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Auto sales continued to fall in February as U.S. car makers sales continued to fall with the impact of servere weather, the trade war and threat of tariffs. Most SUV sales fell as auto loan rates pressure and gasoline prices stopped falling. Car earnings give us insight into consumer trends.

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Of the “big three” US automakers only Fiat Chrysler reports monthly forecasts with Ford and General Motors just providing quarterly reports.

US February 2019 Auto Sales Soft

Analysts blame severe weather conditions, the government shutdown and lower tax refunds. 

Auto and truck sales for February were reported Friday and with the advance Q4 GDP just out after much delay due to the Government shutdown they give us a clearer insight into first quarter GDP forecasts. The numbers also help earnings prospects for the auto industry.

February had the polar vortex and new car sales dropped accordingly.

Fiat Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, VW and Honda all reported declines. GM and Ford now report quarterly, but analysts say they are down also.  Mazda, Mitsubishi and Subaru sales were up. Overall, sales are down 2.9 percent with the SAAR at 16.61 million.

The analysts at Kelley Blue Book reported the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $36,590 in February 2019. New-vehicle prices increased $993 (up 2.8 percent) from February 2018, while decreasing $205 (down 0.5 percent) from last month.

Carmakers  Reporting

Carmakers Reporting Monthly Sales

  • Fiat Chrysler (FCAU)
  • Toyota Motor (TM)
  • Honda Motor Co. (HMC)
  • Nissan (NSANY)
  • Volkswagen AG (VLKAY)
  • Mitsubishi
  • Mazda
  • Subaru
  • Hyundai

 

February 2019 Auto Sales

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $FCAU

Ram brand reports record February as sales rise 24 percent. Jeep® Cherokee set February record

  • Jeep® Cherokee set an all-time February sales record.
  • The Ram brand scored another record month as well,
  • Following 11 straight months of year-over-year sales increases, the company's overall U.S. February sales retreated 2 percent to 162,036 vehicles in a soft market, compared with sales of 165,903 vehicles in February 2018.
  • The Jeep brand is returning to a more "normal" sales cadence after benefiting from both the new and old Wrangler coming off the production lines this time last year.
  • "The overall industry is starting off slower due in part to weather, the U.S. government shutdown and concern over tax refunds,” U.S. Head of Sales Reid Bigland said. “We still see a strong, stable economy and anticipate any lost winter sales will be made up in the spring. For us, the Ram brand was the standout in February, and Jeep Cherokee set a February record as well."

Toyota

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) reported February 2019 sales of 172,748 vehicles, a decrease of 5.2 percent from February 2018 on a volume and daily selling rate (DSR) basis.

  • Toyota division posted February sales of 152,626 units, down 6.3 percent on a volume and DSR basis.
  • Lexus posted February sales of 20,122 vehicles, up 4.4 percent on a volume and a DSR basis.
  • Corolla sales up 16.0 percent
  • Yaris sales increased 2.5 percent
  • Highlander sales increased 8.9 percent;
  • Best-ever February C-HR sales increased 7.3 percent;
  • Best-ever February Tacoma up 10.2 percent;
  • Best-ever February Land Cruiser sales increased 52.5 percent
  • LX sales up 6.8 percent
  • ES sales increased by 23.8 percent in February
  • RC sales up 50.0 percent
  • NXh sales up 39.8 percent
  • Best-ever February RXh sales up 52.5 percent
  • Lexus Hybrid sales up 112.3 percent
  • Lexus Luxury SUV sales up 7.0 percent; a best-ever February

Honda

Acura brand trucks set new February mark as RDX also gets record and MDX rises in double digits Honda HR-V sets February sales record, its best month since a June 2018 flood strapped supplies

  • Honda Accord sales rise 2.5% in tight sedan market
  • Honda CR-V gains 1.7%, surpassing 26,000 sales
  • American Honda Total 115,139 -0.4% Cars 51,262 -6% Trucks 63,877 +4.6%
  • Honda maintained a strong sales pace in February, with core models Accord and CR-V posting gains and HR-V setting a record, while the brand-new Passport SUV had its first full month of sales.
  • Despite on-going sedan market headwinds, Accord gained 2.5% on sales of 20,254 units, continuing its retail sales leadership in the midsize segment.
  • HR-V sales rose 4.4% in February on sales of 7,093 units, a new February record and its best month since the full impact of a flood that stopped production for four months last year.
  • CR-V gained 1.7% in February, cresting 26,000 units for the month, while Pilot posted a strong month with sales of nearly 11,000 units.
  • Sales of electrified models (over 4,500 units) remained strong with Insight topping 1,500 units to lead industry sales for dedicated hybrid models

Nissan

Nissan Group announced total U.S. sales for February 2019 of 114,342 units, a decrease of 12 percent compared to the prior year.

