June 15, 2013 |
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.
May 24, 2013 |
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.
May 9, 2013 |
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.
April 12, 2013 |
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.
March 29, 2013 |
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.
February 5, 2013 |
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)