NADA Headlines - 01/31/2018 (Plain Text Version)
U.S. new-vehicle sales this month, fueled by higher incentives, are expected to roughly match the levels of January 2017, but the selling rate is projected to decline as the industry prepares for a second straight year of lower volume. Through the first two weeks of the year, J.D. Power says the average incentive spending per vehicle was $3,733, up $94 from the same period last year and on track to set a record high to start the year.
According to some popular opinion, car-shopping nirvana for consumers would be the ability to avoid going to the dealership. Instead, they would click online to buy. Then a purchased vehicle would show up in their driveway. But a new study indicates that’s not a real-world sentiment. The survey says most consumers want to go to the dealership and perceive the salespeople as valuable consultants. Eighty-three percent of survey respondents say they want to start their car-buying journey online and 89% say they want to finish it at the dealership, according to Cox’s Future of Digital Retail Study.
A new study highlighting the flurry of U.S. automotive recalls asserts that automakers and suppliers remain focused on innovation and cost cuts while vehicle quality takes a hit. The study, "The Auto Industry's Growing Recall Problem -- and How to Fix It," shows that automakers and suppliers paid almost $11.8 billion in claims and recorded $10.3 billion in warranty accruals for U.S. recalls in 2016. That $22.1 billion total is an estimated 26 percent increase over the previous year.
To understand why CEO Jim Hackett is urgently overhauling Ford Motor Co., look no further than the surging small sport utility vehicle segment. The U.S. market for diminutive models including the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax has grown more than sixfold since the start of the decade and will surpass 1 million units for the first time this year, according to LMC Automotive. Ford is just showing up with the EcoSport hitting showrooms this month.
Hyundai Motor unveiled on Tuesday a re-designed Santa Fe, hoping the first makeover of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) in six years will help rectify a sales slowdown at the South Korean automaker, especially in the key U.S. market.
New automotive electronic systems watch you watching them, with an eye — an electronic eye — towards making sure you’re informed, alert and paying attention. “Driver monitoring will become an essential feature,” said high-tech supplier Panasonic Automotive, at the Consumer Electronics Show [in Las Vegas] earlier this month. Panasonic demonstrated a prototype “augmented reality” head-up display at CES, which could go into production in the next couple of years.