Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

New Mercedes-Benz C-Class Getting More Power, More Smarts

Semi-autonomous tech moves over from the S-Class.

by on Feb.14, 2018

The most important of the introductions by Mercedes-Benz at the Geneva Motor Show may be the midcycle refresh of the C-Class.

It’s going to be a busy Geneva Motor Show for Mercedes-Benz, the automaker rolling out an assortment of new models for global or European debuts, including the new four-door AMG GT, the updated S- and G-Class models, the all-new A-Class, and an updated C-Class.

While that compact sedan may only be getting a midcycle refresh it could prove to be the most significant of the introductions considering that the C-Class remains Mercedes’ global best-seller, generating more than 400,000 sales in 2017. Freshening it up will be critical at a time when more and more buyers are shifting from passenger cars to SUVs and CUVs.

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Both the C-Class sedan and wagon models will be updated for 2019, and while exterior and interior changes will be modest, buyers will be tempted with an increase in power, as well as the addition of new semi-autonomous technology lifted from the lofty S-Class and able to handle a limited amount of hands-free driving. (more…)

Maven Making Move to Toronto

Service expands into new country.

by on Feb.14, 2018

GM's car-sharing service, Maven, continues to grow. The on-demand access to vehicles is now in Canada's largest city, Toronto.

General Motors car-sharing service, Maven, which offers customers access to personalized, on-demand mobility services, has opened for business in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

So far, GM has rolled out Maven in more than a dozen cities in North America, including New York and Los Angeles.

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“Toronto has a unique spirit. Residents are constantly on the go and want more sharing and mobility options,” said Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven. “Maven offers cars Torontonians want to drive to help them be there for the moments that matter.” (more…)

Automotive Consumer Debt Continues to Rise

Despite selling fewer vehicles, loan originations rose last quarter.

by on Feb.14, 2018

Americans borrowed more money to buy new vehicles in 2017 despite the fact that they bought fewer vehicles.

The amount of money Americans borrowed to finance the purchase of new vehicles increased again during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to new figures published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of NY said the value of auto loans approved during the fourth quarter increased by $8 billion over the same period in 2016 when sales were of vehicles were relatively stronger. In addition, the value of automotive loans or debts held by lenders increased in 2017 by $64 billion to $1.22 trillion even though overall new vehicle sales dropped last year.

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The percentage of delinquent auto loans also dropped in the fourth quarter to 2.3% from 2.4%, the report noted. (more…)

GM Sales Increase in China as Ford Sales Fall in January

Cadillac leading the way for GM.

by on Feb.12, 2018

Cadillac set a sales record in January in China, now the luxury division's largest market.

General Motors and its joint ventures in China delivered 367,712 vehicles in January, posting a year-over-year increase of 14.5%, but Ford Motor Co. suffered a reversal as sales dropped by 1% to 75,990 vehicles.

Nissan sales rose 13.1%. while Toyota Motor Co. sales rose 12.4%. Toyota Motor Corp aims to sell 1.4 million vehicles in China in 2018, nearly 9% more than it sold last year. Ford’s top executive in China abruptly resigned last month, citing personal reasons.

Sales News!

GM, which is preparing to introduce 15 new or refreshed models in China this year, saw Cadillac set a new monthly sales record in what is now the brand’s largest market. (more…)

Automakers Exploring Alternatives to Conventional Car-Buying Process

Ford paints one option with Canvas subscription service.

by on Feb.09, 2018

Ford's Canvas subscription service delivers a Mustang to a customer in California.

More than 17 million Americans drove off dealer lots with new vehicles last year, and the vast majority of them purchased their new cars, trucks and crossovers the same way motorists have for the past century.

There are alternatives, like leasing, but automakers are exploring even more radical options, some borrowed from the emerging world of online retailing. Ford, for one, said this week it is looking for ways to grow the subscription service, Canvas, that it launched a year ago. That subscription-based service might best be described as a hybrid blend of car buying and car rental, letting a motorist get a vehicle for as long as they want but then return it with just seven days’ notice.

The Last Word!

“As car ownership evolves, we see Canvas as part of our suite of products that address changing customer needs in mobility,” said Ford Credit Executive Vice President of Marketing David McClelland. “Canvas is building subscription products that are relevant to consumers today, and it’s building technology for the future, including billing and fleet management, with a nimble approach to product development.”

