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Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside This Issue
Ford Sales Up 6%; GM Flat; Chrysler Spikes 27%
Trucks, SUVs Power Strong Auto Sales in October
Inventory Shortages Extend Toyota Sales Decline
Nissan Raises Profit Forecast as It Recovers Faster Than Rivals From Quake
Big VW Sales Jump, Audi Sets Record as Euro Brands Excel
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Top Stories
Ford Sales Up 6%; GM Flat; Chrysler Spikes 27%

U.S. car and truck sales were up 7.5 percent in October, making it the industry's best month since February. Chrysler Group LLC saw the biggest sales gain, up 27 percent year-over-year on the strength of its new and refreshed vehicles. Ford Motor Co. sales were up 6.2 percent, climbing to 167,502 from 157,650 in October 2010. General Motors Co. posted the weakest increase of the Detroit Three. Its sales increased from 183,543 to 186,895, a gain of 1.8 percent. Still, Don Johnson, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, called October a "lumpy month" that saw some products gain ground, while others ceded it to foreign competitors. "We did see some of the Japanese manufacturers start to regain their footing," he acknowledged during a conference call Tuesday.
Source: The Detroit News

Editor’s note: Higher new-car sales through the end of October have resulted in some new brands and models near the top of the sales totals, says Paul Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). The Toyota Camry remains the year-to-date sales leader among cars, followed by the Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion. For trucks, the Ford F-Series remains No. 1, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford Escape. “As we close in on NADA’s estimated 12.7 million units of sales for 2011, brand share will continue to shift because of production disruptions in Japan and Thailand, hot-selling new models and rising incentives,” Taylor added. With interest rates low and third quarter growth reasonable at an estimated 2.5 percent, according to the government, Taylor says only an unexpected escalation of financial difficulties in Europe could derail a strong finish to the year for U.S. auto sales. The current sales rate to date is 12.6 million units.

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Trucks, SUVs Power Strong Auto Sales in October

Fans of SUVs and trucks shoved car buyers aside last month, helping the auto industry to its best October in four years. The shift was a boon for Detroit's automakers, who posted sizeable increases in sales of pickups like the Ram and Chevy Silverado, big SUVs like the Ford Explorer and compact models like the Ford Escape. Detroit automakers barely increased their incentive spending in October, but they did shift their marketing to trucks, a typical move during football season. Truck buyers paid attention. Ford Motor Co. said sales of its Explorer SUV more than tripled from a year ago, while F-Series truck sales were up 7 percent.
Source: The Associated Press

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Inventory Shortages Extend Toyota Sales Decline

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. sales fell 8 percent in October as the automaker struggled to backfill inventories crimped by the March earthquake. The decline in sales was the smallest on a percentage basis since the quake and left Toyota's U.S. sales down 9 percent this year through October in a market that has advanced 10 percent. However, with inventories sharply on the rise, Toyota is launching its Toyotathon and Lexus "December to Remember" sales events this week, rather than closer to Thanksgiving. "We are really in a much different place beginning November than we were a month ago. The shortages are really behind us," [said Bob Carter, Toyota Division general manager.]
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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Nissan Raises Profit Forecast as It Recovers Faster Than Rivals From Quake

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second- biggest automaker, raised its profit forecast as it recovered faster than Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. from the country’s record earthquake in March. Nissan raised its annual sales forecast after it sold more Sunny sedans in China, while Toyota and Honda delivered fewer cars globally last quarter. Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn is now stepping up his efforts to expand in China as he seeks to boost Nissan’s share of the world’s biggest automobile market fivefold to 10 percent by 2016. “In spite of unfavorable currency fluctuations, numerous natural disasters and a volatile global economy, we remain on track to deliver a significantly profitable full-year performance,” Ghosn said in a statement.
Source: Bloomberg

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Big VW Sales Jump, Audi Sets Record as Euro Brands Excel

Sales of European auto brands exceled in October, lead by Volkswagen, which continues to report fantastic monthly sales jumps in the U.S. VW's October sales were up a hefty 39.6% vs. a year earlier. The first 10 months this year, VW sales are 23.8% better than they were a year ago. The redesigned, Americanized Jetta compact sedan gets most of the credit, posting an October tally 51.5% better than a year earlier and remaining, by far, the best-selling VW. VW now has "the right products in the heart of key segments," says Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of VW Group of America.
Source: USA Today

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The NADA Story

In 1917, thirty auto dealers traveled to the nation’s capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that experience was born the National Automobile Dealers Association. Today, NADA represents nearly 16,000 new-car and -truck dealerships with 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international.

"We've gone through a tough six months. The shortages are really behind us."

    -- Bob Carter, general manager of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., on inventory shortages caused by the March earthquake in Japan, which led to a small sales decline in October, Automotive News, Nov. 1

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