Consumer Reports has asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a look at a Mercedes ad talking about the automated driving features of its new E Class sedan. CR and other consumer groups maintained the ad was misleading in its depiction of driver-assist systems, something Mercedes has denied. But Automotive News quotes a company spokesman as saying the ad has now been pulled from circulation.
After its quarterly earnings were announced, Ford shares closed down 8 percent yesterday after it indicated it expects a slowdown in sales. And that heated the debate over whether the bubble that produced month after month of record sales for most automakers has burst. Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jones told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” he thinks we are in the 11th inning of a 14 inning ballgame with auto makers having to beef up incentives to get customers into their showrooms. Auto Trader believes July sales will be down 2 percent.
Kelley Blue Book predicts July sales will fall 1 percent following a weaker than anticipated sales month in June. It notes that first half sales rose to 8.6 million units, which was the highest first half volume since 2001. “The new-car market currently appears to be reaching its peak in terms of sales, and now there is a better chance that 2016 won’t be another record year, as year-over-year comparisons for the remainder of 2016 will be tough,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “After a record new-car sales total in the United States in 2015, Kelley Blue Book’s full-year forecast for 2016 now calls for sales in the range of 17.4 million to 17.8 million, which would range anywhere from a slight year-over-year decline to a 2 percent increase.”
We will know more next week when the industry reports on July sales.
But someone is doing well. AutoNation, the country’s largest auto retailer, has reported record second quarter net income.
The first known national ad promoting a car appeared at the end of July 1898 in the Scientific American magazine. It was for the now forgotten Winton Motor Carriage with the headline “dispense with a horse.” Americans did just that, and by 1906, 57 car companies spent over a half-million dollars advertising in 12 national magazines. Today, joining auto manufacturers in advertising the latest models are many of the country’s more than 21,000 new car dealers, according to the Census Bureau.
It was March of 1958 when Elvis Presley first fell in love. The object of his affection, to the dismay of many young ladies, was a 1957 BMW 507 roadster. Now in the care of BMW Group Classic, the car has received a complete restoration over the course of the past two years. The restored BMW 507 “Elvis Presley” roadster is making its public debut at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California on Sunday, on August 21. Presley acquired the car shortly after his Army service.