Entries in Car Sales (13)


Car Sales Seen Accelerating in 2013

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Car sales are revving up. After a surge of 14 percent this year compared to 2011, forecasts another gain for next year.

Total car sales are likely to top 15 million. As with the improving housing market, accelerating car sales are being powered by low interest rates for consumer loans.

Ford Motor Co. said on Thursday it will expand manufacturing plants in its home state of Michigan. The company plans to spend nearly $800 million and create thousands of jobs by 2015. A Ford vice president says the investments will support its aggressive growth plans.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Leftover" Vehicles from 2012 Can Be Big Bargains

Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This is a great time to shop for a new car because several 2012 models have been redesigned for 2013, so dealers are trying to get rid of the old models fast --and maybe cheap. This insight comes from Philip Reed, Consumer advice editor for auto website

According to Reed, the key to scoring a great deal on auto "leftovers" is that you have to be the sort of person who doesn't care if the body style of your car is outdated. If that's you, read the list below, because this happens every year with a handful of vehicles.

"This year there is a wide range of vehicles that will soon be updated significantly," said Reed, "from sedans, to sports cars to SUVs, and many of them rank among the best-selling models in America." Some of these vehicles will be totally redesigned, others merely "refreshed," and a few will be eliminated.

Here is the full list of vehicles that may have big bargains:

  • 2012 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2012 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2012 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2012 Ford Escape
  • 2012 Ford Fusion
  • 2012 Ford Mustang
  • 2012 GMC Acadia
  • 2012 Honda Accord
  • 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2012 Lexus ES 350
  • 2012 Nissan Altima
  • 2012 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2012 Toyota Avalon

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Automakers Report Better-than-Expected June Sales

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- American consumers may be cautious about spending more money but they are buying new cars. From fuel efficient small cars to monster pickups, sales are up. Both U.S. and foreign automakers reported better than expected numbers for the month of June.

Chrysler saw its best June in five years with sales of the Fiat 500 and Chrysler 300 more than double those of a year ago. Ford had a decent June with sales up 7 percent. General Motors gained 16 percent compared to 2011. Sales of the Chevrolet Volt more than tripled compared to a year ago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GM Reports $1B in 1Q Profits, Despite Troubles in Europe

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- General Motors earned $1 billion in profit in the first quarter of 2012, beating expectations thanks in part to strong U.S. sales, the company announced Thursday.

GM is still 33.3 percent owned by the U.S. government, down from a 60 percent stake at the time of the bailout in 2009.  The company has paid back $24 billion of the $50 billion it received at that time.

“The U.S. economic recovery, record demand for GM vehicles in China and the global growth of the Chevrolet brand helped deliver solid earnings for General Motors,” said Dan Akerson, GM’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Last week Chrysler announced bigger-than-expected profits. Ford, meanwhile, had $1.4 billion in profit last quarter, but that was lower than Wall Street expectations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Car Sales Hit New Highs in March

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The rising cost of gasoline did not discourage Americans in March from driving over to their local dealers to buy cars.

Reports out Tuesday found that domestic automakers enjoyed one of their best sales months since before the recession struck in 2008, as customers took advantage of easier credit to scoop up fuel-efficient vehicles.

Import dealers also saw a flurry of activity last month, with Volkswagen AG reporting its best March since 1973.

Chrysler said that vehicle purchases in March exceeded any month during the past four years, marking its 24th straight month of increased sales.

The company, which is controlled by Italian car maker Fiat, noted that all its lines experienced year-over-year growth as the Chrysler brand zoomed up 70 percent, with sales of Jeep, Ram and Dodge also growing considerably.

Ford and General Motors also saw their vehicles leaving dealer lots in better than expected sales during March.

Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights at, noted, "The recovery we saw in the first two months of the year has some legs -- it was not a fluke.  This was the best quarter since 2008, and it shows that people are more comfortable making big-ticket purchase decisions."

The average transaction price for light vehicles last month was $30,748, a gain of 6.9 percent over March 2011, according to estimates.  Toprak says it proves that Detroit has finally figured out the kinds of cars consumers want in the age of volatile fuel prices.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


General Motors Sells Record 2.5 Million Vehicles in China

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- General Motors and its joint ventures sold a record 2,547,171 vehicles in China in 2011, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier, the automaker announced on Monday.

The company, which in 2001 regained its mantle as the world’s largest automaker, now sells more cars in China than in the United States.

