Haig Stoddard

Haig
Stoddard
Industry Analyst,
WardsAuto
Articles
August U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Soar to 6-Year High
Results from Honda, Nissan and Toyota pushed the SAAR above 16 million for the first time since before the recession.
Volkswagen Global Output to Top Toyota in 2016
Additional capacity in Asia and North America will boost the German auto maker’s volume in 2016 and beyond, with new plants in China, alone, adding more than 600,000 units annually.
U.S. July Light-Vehicle Inventory Up 11% From Year-Ago
If sales continue at the June/July pace in August, inventory could remain flat or even decline. That could dampen September’s sales somewhat as popular vehicles temporarily will be in short supply.
Large Trucks Continue to Lead U.S. Sales Growth
The light-truck segment could be headed for a 6-year high in market share in 2013. Sales of fullsize models increased 18.8% in July and are up 19.6% year-to-date.
Tight North American Capacity Could Cap Sales of Some Light Vehicles 2
There are just 67 plants available this year to build a forecasted 16.0 million units compared with 85 in 2005 when production totaled 15.8 million.
U.S. Light-Vehicle Inventory Solid for Now After Sales Surge 
Inventory of domestically made vehicles is somewhat low, leading to a reduction in normally scheduled summer vacation shutdowns at several plants operated by Chrysler, Ford and GM.
U.S. LV Sales Surge as Pickups Continue to Soar
Large-pickup deliveries rose 28.1% above year-ago in June, driving the segment’s market penetration upward to 11.8%. First-half sales of the big pickups shot up 21.2%, the highest gain of any of the major segments.
Global Hybrid, EV Volume to See Incremental Growth by 2016
In 2016, the number of EV nameplates in production will total 96, an increase of just five from 2013. By comparison, output of hybrid nameplates will jump from 185 to 234 in the 3-year period, according to a WardsAuto/AC forecast.
WardsAuto Estimates Slight Gain in GM’s May Production
WardsAuto will begin estimating General Motors’ monthly North American production by plant, platform and vehicle line starting with May’s results, following the auto maker’s decision to discontinue reporting the data.
May U.S. Light-Vehicle Inventory Tops Pre-Recession High 
Ford can’t keep up with Explorer demand, even with its Chicago plant working on three shifts and overtime. Sales of the SUV easily will top 200,000 this year for the first time since 2005.
U.S. Market Continues to Ride on Large Trucks in May
Sales of all large trucks, including luxury versions, increased 20.3% in May. Large SUVS and pickups led the way with gains of 23.9% and 23.6%, respectively.
Record First-Quarter North American Capacity Utilization; 12-Month Average to Climb
Ford and Nissan are the two biggest reasons industry capacity utilization is running at 100% or more, but they are getting a lot of help from manufacturers with only one or two facilities, nearly all of them on 3-shift/crew schedules.
April U.S. Inventory in Line With Rising Demand  1
Inventory levels usually fall from March to April, but the increase is not a red flag because month-end days’ supply of 64 is slightly below average for this time of year, indicating demand is growing.
U.S. Sales Hit Bump, But Still Gain Traction in April
Large trucks continued to make headway last month, especially pickups, as they rode the wave of growth in the housing and construction sector and enjoyed a boost from relatively stable fuel prices.
WardsAuto Boosts North American LV Production Outlook Through 2014
Light-vehicle output for 2013 is forecast to increase by 105,000 units, with gains at Honda, Chrysler and Ford overwhelming cuts at General Motors and Volkswagen, while 2014 should see a 200,000-unit hike.
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