LIMA — Although August’s auto sales were lower than any other August within the last five years, the auto market generally is up 1 percent, according to Bernard Swiecki, Center for Automotive Research senior project manager.
“We were doing well in the first portion of the year,” said Swiecki, during the Sixth annual Regional Auto Growth Summit Friday at Rhodes State College. “This year we may have a hurricane affecting the September numbers and it will definitely be impacting the September production numbers as there are at least three assembly plants in Lima.”
Overall truck sales are doing significantly better than car sales, according to Swiecki.
“Right now we invest billions in automated and connected vehicles and all kind of future technologies for which the return on investment could become decades from now,” said Swiecki. “Some of these truck profits are fueling that investment which is critical because if the market is softening at least it is leaning towards where we make money and take away from where we do not.”
Crossovers or crossover utility vehicles, like the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee, are currently the most-sold automobiles at 37.3 percent, according to Swiecki.
“CUV is our biggest segment,” said Swiecki. “It’s the fastest going segment so the domination is going to increase month to month.”
Pick-up trucks make up 16.2 percent of the most-sold automobiles, then small cars at 13.2 percent, sport utility vehicles at 8.4 percent, vans at 5.5 percent, luxury cars at 4.7 percent, electrified cars at 3.4 percent and large cars at 1.3 percent.
“A lot of the vehicles that are growing, apart from electrified, are high-profit vehicles, said Swiecki. “Keep in mind maybe two-thirds of the value of that vehicle came from a supply base and those plants are distributed throughout communities and they are everywhere in the region, especially here in Ohio. That is not only good for the industry, but for the communities that host that industry.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews