Top Toyota executive predicts more US factory jobs

Top Toyota executive predicts more US factory jobs

Over the past eight months, Toyota has announced it would hire 3,500 workers in North America and invest $1.6 billion in its factories here. Even more jobs could be added in the region as a way to hedge against a strong yen. ‘With the yen where it is today, I think it’s only a matter of time,’ said Jim Lentz, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 1:54 PM

 Currently, around 70 percent of Toyotas sold in North America are made in the region.

TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Currently, around 70 percent of Toyotas sold in North America are made in the region.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Toyota’s top U.S. sales executive predicts that his company will add jobs and build more models in North America as a hedge against a strong yen.
Jim Lentz, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said Toyota already makes around 70 percent of the models sold in North America in the region. He sees that percentage continuing to grow.
“With the yen where it is today, I think it’s only a matter of time,” Lentz told reporters Wednesday at an auto industry conference outside of Traverse City, Mich.
Toyota Motor Corp. has been hammered by the strong yen, putting extra pressure on the automaker to stay lean and come up with new innovations. A strong yen cuts into overseas earnings for all Japanese automakers, and makes it harder to offer products at cheaper prices abroad. It takes just 78 yen to buy a dollar, fewer than the 100 yen it took in 2009. It’s a sign of the currency’s growing strength against the greenback, and a tough trend for Japanese manufacturers.
So in the past eight months, the world’s top automaker has announced it would hire 3,500 workers in North America and invest $1.6 billion its factories here.
“The hedge against currency is to build cars where you sell them,” he said.
Lentz said further investment depends on the value of the yen, sales and the ability of Toyota to engineer and design vehicles in the U.S.
Toyota isn’t alone in moving research and production to North America. Honda announced at the conference that engineers in the U.S. would lead development of the next-generation of Civic compact cars.
Honda builds in North America more than 85 percent of the vehicles it sells in the region. About 30 percent of its North American model lineup was developed here, said Erik Berkman, the company’s president of research and development for the Americas. North America leads development of all Acura vehicles and all light trucks, including the Honda Ridgeline and Pilot, he said.
The company has a product development research center in Raymond, Ohio, near Columbus.
Toyota already builds 12 Toyota and Lexus models in North America, including the top-selling Camry and popular Corolla. Its new Avalon large sedan was engineered and designed near Ann Arbor, Mich., and the company expects more models to be designed in the U.S., where it employs about 30,000 people.
The company doesn’t have firm plans to shift production of more models from Japan to North America, he said. But one model Toyota would consider building here is the Lexus ES series.
Toyota, like other manufacturers, would make changes to squeeze more production out of existing plants rather than building new buildings, he said. A new plant costs about $1 billion, Lentz said.
Toyota still thinks automakers can sell 14.3 million vehicles in U.S. this year, he said, even though sales have slowed the past two months, and some analysts have cut their forecasts. But Lentz said pent-up demand should prop up sales. The average vehicle in the U.S. is nearly 11 years old, and people have to replace their aging rides.
Toyota, he said, has fully recovered from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hobbled its
Japanese factories and caused model shortages worldwide. In the U.S., the company’s dealer inventory dropped to around 120,000 vehicles last summer. Now it’s back to 299,000, which is near the 300,000 that Toyota considers optimal.
Lentz also said discounts are starting to surface in the luxury market, which has dropped to around 10 percent of total U.S. sales this year. Normally it’s around 12 percent, he said. But although discounts may rise, Lentz doesn’t think an all-out price war will break out.
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Starbucks and Square to Team Up

Bye bye credit card processing companies!!  No one will miss you!!!!

