Scrappage

Polk Forecasts 7% Rise in U.S. New Vehicle Deliveries in 2012

The U.S. new vehicle industry continued to gain momentum as 2011 came to a close, with December deliveries up almost 9% from December 2010. For the entire year, dealers delivered 12,777,939 new cars and light trucks, up about 10% from 2011. The Polk Forecasting Practice expects the industry recovery to continue in 2012, with U.S. new vehicle deliveries climbing another 7% to 13.7 million units. Further growth in the industry will unfortunately be inhibited by the continued weakness in the...
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Scrappage...Got Personal

For those of you who have been in a crash while driving or being a passenger in an automobile, you'll identify with me. If you will, allow me to share my thoughts hailing from a personal auto wreck experience late last month (April 2011).Driving home from work, literally 5 minutes from the office, I was rear-ended while sitting at a stop light by a large SUV who simply forgot to put on the brakes. Wrong place at the wrong time I guess. My precious Mazda6 is thrown into the intersection and...Read...
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India in the Automotive Spotlight

The Indian auto market has been one of my favorites to watch during the past few years even though many times India was overshadowed by China. But now that China is ending their vehicle scrappage and incentive programs as well as limiting registrations in Beijing to try and manage traffic and parking congestion, India's growth prospects for 2011 are getting more attention.In the first 11 months of 2010, India sold over 2.1 million passenger vehicles. A quick view of India's domestic passenger...R...
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Car Production in Germany Moves into High Gear

For the first five months of this year, the production of cars in Germany rose by a remarkable 26%. It was just a few months ago that the German OEMs reported a 10% decline in their production volumes for 2009 due to strong export reductions (-17%). Only the European scrappage schemes prevented the automakers from an even sharper downturn. These trends intrigued me, so I took a closer look at the significant comeback the German auto industry is making so far in 2010. Given the German OEMs...
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The "New Normal" for the Automotive Aftermarket

In a recent interview about how scrappage and other vehicle trends are affecting the independent aftermarket and dealer service marketing, I was asked "What is the new normal?" Well, of course working for Polk, I instantly talked about the new "normal" as being new vehicle sales in the neighborhood of 11 to 13-million per year. And how the normal is not the 15 to 16 million units that the industry thought it was as recently as two years ago.  However, recently at the Global Automotive... Read...
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The Changing Face of the U.S. Automotive Fleet

I think there's some good news based on our annual analysis of the U.S. vehicle population. "For whom and why?", you ask? Read on.
  1. The U.S. light vehicle forecast is expected to be 11.5 million units for 2010. That's up from 2009's 10.4 million... we'll take any gains possible. Good news for dealers and automakers.
  2. The average age of light vehicles on the road has been creeping up as well. It's just north of 10 years as of September 2009. A decade ago it was 8.8 years. This means vehicle...
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Challenging European Market Dynamics – 2010 and Beyond

There has been much recent news and comment with respect to Europe and the sales environment looking ahead. We know from our own experience that the introduction of scrappage incentives can have positive influence whilst in effect, but can also have negative impacts on future vehicle sales. Further, our own analysis has identified unforeseen side effects relative to these programmes with reductions in loyalty rates. Once these programmes ended the loyalty rates returned to normal –...
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The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Keeps up with the Ever-Changing Automobile

This has been a difficult year with many automotive industry challenges; consequently, marketing budgets have been cut significantly. I attended EquipAuto 2009 for the fifth time as a visitor, and the second time as an exhibitor. I must say that the show left me with a funny feeling. Despite rumors of cancellation, the exhibition took place from the 13th to the 18th of October in the North of Paris. The limited number of exhibitors meant that the surface was reduced from six to two halls. I...
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Scrappage Incentives Hurt Diesel Car Sales in Europe

Everyone is talking about the market turbulences caused by the governmental scrappage schemes in different European countries. Much has been made of the fact that many consumers have "pre-bought" in 2009, which will have a negative effect on the sales trend in 2010. But, nobody is really talking about how the scrappage schemes have changed the market structure. I decided to look at the effect of the scrappage schemes on diesel-powered cars to see what the effect on that important vehicle...
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Cash for Clunkers' Success – Who Could Have Known?

Wow...who could have ever imagined all of the buzz, national and local advertising, dealer showroom traffic, new car sales and "trickle down" business the tremendously successfully "Cash for Clunkers" (or CARS Car Allowance Rebate System) would create? Just one week after officially starting on July 24th, the program is already "out of gas," having spent all of the $1Billon of incentive money behind it. Last week, the House of Representatives quickly passed a bill providing an additional $2...Rea...
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Cash for Clunkers - Clarity Counts

I was on a web panel last week that addressed how dealers can market to customers and leverage the U.S. "Cash for Clunker" program starting later this month. It's amazing how many questions surfaced about the implementation of this program and the questions that remain in the minds of dealers about what to expect once customers start calling them. The folks at NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) have no small chore to get everyone running a dealership up to speed on this...Read...
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The U. S. Commercial Vehicle Market Crystal Ball

I can almost see the headlines on CNBC or Fox Business noting that occult store stock has surged, due to the preponderant purchase of soothsayer assistance items. Magic 8 balls will reach the spire of their economic demand since being paired with lava lamps, and businesses will start hiring mystics to work with their economists and business analysts. Maybe that is more than a little far-fetched, but to assure ourselves we never reach the point of crystal ball and lucky rabbit's foot...
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"Cash for Clunkers" - It's a Start

This week, President Obama signed the “cash for clunkers” bill.  So let’s talk about the impact this will have on auto sales this year. In case the basics of this bill are foreign to you, it's essentially a cash incentive. The goal is to motivate us to turn in an older vehicle (that has to then be destroyed) and purchase a new one. The government will provide a voucher worth up to $4,500 to help pay for the new set of wheels. And, you have to buy a new vehicle that’s more fuel efficient than...
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