December 4th, 2012 at 11:58am
John talks with the head of BMW’s i Design about the exterior styling elements of the i8 Concept. Guest host Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com gives her analysis of November’s sales numbers. All that and more, plus we have the results of this week’s poll question, who you thought was the biggest winner in LA.
Hello and welcome to a brand new episode of Autoline Daily. It’s Tuesday the 4th of December, 2012. I’m Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com and I’ll have some analysis on November’s sales numbers as well as the SAAR itself, coming up a little later.
BMW i8 CONCEPT
Last week BMW took the wraps off a small EV car called the i3 Concept Coupe at the LA Auto Show. But that wasn’t the only concept the company showed off. John talked with the head of BMW’s i design about the exterior styling elements of the i8 concept.
(BMW i8 Concept can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show)
By the way if you’re looking for more from LA. Check out Autoline’s live webcast from the floor of the show. John gets the scoop about the reveals from the executives themselves. Check it out at Autoline.tv.
And speaking of the LA show, that brings us to the results of this week’s poll question. We asked you who you thought walked away as the biggest winner of the show. And Ford came out on top with 33.8 percent of the vote. A lot of you were impressed with the C-MAX Energi and the Fiesta with the new 1.0 liter EcoBoost. The company was followed by its luxury division, Lincoln which came away with 25.4 percent of the vote. That was a bit of a surprise since Lincoln didn’t have anything new at the show but people loved the fact it displayed some of its classic cars. After that it was a three way tie between Toyota, Mazda and Fiat with each receiving 5.6 percent of the vote. And the remainder went to companies like Volkswagen, Porsche and General Motors. Thank you for participating and we’ll have a new question at the end of the week.
Coming up next, a look at last month’s sales results.
NOVEMBER SALES FIGURES
Hurricane Sandy blew away some October car sales, but, as expected, the payback was big in November.
Consumers in the Northeast headed to dealer showrooms to buy the vehicles they intended to purchase in October and to replace ones damaged or destroyed by the hurricane. The storm recovery, combined with continued unleashing of pent-up demand supported by readily available credit and a host of new products, pushed the November sales rate to its highest level since early 2008.
To be specific, November car sales totaled 1.14 million vehicles, a 15 percent increase from November 2011 and a 5 percent rise from October. That pushed the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales to 15.5 million vehicles, the highest monthly SAAR since the early months of 2008 — pre-Lehman Brothers collapse and recession.
Hurricane Sandy recovery in November benefited automakers with the biggest presence in the Northeast, with Honda being No. 1. Indeed, November was a record-setter for Honda, which also hit its stride with new models including the CR-V and Accord, with the quickly freshened Civic added in November. Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen, which also rely heavily on sales in the Northeast, had extremely strong months. Volkswagen said sales in the Northeast soared 40 percent above a year ago whereas its total sales climbed 29 percent.
But November wasn’t all about the Hurricane Sandy recovery.
Year-end deals and the accompanying marketing – you’ve seen them, those cars wrapped with big red bows – started even earlier this year than last. The actual money deals aren’t that special as incentives spending didn’t increase all that much. Edmunds.com estimates the average per-vehicle incentive in November totaled $2,244 per vehicle, up only $64 from October and down $28 per vehicle from last November. But the ad spending is significant – and it is loud.
Expect more of the same in December. The recovery from Hurricane Sandy will continue throughout this month and possibly into next year. And all of the same factors that have driven U.S. car sales all year long will be in play in December, like the unleashing of pent-up demand, the more widely available credit, great new product choices as well as aggressive product promotions, particularly for luxury cars and pickup trucks.
So we’re teed up for a strong year-end close and well-positioned for a good start to 2013.
That brings us to the end of today’s show. Once again I’m Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com. Thanks for watching and I will see you next time.