Starbucks and Square to Team Up

By
Published: August 8, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO — Cash moved one small step nearer to its deathbed with the announcement on Wednesday that Square, the mobile payments start-up, would form a partnership with the Starbucks Coffee Company.
Eventually customers will be able to order a grande vanilla latte at Starbucks and charge it to their credit cards simply by saying their names.
Multimedia
This fall, Square will begin processing all credit and debit card transactions at Starbucks stores in the United States and eventually customers will be able to order a grande vanilla latte and charge it to their credit cards simply by saying their names.
Though smartphone payments have a long way to go before they replace wallets altogether, Starbucks’s adoption of Square will catapult the start-up’s technology onto street corners nationwide, and is the clearest sign yet that mobile payments could become mainstream.
“Anyone who’s going to break the mobile payments barrier in the U.S. has to overcome the resistance to try anything new when everything we have works really, really well, even cash, which is very convenient,” said Bill Maurer, director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine.
“But if a big merchant jumping into some mobile payment solution signals to other merchants that there is an opportunity here,” he added, “that might change the psychology for other merchants.”
Starbucks is also investing $25 million in Square as part of its latest round of financing, which values the company at $3.25 billion, and Howard D. Schultz, Starbucks’s chief executive, will join Square’s board.
Starbucks has offered its own mobile payment app since last year and processes more than a million mobile payments a week. Customers will continue to be able to use it, but they will also be able to use Pay With Square, Square’s cellphone app, which eliminates even having to take the phone out of your pocket or sign a receipt.
At first, Starbucks customers will need to show the merchant a bar code on their phones. But when Starbucks uses Square’s full GPS technology, the customer’s phone will automatically notify the store that the customer has entered, and the customer’s name and photo will pop up on the cashier’s screen. The customer will give the merchant his or her name, Starbucks will match the photo and the payment will be complete.
Even though Square’s app has been well reviewed, it has not caught on with shoppers, which has been Square’s biggest challenge as it tries to expand. That is in large part because of the limited number of merchants that accept payments that way. Most of Square’s users are small businesses, like farm stands or cafes that also use Square’s credit card reader.
Starbucks, which will be far and away the largest business using Square, could change that.
“Starbucks is one of the largest organizations in the world, taking technology like Square — simple, fast and focused on customer experience — and bringing it to a massive scale,” said Jack Dorsey, Square’s co-founder and chief executive.
Square, which was introduced in 2010, is one of many businesses — like Google, PayPal, Sprint and Microsoft and start-ups like Scvngr and GoPago — that are trying to offer mobile payments. But they have been slow to catch on because they require the cooperation of many players, including retailers, credit card companies, banks, cellphone carriers and phone makers. And Americans have been just as happy to pull out their credit cards as their cellphones to make a payment.
Denee Carrington, a Forrester analyst who recently wrote a report on mobile payments, said that mobile payment providers would need to offer a compelling, safe and convenient experience for shoppers, and that the applications would have to make good use of their personal data, like spending habits, to offer valuable services.
Forrester estimates that 30 percent of American mobile phone owners are interested in using mobile payments, based on a survey polling about 7,600 adults in the United States. It found that younger consumers are the most amenable to using mobile wallets. Still, it predicts that it will take another three to five years before mobile payments reach critical mass in the domestic market.
“We are still in the early days of mobile payments specifically, but the market is accelerating, especially the amount of innovation that’s happening in the marketplace,” Ms. Carrington said.
Square has so far been most popular in small coffee shops, but Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Schultz said that even though the start-up was now doing business with the nation’s biggest coffee chain, the partnership would benefit those small businesses. More customers will have the app, they said, and it will show small businesses near Starbucks stores.
“My hope is that by creating a national footprint for Square technology in all Starbucks stores in the U.S., that it will be a catalyst for Square to get access to tens of thousands of other small business and democratize payments,” Mr. Schultz said.

Brian X. Chen contributed reporting from New York.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/technology/starbucks-and-square-to-team-up.html

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Box office hits this weekend…top 5

Box office hits this weekend…top 5

Yet again, Batman comes in number one this weekend beating out total Recall that hit theaters for the first weekend and still fell $10 Million short of the Dark Knight!!

What movie did you see this weekend that you liked?

