Audi January U.S. sales increase 20% to set another monthly record

A picture taken on 30 January 2011 shows the Audi logo at a stand at the airport in Munich, Germany, 30 January 2011. Photo: Tobias Hase

Audi News.com announced that Audi’s January sales in the U.S. increased 20%, which set another monthly record.

The strong January 2011 results followed the best year that the luxury brand has seen in the U.S. as sales surpassed 100,000 for the first time to finish the full year at 101,629 vehicles. The 8.6% share that Audi held in overall U.S. imported luxury vehicle sales at the end of 2010 also set a record for the brand.

Audi models have already earned significant awards in the U.S., including the Edmunds.com Technology Breakthrough Award to the 2011 Audi A8, four category winners in the Strategic Vision 2010 Total Value Index and the EyesOn Design “Best Production Vehicle” awarded to the Audi A6, which is scheduled to arrive this Fall.

Read the full press release.

  

December 2010 car sales by the numbers

(FILE)An archive photo dated on 14 August 2009 shows factory new automobiles of different makes standing in Hamburg Harbour, Germany. For the first time in the whole year of 2010, more cars have been sold in December inGermany than in the same month last year, around seven percent more than in December 2009. 2009 was indeed a record year for auto sales, because of the scarppage allowance, 3.8 million cars were licensed. Photo: Maurizio Gambarini

December car sales rebounded from 2009 and 2010 turned into a “decent” year for the U.S. auto industry . All signs are 2011 “should” continue to grow back to pre-meltdown levels. Here is a December 2010 breakdown from AutoBlog.com from each brand and there are a few surprises in there.

December sales ended 2010 on a largely positive note for most manufacturers. You’re probably more interested, however, in how these brands and companies performed for the entire year of 2010. Hold on to your Sirius satellite radios, because those numbers are on their way, but first we have to dispense with December.

There’s actually nothing too shocking in the sales numbers for December, as most manufacturers finished strongly, with an increase in sales versus December 2009, and those that were down were either not down by very much (Lexus, Jaguar, Toyota and Dodge) or are the usual suspects (Mercury, Lincoln, Volvo, Chrysler and Smart).

Dodge and Chrysler are looking forward to selling significantly updated hardware in 2011, while Toyota will continue to work its way out of the dog house with those consumers that lost some faith in the Japanese juggernaut during its recall debacle in 2010. With that in mind, we expect even more brands to be bragging about the blockbuster year of sales they just had when the next new year rolls around.

Read the full article.

  

New no. 1. Ford sales top GM, Toyota

New no. 1. Ford sales top GM, Toyota! It’s a whole new ballgame and Ford just won the first inning. Looks like at this point in time Ford has the “right stuff”.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Recall-plagued Toyota Motor reported a 9% drop in U.S. sales in February, but it appears other automakers didn’t gain as much from Toyota’s problems as expected.

Even Ford Motor, which posted strong sales to vault ahead of Toyota and GM to claim the market lead in the U.S., said it didn’t believe its gains were a result of Toyota’s problems.

Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, said the company believes many traditional Toyota customers sat on the sidelines instead of buying a car from another automaker.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Mixed reviews on the government’s cash for clunkers program

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Many are hopeful that the federal government’s new cash for clunkers program will provide a much-needed boost to the American auto industry at a time when the recession is crushing auto sales. BusinessWeek, however, calls the new program a “lemon.”

The problem with the law is that it is both underfunded and too narrow to generate a spike in showroom traffic. Standard & Poor’s (MHP) says the most it will do is boost sales by 3% for the year; a similar German program pushed sales up 30% a month this year. “This is a waste of taxpayers’ money,” says analyst John Wolkonowicz of Boston research firm IHS Global Insight (IHS). “There won’t be enough people who can take advantage of it.”

First off, the feds have approved only $1 billion for the program. That could help fund the purchase of just 250,000 cars—not much more than a week’s worth at current sales levels—between August, when the program likely will start, and Nov. 1, when it ends.

Plus, the law makes little sense for most passenger-car owners. The government will cut checks of $3,500 to $4,500 to dealers so they can buy old cars that get 18 miles per gallon or less and then sell the owner a more fuel-efficient replacement. But most cars on the road get more than 18 mpg, so they won’t qualify. And many that are thirsty enough to warrant the deal are luxury models worth a lot more than $3,500 to $4,500. If a consumer can sell the old car for more than what the government will pay, there’s no reason to take advantage of the bill, says Wolkonowicz.

Yes, there are plenty of old cars that do qualify. But many are 10 years old or more, says Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. People driving cars that ancient often buy used, and even with a $4,500 discount, they probably won’t want to take on new-car payments during a time of economic hardship.

This is a pretty downbeat view. The article points out that the program should be bigger, but if it’s successful you can be sure that Congress and the Obama administration will push to expand it.

Reuters takes a much more positive view, pointing out that the law is spurring certain buyers to trade in old vehicles.

Having driven the equivalent of six smoke-belching laps of the planet, Tony Metzler figured his ageing Chevrolet Blazer SUV would not make a good trade for a new car. Until now that is.

With a $1 billion (621 million pounds) federal “Cash for Clunkers” program that pays consumers $3,500 or $4,500 in credit to swap ageing gas-guzzlers for new, more fuel efficient models, he made the plunge.

“It ended up being right place, right time for me,” said Metzler, 42, who traded his eight-year-old sport utility vehicle for a new Chevrolet Equinox this week. “It seemed like a good opportunity.”

The program signed into law by President Barack Obama in June offers a trade-in credit of up to $4,500 to owners of cars built since 1984, with fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less.

It also applies to SUV, vans and pickup trucks. Participating dealers assess the discount, apply it to the new vehicle, and then obtain reimbursement from the government. Details of eligibility are available at www.cars.gov.

Metzler, a Phoenix-valley insurance executive, had racked up 150,000 miles (240,000 kilometres) in his old SUV that averaged 17 miles per gallon. He got a $3,500-credit towards his new car, which gets a slender 3 mpg improvement.

The program, which backers hope will arrest the auto industry’s slide and sell 250,000 new vehicles this year, runs through November 1 or until funds are exhausted. It has been broadly welcomed by auto dealers across the country.

For more information on the program, check out Cash for Clunkers Facts.

  

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