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BUSINESS
August 27, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Coda Automotive, the start-up Los Angles electric car company, said it started to sell its $37,250 car in March but has been mum about sales figures. While Coda still isn't talking publically about how many cars it is selling, one figure came out in a recall notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Coda appears to have delivered 78 vehicles at most, according to the recall, which will fix side curtain airbags that were not installed properly and might not deploy in the event of an accident.
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AUTOS
March 25, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Car companies are reacting to tepid auto sales so far this year by ratcheting up the discounts.  The industry is spending about $2,773 per vehicle this month in special sales incentives and discounts, according to car shopping information company TrueCar.Com. That's up about 8% from March of last year and 2.6% above last month. Blame slow auto sales. Automakers have sold 2.2 million vehicles through the first two months of the year, down slightly from the same period a year ago. The market looks as if it is picking up gradually this month as the frigid weather in much of the nation recedes.
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BUSINESS
August 1, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Cars with manual transmissions are making a modest comeback, but with tens of millions of drivers lacking the ability to operate a stick shift, analysts don't expect a big jump. Auto information company Edmunds.com says that vehicles equipped with manual transmissions accounted for 7% of auto sales so far this year. That compares with 3.9% in all of 2011. If the trend holds, the manual transmission share of auto sales will be the highest since 2006. "A combination of factors — from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road — is creating a small spike for stick shifts," said Ivan Drury, an Edmunds analyst.
AUTOS
December 26, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Volkswagen Group of America will easily clear sales of 100,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. this year, marking a milestone for both the German carmaker and the auto industry. Although diesel engines date back to the dawn of the automotive age, it's a technology that American consumers have never taken to. Credit their memory of an older generation of smelly, smoky and hesitant diesel cars. But by building a generation of fuel-efficient, clean and quiet turbo diesels with lots of zip, and making a diesel an engine option in almost every vehicle VW and its luxury Audi brand sell here, the German company has become a pioneer for the technology.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2008 | Associated Press
Japan's production of cars, trucks and buses marked its steepest drop in at least four decades in November, an industry group said Thursday, as the fallout from the U.S. slowdown crimped auto demand. Vehicle production in Japan, home to Toyota Motor Corp. and other major automakers, plunged 20.4% in November compared with the same month a year earlier, to 854,171 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn. said.
BUSINESS
September 16, 2005 | John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer
Passenger vehicle sales in the U.S. dropped 12% in the first 11 days of September, although Southern California-based Japanese auto importers saw their sales jump, according to a study by J.D. Power & Associates. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. both posted healthy market share increases, each outselling DaimlerChrysler through Sept. 11. "If that trend holds for the whole month it would be remarkable," said J.D.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2005 | From Associated Press
U.S. auto sales in the first part of November look better than results for early October -- in preliminary year-over-year comparisons -- partly because of lower gas prices and an interest in large vehicles, according to a survey by a subsidiary of J.D. Power & Associates. New-vehicle sales were down 15% for the first 13 days of November compared with the same period a year earlier, according to Power Information Network.
BUSINESS
September 24, 1992 | From Associated Press
Sales of North American-built cars and trucks fell 3.1% in mid-September, manufacturers said Wednesday, a further indication that the modest recovery in the auto industry this year is losing stamina. Minivans, sport-utility and pickup trucks, which have been the underlying force behind the recovery, rose 3.4% in the Sept. 11-20 period. But passenger car sales, which have been stagnant all year, fell 7.3%. General Motors Corp. reported 10.7% lower vehicle sales in mid-September.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2003 | From Associated Press
This year's U.S. vehicle sales probably will decline at least 1.8% if the nation goes to war with Iraq, but they should remain strong by historical standards, the National Automobile Dealers Assn. is predicting. The group's chief economist Paul Taylor, speaking at the organization's 86th annual convention Sunday, projected new-car and light-truck sales of 16.5 million in 2003, down from 16.8 million last year, the fourth-best tally on record. If the U.S.
BUSINESS
January 15, 1992 | From Associated Press
Early January sales of domestically made vehicles fell 6.2% from depressed 1991 levels, indicating that lower interest rates haven't erased consumer worries about the economy. Extremely slow sales in the same period last year were attributed to fears of U.S. entry into the Persian Gulf War and the early stages of the recession. Nine of the 10 major auto makers in the United States reported that they sold cars and trucks at an average daily rate of 18,130 during the Jan.
AUTOS
August 3, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Electric cars will probably remain a tiny niche of the auto industry until drivers see a serious expansion of charging stations. But you can't just put one on every corner next to the gas station. The cars can take hours to fully charge, which would create a big parking problem, among other issues. Even if consumers bought electric cars in droves tomorrow, the infrastructure to keep them rolling would look much different. Charging starts at home, with a charging station that can cost drivers $500 to $2,000.