Weekend Box Office

This Week Last Week Movie Cumulative Gross Week
#
# of Theaters
1 1
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
$36,440,000
$354.6M 3 4242
2
$26,000,000
$26.0M 1 3601
3
20th Century Fox Distribution
$14,700,000
$14.7M 1 3391
4 2
20th Century Fox Distribution
$8,400,000
$131.9M 4 3542
5 3
20th Century Fox Distribution
$6,350,000
$25.4M 2 3168

http://movies.yahoo.com/box-office/

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Spyker Sues GM Over Saab

Spyker Sues GM Over Saab

Dutch supercar maker files $3 billion action against General Motors claiming that GM’s actions effectively finished off the Swedish automaker.
AutoWeek  | http://www.autoweek.com/  |  Posted August 06, 2012   Detroit, MI
Spyker’s suit against GM claims that the Detroit automaker worked against efforts to rescue Sssb. (Photo: Saab)
Spyker, the Dutch supercar firm and owner of Saab, hit General Motors with a $3 billion lawsuit Monday, claiming GM forced Saab into bankruptcy and interfered with a potential deal with Chinese investors that could have saved the company.

The lawsuit also says GM interference prevented an agreement with Chinese investor Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. Ltd., which would have allowed Saab to restructure. In court papers, Spyker said GM’s motivation was to avoid competition with Saab in the Chinese market.

The Detroit automaker owned all or part of Saab from 1990 until 2010, before selling it to Spyker.

Spyker is suing on behalf of Saab, assuming legal costs in exchange for a significant proportion of any potential award. Saab went into bankruptcy in December 2011 and is now in receivership. .

In a statement, Spyker CEO Victor Muller said, “Ever since we were forced to file for Saab Automobile’s bankruptcy in December of last year, we have worked relentlessly on the preparation for this lawsuit which seeks to compensate Spyker and Saab for the massive damages we have incurred as a result of GM’s unlawful actions.

“We owe it to our stakeholders and ourselves that justice is done, and we will pursue this lawsuit with the same tenacity and perseverance that we had when we tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile, until GM destroyed those efforts and deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy.”

GM spokesman Dave Roman said, “We have reviewed the complaint, and it is completely without merit. We will vigorously defend the company against these baseless allegations.”

This story originally appeared at AutoWeek.com.

 

Do Advanced Safety Systems Make Drivers Lazy?

Do Advanced Safety Systems Make Drivers Lazy?

A GM engineer who develops and tests driver-assist systems say they are meant to work with, not replace, driver attention.

Volvo Autonomous Emergency Braking. Photo by Volvo.

Advanced safety systems such as blind-spot detection and lane-departure warning that alert drivers to potential hazards are becoming more common. The next step in the evolution of “driver-assist” technology is systems such as lane-departure prevention and forward-collision warning with auto braking that take control away from the driver, in certain situations, to prevent accidents.

While these systems are still primarily found only on higher-end vehicles, they’re starting to trickle down to less expensive cars — and will spread even faster if governments get involved and mandate them in an effort to reduce traffic deaths and accidents. It’s already happening in Europe.

European regulations passed recently require all new cars from 2014 onward to be equipped with autonomous emergency braking, which takes over in the event of a crash to stop the vehicle if the driver cannot. The European New Car Assessment Program, Europe’s version of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration here in the U.S., will include the feature in its assessment of all new cars, and models without the technology won’t be able to achieve a five-star safety rating.

While no one should dispute that driver-assist technology can help prevent accidents and save lives, some contend that such automotive safety nets make drivers lazier and less likely to learn good driving skills in the first place. The reasoning goes something like this: If drivers know that they have a system such as blind-spot detection, they won’t bother to check their side mirrors or look over their shoulder before changing lanes.

But an engineer who develops and tests these systems strongly disagrees, saying that these systems are meant to augment, not replace, driver attention — which is still the most crucial factor for preventing accidents.

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/autosblogpost.aspx?post=eb38ad8d-a6f0-4b17-80c4-c3af156cba7e

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19 weird things to buy on Amazon

19 weird things to buy on Amazon

FAT REPLICA: The seller's description describes it best: "The grossly dramatic replica of five-pounds of human fat is a shocking but strongly motivating attention-getter." Well, I'm never eating dessert again... (View on Amazon.) / SL

FAT REPLICA: The seller’s description describes it best: “The grossly dramatic replica of five-pounds of human fat is a shocking but strongly motivating attention-getter.” Well, I’m never eating dessert again… (View on Amazon.) / SL

