BLOG: Jesse Snyder

Despite a quirky January, industry is on the right path

Posted 5:11 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 2
blogs Jesse Snyder is opinion page editor at Automotive News.
 
Better run down to the local Asterisks R Us store and load up. The industry always wants January U.S. auto sales to foretell the year ahead, but it’s a lousy month for soothsaying. There’s truth buried in the numbers. But you must adjust for so many quirks, it’s hard to get a clear picture. There’s the usual seasonal stuff: weather, mood and the i ...
     Continue reading "Despite a quirky January, industry is on the right path" » Feb 2, 2016 5:11 pm U.S. ET
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For 2016, some growth, but watch out

Posted 7:15 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 10
It’s wonderful to be starting an expected seventh straight year of U.S. auto sales growth. The record 17.5 million light vehicles sold in 2015 were a remarkable 7.1 million more than in 2009 and the six consecutive years of gain is a string unmatched since the 1920s. But here’s the rub. The longer the string, the bigger the gains, the more likely the unknowns ...
     Continue reading "For 2016, some growth, but watch out" » Jan 10, 2016 7:15 pm U.S. ET
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In chase for record, it all comes down to December's deals

Posted 4:15 pm U.S. ET, Dec. 1
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
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Will we set a sales record? (Do we want to?)

Posted 5:00 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 3
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
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Look again: VW dropping but industry is rocking

Posted 5:45 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
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
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Why the momentum could last

Posted 5:00 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 1
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? No. 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
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Why Jaguar Land Rover picked 'Detroit East'

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 17
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
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July's secret sauce? 'Nothing bad happening'

Posted 4:45 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 3
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
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Look out! Still water ahead

Posted 4:30 pm U.S. ET, July 1
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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