AUTOS
July 23, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Bentley, builder of some of the world's largest and most expensive luxury cars, is getting into the SUV business. The British automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, confirmed Tuesday that it would build the yet-unnamed vehicle at its facility in Crewe, England. The vehicle will be the fourth in Bentley's lineup and will go on sale in 2016. "Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand's first SUV," said Martin Winterkorn, head of the Volkswagen Group.
AUTOS
June 15, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Once used mostly to move luxury cars, leasing has reached record levels, helped by easing credit restrictions and a move downmarket. Leases on Jaguars and BMWs remain plentiful, but the most-leased cars in America are now the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, according to Experian Automotive, an arm of the consumer credit-rating company. Consumers gravitate to leases - essentially long-term car rentals - mostly because they offer lower payments. Last year, the median lease payment was $361, about 20% lower that the median $434 loan payment on a purchase, according to auto information company Edmunds.com.
AUTOS
May 24, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
The Toyota Prius hybrid was the bestselling vehicle in California during the first quarter of this year, narrowly outpacing Honda's redesigned Accord sedan. Toyota posted sales of 15,661 of the hybrids, leading the Accord's sales of 15,369 cars. The Honda Civic was third with sales of 14,918, according to data compiled for the California New Car Dealer's Assn. by auto research firm R.L. Polk & Co. The Prius wrested the annual California sales crown from the Civic last year. Nationally, Ford's F-series pickup truck is the top-selling vehicle.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2013 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
Riding a wave of increased auto sales, a weakening Japanese yen and a fresh lineup of vehicles, Toyota Motor's profits more than tripled during its most recent fiscal year. The Japanese automaker said earnings for the fiscal year ended March 31 rose to $9.7 billion (962.1 billion yen) from $2.8 billion (283.5 billion yen). It was the largest annual profit in five years. Sales were $223 billion (22 trillion yen), up 18.7%. A declining value of the Japanese yen, which makes foreign transactions more profitable, is helping Toyota's fortunes.
AUTOS
April 12, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Easing gas prices haven't put a dent in hybrid sales. Through the first quarter of this year, sales of hybrids rose 19% over the same period a year ago, according to Autodata Corp. The data include both conventional hybrid models and plug-ins, such as the Chevrolet Volt, which are rechargeable and can travel on electricity only for some distance before a gas engine kicks in and extends the car's range. The growth came when sales of all types of autos rose a little more than 6% during the same period.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2001 | Terril Yue Jones
Despite the sluggish economy, U.S. vehicle sales rose 0.3% in June, surprising analysts and executives who have been expecting sales to fall back from last year's record pace. Economists said improving economic fundamentals along with interest rate and tax cuts could make 2001 the third-best year ever for auto sales. Imports accounted for nearly all the gains, however, with General Motors Corp. falling 3% and Ford Motor Co. down 6.6%. DaimlerChrysler Corp.'
BUSINESS
April 15, 1992 | From Associated Press
Sales of North American-made vehicles rose 3.9% in early April, providing further evidence of recovery from the industry's two-year recession, figures indicated Tuesday. "We're seeing a general underlying stability in the market," said Thomas O'Grady, chief executive of Integrated Automotive Resources Inc. in Wayne, Pa. "We're not seeing sales drop even if there's bad economic news. There appears to be some underlying strength."
AUTOS
March 29, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
When Ferrari's biggest and baddest supercar is a hybrid, you know the world has changed. Once considered the province of techies and the eco-friendly, hybrids are catching on in almost every vehicle segment. Hybrid sales were up 32% in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to research firm Autodata Corp. That's driven by a combination of trends, including upward-creeping gas prices, a growing track record for reliability and the wider selection of hybrid offerings - everything from the entry-level Toyota Prius C to the spacious Ford Fusion sedan to the LaFerrari, a 949-horsepower, million-dollar monster.
AUTOS
February 5, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. profits soared in the latest quarter, helped by strong sales in North America and a slide in the value of the Japanese yen. Toyota, which surpassed GM in 2012 to become the world's largest auto company, said profit for its third fiscal quarter, or the three months ended in Dec. 31, rose 23% to $1.09 billion (99.91 billion yen), compared to the same period a year earlier.  Sales for the quarter rose 9% to $58 billion (5.3 trillion yen). “Given increased overseas vehicle sales mostly in North America, progress in our company-wide profit improvement activities and the slight weakening of the yen,” Toyota now expects a full-year fiscal year profit of $9.3 billion (860 billion yen)
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