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Automotive weekly roundup: BYD sales plummet, Tesla disappoints, Ford wins on hybrids

Automotive weekly roundup: BYD sales plummet, Tesla disappoints, Ford wins on hybrids

Earlier this week: China’s BYD saw sales plunge from the previous quarter amidst an economic downturn. Tesla reported disappointing sales for the first quarter, marking the first year-over-year decline since 2020. General Motors saw sales drop 1.5% during the January-through-March period on weaker fleet sales but still retained its place as the U.S.’s best-selling automaker. Ford was the only Detroit automaker to see a sales increase during Q1, which it attributed to its successful hybrid lineup. Fisker’s financial troubles have continued to mount as the brand faces yet another NHTSA probe over its Ocean SUV. Here’s a closer look at these top stories and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

BYD witnessed a sharp quarter-over-quarter electric vehicle sales decline amidst a slowdown in demand and an economic downturn in China.1. BYD EV sales plummet in Q1 as hybrids surge

China-based automaker BYD has reported a significant drop in electric vehicle sales after aggressive price cuts drove record-high volumes in the previous quarter. On Monday, the company reported sales of 300,114 fully electric units during the January-through-March period. While the number reflects a roughly 12% increase from the first quarter of 2023, it also represents a 43% decline from the preceding period’s 526,409 units, which remains BYD’s all-time high. The decline in battery-powered car sales comes amidst a worldwide softening in electric vehicle demand, exacerbated by an economic downturn in China. Read More

Tesla sales declined in the first quarter for the first time in four years, underlining the impact of cooling electric vehicle demand.2. Tesla posts disappointing Q1 sales under weakening EV demand

Tesla posted first-quarter sales on Tuesday, with disappointing forecasts and a sharp decline in deliveries that underline the impact of the electric vehicle market’s demand cooldown. Analysts initially expected Tesla to report sales numbers ranging from 430,000 to 450,000 units but began to lower estimates in recent weeks due to an apparent decline in EV volume. However, the automaker ultimately missed all but the most downbeat expectations, posting only 386,810 deliveries, down 8.5% from Q1 2023. The drop marks the first year-over-year decline in the brand’s history since the start of the COVID pandemic and denotes a sudden shift from the preceding quarter’s record-breaking sales total of 484,507 units. Read More

General Motors saw a slight sales decline during the most recent quarter, even as retail and truck sales grew from last year.3. General Motors sales drop 1.5% on weakened fleet business

General Motors saw a slight decline in sales over the first quarter driven by difficulties in its fleet business but retained its title as the U.S.’s best-selling automaker. The company sold 594,233 new vehicles during the January-through-March period, down just 1.5% year-over-year. Despite the decline, retail sales improved 6% from early 2023, boosting General Motors’ numbers enough to pass Toyota’s 565,098 in U.S. sales. The company’s pickup lineup performed especially well, with a 3.6% jump in sales, marking its best quarter since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

Ford reported a strong Q1 sales performance, increasing its market share due to its diverse range of gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles.

4. Ford’s diverse vehicle range and innovative features are driving strong Q1 sales

In the first quarter (Q1), Ford had a strong sales performance and achieved growth in its market share. This growth was due to the company’s diverse range of vehicles, including gas, hybrid, and electric models. Ford’s introduction of features such as BlueCruise hands-free driving and services like Pickup & Delivery and Mobile Service also helped to drive sales growth. The company’s U.S. sales, which included the Lincoln brand, increased by 7%, surpassing the industry average. The company had record-breaking hybrid sales, with the Ford Maverick being America’s top-selling hybrid vehicle. This contributed to a 42% increase in hybrid sales, with a total of 38,421 units sold, marking a historical high for the automaker in the hybrid sector. Read More

Fisker has withdrawn its earnings forecast for the year shortly after reports circulated of a wave of Ocean SUV cancellations.5. Fisker withdraws earnings forecast for 2024 as financial woes mount

Fisker has withdrawn its 2024 financial forecast as it faces a regulator probe over its Ocean SUV, the latest in a series of troubles for the struggling electric vehicle brand. On April 3, the automaker said it would walk back its earnings forecasts for the year as it continued to look for solutions to its financial troubles. The move comes roughly one week after a Business Insider report claimed that roughly 40,000 of 70,000 reservations for the Fisker Ocean had been canceled since 2019 based on leaked internal data, putting the company on the line for paying back millions in pre-order fee reimbursements. Last February, the EV brand said it had 65,000 reservations. Read More

Erin Kerrigan, revealed record dealership transactions & industry shifts due to capital abundance valuations on Inside Automotive.6. Kerrigan Blue Sky Report reveals key insights into dealership market trends and valuations – Erin Kerrigan

Erin Kerrigan, managing director at Kerrigan Advisors, conducted an electrifying interview on the latest episode of Inside Automotive, revealing the seismic shifts in the automotive industry. The discussion revealed that dealership transactions hit a record-breaking high and that the landscape is evolving due to capital abundance and strategic reinvestments.

Kerrigan unveils insights from the monumental 10th annual Kerrigan Blue Sky Report, shedding light on the nuances of dealership valuations, the burgeoning influence of electric vehicles, and regional market trends redefining the automotive retail sector. Watch here

Coulter McMahen joins CBT Now to discuss his new position as the head of the LADA and the important role of dealer associations.7. Educating the public on the strengths of franchised dealerships — Coulter McMahen | LADA

The Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association (LADA) plays a critical role in the state’s retail automotive environment, working with legislators to preserve the franchise model and help dealers drive success for their businesses. Recently, Coulter McMahen became the association’s new President and CEO, bringing a wealth of experience in the industry to his position as well as a plethora of new solutions to improve the car buying experience. McMahen joins CBT Now, hosted by Jim Fitzpatrick, to discuss the latest news from LADA. Watch here

Explore how vision, preparedness, and values drive success in uncertain times with insights from business expert Meredith Elliott Powell.8. Expert Meridith Elliott Powell reveals strategies for leading in uncertain times

Navigating periods of uncertainty in the rapidly evolving automotive industry can seem daunting. In today’s episode of Inside Automotive, we discuss strategies for businesses to succeed during uncertain times. Joining us is Award Winning Business Expert, Keynote Speaker, and Best-Selling Author Meridith Elliott Powell. Watch here.

Eric DeMont joins Driving Solutions to discuss how dealers are using their defection data to drive sales, retention, and growth.9. De-mistifying dealership defection rates — Eric DeMont | Urban Science

Defection rates deliver vital information to dealers, allowing them to identify how many customers took their business elsewhere while measuring the impact of retention strategies. However, it has been exceedingly difficult for many dealers to find a tool that tracks defection rates and also explains the “why” behind customers leaving your business.

On this episode of Driving Solutions, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Eric DeMont, Global Product Director at Urban Science. Now, DeMont explains how modern technology is helping dealers gain a deeper understanding of their defection rates while improving long-term sales, profitability, and customer retention. Watch here