Archive for May, 2010

May auto sales expected to be up big over last year

  May auto sales are expected to show a big improvement over last year’s dismal levels, but the recent gyrations on Wall Street appear to have tempered car buyers’ hopes that the U.S. economy was out of the woods. “There was a lot of extreme volatility in the financial markets in May, which caused consumers to hesitate,” said Jesse Toprak, analyst at the pricing firm TrueCar.com. He predicts sales will total 1.05 million cars and light trucks, up 13.6 percent from May 2009 when the industry was deep in the doldrums, with uncertainty about the fate of Chrysler LLC and General Motors. But a recent recovery in demand appears to have lost some momentum, Toprak said. He expects the selling pace in May to have slowed to 11 million vehicles, on an annualized basis, from 11.2 million in April and 11.8 million in March. Other …

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Used car values are still increasing

  John Ombres started selling cars in 1952, but the Ambridge dealer has never before seen used-car prices going up at the rate they are today. “I actually can’t believe this, because the used-car market has not been good as far as retail sales,” said Ombres, co-owner of Ombres Auto Sales. The “Cash for Clunkers” program and a slowdown in vehicle sales are said to have caused a strange phenomenon: an increase in the values of some used SUVs, pickups and high-end cars. Cash for Clunkers was a federal rebate program last year that aimed to encourage consumers to trade in their gas-guzzling cars for newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles. In fact, prices for used vehicles listed for sale on AutoTrader.com, an online listing site, continue to rise as the economy rebounds and car shoppers increasingly become buyers. In used vehicles, the big average price-gainers were …

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Used car prices skyrocketing due to shortage in supply

  A used car shortage has caused wholesale used vehicle prices to skyrocket…that’s the message from a blog called Automotive News on the Go. But as we found out Friday, May 28th, that is not the case here in the Tri-States. Gem City Ford Used Car Sales Manager Jeff Wilson says the auctions he gets used cars from still have plenty of quality vehicles. But where you may be seeing a shortage is with the lower end used cars. “The vehicles you would’ve paid $3,000 or $4,000 for, some of those are a little more rare. If you find a nice one you kind of got to hold on to that. And the reason is, when they did the Cash For Clunkers program, you were trading that in and getting $4,500 for it at the time. So if a dealership was offering it for $3,000, …

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Car Dealers showing big increases in auto sales

  The six big publicly traded U.S. auto retailers — which own more than 1,000 auto dealerships and sold about 6% of the nation’s 2.5 million new cars and trucks during the first quarter — have been enjoying big gains in profits. Together, the six big chains reported a net income of $97.9 million during the first three months of the year on revenues of $9.5 billion. While that’s a slim profit margin of 1%, it’s also a 57% improvement over the dismal same quarter a year ago. The gain shows how quickly the U.S. economy is improving and how cost cutting at dealerships over the past year or so — as well as the massive reduction of redundant auto dealerships — is giving more bounce to the auto recovery. In the first quarter, 165 more U.S. dealerships closed, the Detroit research firm Urban …

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Demand for used cars continues to drive prices up

  Fewer used cars means shoppers might have to budget more to buy. According to a recent study by ADESA, the average cost of a used car in April was around $10,579. That’s up 7.5 percent over the same time last year. Auto dealers say cutbacks in the production of new cars along with many dealerships closing across the country leaves fewer used vehicles available. “A lot of my buddies lost dealerships, they didn’t go out of business, they just decided they’d sell used cars and if they were selling 100 cars a month and half were new, now they have to sell 100 used because the cost of being in business didn’t go down so they’re buying up used cars,” says Mike Keil, Bothun Automotive General Manager. Keil says the whole thing is closer to a wash than you might think …

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Used cars are gaining in value

  It’s like driving back in time, used cars like the ford f-150, Volkswagen Jetta, Chevy Silverado 1500, all gaining in value. “That’s beautiful, you know. I would like to have a car that increases when you take it off the lot,” said Jerome Fuller, a used car buyer. Jerome Fuller and his wife Patricia just bought this 2005 Dodge Durango. The National automobile dealers association says it’s value has jumped by 16%, or $1500 in the last 6 months. The fullers may have forked out more, but they’re thrilled to hear their other car has jumped in value, too. “We discovered that our jeep, a 2005 Ford explorer, it increased in value,” said Patricia. The Fuller’s Ford Explorer is #4 on the list of the vehicles with the largest increases. An NADAspokesman there told us “the increases in used vehicle prices during late …

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Used car prices have risen 10 to 15 percent from last year

  Consumers in the market for a used car could end up paying more than they would have a year ago. Car industry experts say prices for used cars have increased between 10 and 15 percent compared to this time last year. According to Manheim Consulting, which tracks vehicle prices, the price for used vans has gone up more than 20 percent in the last year. The culprit? Few new cars have been sold over the last few years, reducing the supply of late-model used cars. Also, rental car companies have been holding onto their fleets longer, which also cuts into the supply of used cars. The price increase is especially pronounced among late models. Scott Lambert of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association says there is a bright side to the phenomenon. “It’s good news for consumers as well because if you’re in the market …

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Used car prices continue to rise

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  There is nearly a full lot of used cars at Nick Abraham’s Elyria Ford, but the longtime dealer and his team say they could use more. A lot more. “I’ve been doing this since 1983, and it’s probably been the tightest used car market I’ve seen,” says Chuck Sturgill, general manager of Elyria Ford. Many models of used cars have suddenly become hard to find, and cost more than they did last year. Dealers blame a couple factors on the current shortage of pre-owned vehicles. “First, the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program last year took a lot of cars in a certain price range right out of the market,” Sturgill pointed out. “And new car sales have been slow the last few years. There just aren’t that many cars out there. Elyria Ford and its associated dealerships have been sending private mailings to current customers, …

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The smartest buy right now is a good used car

  Everyone wants to stretch their dollars, and their vehicles, as far as possible. One local car dealership told us recently that motorists are keeping their cars longer than usual. People are buying vehicles, but only when continuing to repair their old one no longer makes good financial sense. And when they do upgrade, many are looking at newer, pre-owned vehicles instead of brand-new. KHQA’s Jarod Wells talked to a local mechanic to find out what you need to look for on a used car before you go ahead with that purchase. Tom Haggerty has been working on cars for more than 30 years. He’s seen quite a few people make the same mistake when buying a used car, either from a dealership or from the previous owner. Tom Haggerty said, “We have a lot of people say it looks nice. Granted, when you’re selling a …

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New and used car sales growth to plateau within the next year

  Vehicle dealers expect new vehicle sales growth to plateau within the next six to 12 months despite the strong rebound in sales in the first quarter of this year compared with last year. This was one of the findings from the latest WesBank vehicle sales confidence indicator released yesterday, which also revealed that the confidence rating of dealers rose on a 10-point scale from 5.5 in January to 5.8 last month, the highest score achieved since the inception of the indicator at the end of 2007. The latest confidence rating is strongly higher than the score of 4.2 in April last year and the fourth consecutive improvement in the confidence rating of dealers since then. Chris de Kock, the executive head of sales and marketing at WesBank, said yesterday that it was significant as hardly any dealers reported that sales activity was “very …

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