Rising Gas Prices Archives | Outsell
May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Sales

Summer Begins!

Many consumers that did not take advantage of end of the year sales have been waiting to purchase that new or used vehicle Memorial Day. The holiday is one of the most popular weekends for potential car buyers, expecting to come across deal-breaking specials and incentives. Memorial Day is also important for gauging the state of the economy, as it marks the unofficial start of summer and begins a shift in priorities and activities in American day to day life.
Sellers of new and used vehicles have always thrown plenty of promotional muscle behind their Memorial Day sales. This year, however, the stakes are higher. “While many motorists will be hitting the road on vacation, this Memorial Day weekend, it’s also a great time to buy a new car,” according to Consumer Reports. “There are a number of discounts available, and dealers may be more willing to negotiate since it’s also the end of the month and they want to meet their quotas. ” J.D. Power expects nearly 13 million vehicles to be sold in the U.S. in 2011, up 7% from 2010. Read more: Six Reasons The American Economy Needs Memorial Day - 24/7 Wall St.
May was the first month of 2011 when automotive sales started to lose momentum. Fewer incentives and vehicle availability have been a factor. Most hope sales will take an upward turn again with the holiday, but there is some speculation that rising gas prices might deter some buyers, especially over this high-volume travel weekend. Make sure your specials are well-promoted and dynamic to bring in Memorial Day customers, and good luck with your holiday sales!

AutoNation First Quarter Revenue Up 17%

Congratulations to AutoNation and the announcement of their successful Q1 results. AutoNation is America’s largest automotive retailer for new and used vehicles and reported a record net income for their first quarter of 2011. New vehicle unit sales increased 23% overall.

While this is exciting news for AutoNation it is also good news for the automotive industry at large, as those results are reportedly in line with others across the nation. Despite harsh economic times, the crisis in Japan, and continuously rising gas prices, sales and revenue are seeing a huge increase over last year.

Mike Jackson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for AutoNation, said:

“While the underlying recovery in consumer demand for autos remains on track in the United States, due to Japanese supply constraints throughout the remainder of 2011, we are revising our planning assumption for 2011 full-year U.S. industry new vehicle sales downward from 12.8 million units to mid-12 million units. Based on current information, we see significant reductions in vehicle shipments from Japanese manufacturers through year-end, with the resumption of normal shipment levels in early 2012.”

Mr. Jackson added:

“Our diversified business model is resilient and adaptable. We are confident we can manage through the challenges presented by Japanese product constraints. We also continue to be optimistic about the long-term recovery for the U.S. auto market.”

Read the full article from PR Newswire here.

Congratulations again to AutoNation and good luck heading further into Q2 and the remainder of 2011.

What Drove February Sales?

It is no secret that February was a successful sales month for the automotive industry, though some experts are still questioning why.

Hybrid car sales in particular were up, especially for Toyota who has now surpassed 3 million units sold worldwide on their Prius models. Modest but still high numbers were reported from Ford and Honda, even with Honda phasing out their current Civic Hybrid model to prepare for the revamped 2012 version.

Basic retail sales made up the largest percentage in February, but hybrid sales were still up 20% from January across all manufacturers together, and up 39% over this same time last year.

Auto Observer had an interesting graphic of where the manufacturers fell for February sales on hybrid models.

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