ROSWELL SOIL SAMPLE: Wow, do agents Scully and Mulder know about this? For only $12.95, the X-Files could be solved. (View on Amazon.) / SL
ROSWELL SOIL SAMPLE: Wow, do agents Scully and Mulder know about this? For only $12.95, the X-Files could be solved. (View on Amazon.) / SL

DOLLY THE SEXY INFLATABLE SHEEP: Please tell me this is a gag gift. Please... (View on Amazon.) / SL

DOLLY THE SEXY INFLATABLE SHEEP: Please tell me this is a gag gift. Please… (View on Amazon.) / SL

MAGICAL UNICORN MASK: I think it's safe to say there is nothing magical about this mask. It's terrifying at best. (View on Amazon.) / SL

MAGICAL UNICORN MASK: I think it’s safe to say there is nothing magical about this mask. It’s terrifying at best. (View on Amazon.)

UNICORN MEAT: How convenient that you can buy this in a can! The description tells us it's an "excellent source of sparkles."(View on Amazon.) / SL

UNICORN MEAT: How convenient that you can buy this in a can! The description tells us it’s an “excellent source of sparkles.”(View on Amazon.)

LIVE LADY BUGS: 1,500 for $12? What a deal. Organic gardeners understand why these are for sale on Amazon. (View on Amazon.) / SL

LIVE LADY BUGS: 1,500 for $12? What a deal. Organic gardeners understand why these are for sale on Amazon. (View on Amazon.)

RUNNY NOSE SHOWER GEL DISPENSER: It's exactly what the name implies. Ewww. (View on Amazon.) / SL

RUNNY NOSE SHOWER GEL DISPENSER: It’s exactly what the name implies. Ewww. (View on Amazon.

STEGOSAURUS DOG COSTUME: Your dog will definitely try to eat you in your sleep if you make him wear this. Never mind that the Stegosaurus was a plant eater. (View on Amazon.) / SL

STEGOSAURUS DOG COSTUME: Your dog will definitely try to eat you in your sleep if you make him wear this. Never mind that the Stegosaurus was a plant eater. (View on Amazon.)

WOLF URINE: This sure seems like strange thing to put in a bottle, let alone sell online. But apparently it's a great way to keep deer out of your yard. I know I wouldn't want to be in a wolf-urine-soaked yard. (View on Amazon.) / SL

WOLF URINE: This sure seems like strange thing to put in a bottle, let alone sell online. But apparently it’s a great way to keep deer out of your yard. I know I wouldn’t want to be in a wolf-urine-soaked yard. (View on Amazon.)

TOILET MONSTER: Ahhhhh! No need for a toilet after you scare your guests with this oddity. (View on Amazon.) / SL

TOILET MONSTER: Ahhhhh! No need for a toilet after you scare your guests with this oddity. (View on Amazon.)

NICKLE FROM 2003: Quick, it's on sale for only $0.01! Some of the best buyer comments on all of Amazon. (View on Amazon.) / SL

NICKLE FROM 2003: Quick, it’s on sale for only $0.01! Some of the best buyer comments on all of Amazon. (View on Amazon.)
 "BOMBPROOF YOUR HORSE:" Easily one of the strangest titles Amazon has to offer. (View on Amazon.) / SL
“BOMBPROOF YOUR HORSE:” Easily one of the strangest titles Amazon has to offer. (View on Amazon.)

KITCHEN ART HAM DOGGER: This handy little tool lets you make hamburgers in the shape of hotdogs. You know, so you can use all those hot dog buns? (View on Amazon.) / SL

