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April 1, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT

Inside this issue
New Light-Vehicle Sales on Track for Record Year in 2016
NADA Partners with MyCarDoesWhat to Educate Drivers about New Safety Features in Vehicles
Lenders Panel Says Worries Overblown
Toyota's Carter Says Sales Nearing Plateau, But Will Remain Solid
March Auto Sales: Ford, Fiat Chrysler Up 8%; GM Up 0.9%
Dealers Bought and Sold More Than Cars in '15
50 Dealers Nominated for Time Magazine Award
Top Stories
New Light-Vehicle Sales on Track for Record Year in 2016

 

New-vehicle sales for cars and light trucks are on pace to reach the National Automobile Dealers Association’s forecast of 17.7 million vehicles in 2016. “We are closing out a strong first quarter,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly at a press briefing during the NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas. “With low interest rates, low gasoline prices and a rich selection of new vehicles with improved fuel and safety technology, it remains a great time for consumers to buy a car.”

Szakaly noted that the average transaction price on a new vehicle was nearly $34,000 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to an increase in light-truck sales and the purchase of more options on vehicles. Low fuel prices are also helping to accelerate a long-term trend in U.S. motor vehicle sales that continues to favor light trucks over cars.

“We expect light trucks to reach 57 percent of the new-car market this year,” Szakaly said. “Consumers appreciate the utility, convenience and cargo room that light trucks provide, and buyers continue to favor them over cars.” Car segments are expected to remain weak this year, with incentives on small, midsize and even luxury cars expected to rise as the year progresses. But Szakaly said this will be offset by falling incentives on in-demand light trucks.
Source: NADA

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NADA Partners with MyCarDoesWhat to Educate Drivers about New Safety Features in Vehicles

 

Partnership Aims to Close Consumer Education Gap

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) today announced a partnership with the MyCarDoesWhat campaign – a research-driven campaign created by the National Safety Council and University of Iowa to help raise awareness of new safety features in vehicles that can help prevent crashes and reduce deaths and injuries.

Research  conducted by the University of Iowa shows that most consumers are unsure about how potentially life-saving vehicle safety features work. Research reveals that if consumers are not introduced to one of these new safety features within the first 90 days of vehicle ownership, they are very unlikely to fully and properly utilize these features.

“While our cars are getting safer, we might not be taking advantage of the new safety features on our cars as much as we can be,” said Peter Welch, president of NADA. “A blind spot monitoring system can’t help you if you don’t have it turned on, and automatic emergency braking isn’t going to keep you safe if you think it’s a substitute for being an active, alert driver. As the main touch point for consumers considering new car purchases, dealers have a very natural role to play here. And by working together, hopefully we can close the consumer education gap, and achieve our shared goal of getting drivers to feel comfortable and confident with all their vehicles have to offer on the safety front.”

The MyCarDoesWhat campaign was created to educate consumers about how to best interact with these safety features to promote safer driving experiences. The initiative uses multi-media educational tools, public service announcements, consumer-friendly videos and graphics, as well as brochures, fact sheets, a new game app and social media platform to educate drivers.
Source: NADA

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Lenders Panel Says Worries Overblown

The state of today's auto finance market is very, very positive.

That was the takeaway from an auto finance market overview by a panel of economists and industry leaders at the American Financial Services Association's annual vehicle finance conference at Caesars Palace on Tuesday. There are a few -- but just a few -- reasons to be slightly concerned about this year's vehicle sales and auto-lending outlook, panelists said. Indeed, in an informal poll taken during the presentation, 54 percent of the audience said their companies' originations will increase this year vs. 14 percent who predicted theirs would decrease, 24 percent who said theirs would stay the same and 8 percent who said there were too many uncertainties or they could not predict. Some media have been quick to report that 60-day delinquency rates on auto loans rose slightly in January, compared with February through December 2015 levels. But Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist at Equifax, dismissed the worries. Even if delinquencies rise, she said, "We're coming off the best part of the best cycle" in a long time.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota's Carter Says Sales Nearing Plateau, But Will Remain Solid

U.S. auto sales may be nearing a plateau, but that’s not a sign of trouble ahead, Bob Carter, senior vice president for automotive operations at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said Thursday. Carter said Toyota expects sales to remain at the current level for at least “a solid 24 months.” He doesn’t necessarily see a steep drop-off after that but said the outlook just becomes murkier further out. “We’re talking about leveling out at a historic, record pace for the car business,” Carter said at the Automotive News Retail Forum at the Encore Las Vegas. “We’re really bullish. While there may not be a lot of growth left in the market, right now is a great time to be in it.”
Source: Automotive News

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March Auto Sales: Ford, Fiat Chrysler Up 8%; GM Up 0.9%

Each of Detroit’s three automakers posted March sales gains as the industry benefited from two extra selling days and a continued strong customer appetite for trucks and SUVs. Ford Motor Co.’s March sales rose 8 percent for its best March in a decade. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also saw an 8 percent sales increase. General Motors Co. sales rose 0.9 percent. FCA’s March numbers were its best since 2006. It sold 213,187 vehicles last month, up from 197,261 the year before. GM’s sales included a 6.9 percent jump for its retail sales. Its 0.9 percent overall sales increase can be attributed to an intentional decline in fleet sales.
Source: The Detroit News

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Dealers Bought and Sold More Than Cars in '15

The buy-sell market was busy in 2015. Public dealership groups continued to consolidate the industry by buying up stores. Indeed, AutoNation Inc. added more rooftops in 2015 than any other dealer on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S. But in fact, private dealership groups on the whole bought more stores than the publics. New buyers, backed by nontraditional investors, helped to raise prices overall. Those higher prices in turn drew some sellers off the fence, including many who, already pondering retirement, decided the U.S. light-vehicle market was close enough to the top to make now the right time to sell. Meanwhile, some large groups continued to get larger, while other groups bought, sold and even traded dealerships to meet strategic goals.
Source: Automotive News

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50 Dealers Nominated for Time Magazine Award

Fifty U.S. auto dealers have been nominated by automotive trade associations for the 2016 Time Dealer of the Year award. The nominees were announced by Time and Ally Financial, the sponsor. The program honors franchised new-vehicle dealers for exceptional performance in their dealerships and distinguished community service. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan selects four finalists and then the award winner. The award is presented by Time in partnership with Ally Financial and in cooperation with the National Automobile Dealers Association. The 2016 award winner will be announced at the NADA Convention in Las Vegas on April 1. Click here for the nominees.
Source: Automotive News

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          "We are closing out a strong first quarter. With low interest rates, low gasoline prices and a rich selection of new vehicles with improved fuel and safety technology, it remains a great time for consumers to buy a car."

             ---  NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly at a press briefing during the NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, NADA, April 1

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