Retail & Finance

Automaker News Moves to

By Jeff Hester December 14, 2011
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Thank you for your interest in's coverage and analysis of carmakers. is being integrated into a new area of Coverage of carmakers now can be found at To stay connected via social media as well, please follow on Twitter@edmunds and fan... more

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Dealer Group To Study Automaker Image Programs

By Michelle Krebs October 21, 2011

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has launched a study to determine whether automaker-mandated programs to upgrade dealership facilities generate any return on investment for dealers in the form of increased new-vehicle sales or improved customer satisfaction. “Each year, dealers collectively invest billions of dollars in facility upgrades, much of it mandated by the auto manufacturers,” NADA Chairman Stephen W. Wade (above) told the Automotive Press Association in Detroit on Thursday. “These costs have a significant impact on dealer balance sheets, in many cases severely straining them and in some cases even persuading a dealer to leave the business more

Who's Defending Their Turf? Follow the Money

By Bill Visnic January 31, 2011

The industry got a little euphoric when December sales vaulted past 2.2 million vehicles and the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate hit almost 12.5 million - the highest SAAR of the year and the highest since late 2008 (except for August, 2009's Cash for Clunkers-induced 14.1-million SAAR aberration). more

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2010 Incentives Return to Lower 2008 Levels,

By Michelle Krebs January 4, 2011

After surging in 2009 as manufacturers tried anything they could think of to lure customers to buy their vehicles, incentives have dropped back to pre-recession levels, but with some shifts, according to's analysis. Incentive spending by U.S., Korearn and European automakers was down in 2010 compared with the year earlier, while spending by Japanese automakers, led by Toyota as it tried to recoup from recalls that triggered a sales slump, rose, even though Japanese automakers still spend the least on incentives. In December, estimates the average incentives was up from November as automakers attempted to close the more

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Credit Loosening, Detroit's Subprime-Lending Deals Booming

By Bill Visnic December 9, 2010

Here's another signal auto-industry sales may begin to firm up in 2011: the credit environment, long cited as one reason for 2010's spastic auto sales rebound, is showing definite signs of improvement. Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian Automotive, said earlier this week in a webcast with media and analysts that lenders across the financing spectrum appear to finally be easing credit standards, if the 8-percent increase in subprime lending in the third quarter (compared with the third quarter of 2009) is one indicator. It is the first time since 2007 lending to the subprime buyer has more

Car Sales Boost U.S. Retail Sales in Total

By Michelle Krebs November 15, 2010

Healthier U.S. car sales boosted overall U.S. retail sales in October, the Commerce Department said Monday. U.S. retail sales rose 1.2 percent in October, above economists' forecasts for the biggest increase since March and the fourth consecutive rise. Strong gains in consumer spending, which make up most of the U.S. economic activity, are important for an economic recovery. October sales, led by retail sales more than inflated fleet sales, came in at a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of about 12.2 million units, the best monthly performance in more than two years except for August of last year, which more

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Toyota Makes More Financing Vehicles Than Selling Them

By Bill Visnic November 5, 2010

Toyota Motor Corp. today announced financial results for the first half of the company's fiscal year that ended in September, saying it logged a net income of nearly $3.6 billion in a first half that saw the company's image of peerless quality drubbed by an unprecedented string of worldwide recalls and a scare about unintended acceleration in the U.S. and abroad. Perhaps forebodingly, however, Toyota's operating income from financing new vehicles - as well as gains the financing unit made via loan spreads and used-vehicle residual values - was nearly double the profit it made from actually selling new vehicles. The company also increased global more

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Automakers Reduce Leftover Inventory -- and Incentives, Reports

By Michelle Krebs November 2, 2010

In another sign that the U.S. auto industry is returning to something resembling normalcy, automakers are following their typical pattern: they are winding down inventory of vehicles from the past model year and ramping up stock of the new ones, which allows them to scale back some on incentives at this traditional start of the new model year. "It's typical to see a dip in average incentives this time of year since the older and more heavily discounted models no longer make up the bulk of new cars sold," said Jessica Caldwell,'s director of Industry Analysis for more

Retail Car Sales Strong in August, Reports

By Michelle Krebs August 19, 2010

If vehicle sales continue at the current pace, August sales will total approximately 1.03 million units for a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of about 11.8 million units, reports. This analysis assumes that fleet sales are relatively steady as a percentage of total vehicle sales compared to last month. "It looks like bargain hunters are getting serious about taking advantage of the model year-end deals," wrote CEO Jeremy Anwyl in his Just to Clarify blog. "But this is a bargain-driven market, so as the deals dry up, sales will likely trend down from here." more

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Chevrolet Dealer: Want a Volt? That'll be an Extra $20K

By Bill Visnic July 31, 2010

General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt may be able to travel 40 miles on its battery charge, but early adopters might be in for a bigger jolt when they try to avail themselves of the highly attractive lease GM touted when releasing the Volt's $41,000 base price this week - it appears at least one of the 600 Chevrolet dealers due to take part in the initial rollout in December isn't planning on letting any Volts pass through his doors until buyers pony up a rather substantial extra "charge." Forgetting the electricity-related wordplay, it's what people in the auto business know more

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