Coming Retail Changes Make for a Brisk Buy-Sell Market

First Up 01/09/19

Jan. 9, 2019

More Than Half of Mazdas Sold in 2018 Are CX-5s, and Other Interesting Sales Facts

Last year was a seriously good year for carmakers. Overall, more vehicles were sold than in 2017, and the total number wasn't far off of the all-time record in 2016. Digging deeper into the numbers, MSN says you'll find some factoids tucked in these sales reports, some that defy the trends, and some that are extremes of the public's buying preferences. Click here for several interesting tidbits from last year's sales, compiled for your enjoyment. For example, over half of all Mazda sales were of one model. The company sold 300,325 cars in America last year, and 150,622 of them were CX-5 crossovers, or 50.1 percent. Another surprising fact? Volkswagen actually sold more cars than crossovers. At the end of 2018, the company sold 189,343 cars and 164,721 crossovers in the U.S. And Lexus sold two, yes TWO, LFA supercars. For more interesting sales facts from 2018, click here.

Audi Greets New Year with Both Barrels

Americans may consider the traditional sedan market as attractive as the bogeyman, but the rapid shift in consumer sentiment will not have Audi running scared in 2019. “We plan to focus (increasingly) on the (CUV) segment to get a greater level of coverage, which is keeping with market trends,” O’Brien, vice president and chief operating officer-Audi of America, tells Wards. “But we are still seeing a very healthy appetite across the U.S. for sedans. So as Audi looks forward to a full sales year for its all-new Q8 large CUV, as well as a new Q3 small CUV and its first-ever e-tron battery-electric crossover, the sports-sedan pioneer also will enjoy fresh momentum from newly updated midsize and large sedans including the A6, A7 and A8. The brand’s A4 compact sports sedan receives a facelift, while updates also were made to the TT RS coupe and R8 coupe and Spyder. For more on Audi’s plans, click here.

Three Ways a 25 Percent Tariff Hike Could Impact Dealers and Consumers in 2019

Many are wondering what the markets have in store for automakers, dealers, and car buyers in 2019. While there are many factors at play, CBT News reports that the picture is not complete without looking at the role the federal government plays. One of the main issues many analysts and automakers are keeping an eye on is President Trump’s trade restrictions and accompanying tariffs. In 2018, taxes on imported aluminum and steel added approximately $240 to the production of a new car. As a result, it is likely that this hike increased car prices for consumers by $1,300. Meanwhile, a study on the “Consumer Impact of Potential U.S. Section 232 Tariffs and Quotas on Imported Automobiles & Automotive Parts,” found that higher automotive parts prices will also require dealers to increase the cost of vehicle maintenance and repair. Both are significant hits to dealer and consumer pockets that would likely lead to the next problem. For more on how tariffs could impact dealership sales and jobs, click here.

Toyota Wants World to Use Its Tech That Keeps Cars from Crashing

Toyota, in an unusual move for the cut-throat car business, has decided to share with rivals an automated safety system that uses self-driving technology to keep cars from crashing. According to Bloomberg, the system, known as Guardian, will take control of a car and steer it around an impending crash or accelerate out of the path of an oncoming vehicle running a red light. Click here for video. The technology due to hit the road early next decade has the potential to save so many lives that the automaker felt compelled to share it with any company that would like to use it, Gill Pratt, chief executive officer of the Toyota Research Institute, said Monday at CES. “We were thinking about what would be good for society,” Pratt said at a press conference at the trade show formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, which has become a showcase for driverless cars. “We will not keep it proprietary to ourselves only. But we will offer it in some way to others, whether that’s through licensing or actual whole systems.” For the full story, click here.

Coming Retail Changes Make for a Brisk Buy-Sell Market

Dealership M&A activity is heating up across the country, and it's not hard to see why. Buy-sell experts tell Automotive News that more sellers are coming to market — including publicly owned groups and families without succession options — at the same time that many dealers are looking to expand to prepare for a changing retail environment. It's a combination that makes for a brisk buy-sell market. The third-quarter Blue Sky Report from AIADA partner Kerrigan Advisors estimates the number of auto retail buy-sells at 179 through the first nine months of 2018, up 20 percent. It estimates 296 franchises were sold over nine months, up 22 percent, and multi-dealership transactions jumped 44 percent. "We have seen our businesses transfer to the next generation quite successfully, especially to the second generation," Erin Kerrigan said. "It gets more difficult to continue to defy those odds into the third and the fourth [generation], and we estimate a large percentage of the industry is facing that today." For more, including the single largest deal of the 3rd quarter, click here.

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