(more…)

Toyota Offers Toughened Up TRD Pro Series Trucks for 2019

Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner get new TRD packages.

by on Feb.08, 2018

Toyota's 4Runner TRD shows off its new logoed skid plate at the Chicago Auto Show.

With many truck makers arguing about which one has the toughest this or most rugged that, Toyota’s offers up its new TRD Pro Series line-up to remind folks that there are more than just two or three tough options.

For 2019, the company’s Tundra and Tacoma pickups as well as its 4Runner sport-ute get the updated TRD treatment, which mean a nice surprise for many buyers. According to Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America, plenty of folks have decided that Toyota’s vehicles are plenty tough.

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He noted that more than 40% of Tundra and 4Runner buyers upgrade to the TRD Pro Series package and that number soars to 56% for Tacoma. (more…)

VW Arteon Makes American Debut

Return of the coupe-like sedan.

by on Feb.08, 2018

Volkswagen's Arteon sedan makes it North American debut at the Chicago Auto Show.

With the recent launches of the all-new Atlas and completely redesigned Tiguan, Volkswagen has made it clear it is shifting direction to catch up with the massive explosion of SUV and CUV sales. But it isn’t walking away from its more traditional passenger car segments.

We got a look at the updated Passat at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month and for the Chicago Auto Show VW is pulling the wraps off the Arteon, the replacement for its coupe-like CC sedan. Okay, yes, we’ve already seen the Arteon in Europe, but for the Windy City show we’re getting a first look at the American market model.

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And like the old CC, “The Arteon is Volkswagen’s brand shaper,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen. “This car is the spiritual successor to the CC, but it is bolder and faster. Arteon has the style and performance of a luxury Gran Turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan.” (more…)

Tesla Loses Big Money in 2017: $1.96B

Model 3 production issue escalate expenses, offsetting record revenues.

by on Feb.07, 2018

Production of the new Model 3 has run into some snags, according to Tesla.

Tesla reported its revenues rose in the final quarter of 2017 to $3.3 billion, which was better than last year’s Q4 result of 2.3 billion. However, the increased revenue also brought a bigger loss of $675 million, or 4.01 a share, compared with $619 million, or $3.70 a share.

For the full year, revenue rose 55.7% to $11.7 billion due in large measure to achieving record sales results for its Model S and X electric vehicles; however, the company still lost money for the year and is well behind early production goals for the Model 3.

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The company lost $1.96 billion, or $11.83 a share, this year compared with $694 million, or $4.68 a share, in 2016 as its operating expenses were nearly double from the year-ago figure. (more…)

Hyundai Showing Off New Generation Santa Fe

South Korean maker continues to grow SUV line-up.

by on Feb.07, 2018

Hyundai continues to grow is utility line-up with the New Generation Santa Fe, which will be the largest vehicle in its line-up.

Hyundai’s been making a lot of noise about expanding its offerings within its sport-utility portfolio, including a larger, full-size ute that seats seven people. The New Generation Santa Fe is coming and now we get a look.

The South Korean automaker released a couple of pictures prior to the Chicago Auto Show to give folks something to compare with other full-size vehicles on display. Hyundai doesn’t plan to show off its new Santa Fe until the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Product News!

The new ute is the company’s largest vehicle and the fourth-gen model of the Santa Fe. It “displays a modern and elegant appearance complemented by eye-catching twin headlights and the cascading grille, Hyundai’s SUV-family identity,” according to the automaker. (more…)

US Tax Windfall Doubles Toyota’s Q3 Profits

Automaker revised full-year earnings forecasts for third time.

by on Feb.06, 2018

Despite giving the Camry a stylish makeover the sedan continued to lose sales momentum last quarter.

Toyota reported a 54% increase in operating profit in Q3 despite weak sales in the U.S. However, it was the U.S. that help to double its profits from the year-ago period, courtesy of President Donald Trump’s recently passed tax plan.

Operating profit was 673.6 billion yen, or $5.98 billion, in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, an increase of 214.7 billion yen, or $1.91 billion. Additionally, net income rose nearly 94% to 941.8 billion yen, or $8.36 billion, the company said.

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The results pushed Toyota to revise its full-year earnings forecast for the third time, although its prediction for sales remained unchanged at 8.95 million for the year ending March 31. (more…)