“GM stayed ahead of the competition despite a slowdown in the growth of industry demand thanks to our broad portfolio of appealing vehicles,” Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group said in a statement Monday. “GM and our joint ventures introduced 12 new models in 2011 while expanding our manufacturing and product development capability to meet rising demand.”

GM was the sales leader in China, the world’s largest car market, for the seventh consecutive year.

It’s part of a turnaround for the automaker which in 2008 accepted $4 billion in operating cash from the U.S. government, arranged by the Bush administration, and then a bailout of more than ten times that -- at least $50 billion -- from the Obama administration.

The company is not out of the woods yet, and U.S. taxpayers have yet to recoup the bailout money loaned to the company, however.  The stock, which trades at about $23, needs to get to $50 a share for the government to get all its money back. GM’s pension plan is still short about $22 billion, according to its regulatory filings. The company reported a $1.7 billion profit in the third quarter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Car Sales Warming Up in December

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Along with retailers who make 10 to 15 percent of their holiday sales the week after Christmas, car dealers are likely to have one of their busiest weeks too.

Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst with Kelley Blue Book, said December sales tend to be either the strongest or close to the strongest for car dealers for two reasons.

Many consumers are awaiting for better deals on 2012 models, some of which began selling in September, while others are waiting  for 2011 models to drop in price.  Meanwhile, dealers and manufacturers are not only trying to meet their monthly goals but also trying to sell their cars from 2011 to make room for the new models.

“So if they’re running short of their goals, they will add additional incentives to sell their products,” such as increased cash incentives or cash rebates with attractive financing," Gutierrez said.  "Dealers will try to get a better price and negotiate with manufacturers for new cars also.”

Car deals in December of 2011 differ from those last year because supplies are slightly tighter in part because of supply disruption after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. “There isn’t necessarily a limited capacity, but manufacturers and dealers do not have the excess numbers that they’ve had to unload in previous years,” Gutierrez said.

While Gutierrez said he has not seen as many cash incentives and rebates this year, especially for Japanese cars, he said financing -- often at zero percent -- is widely available and will continue to be offered through 2013.

Car sales will likely exceed 1.2 million units this month, putting December on pace to be the strongest month of the year, according to Gutierrez.  December was the strongest month last year as well.  In 2010, sales in December totaled 1.15 million units, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Prices of Used Cars Soar as Fewer Consumers Buy New Vehicles

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- One of the biggest investments that the average American makes is turning out to be a gold mine.

According to Kelley Blue Book, late-model used cars are soaring in value because of weak new vehicle sales, which in turn is making slightly older automobiles a more scarce, and therefore more hot, commodity.

Kelley, the gold standard in auto pricing information, says that the average one- to three-year-old vehicle is selling for around $23,000.  Compare that to 2008, before the bottom dropped out on the U.S. economy, when used cars were averaging around $15,000.

That's a 16 percent increase annually.  Practically no other current investment boasts such a great return.

Alec Gutierrez, manager of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book, adds, "Consumers who plan to sell or trade in a used car soon will likely see their vehicle hold its value well.  Alternatively, shoppers in the market for a used car will continue to pay more, making it difficult to buy at a discount."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Retail Sales Fall for First Time in Almost a Year

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Retail sales dipped last month, marking the first time they were down in nearly a year, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The decline among U.S. retailers in May was 0.2 percent, with the bulk of the drop due to fewer car sales.  If you factor out the sales of vehicles, retail sales would have actually gone up 0.3 percent last month.

Car sales were impacted by a shortage of imports caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GM, Ford and Chrysler Topped Japan's Big Two Automakers in May

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- May was a momentous month for Detroit's Big Three automakers.

For the first time since 2006, monthly sales of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler vehicles in the U.S. surpassed those of Japanese carmakers Toyota and Honda.

Of course, Toyota and Honda had a unique reason for sluggish sales.  Their production was severely disrupted due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan.

Overall, Toyota sold 33 percent fewer cars in May than a year ago, while Honda's sales were also down 23 percent from May 2010.

May didn't turn out to be all that great for either GM and Ford, which saw sales dip slightly, while Chrysler enjoyed a 10 percent sales improvement from a year ago.

The big winner was South Korean car company Hyundai Kia, with 53 percent more vehicles sold in May, outselling Honda in the U.S. for the first time in its history.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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