KITCHEN ART HAM DOGGER: This handy little tool lets you make hamburgers in the shape of hotdogs. You know, so you can use all those hot dog buns? (View on Amazon.)
 UNDERPANTS DISPENSER: Because sometimes you need a pair fast. (View on Amazon.) / SL
UNDERPANTS DISPENSER: Because sometimes you need a pair fast. (View on Amazon.)
 "WHO CUT THE CHEESE? A CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE FART:" I have no comment. I'm completely speechless. (View on Amazon.) / SL
“WHO CUT THE CHEESE? A CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE FART:” I have no comment. I’m completely speechless. (View on Amazon.)
 COMPLETE BODY UNITARD: In case you want to join the Blue Man Group, I guess. (View on Amazon.) / SL
COMPLETE BODY UNITARD: In case you want to join the Blue Man Group, I guess. (View on Amazon.)
 URANIUM ORE: For $50, you get a sample of radioactive uranium ore. Not only is this one of the strangest things on Amazon, it also has the strangest buyer comments. (View on Amazon.) / SL
URANIUM ORE: For $50, you get a sample of radioactive uranium ore. Not only is this one of the strangest things on Amazon, it also has the strangest buyer comments. (View on Amazon.)
 WHOLE RABBIT: This isn't the kind of rabbit you're going to keep as a pet, obviously. Maybe it's just the picture that's mildly upsetting? (View on Amazon.) / SL
WHOLE RABBIT: This isn’t the kind of rabbit you’re going to keep as a pet, obviously. Maybe it’s just the picture that’s mildly upsetting? (View on Amazon.)
 Here's a fun gift for the kiddos. "THE O'REILLY FACTOR FOR KIDS:" In the seller's own words: "The bestselling author ofThe O'Reilly Factor, The No Spin Zone, and Who's Looking Out for You? talks straight to kids this time. He is as demanding, direct, and wry asever—but he's also more revealing too, sharing candid snapshots of his own childhood throughout." (View on Amazon.) / SL
Here’s a fun gift for the kiddos. “THE O’REILLY FACTOR FOR KIDS:” In the seller’s own words: “The bestselling author ofThe O’Reilly Factor, The No Spin Zone, and Who’s Looking Out for You? talks straight to kids this time. He is as demanding, direct, and wry asever—but he’s also more revealing too, sharing candid snapshots of his own childhood throughout.” (View on Amazon.)

http://www.ctpost.com/news/slideshow/20-weird-things-to-buy-on-Amazon-46856.php

www.dealergarden.com

U.S. Sales Rise 9 Percent in July

U.S. Sales Rise 9 Percent in July

Toyota, Honda, VW offset declines at GM, Ford; by David Phillips, Automotive News

Dealers sold 772 copies of the Dodge Dart in July. Photo by Dodge.

U.S. demand for light vehicles continued to defy mostly weak economic indicators by rising 9 percent in July.

Big sales gains at Japan’s and Europe’s top automakers–Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen–offset declines at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.

The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate hit 14.1 million, in line with forecasts.

But July’s 9 percent gain trailed analysts’ projections as well as the double-digit increases of the two previous months. The industry’s sales gain for the year is now 14 percent, down from 15 percent through June.

“Current data suggests that things are a little bit on the soft side compared with earlier in the year,” said Jenny Lin, Ford Motor Co.’s senior U.S. economist.

Among major automakers, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, and VW have gained market share this year through July, while GM, Ford and HyundaiKia have lost ground. Nissan’s share has remained flat.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday it revised its seasonal factors used to determine the monthly calculation of seasonally adjusted sales rates, resulting in a lower SAAR for the first quarter of 2012 and slightly higher rates in the second quarter.

Under the revised figures, the SAAR has topped 14 million units each month this year except for May and January. Previously, May was the only month below 14 million.

On track


Analysts and automakers cite pent-up demand, new models, low interest rates and easing credit terms for the industry’s sales gains.

Many consumers are choosing to replace older, less fuel-efficient models, still placing the industry on track to surpass sales of 14 million units in 2012.

“Signs of a housing recovery and good news on consumer confidence and household income should help keep the light-vehicle selling rate in the 14-million range and drive seasonally higher truck sales as we move toward fall,” Kurt McNeil, head of U.S. sales operations for GM, said in a statement.

Still, recent reports showing lackluster job creation and persistent worries about the U.S. and European economies, are keeping automakers on alert.

Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive, says the forecasting firm’s 2012 sales forecast of 14.5 million could be reduced by 150,000 units if the U.S. economy slows further.

“The auto industry is closely watching the sales performance over the next two months as the industry wrestles with a mixed bag of economic signals,” Schuster said.

GM and Ford tied their declines in July U.S. sales on falling fleet deliveries.

GM’s sales dropped 6 percent last month, with deliveries to retail customers off 3 percent. The company said total fleet deliveries declined 15 percent, including a 41 percent drop in sales to rental customers.

