06-21-17

CANADIAN SALES MORE NUMEROUS THAN EVER IN MAY 2017; CANADIANS PAID MORE THAN EVER, TOO

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By Timothy Cain - Canadian auto sales surged to record levels in May 2017, surpassing the previous monthly record from April of last year by an 8-percent margin and topping 200,000 units for just the second time in history.

You know it's going well when, in a virulently anti-car market, passenger car sales increase, year-over-year.  And in the fifth month of 2017, car sales did indeed improve, growing 3-percent beyond May 2016 levels.

You know it's truly going well when, in a market that had already seen pickup truck market share climb to 20-percent, pickup truck sales jumped 38-percent to form 22-percent of the industry's volume.

And you know it's going exceptionally well when, in the span of just one month, the relatively small Canadian market purchases and leases 217,000 new vehicles at significantly higher prices than in the past.

According to Desrosiers Automotive Reports, Canada's auto industry climbed above 200,000 sales for just the second time in history.  Up to 11-percent, year-over-year, Canadian sales improved by roughly 22,000 units despite outside-the-norm declines from BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Volkswagen.

While losses at a handful of its brands - including a 30-percent dive at Jeep and a 25-percent downturn at Chrysler - clearly diminished some of its potential, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles still says the automaker sold more vehicles in May than ever before.  FCA volume was up 5 percent to 33,186 units.

The Ford Motor Company led all automakers with 34,475 sales, a 17-percent year-over-year improvement that drove the company to its best May since 1989.  General Motors' 36-percent improvement to 31,149 sales produced the best May for GM since 2009, including the best month in Cadillac's history.  Record sales were a common theme at numerous other auto brands as well, from Audi to Honda to Porsche.

That incentives are high is not news to Canadian car buyers.  According to J.D. Power figures revealed by Automotive News Canada, the average new vehicle discount in May 2017 measured $5,800 2-percent higher than in May 2016.

But the typical new vehicle transaction price grew by roughly $1,400 in May 2017, driving the average transaction price above $37,000.

Selling more vehicles, and selling them at a higher price?  Automakers will take that.  Not only are Canadians optioning up existing vehicles, but redesigned vehicles are arriving in Canada with base prices that reflect the weakening Canadian dollar.  The 2018 Honda Odyssey, for instance, sees its MSRP rise 12 percent.

At the heart of the market, where affordability is key, the Ford F-Series - Canada's leading line of vehicles - reported its second-best month ever in May.  Ram P/U sales reached record levels, nearly catching the No. 1 Ford.  The Honda Civic, Canada's top-selling car, was up 5-percent to 8,616 sales, 11-percent of all car sales.  The Ford Escape, a historic Canadian favorite, reclaimed its old position and led all SUVs/crossovers thanks to a 26-percent jump to 5,397 sales.

Meanwhile, May's extraordinary Canadian auto sales achievements, particularly in the light of steady incentives and rising ATPs, have led forecasters to increase their annual forecasts.  Canadian auto sales reached record levels in each o the last four calendar years.  Through the first five months of 2017, Canadian auto sales are up 5 percent.

If that rate of growth continues, Canadians will, for the first time every, buy and lease more than 2 million new vehicles in 2017.

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01-26-17

GM TAKES TOP HONOR IN IHS MARKIT LOYALTY AWARDS FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

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DETROIT - IHS Markit, a leading source of global automotive industry information, analysis and insight, has recognized General Motors (NYSE: GM) as the company with the highest overall customer loyalty for the second consecutive year.  The announcement was made at the Automotive News World Congress held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show.

IHS Markit loyalty awards are presented annually to companies and brands that demonstrate the ability to retain owners over repeat buying cycles.  They are the only fact-based awards in the industry focused on owner loyalty.  Awards are based on consumer transactions and information obtained from state registration and lease transaction information.

In addition to the recognition of GM as the company with the best "Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer" during the 2016 model year, the Chevrolet Volt, GMC Yukon Denali XL and the Cadillac brand were also honored:

  • Cadillac earned the "Most Improved Super Loyalist" award.  Super Loyalists are customers who make three consecutive brand purchases
  • The Chevrolet Volt and GMC Yukon Denali XL each received the top award in their segment for loyalty.

"Loyal customers are the foundation of our brands and they are the strongest advocates we have to attract new customers," said Alan Batey, president of GM North America.  "The recognition we are receiving from IHS Markit and the rapid market share growth we have seen in the United States follow years of steady investment in new products and every aspect of the ownership experience, including new dealership facilities, advanced technology and customer service."

GM was the fastest growing full-time automaker in 2016 based on retail market share, which was up 0.5 percentage points to an estimated 16.8 percent.  Chevrolet continues to be the U.S. automotive industry's fastest-growing brand, with retail market share up nearly 1 point in the past two years to 11.1 percent.

The Chevrolet Volt had its best sales year ever in 2016, with deliveries up 61 percent versus 2015.  The GMC Yukon XL saw deliveries increase 18 percent in 2016, with more than 60 percent of customers purchasing Denali models.

Cadillac is also growing rapidly around the world.  The brand's global sales in 2016 we up 11 percent to more than 300,000 vehicles, the most since 1986.

About General Motors

(NYSE: GM, TXS: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuiing brands.

 

 

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10-26-16

CONSUMER REPORTS YANKS HONDA CIVIC RECOMMENDATION ON POOR RELIABILITY

Honda

Another ding to Japanese car maker struggling to
maintain its stellar quality reputation

By Christina Rogers, The Wall Street Journal - Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendation for the Honda Civic after owners of the popular compact car reported many reliability issues, representing yet another ding to the Japanese car maker which in recent years has struggled to maintain its stellar quality reputation.

