BLOG: Jesse Snyder

Look out! Still water ahead

Posted 4:30 pm U.S. ET, July 1
blogs Jesse Snyder is opinion page editor at Automotive News.
 
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
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Subaru hot; Hyundai-Kia not; Ford's cozy spot

Posted 5:15 pm U.S. ET, June 2
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
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April like a dry day at harvest time - no time to sit back

Posted 5:15 pm U.S. ET, May 1
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
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Midsize with a four-banger or large and loaded? How auto insurance affects consumers' buying power

Posted 11:32 am U.S. ET, April 23
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
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March's thin win: No dip, less zip

Posted 4:56 pm U.S. ET, April 1
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
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In February snow, buyers want 4x4s

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 3
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 ...
     Continue reading "In February snow, buyers want 4x4s" » Mar 3, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why does Ford race? Because it can

Posted 3:56 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 27
DETROIT -- He’s not yet taking orders from Jay Leno for the Ford GT and GT350R, but Dave Pericak still has a full plate. The director of Ford Performance related some juicy details to a rapt Automotive Press Association audience today at the Detroit Athletic Club, fleshing out what the December consolidation of Ford Motor’s various racing and performance opera ...
     Continue reading "Why does Ford race? Because it can " » Feb 27, 2015 3:56 pm U.S. ET
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Chill it now, but hold the champagne for later

Posted 2:45 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 3
Skip the headlines. Ignore the gaudy 14 percent gain. January was a solid auto sales month, not a great one. Of course, U.S. auto sales jumped 14 percent compared with January 2014. If you can’t outsell the month of the Polar Vortex (cue the boxing arena announcer: “POH-lar VORRRR-TEX”), you’re in real trouble. The 16.7 million seasonally adjusted ...
     Continue reading "Chill it now, but hold the champagne for later " » Feb 3, 2015 2:45 pm U.S. ET
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Love the displays, but where's the color?

Posted 4:38 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
DETROIT -- Every year, auto show displays get better -- yet somehow less distinctive. This Detroit auto show is chock full of lavish, well-conceived and well executed backdrops specifically designed to show off each manufacturer’s latest products. Everybody on the main floor here obviously thought “Go big or go home.” Each individual display shines on it ...
     Continue reading "Love the displays, but where's the color?" » Jan 12, 2015 4:38 pm U.S. ET
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Why the growth in U.S. luxury sales gets tricky

Posted 7:59 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 11
Luxury automakers can expect their niche to expand. But reaching customers will get harder as Millenials increasingly enter the market. A Society of Automotive Analysts conference Sunday before the Detroit auto show press days was all about the changing U.S. luxury auto market. Lots of data and insight from several speakers, but the takeaway was dead simple. Luxury custo ...
     Continue reading "Why the growth in U.S. luxury sales gets tricky" » Jan 11, 2015 7:59 pm U.S. ET
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Pricing: The extra icing on the cake in a great year

Posted 4:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 5
The counting’s done, so it’s official: 2014 was a great year. We can all rattle off lots to celebrate: fifth straight year of sales growth, 13 brands setting U.S. sales records, 6 million-plus units higher than 2009 and more growth forecast for 2015. But for me, one feel-good factoid trumps everything. The industry’s average transaction prices are still ...
     Continue reading "Pricing: The extra icing on the cake in a great year" » Jan 5, 2015 4:45 pm U.S. ET
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The good times keep rolling along

Posted 5:00 pm U.S. ET, Dec. 2
We’re merrily motoring down the monthly sales expressway, scarcely a pothole in the past 60 reports. We opened the throttle in November and the road ahead looks clear and dry. The whole industry is anticipating the latest milestones of progress along the way: 2014 will be the fifth straight year of higher sales, likely 6 million units above 2009 and the first year s ...
     Continue reading "The good times keep rolling along" » Dec 2, 2014 5:00 pm U.S. ET
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Weep not for pickup makers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 3
October looked like a happy month for big pickups with sales rising 10 percent, outperforming a strong overall U.S. market. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find pickup manufacturers who are really, really, really happy. The 10-month numbers for the segment look pretty good too. Sales are up 7 percent to 1.7 million units, just ahead of the market’s 6 percen ...
     Continue reading "Weep not for pickup makers" » Nov 3, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why Detroit is a small town, big city for auto dealers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 20
On Thursday night, I watched dealer Karl Zimmermann officially dedicate his refurbished George Matick Chevrolet building in Redford Township, Mich. Like every grand opening, it was highly predictable: food, drink, balloons, local performers, extra shiny vehicles and some speechifying. Like every grand opening, it was unique. Highly personal to all gathered. Pick a day, ...
     Continue reading "Why Detroit is a small town, big city for auto dealers" » Sep 20, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Get trucky, get lucky

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 3
What a bubbly month August turned out to be. Good news pretty much anywhere you look. U.S. auto sales up. Lotsa folks won big percentage gains. Average transaction prices rose more than incentives. And a Labor Day surprise pushed the month beyond merely matching last year’s blowout August into the best monthly selling rate since January 2006. But forget the normal ...
     Continue reading "Get trucky, get lucky" » Sep 3, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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An impressive streak, locked and still going

Posted 4:15 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 1
With July volume up 9 percent and full-year forecasts ramping higher, 2014 is increasingly appearing locked in as the fifth straight year of U.S. auto sales growth. Take a moment to savor that. Hot streaks of five years or more are rare in this industry. It has happened just five other times this century and last — and only one of those would be remembered by anyb ...
     Continue reading "An impressive streak, locked and still going" » Aug 1, 2014 4:15 pm U.S. ET
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