New Car Sales Projected to Rise in January Despite Seasonal Slowdown

First Up 01/31/24

New Car Sales Projected to Rise in January Despite Seasonal Slowdown

This month’s new car sales are set to rise from last January but decline from December, according to a preliminary forecast from Cox Automotive. According to CBT News, in early 2023, the auto market was still heavily constrained by supply chain disruptions and manufacturing delays stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was not until the second quarter that conditions became more favorable, allowing the industry to make considerable gains in terms of production and meeting demand. As a result, Cox Automotive expects new car sales to rise 8.3 percent year-over-year this month, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.8 million compared to the pace of 15.1 million observed last January. While these results reflect marked annual improvements, they also represent a sharp decline from late 2024. In December, new car sales rose approximately 6.2 percent from the previous year, reversing a seasonal slump witnessed in the first half of the fourth quarter. This strong performance is likely to overshadow January’s new car sales, with Cox Automotive forecasting a month-over-month decline of 21.3 percent. Click here for the full story.

Charting the Course: Key Retail Training Strategies for 2024

Rapid evolution is the hallmark of automotive retailing in 2024. Dealerships eager to stay ahead need new training strategies grounded in the latest industry trends, including the rise of electric vehicles, direct-to-consumer sales models, and the influence of online shopping giants like Amazon, forever changing customer expectations. At the same time, the return of a competitive retail market means employees need to brush up on basic selling skills, reports Wards. Now is the time to take retail training in a new direction – one that enhances customer experiences and empowers employees by marrying sales skills with technological advancements. Artificial intelligence has already begun transforming dealership operations. AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can help to understand customer preferences, personalize interactions and streamline the sales process. For example, chatbots can have natural conversations with customers to learn about their needs, recommend vehicles and schedule test drives. Behind the scenes, AI analyzes data to identify high-value leads, inform targeted marketing and provide sales teams with real-time prompts during negotiations. Click here for the full story.

2025 Mazda CX-70 Five-Seater Will Go on Sale This Spring

Mazda's new 2025 CX-70 midsize crossover will offer two electrified powertrains, innovative cargo space and sleek styling when it goes on sale this spring. The five-seater is the third vehicle from Mazda's large platform to debut, behind the CX-50 compact crossover and the three-row CX-90, which replaced the CX-9. It's Mazda's first midsize crossover and will be a crucial part of continuing to enhance the appeal of the brand, which has long aspired to move upmarket. The CX-70 could also provide the boost Mazda needs to hit a goal of 400,000 U.S. sales in 2024. "We think our brand characteristics fit nicely in that segment in terms of appreciation for design and driving dynamics," Tom Donnelly, Mazda North American Operations CEO, told Automotive News. The CX-70 projects an athletic and aggressive aesthetic, emphasizing a low and wide front fascia and muscular shape. The styling departs from Mazda's more slender offerings such as the CX-5 compact crossover and the discontinued CX-9. Click here for the full story.

Study: More Buyers Considering Toyota Over Any Other Brand — Even EV Buyers

More U.S. households are considering an EV purchase than many people likely expect, but the path forward for battery-powered vehicles isn't all smooth. A new study from GBK Collective found that half of potential car buyers are considering an EV or hybrid, but the data also revealed that the other half are committed to gas, while most are concerned about purchase and operating costs. Toyota was the most-considered automaker among both internal combustion and electric buyers, with Honda taking the second spot among all buyers and Tesla coming in second among EV buyers, reports Autoblog. Ford, Honda, and Chevrolet were the next most considered brands. Beyond Tesla, however, upstart EV makers are having trouble breaking through into the mainstream. GBK surveyed more than 2,000 consumers and found that, while automakers have so far targeted tech-savvy buyers and early adopters, more mainstream buyers are considering an EV purchase. That said, budget-conscious buyers will become a larger portion of shoppers, so EV prices will become a larger issue going forward. Click here for the full story.

EV Sales Start to Fall in California, an Industry Bellwether

When it comes to cars, California has long served as a trendsetter for much of the nation, both in styling and regulation. But has it now become the canary in the coal mine, signaling a warning for the industry? Following a long, seemingly inexorable climb, registrations of battery-electric vehicles in California fell in the fourth quarter of last year. EV sales have now fallen for two consecutive quarters in the state, even as California regulators set a 2035 deadline for all new auto registrations to consist of zero-emission vehicles, reports Automotive News. "When I think about California's overall adoption, this is just part of this transition. But if we see more quarters like this, it will be indicative of a slowdown," said Stephanie Valdez Streaty, director of industry insights at Cox Automotive. California registered 89,993 electric light passenger vehicles in the fourth quarter, a 10 percent decline from the 101,151 in the third quarter, according to data compiled for the California New Car Dealers Association by Experian Automotive. The third quarter represented a small dip from the 102,991 EVs registered in the second quarter of 2023. Click here for the full story.

AIADA Affinity Partner Happenings at 2024 NADA Convention

AIADA's Member Benefits Program is one of the most valuable services AIADA provides to its members. AIADA partners with best-in-class companies to provide members with exclusive values on the goods and services they need to succeed in a competitive business environment. While you're in Las Vegas, make sure to check out AIADA's Affinity Partners. Click here for a quick reference guide on where to find them at NADA 2024!


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