ESA Car Keys | With nearly 1.6M units sold in December — a SAAR pace of 17.8M units — the US Automotive Market finished the year at 17.13M units. A good year by many standards, but down 1.9% from 2016’s record sales of 17.46M vehicles.
ESA Car Keys | The March US automotive market came in short of expectations, finishing 2017’s Q1 at -1.4%. The market’s SAAR is pacing at its lowest level since October 2014 (16.5M units). On the plus side, vehicle incentives are down.
ESA Car Keys | Through three quarters of 2016, three obvious trends in your local auto market: Imports, incentives, and imbalance. SAAR for September: 17.65M units.
ESA Car Keys | That loud thud you heard was August’s US auto market falling far short of expectations and 2016’s record sales pace. The SAAR for August finished at 16.91M units.
Ten points in ten years.
No, we’re not talking about Jackie Moon’s all-time ABA points total.
Ten years ago, in July 2006, Detroit’s Big 3 accounted for 55% of YTD US auto sales (year-to-date vehicle sales for the first seven months of 2006). In July of 2016, we have seen those same three automakers — granted, Chrysler is now FCA — contract to a total of just 45%.
One might guess that Toyota or Honda grabbed a large portion of those 10 massive points of share — worth 1.75M vehicles on an annual basis. But as the chart clearly demonstrates, the balance of share is dispersing in the auto market.
There are “other” automakers, like Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, Audi, BMW — and even VW, despite its recent emissions issues — that have accounted for the majority of this seismic shift in the US auto market.
Looking for up-to-the-minute automotive intel for YOUR market? Follow ESA Car Keys, or tune into ESA’s Top 5 Minute video series, especially Adam Armbruster’s segment on automotive profitability challenges from ESA’s Top 5 Big Digs Webinar on August 24, 2016.
Adam Armbruster is a Senior Partner in the retail and media strategy firm ESA & Company. He can be reached at 941-928-7192.
What we’ve learned numerous times about a “flat year” (Volume +1.1% through 7 months):
Nobody’s really flat. Wide variance from the mean in today’s US automotive landscape, as gainers continue to grab share from laggards.
The second half of 2016 started with a bang, as July’s SAAR hit 17.77M units, the strongest July in over a decade. This tally coincided with a wave of increased incentives (up 5.2% YOY), as average transaction prices dropped. Light trucks accounted for a staggering 61.1% of volume, while passenger car sales were down -9% from July 2015.
ESA Car Keys | Today people don’t test drive cars. Instead, they try them on like fashion accessories. Never before have we seen transportation and personal communication come together like they do in today’s connected car.
Adam Armbruster | ESA’s proprietary engine for driving dealer volume and profits continues to create waves — and market leaders in the automotive industry.
Adam Armbruster | Stairstep programs, “mandated” digital migration, and a forced herd mentality has many auto dealers reaching for the reset button.