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It's becoming increasingly clear that U.S. new-vehicle sales have passed their peak, with April expected to mark the industry's fourth consecutive monthly decline.
Auto executives are cautiously optimistic about sales in 2017. But that doesn't mean solid if unspectacular gains; it means flat - or even down slightly from record levels.
Dealer-factory relations have always been uneasy in the auto industry, but a relentless fixation on new-vehicle volumes is creating fresh tensions.
The U.S. auto market has peaked and will shrink this year, with manufacturers using unprecedented incentives to support passenger cars through slumping demand, Toyota's U.S. sales chief said.
Proliferating automaker incentives to dealers are changing the retail business model -- and giving automakers increasing control of dealership operations.
The general manager of an Asian luxury-brand store says he spends about 2 hours each day monitoring the store's progress on these factory incentive programs.
As a glut of off-lease vehicles return to the market, automakers are increasingly incentivizing dealers to buy a certain number of them as certified pre-owned units.
Park Place Dealerships created a team of people whose lone job is to monitor and meet the demands of factory incentive programs
A 1.6 percent decline in U.S. new-vehicle sales in the first quarter isn't overly concerning for NADA.
Subaru's U.S. sales rose 11 percent to 54,871 units in March, marking the 37th consecutive month with sales of 40,000 or more. It was also the brand's 64 straight month of year-over-year gains.
U.S. new-vehicle sales are on pace for the strongest March since 2000. Fast-rising incentives are expected to help the industry post its first year-over-year increase of 2017.
Dianne Craig, who has taken over as Ford's director of US sales amid rising incentives and cooling demand, expects to find answers to her challenges in the marketplace, not Dearborn.
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