Ford reported a 4 percent drop in sales last month, with retail volume up 2 percent and fleet down 16 percent.

Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Sales, Chrysler Group, Subaru, Nissan North America, and the Volkswagen Group all had double-digit increases.

Toyota recorded a 26 percent increase as it continued to recover from earthquake-related inventory shortages a year ago. The Toyota division, aided by the redesigned Camry, posted a 24 percent increase in July sales, while Lexus shipments jumped 25 percent.

Honda: strong retail demand





American Honda said its July sales surged 45 percent to 116,944 units, with the Honda brand up 46 percent and volume at Acura advancing 36 percent.

John Mendel, American Honda’s head of sales, credited “growing inventory” and “strong retail customer demand” for the company’s July results.

“Our sales momentum continues to build through the summer,” Mendel said in a statement.

Demand for each of the Honda brand’s four core models–Accord, Odyssey, CR-V and Civic–soared 47 percent or more compared with July 2011, when earthquake-related shortages dented sales.

Toyota and Honda continued to recover U.S. market share in July.

At GM, sales were down 15 percent at Buick, 9 percent at GMC and 7 percent at Chevrolet. Deliveries rose 21 percent at Cadillac.

GM indicated earlier that sales to rental customers would be down sharply in July because scheduled shipments occurred earlier in the year compared with 2011.

Sales at the Ford Division dropped 4 percent while Lincoln volume dropped 11 percent.

Chrysler rolls on


Chrysler said its sales rose 13 percent–its 28th consecutive monthly gain, with car sales advancing 19 percent and light truck deliveries up 11 percent.

Chrysler brand sales jumped 35 percent, while deliveries increased 15 percent at the Ram brand, 7 percent at Jeep, 6 percent at Dodge and 22 percent at Fiat.

Chrysler said sales of the new Dodge Dart compact hit 772 units in July, the model’s first full-month on the U.S. market.

“July was another solid month for Chrysler Group as we again demonstrated our disciplined and methodical approach to growing sales and profits,” Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler Group, said in a statement.

Nissan North America posted a 16 percent July gain, aided by a 57 percent increase at the Infiniti luxury unit. Nissan Division sales rose 12 percent.

Volkswagen Group said July sales rose 27 percent at the VW brand and 28 percent at Audi. Subaru was up 16 percent.

The Hyundai-Kia Group, hurt by shortages of key models, said sales rose 5 percent last month, with Kia up 6 percent and Hyundai volume advancing 4 percent. It was the second-smallest monthly sales gain for the automaker since August 2010.

“This is a challenging situation in this hyper-competitive retail environment, so we are looking forward to August with great anticipation,” said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales for the Hyundai brand. “Relief is on the way with the first shipments of our all-new Santa Fe … and improved availability of [the] Veloster Turbo, Elantra GT and Elantra Coupe.”

The BMW Group posted a 4 percent gain in July sales, with a 24 percent gain at Mini offsetting a 1 percent dip at the BMW brand. It was the first drop in monthly sales for the BMW brand since May 2010.

Tough decisions


Some automakers face tough decisions this summer amid signs that the recent gains in transaction prices are slowing, and incentives and inventories are increasing.

With some companies hiking output, the industry may face more pressure to raise incentives, as well.

“It’s a brave moment for the industry,” John Krafcik, head of American Hyundai, said last month. “We’re at a turning point.”

The U.S. auto industry started July with a 58-day supply of cars and light trucks, up from a 52-day supply at the beginning of June.

Average incentives fell 2.7 percent in July to $2,480 from June, TrueCar.com estimates.

Autodata Corp. estimates average industry incentives have climbed 3 percent this year through June to $2,507, compared with $2,437 during the same 2011 period.

Average transaction prices in July rose 1.6 percent to $30,369 compared to a year ago, TrueCar estimated.

TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak expects average transaction prices to remain above $30,000 for the rest of the year, but some automakers, notably the Detroit 3, may see transaction prices soften, he said.

The outlook for transaction prices will depend on how much automakers have to discount to clear out 2012 models.

Joseph Lichterman contributed to this report