Sunday, December 04, 2011

New Cars: Why Not Report Unit Sales AND Prices?

Manufacturer Nov. 2011
Transaction Price
Nov. 2010
Transaction Price
Percent Change
Chrysler$29,128 $28,436 2.40%
Ford $32,174 $30,027 7.20%
GM $33,189 $32,551 2.00%
Honda $26,730 $25,421 5.20%
Hyundai/Kia $21,384 $19,408 10.20%
Nissan $27,613 $26,784 3.10%
Toyota $27,692 $26,311 5.20%
Industry Average$30,317 $29,154 4.00%

Last week Autodata reported 994,721 total light vehicle sales for November, which was a 13.9% annual increase from November last year (873,323 units).  Separately, TrueCar.com reported that the average sales price for a new car reached a record high in November of $30,317 (average transaction price), an increase of 4% compared to a year earlier ($29,154, see chart).  

In that case, the total sales volume for new vehicles increased year-over-year in November by 18.44%, from $25.46 billion last year to $30.15 billion this year, and the total sales volume increase was even more impressive than the 13.9% increase in unit sales.  Now only did American consumers buy 121,398 more cars last month compared to November 2010, but they were also willing to pay 4% more on average, or $1,163 more per vehicle.  That translated into an increase in sales volume of $5 billion.

When existing and new home sales are reported, both unit sales, and average and/or median sales prices are reported.  Maybe car sales should be reported the same way, to get a more complete picture of vehicle sales?  

19 Comments:

At 12/04/2011 10:52 PM, Blogger Dr. Common Sense said...

Does TrueCar use the price paid or MSRP of vehicle models sold? Point being, some OEM's increased their incentive spending YOY.

 
At 12/04/2011 11:12 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

There's a link in the post to the TrueCar website, and it looks like they are using actual transaction prices (i.e. what people are actually paying).

 
At 12/05/2011 2:59 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Hyundai has no R&D, they just make legally-compliant copies. Account for that, and they're in line with everyone else.

As for the rest of the transplants, it's easy to crank out 4-banger golfcarts when your primary markets(and places of assembly) include Third World hellholes. One could say that one of their home markets are terrorists looking for some piece of junk to blow up, as opposed to something one would want.

 
At 12/05/2011 4:13 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Hyundai has no R&D, they just make legally-compliant copies"...

Really sethstorm?

So this is a lie?

Hyundai Innovation - R&D Vision and Strategy

 
At 12/05/2011 6:42 AM, Blogger geoih said...

No inflation to see here. Move along.

 
At 12/05/2011 6:49 AM, Blogger rjs said...

the gross data is in the BEA's PCE report...

 
At 12/05/2011 6:51 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


So this is a lie?

Given that their cars look like junk-grade copies of everyone else, might as well be. Whatever the previous generation of something is on another manufacturer, it'll be on some part of a current Hyundai/Kia car. The only part of the "R&D" process they forgot to include are the lawyers that defend the blatant copying.

 
At 12/05/2011 9:49 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

i would be interested to see this information for higher end vehicles.

the price for an m3 or a 911 turbo is up a great deal more than this.

high end goods have a whole separate inflation rate from others which, i suspect, makes real income growth in the top 10% a lot lower than it looks.

 
At 12/05/2011 10:28 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

high end goods have a whole separate inflation rate from others which, i suspect, makes real income growth in the top 10% a lot lower than it looks.

============================

Huh?

Because you spend your income on more expensive goods your real income is less?

Life is so unfair.

 
At 12/05/2011 11:46 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

hydra-

the point is that it takes a great deal more money to buy the same things on the high end than it did 5 or 10 years ago.

the high end has a lot more inflation.

if you want the same standard of living, you are looking at huge jumps in price.

claiming that a big jump in nominal income is a jump in real income has to take that into account. sure, i could go buy a ford focus, but that would be a major downgrade in my standard of living.

do you really not get that?

i'm not looking for your sympathy, just pointing out that income growth at the high end does not translate into real gains like it appears it would.

if middle of the road prices go up 4% and high end prices 10% while median income goes up 5% and high end up 10%, the median is gaining in real living standards while the top is losing.

i've seen this happen to a lot of people in SF.

they get a raise from 100 to 120k, but their rent jumps from $4k to $5500 and they actually have less extra income.

 
At 12/05/2011 12:14 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"Now only did American consumers buy 121,398 more cars last month compared to November 2010, but they were also willing to pay 4% more on average, or $1,163 more per vehicle."

But what was the product mix of cars/SUVs and luxury/economy? Maybe they willing to pay 4% more because they percieved an 8% more value in a car/SUV as a bargain. Most vehicles are bought with loans, so that has to be included in the total price, too. I'll pay 4% more for a better car with a lower interest rate any day.

 
At 12/05/2011 12:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Given that their cars look like junk-grade copies of everyone else, might as well be"...

According to whom sethstorm?

Consider the following YouTube clip sethstorm: 10 most ugliest American cars

sethstorm you could also consider this 2006 Forbes piece for instance: The Worst American Cars 2006

 
At 12/05/2011 1:47 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


juandos said...
The Worst American Cars 2006


No issue with the Panther platform cars or the E series vans. The only fault with the Grand Prix was the 3800 block's propensity to blow head gaskets. As for the Uplander cars, they blew it by killing the trucklike Astro predecessor.

Modernize them and tell the granola eating environmentalists to stuff it. $25k for a V8 in a car isnt bad - it's a lot better than a blinged up 4banger for that price. No transplant wouldnt be caught dead offering a *car* with a V8 that is affordable for the masses.

 
At 12/05/2011 2:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

he high end has a lot more inflation. if you want the same standard of living, you are looking at huge jumps in price.

+++++(+++++++++++++

More competition to obtain high end goods? Could be evidence of increasing income inequality?

 
At 12/05/2011 3:03 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

If middle of the Rodriguez prices go up 4% and high end prices go up 10%, it is because the middle folks can't/won't pay more.

Good thing you are not looking for sympathy, I charge a lot more for rich folks.

 
At 12/05/2011 3:53 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"More competition to obtain high end goods? Could be evidence of increasing income inequality?"...

Is that problematic to you hydra?

Does that mean you might possibly buy into Paul Krugman and Robert Reich's Tax Deception?

 
At 12/06/2011 4:08 AM, Blogger mlesich said...

Hi Mark, from what I can sell,, Volume (sales) figures aren't freely available as they are commercially valuable and there's probably restrictions on how the data can be used. I ran into this problem when I was doing work on a similar topic. The data does exist, it's just that it's hard to come by

 
At 12/06/2011 9:56 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"More competition to obtain high end goods? Could be evidence of increasing income inequality?"

only nominally.

in real terms, it may well mean the wealthy are not keeping up.

 
At 12/06/2011 9:17 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Really sethstorm?

Why let facts get in the way of a good story? And so much for the no inflation story.

 

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