The influential product-review magazine pointed to several problems on the redesigned Civic - ranging from electronics failures to entire dashboard consoles needing replacement - as reasons for withdrawing its coveted stamp of approval for the second time in five years.

Jake Fisher, head of auto testing for Consumer Reports, said this is the first time in recent memory the magazine has yanked its recommendation of the Civic for poor reliability scores, a surprise given Honda's long record for finishing near the top of the magazine's quality rankings.

Honda slipped two notches to number 10 in Consumer Reports' latest reliability study released on Monday, while rival Toyota Motor Corp. held steady with its Toyota and Lexus brands topping the list of most reliable brands.

Honda, in a statement, said it values both customer and third-party feedback and will continue "working diligently to enhance the usability and functionality of these in-demand technologies in our unrelenting effort to create new value for our customers."

General Motors Co.'s Buick brand jumped four spots to number 3 in the latest rankings, making it the first domestic brand in more than three decades to break into the top three for reliability.  Nissan Motor Co.'s luxury Infiniti brand climbed 16 notches to land in the top 10.

"We see across the board as auto makers introduce complex electronic systems they're having more problems," Mr. Fisher said.

Honda made extensive design changes when it overhauled the Civic for the 2016 model year, increasing the chances of problems occurring, he added.

Whereas Honda once took a more conservative approach to model redesigns - phasing in major changes over several years rather than all at once - it has become more aggressive in recent years in moving quickly to introduce new technology, Mr. Fisher said.

In 2011, Consumer Reports dropped its recommendation for the 2012 Honda Civic, citing "lower interior quality" and "a choppy ride, long-stopping distances and pronounced road noise."

Honda has also encountered other quality woes in recent years related to problems with faulty Takata Corp. air bags and multiple recalls on its subcompact Fit.

GM continues to improve in Consumer Reports' reliability rankings with its Chevrolet brand climbing five spots to number 15.  The Detroit car maker, however, continues to struggle with its large trucks and sport-utility vehicles, Mr. Fisher said, with the Cadillac Escalade ranking among the least reliable vehicles in this year's study.

Ford Motor Co. fell one spot to number 18, mostly because of problems with the dual-clutch transmissions in the Focus and Fiesta small-car models, while four brands owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV - Ram, Fiat, Chrysler and Dodge - ranked at the bottom of the pack in reliability.

Consumer Reports restored its recommendation for Tesla Motors Inc.'s Model S sedan after yanking the accolade last year due to problems ranging from battery charging issues to leaky sunroofs.

Tesla's overall score, however, landed it fifth from the bottom as continued reliability problems with its Model X sport-utility vehicle continue to dog its quality performance.

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01-25-16

GM REPORTS THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF RECORD GLOBAL SALES

Global Sales

  • GM #1 in North America, South America and China
  • Cadillac sales up 8 percent globally
  • Buick achieves third consecutive global sales record
  • Chevrolet sales in North America up 6 percent
  • Opel/Vauxhall post best European results since 2011

 

By General Motors, Detroit - General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) global sales totaled 9.8 million vehicles in 2015, up 0.2 percent for the company's third consecutive year of record sales.

"GM continued to grow in 2015 as our focus on the customer and successful new vehicle launches more than offset the challenging conditions in South America and the curtailment of our presence in certain markets such as Russia," said GM President Dan Ammann.

Deliveries in North America rose 6 percent in 2015 to 3.6 million cars, trucks and crossovers.  In the U.S., GM grew its retail sales, which are sales to individual customers, faster than any other automaker.

In China, General Motors and its joint ventures delivered a record 3.6 million vehicles, up 5 percent compared to 2014.  Their lineup expanded through the introduction of 12 new and refreshed models.  SUV deliveries were up 144 percent, led by new models such as the Buick Envision and Baojun 560.

In 2015, General Motors' cars, trucks and crossovers were leading automotive sales in China and its North American and South American regions.

GM has several major product launches underway around the world, including the new Opel Astra with more than 80,000 orders across  European markets and the new Chevrolet Malibu in North America, which began arriving in showrooms at the end of last year.

Global Sales Highlights (vs. 2014)

  • Chevrolet grew retail market share in the U.S. faster than any full-line automotive brand, with total sales up 5 percent to more than 2.1 million cars, trucks and crossovers.  Chevrolet sales in Canada increased 3 percent while sales in Mexico went up 18 percent.  Combined sales for the brand in North America were up 6 percent.
  • Buick set a global sales record for the third consecutive year, driven by record sales in China and record crossover deliveries in the United States.  Total sales surpassed 1.2 million vehicles.
  • Cadillac grew globally by 8 percent, driven by record sales in China and the strong growth in SRX and Escalade deliveries in the U.S.
  • GMC continued to grow and achieved its 6th consecutive year of sales gains.  Based on new and significantly refreshed products, deliveries grew 11 percent to 680,000 vehicles.
  • Opel/Vauxhall achieved its best sales result in four years delivering more than 1.1 million vehicles despite its strategic departure from the Russian market.  Share of the total European vehicle market increased for the third year in a row to nearly 6 percent.
  • In the U.S., GM's total sales were up 5 percent supported by the momentum of vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, the GMC Sierra and record crossover deliveries.  Retail deliveries increased 8 percent.
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