Haig Stoddard

Industry Analyst
WardsAuto
Articles by Haig Stoddard
Light-Truck Demand Prompts Increase in WardsAuto LV Production Forecast
Light-truck output in 2013 will see a gain of 151,000 units. Nearly three-fourths of the increase will be in large pickups, with most of the remainder coming from the freshened Jeep Grand Cherokee.
U.S. Sales Hit 5-Year High Despite Absence of December Fireworks
The final 2012 tally reached 14.4 million light vehicles, 13.4% above 2011 and the best year since 16.1 million in 2007. It marked the third straight year-over-year increase since the industry bottomed out at 10.4 million in 2009 – a 27-year low.
North American Production to Get Boost From Import Replacements in 2014 2
Toyota, Volkswagen, Mazda, Daimler, Honda and Nissan all expected to shift more sourcing to the local market from overseas plants.
November U.S. Sales Top 15 Million SAAR
The month’s volume of 1.139 million units equaled a daily selling rate of 45,565, 14.9% above year-ago’s 39,650. It marked the 27th-straight month-over-month increase.
WardsAuto Forecasts 15.6 Million North America LV Output in 2013
Sales in 2012 are expected to end on a strong note amid indicators such as improving construction and home sales, relatively low fuel prices and demand that has been building since the recession year of 2009.
Superstorm Leaves Mark on October U.S. LV Sales
Last month’s SAAR of 14.2 million vehicles kept pace with the year-to-date total through September but was well below the 15.0 million WardsAuto had forecast for the month.
North America Capacity Utilization Rising With Use of 3-Crew/Shift Auto Plants
With the region’s fourth-quarter production forecast to rise 8.3% from year-ago, pending fallout from Superstorm Sandy, capacity utilization of 93.1% in the final three months of 2012 will be a period high.
Fourth-Quarter North American Production to Rise 8.3%
Forecast Q4 output has been raised by some 26,000 units to 3.714 million, 8.3% above like-2011, as big increases for General Motors and Nissan more than offset parings at Chrysler, Ford and Volkswagen.
Europe August Vehicle Sales Drop, But Avoid Freefall
Among the 24 countries tracked by WardsAuto, five enjoyed gains in the month, including Denmark, Norway, Russia, Slovakia and Switzerland. But Finland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia saw losses ranging from 21% to 47%.
Small, Midsize Cars Push U.S. Sales to Long-Time High
September’s 14.9 million SAAR marks the highest tally since a similar result in March 2008.
North American LV Production Headed for 15.2 Million
Auto makers seem determined to keep assembly lines going full tilt, even though dealer stock levels appear to be largely in line with demand, and there are indications a large-pickup retail-sales war could be brewing.
Midsize Cars, CUVs to Lead Product Turnover Through 2015 1
The Middle Car segment will make up 36.0% of 2013’s new-product volume, while Midsize CUVs will account for 23.3%, for a 59.3% total market share. The two segments will represent 31.2% of new-product sales in 2014 and 43.6% in 2014.
August U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Record Best SAAR in 2012
Three high-volume manufacturers, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen (including Audi), get most of the credit for the industry’s large double-digit gain.
N. American Output on Track for 15 Million Despite Slower Growth Pace
Light-vehicle production will continue to climb on an annual basis, reaching a 12-year high in 2014, but year-over-year comparisons will begin to narrow as the industry wraps up 2012.
North American Auto Makers Reach 100% Capacity Utilization
Second-quarter’s utilization rate for light-vehicle production was the highest on record for any quarter since 2005, and a slight improvement on the first quarter’s 99.4%.
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