NADA Headlines - 08/30/2013 (Plain Text Version)
August sales will be announced next week, but early numbers say that it has been an exceptionally good month for new-car sales so far with two days left to go – including the kickoff to Labor Day weekend. Automotive News is reporting that forecasters are expecting this month to be the strongest single month since 2006 with retail sales projected to be around 1.27 million units.
More and more Americans are ready to get rid of their old clunkers for a new car and that's presenting a good problem for the nation's automakers: How to keep up. "The neatest thing is the pent-up demand," Ford CEO Alan Mulally told CNBC on Thursday, due to drivers holding on to their cars and trucks longer. The average age of vehicles on the road is 11 years old, he continued, which in many cases makes it "economically obsolete" to keep pouring money into repairs.
Nissan Motor Co., the most prolific electric-car maker, has begun selling green-car credits under California’s clean-air rules. The only automaker that had previously disclosed doing so is Tesla Motors Inc. California requires large automakers to sell electric or other zero-emission vehicles in proportion to their share of the largest U.S. state market for cars and trucks. Nissan has delivered enough of its all-electric Leaf hatchbacks that it has started selling excess credits, Executive Vice President Andy Palmer told reporters in Irvine, California, this week. Nissan sold 11,703 Leafs in the U.S. this year through July, more than triple a year earlier, and should deliver 20,000 or more for all of 2013, said Jose Munoz, the carmaker’s head of sales for the Americas. That would be more than double the 9,819 it sold in all of last year.
Editor's note: Jose Munoz is the featured keynote speaker at the 2013 Western Automotive Conference, held Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The half-day event, presented by NADA and J.D. Power, precedes press days at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2nd annual conference, held in partnership with the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association and California New Car Dealers Association, includes panel sessions and presentations from industry leaders that will provide attendees with a unique perspective on the U.S. economy and auto industry. Click here to register. [return to top]
In an effort to attract young people to cars, automakers
have set up shop in Silicon Valley and are looking to the digital world
as a way to lure them. Millennials are driving less and , and automakers
are left to figure out how to compete not just with each other but also
with consumer electronics. Cars used to represent freedom — now
everyone knows, including carmakers, that's not true anymore. For
millennials — and almost everyone else — freedom is now the cellphone.
The 55- to 64-year-old age group, the oldest of the
boomers, has become the cohort most likely to buy a new car, according
to a recent study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation
Research Institute. Keith Naughton and Jason Harper report on Bloomberg
Television's "Taking Stock."
Sometime before the end of this decade, General Motors will put a car on the road that can almost drive itself. The automaker says the system, called "Super Cruise," uses radar and cameras to steer the car and keep it between lane lines. Also, the radar keeps the car a safe distance from cars ahead of it, and it will brake to a complete stop if necessary.
Auto makers today are using radars, lasers and other
sensors in some vehicles to help drivers avoid crashes by detecting
what's around them. But what about potential dangers lurking out of
sight, such as a pedestrian stepping out into traffic from behind a
parked car? Honda Motor Co. thinks it has a solution for that. The
Japanese auto maker is working on technology that alerts pedestrians to
oncoming cars and sends a warning to their cellphones if they're about
to be struck. Likewise, the technology also warns drivers of crossing
pedestrians and passing motorcycles blocked from view.
For two years, Nissan has enjoyed muscling other
automakers aside for the attention of college-football fans with its
multi-dimensional “Heisman House” campaign. And this fall for its third
year, the brand has added a potent new weapon: broader involvement with
partner ESPN. The brands joined for each of the first two years in
associating Nissan with the Heisman Trophy, the most hallowed icon in
the game. As a result, Nissan has created the most significant
association of any auto brand with a sports property that offers
guaranteed exposure to a broad demographic whose members often can be as
passionate about their car choices as they are about their alma maters.