May 19, 2006

New vehicles spending less time on dealership lots

Westlake Village, California – For the first time in three years, the average days to turn – the number of days a vehicle sits on a dealer’s lot – for the new-vehicle retail market has consistently been less than 60 days, even as new vehicle transaction prices rise, according to J.D. Power & Associates.

“The steady increase in the price buyers paid for their new vehicles and ongoing low days to turn both lend themselves to increased profitability for the retailer and the manufacturer,” says Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis. “Despite the doom and gloom we frequently read about-perceived rising fuel prices, global political uncertainty and struggling domestic auto manufacturers-the data show that in some respects, the U.S. new-vehicle industry is doing well.”

The turn rate for some segments is particularly low; in April, the entry compact car segment had an average days to turn of only 38 days, due partly to successful launches of the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit. Premium compact cars sat only 44 days, benefitting from the Dodge Caliber, redesigned Honda Civic, Chevrolet HHR and Toyota Prius. In the premium luxury car segment, the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class helped the segment reach an average turn rate of just 35 days in April.

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