Monthly Archives: May 2012


It seems that the used car market has started to stabalize a bit.  Although still strong the wholesale market index seems to have stabalized a bit.  When looking at the past few weeks most car values seemed to have leveled off a bit or slightly dropped off.  With summer coming around the market will continue to drop off a bit before lowering this fall.

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GM, Ford sales drop as Toyota gains steam

David  Phillips Automotive  News — May 1, 2012 – 7:23 am ET UPDATED:  5/1/12 11:34 am ET — Toyota, Nissan, VW added

DETROIT — General Motors and Ford Motor Co. posted U.S. sales  declines for April while the pace of gains at Chrysler Group fell and Toyota Motor Corp. generated another  double-digit increase.

GM sales fell 8 percent and Ford was down 5 percent.  It was the largest  decline for each automaker since August 2010.

Chrysler’s 20 percent gain marked its smallest since July. Toyota’s 12  percent increase followed a 15 percent gain in March, signaling the automaker’s   ongoing recovery from last year’s natural disasters in Asia.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. also came within 1,614 sales of outselling Ford in  posting its sixth straight monthly increase.

Nissan Motor Co. said its April  sales were flat, while deliveries at Volkswagen Group’s VW brand jumped 32  percent to 37,525.

The results from the first automakers to report today reflect an  industry  struggling to sustain the increases in previous years as the  market pulled out  of recession.  Sales rose 20 percent in April 2010 and  18 percent in April last  year.

Still, Chrysler today predicted a seasonally adjusted annual sales  rate of  14.6 million units for the month, higher than most analysts’  forecasts.

And GM raised its forecast for 2012 U.S. light vehicle sales by a half  million units, to a range of 14 million to 14.5 million.

“We expect gradual improvement in the economy going forward,” Don  Johnson,  head of U.S. sales operations for GM, said in statement. “Over  time, strength  in the manufacturing sector and strong retail sales will  lead to more job  creation. That will help more consumers put the  recession behind them.”

The automaker released its corporate totals  hours earlier than usual. Toyota  said full results would be announced by  1:30 p.m. EDT.

GM fleet sales drop

GM said its sales fell to 213,387 units, with fleet volume down 25  percent.  GMC was the only division to post higher sales last month.

Chevrolet deliveries fell 8 percent. Buick and Cadillac each dropped for the  seventh straight month.

At Ford, sales dipped 5 percent, with demand off 13 percent at  Lincoln and 5  percent at the Ford Division. Ford said its car sales  dropped 11 percent, while  demand for SUVs and pickups slipped 1 percent  last month.

It was the first month Ford has posted an overall decline in U.S. sales since  May 2011.

Chrysler said it sold 141,165 light vehicles last month, up from  117,225  units a year ago. Jeep and Ram truck brand sales rose 19  percent, while  deliveries at the Chrysler brand jumped 56 percent.

It was the 25th consecutive month that Chrysler sales have increased.

In addition to new and refreshed models, Chrysler is offering some of  the  industry’s highest incentives. estimates Chrysler’s  discounts  averaged $3,071 per vehicle last month, down 6 percent from  March but up 10  percent from April 2011.

Across the industry, incentives averaged $2,446 per vehicle last  month, down  5 percent from March but up 6 percent from a year ago,  TrueCar said.

Other automakers are scheduled to report April results later today.

U.S. light vehicle sales are forecast to climb 1 percent to 1.16  million  units in April, based on a survey of analysts by Bloomberg.

There were three fewer selling days last month compared with April  2011. GM  said April marked just the second time in the last 10 years  that there have  been three fewer selling days compared with the  previous-year period.

The SAAR is projected to reach 14.4 million in April, based on a poll  of 41  analysts from Reuters, up from 13.1 million a year ago and on par  with a 14.4  million sales rate in March.

Shift to cars

The growth in car deliveries is expected to outpace the gain in light truck  volume in April.

The spring run-up in gasoline prices has boosted consumer demand for cars and  other fuel-efficient vehicles.

Ford said demand for vehicles equipped with EcoBoost engines jumped  77  percent in April. Sales of the Fiat 500 minicar hit 3,849 last month,  and 2012  deliveries have reached 12,699 units, Chrysler said.

Cars are expected to account for 55 percent of industry light vehicle  sales  in April, up from 54 percent in March and 49 percent over the  past two years,  Barclays said in a report last week.

Automakers started April with car inventories that were below normal  — a  44-days supply, while truck supplies stood at a 66-days supply.

Easing credit terms, pent-up demand and a steady, though bumpy,  recovery in  the U.S. economy is giving a lift to new car and truck  sales.

During the first quarter, new cars and light trucks sold at an annual rate of  14.5 million.

U.S. light vehicle deliveries fell to 10.4 million in 2009 before  rising to  11.6 million and 12.8 million the following two years. The  average annual sales  total for most of last decade was above 16 million.

You can reach David Phillips at
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