Auto Market Maintains, Consumers More Confident and Large Vehicles Weaken

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Joe Gumm talks to Haig Stoddard the Senior Analyst at WardsAuto to discuss the WardsAuto forecast for November and how dealers around the U.S. performed for the month of November, as well as what stood out, what looked strong, who stood out, and who didn’t in the auto retail industry.

According to Stoddard, it was not surprising that the market had a $17 million-plus seasonally adjusted rate again, but there is still some of that excess model inventory that needs to be sold.

“I think that the economy is helping. We’ve had two straight quarters of three percent GDP growth, so that is certainly getting people more confident about buying new cars,” Stoddard says.

As far as weaknesses, Stoddard says, “There weren’t a lot of surprises out there; maybe on the large truck side. Pickups did not do as well as they had in previous months, and this is the big time of year for pickups. Also, big SUVs from GM, are showing a little bit of weakness.”

Fleet Deliveries Up with Retail Utility Vehicles Selling Strong

Stoddard says as far as strengths, fleets are up, “The strengths seem to be coming a lot from Ford and a couple of others that had strong fleet deliveries.”

On the retail side, European luxury brands are strong with utility vehicles taking 37 percent of the market in November, which was by far a record Stoddard says. “This is first year on record with utility vehicles accounting for more than one in three vehicles we sell.”

Incentivizing Led to a Stronger Market

Stoddard says a lot of incentivizing led the market to increase from $17 million to the  $17.3 million market that Ward’s is seeing.

“Again it’s trying to get back to getting rid of some unwanted inventory before we get into the new year. I wouldn’t be surprised if December on a seasonally adjusted basis ended up being stronger than November.”

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