The market for used cars is white-hot, and lists of the best models tend to favor brands like Toyota, Lexus, and Honda. But there are better bets for those who don't want to pay a premium for a reliable ride -- if they're willing to buy American: Increased quality plus compromised reputation equals value.
It was a good month for auto sales despite inclement weather across much of the country and surging oil prices. Cars sold near an annual pace of 13 million vehicles. That would make February the best on record since the "cash for clunkers" rebate program in 2009.
GM models sold smartly despite the steadily rising price of gas. GM says it sold 207,028 vehicles during the month. The increase was driven largely by a 70% jump in retail, or individual consumer, sales.
Major automakers are set to release February sales figures on Tuesday, and analysts expect the reports will show sales improved 20% compared to a year ago. Consumers continued to warm to the slowly improving economy -- so far, despite surging oil prices.
General Motors sales rose 21.8% in January compared to a year ago on strong sales across its lines of passenger cars, "crossover" vehicles and trucks, the automaker said Tuesday. Each of the automaker's four divisions recorded higher sales for the month.
A slowly brightening economy combined with low financing rates and generally stable fuel prices have put consumers in a buying mood. New models, particularly from Ford and GM, are also helping to keep U.S. auto sales on a positive trajectory as 2011 starts.
With U.S. automotive dominance waning, a new moniker has emerged: the "Detroit Three." Still, don't count out Ford, GM or Chrysler. Their post-recession future looks strong, thanks to some agonizing restructuring. Now, they can be profitable selling fewer cars.
The nation's automakers ended 2010 strong, with most reporting higher sales for December. Consumers seemed to put concerns about the U.S. economy on hold and more than offset reduced demand by fleet customers, such as corporations and rental-car companies.
The economy may be less robust than most Americans would like, but that didn't stop many of them from hitting the showrooms in December. That likely propelled auto sales in the final month of 2010 to 1.13 million units, the year's highest levels.
Topping off a week in which Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, VW, Chrysler and Ford between them recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles, General Motors today announced it is recalling 100,000 SUVs to repair front row seat belts that may come loose in a crash.
It's traditionally one of the slowest months of the year for vehicle sales, but most automakers reported higher U.S. sales in November compared to a year ago, despite continued consumer caution about the slow economic recovery.
General Motors, fresh off its initial public offering, reported today that November sales rose 11.4% compared to the same month a year ago. Among its four core brands, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet, GM said sales rose nearly 21%.
Year-over-year gains are again likely when automakers report November U.S. sales figures Wednesday. But a drop from this October's level is on tap. Detroit probably fared better than its foreign counterparts as sales rebounded further from last year's anemic levels.
Considering where the iconic carmaker has been in recent years, the pending IPO -- and robust investor demand for shares -- is a remarkably positive step. But GM still has plenty of problem spots that will need fixing if this historic event is to have lasting meaning.
After reporting a $4.3 billion loss during the last half of 2009, General Motors saw two positive quarters during the first half of the the year and is expected to stay on course when it reports its latest earnings Wednesday.
Buoyed by consumers' increased confidence in the U.S. economy, most automakers reported higher sales of cars and trucks in the U.S. during October compared to a year ago -- making it the best October in three years for the auto industry.
Buoyed by stronger demand for pickups and crossover, GM said today that October sales increased 3.5% compared to a year ago. Excluding its discontinued brands, sales of Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet models rose 13% for the month.
Carmakers are expected to report a mixed picture for October sales: mostly better than a year ago, but down slightly from September. Still, the pace appears strong enough that the upper end of full-year forecasts is reachable.
Although Honda and Toyota remain the benchmark of reliability in the U.S. automobile industry, General Motors has made considerable strides in improving the quality of its cars and trucks, according to the magazine's 2010 Annual New Car Reliability Survey.
Vehicle sales have been less than stellar in recent months, disappointing some analysts. But the industry is gradually improving in a broad trend that is benefiting nearly all automakers -- including the Big Three, which have returned from the brink.
When General Motors has its initial public offering, its shares will likely price at $20 to $25 each, according to chairman Ed Whitacre.
Auto sales turned in a strong performance in September. "People seem to be saying, 'It's not as quite as scary anymore,'" says Arthur Wheaton, automotive analyst at Cornell University's ILR School.
General Motors reported Friday that overall vehicle sales in September 2010 climbed 10.5% on a year-over-year basis, based on strong demand for its new generation of crossover vehicles. Among its four core brands, GM sales rose 22%.
U.S. auto sales started off strong over the Labor Day holiday weekend, but have since dropped significantly, according to analysis by car-buying guide Edmunds.com.
As expected, automakers Wednesday reported sluggish sales for August. The nation's anemic economic recovery kept consumers away from dealerships, despite generous end-of-model-year incentives on the part of many manufacturers.
GM reported Wednesday that sales fell 25% year-over-year in August as the recovery appeared to stall and cautious consumers held back on buying cars. But despite the downturn, GM officials said they remain upbeat that the hard-hit auto industry will continue to improve in the months ahead.