Auto News for June 29
Looking forward to a five day weekend? Here’s a headline from the AAA that should have your wallet singing.
“Gas prices hovering at all time low for the year heading into the Independence Day weekend.” The national average price for gasoline is nearing an all-time low for the year at $2.26 a gallon. February of this year was the last time the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was this low nationally. Better still, 60 percent of holiday motorists can find gas for $2.24 or less a gallon, AAA said. Today’s national average is three cents cheaper than a week ago and eleven cents cheaper than a month ago.
Ford is issuing a safety recall for approximately 400,000 2015-17 Ford Transit van/bus vehicles with medium, long and extended wheelbases and chassis cab/cutaways with medium wheelbases to replace the driveshaft flexible coupling. In the affected vehicles, continuing to operate a vehicle with a cracked flexible coupling may cause separation of the driveshaft, resulting in a loss of motive power. Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with this issue. Affected vehicles include 2015-17 Ford Transit vehicles built at Kansas City Assembly Plant, Jan. 17, 2014 to June 15, 2017.
BMW is may be ready to pose a big challenge to Tesla. A German newspaper said a 3-Series all electric sedan will be introduced at a domestic auto show in three months.
New vehicle sales in the first half of 2017 are expected to be 8.4 million, down nearly 2.3 percent compared to the first six months of 2016. With growing economic headwinds, full year sales in 2017 are predicted to reach 17.1 million, down 2.5 percent from the record 17.5 million sold in 2016, according to Kelley Blue Book.
While the U.S. economy is strong and key indicators are favorable for new automobile sales, vehicle affordability continues to be an issue holding back many households.
Through the first five months of 2017, the average transaction price for a new vehicle averaged approximately $34,609, the highest level ever reported by KBB. On top of that, a significant number of off-lease vehicles are returning to the market as low mileage to challenge showroom sales.
Attention Subaru fans: The brand gained the most market share during the first five months of 2017, and at the current pace, Subaru could pass Hyundai in U.S. market share by the end of the year, KBB forecasters said.
Cox Automotive analysts believe Chrysler, Ford and Jeep will continue to struggle with market share in calendar year 2017. They predict the company’s share will soon drop below one percent.