selling rate in a decade? Is the industry’s vaunted discipline finally breaking down?
Auto marketers are still standing back from the edge of 2009’s pit of despair, though maybe some leaned in a bit last month.
August comparisons are skew ... Continue reading "Why the momentum could last" » Sep 1, 2015 5:00 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Jaguar Land Rover's selection of Nitra, Slovakia, for its next assembly plant dashed hopes in the U.S., Mexico and Poland. Was Slovakia's pick just another low-wage choice? Hardly. Sure, Slovak wages are lower than those in the U.S. or Mexico, maybe even Poland. But focusing on that misses a bigger point. The auto industry is on the cusp of global manufacturing parity. If ... Continue reading "Why Jaguar Land Rover picked 'Detroit East'" » Aug 17, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
Why did auto sales flourish in July? “Nothing bad happening,” which as it happens, is my favorite explanation this month.
July’s seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate hit 17.55 million, a bit higher than forecasters had expected. After so many good sales months, why that happened is the real news.
At first, I was tempted to chuckle when AlixPartne ... Continue reading "July's secret sauce? 'Nothing bad happening'" » Aug 3, 2015 4:45 pm U.S. ET Permalink
June was another good sales month. We’ve had a good first half, and a great six-year run-up.
But expect to start seeing some separation among competitors. As sales growth slows, margins thin a bit and rivals eye each other’s customers, we’ll find out which businesses are fundamentally stronger.
June U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 3.9 percent, and three f ... Continue reading "Look out! Still water ahead" » Jul 1, 2015 4:30 pm U.S. ET Permalink
May was a great sales month for the U.S. auto industry, everything a marketer could ask for. Spectacular selling rate, strong pricing power, modest incentives and volume well above expectations.
A 1.6 percent increase doesn’t sound exciting, but most analysts had expected a 1 percent decline because May 2014 was boffo and had one more selling day than May of this ye ... Continue reading "Subaru hot; Hyundai-Kia not; Ford's cozy spot" » Jun 2, 2015 5:15 pm U.S. ET Permalink
U.S. auto sales were good in April. Up 4.6 percent is about what we expected, right?
Solid. Profitable. Gratifying. And yeah, a bit boring. Yet another month of just-fine-thanks.
After all that frantic double-digit growth we’ve had, it’s tempting to wake up and just relax while pondering a second cup of coffee before heading to work.
But we’d be better ... Continue reading "April like a dry day at harvest time - no time to sit back" » May 1, 2015 5:15 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Want $7,700 more to spend on a new car? Move from Michigan to Maine before you insure it.
That’s because U.S. insurance premiums on a new vehicle vary wildly by state, according Insure.com, from a high of $206 a month in Michigan to $67 in Maine. All else equal, a buyer can spend $139 a month more for car payments in the Pine Tree State than in the Great Lakes State ... Continue reading "Midsize with a four-banger or large and loaded? How auto insurance affects consumers' buying power" » Apr 23, 2015 11:32 am U.S. ET Permalink
Hey, look at a smokin’ hot marketplace snatch another victory. Most forecasters expected March U.S. auto sales to fall a bit, but some last-minute fancy footwork pushed the industry back into plus territory by a half percent.
Again. Now 61 times in the last 63 monthly reports that volume topped the year before. Even the two losers weren’t bad: February 2014 sl ... Continue reading "March's thin win: No dip, less zip" » Apr 1, 2015 4:56 pm U.S. ET Permalink
So February U.S. auto sales came in lower than the forecasters figured just a week or two ago. Well yeah! Snow days.
Mid-month, most prognosticators were clustered between a 16.6 million and 16.7 million seasonally adjusted annual selling rate, up 8 or 9 percent from February 2014.
But storms socked in the Midwest and East last weekend, the peak selling days of the month ...