Haig Stoddard

Industry Analyst,
North American Capacity Utilization Hits 100% Again in Q1 
Additional North American production capacity in 2016 from a new plant at Volkswagen and increases at existing facilities among other automakers will raise available straight-time production to 18.4 million units.
April U.S. Sales Strong Despite Missing Expectations 
The April market share for CUVs was an any-month high 29.0%, and the 28th consecutive increase over the same year-ago period.
U.S. Second-Quarter LV Sales Pegged at 16.8 Million SAAR 
Potential headwinds could cut April’s SAAR as much as 800,000 to 900,000 units from March’s 17.1 million total.
March U.S. Light-Vehicle Inventory Down 2% 
To maintain Q1’s 16.6 million-unit SAAR, April’s sales volume will need to equal a higher percentage of March’s inventory than indicated by usual month-to-month patterns.
March U.S. Sales Beat Expectations With 17.1 Million SAAR 
Trucks continued to spark the market with March share of 53.7%, well above year-ago’s 51.6%, and leaving Q1 penetration at 54.7%.
U.S. Inventory Declines Second Straight Month in February 
February inventory in two of the strongest selling segments, Middle CUV and Large Pickup, dropped below year-ago totals.
February U.S. Sales Fight Off Obstacles for 12th Straight Increase  2
March’s results likely will get a slight boost from lost sales in February, barring more bad weather or an increase in inventory shortages.
Spot Shortages of Trucks Pose Risk to U.S. Sales 
Trucks have become so popular that January marked the third consecutive month combined sales of CUVs, SUVs and pickups accounted for more than half the U.S. market, the first 3-month stretch that ever has happened.
U.S. Inventory Shows Automakers Balancing Production With Demand 
U.S. January inventory is enough to meet February demand equal to a seasonally adjusted annual rate ranging from 16.8 million to 17 million units without abnormally high market inducements.
Big Trucks Spark U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales to Start 2015 
Sales in the Large and Large-Luxury SUV segments, spurred by monster gains at GM, increased 64% from year-ago, while Large Pickups increased market penetration for the sixth straight month
North American 2015 LV Capacity Utilization to Top Record 2014 Results 
Forecast LV production 3.1% above year-ago will lift North American plant capacity utilization to 101.0% in Q1 2015.
U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Set for Continued Growth in Q1 2015 
A possible headwind to U.S. sales reaching potential in first-quarter 2015 is the Large Pickup segment.
U.S. Light-Vehicle Inventory Ends 2014 on High Note 
In spite of the industry’s increase, five of the eight top sellers in the U.S. ended December with inventory below year-ago.
U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Hit 8-Year High in 2014 
Forecast U.S. LV sales in 2015 are pegged to beat 2014, which would make it first time on record that volume increased six straight years.
North American Auto Industry Headed for Banner Year in 2015 
North American production gains are forecast in each quarter in 2015, but the increases will be stronger in the second half.

Apr 29, 2016

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