  • Nissan NV commercial van sales were 1,439 units, up 26 percent to achieve a February record.
  • Armada SUV sales rose 25 percent to 3,190 units.
  • Versa sales rose 3 percent in February to 7,410 units.

Hyundai-Kia

Hyundai Motor America reported February sales of 45,612 units, a 2% increase in comparison with February 2018 and the seventh straight month of increasing sales for Hyundai. Retail sales in February grew 6 percent as Hyundai’s SUV portfolio continues to resonate with customers, while fleet deliveries were down 9 percent.

  • Hyundai sold 25,024 SUVs, representing 55 percent of the total sales volume. This was an all-time February SUV sales record with an increase of 38 percent compared with February 2018 and the seventh consecutive monthly SUV sales record.
  • Santa Fe and Santa Fe XL total sales grew by 5 percent, while retail sales of Santa Fe were up 35 percent. 
  • Tucson established its February sales record with 9,411 units sold, up 12 percent compared with last year.
  • Kona, the recently named North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, rounded out the SUV sales story with sold 5,686 units sold, including the start of Kona Electric sales.
  • Veloster was also up 15 percent, while the Veloster N continues to receive rave reviews from customers, media and automotive enthusiasts.

Subaru

Subaru of America, Inc. Reports Best-Ever February sales ever 

  • Monthly sales increase 3.9 percent over February 2018
  • 87 consecutive months of yearly, month-over-month growth
  • Best February ever for Ascent and Forester
  • 60 consecutive months of more than 10,000 Outbacks sold
  • 67 consecutive months of more than 10,000 Foresters sold

Mazda

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) reported total February sales of 23,854 vehicles, a decrease of 7.3 percent compared to February 2018. Year-to-date sales through February saw a decrease of 13.4 percent, with 43,897 vehicles sold. With 24 selling days in February, compared to 24 the year prior, the company posted a decrease of 7.3 percent on a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis.

  • Sales of the CX-5 totaled 13,377 in February, an increase of 1.2 percent compared to February 2018.
  • Sales of the CX-9 totaled 2,422 in February, an increase of 5.9 percent compared to February 2018.
  • CPO sales totaled 4,410 vehicles in February, an increase of 20.2 percent compared to February 2018.
  • Year-to-date CPO sales through February increased 14.8 percent, with 8,302 vehicles sold

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA), the fastest-growing Asian brand in the U.S. for the second consecutive year reported February 2019 sales of 13,760, an increase of 6.1 percent over February 2018. February 2019’s sales results represent MMNA’s best February sales since 2004.

  • Eclipse Cross posted its highest sales month since being introduced in early 2018, with 4,291 vehicles sold
  • MMNA’s CUV lineup posted combined sales of 11,968 vehicles sold in February, up 8.4 percent over February 2018
  • Continuing to buck the trend of consumers’ departure from passenger cars, Mirage and Mirage G4 combined for 1,792 vehicles sold, up 35.4 percent over February of 2018.
  • Mirage G4 is the most fuel-efficient gasoline-fueled non-hybrid passenger car available in the United States**
  • 2019 calendar year sales of 22,468 vehicles sold represent a year-over-year increase of 4.7 percent compared to the same period in 2018

Volkswagen Group

VW in February had sales of 25,706 vehicles down 3.6 percent.Volkswagen sales slipped despite a 55 percent jump from the redesigned Jetta. Audi sales fell 12 percent on falling sales of smaller vehicles.

  • Sales of the seven-seat Atlas of 4,795 units in February were up 0.6 percent versus a year ago, the company reported.
  • Sales of the Chattanooga-produced Passat midsize sedan plunged in the month to 2,097, off 31 percent from last year
  • Volkswagen Golf family down 43%;
  • Tiguan LWB up 7.9%;
  • Jetta up 55%;
  • Audi Q5 down 2%;
  • Q7 down 15%;
  • A5 down 15%;
  • A6 up 79%.
  • Incentives: $3,727 per vehicle, up 2.6% from a year earlier, ALG says.
  • Average transaction price: $38,092, down 6.3% from a year earlier, according to ALG.
  • At 12,969 units, Volkswagen crossover sales represented half of the brand's total sales in February.
  • Sales of the Audi A6 have more than doubled through the first two months of the year.
  • Derrick Hatami, Volkswagen of America's executive vice president of sales, marketing and after-sales, said February was "a challenging month." But, he added, SUVs were over 50 percent of total sales and "demonstrate our ability to meet consumer demand in competitive segments."

Read: Auto and Truck Sales Impact on The American Economy

 

 

In 2017 U.S. auto sales fell 2 percent after hitting a record high of 17.55 million in 2016. Sales are expected to fall again in 2018, partly as a result of rising interest rates and fuel prices. There is also a mass  used vehicles coming off lease.

Source: Auto Channel, TradersCommunity

From The TradersCommunity Research Desk

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