Coronavirus

BMW plunges to second-quarter EBIT loss as coronavirus pandemic hits car sales

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BMW on Wednesday said it expected to post an operating profit for the full year despite coronavirus lockdowns pushing the carmaker to a second-quarter operating loss as deliveries of luxury cars fell by 25% during the period.

The Munich-based carmaker said it swung to a 666 million euro ($786 million) loss before interest and taxes in the quarter ending in June, down from a 2.2 billion euro operating profit in the year-earlier quarter.

The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin in the company’s automotive segment was pushed to a negative 10.4% in the quarter, slumping from 6.5% in the second quarter last year, as BMW ramped up expensive electric car technology investments.

Car sales have begun to recover in some markets, including in China, leading BMW to expect its core business to return a profit, but the rebound will not be enough to make up the

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Coronavirus is a car sales roller coaster with an uncertain end

With no handy playbook, no precedents for the toxic economic fallout from COVID-19, the only thing predictable about auto sales is now unpredictability. And with viral spikes forcing fresh public restrictions — including in California, the nation’s largest auto market — any automotive recovery seems likely to follow the same topsy-turvy course.

Analysts say the worst may be over. But they can’t be sure. The pandemic drove auto sales to a sickly, 30-year-low in April, as Americans bought just 633,000 cars — down 53% from April 2019, and worse than any sales month of the Great Recession in 2009. 

June brought a few rays of hope. But June’s annualized selling rate of 12.9 million units was still a stark reminder of the booming 17.2-million pace of the previous June. Second-quarter sales at General Motors, Ford and FiatChrysler fell 30% or more. Tesla’s mere 5% drop —and a stock

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How to hunt down a used-car deal from a rental company like Hertz, Enterprise during coronavirus

As Hertz offers to sell thousands of its cars at steep discounts and millions of Americans face financial uncertainty due to coronavirus, now might be a good time to hunt for bargains from rental car companies. 

“There are definitely good deals out there,” said Rick Ricart, president of the pre-owned vehicle dealership Ricart Automotive in Ohio. “Rentals are down, and rental car companies might be getting aggressive to cut their losses.”

But there are also things to look out for. 

Pouncing on a used-car deal just because you see an alluring price could leave you in a financial bind down the line. And with cases of COVID-19 ticking up, buyers should take extra precautions before taking off in a car previously driven by dozens or even hundreds of other people. 

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Here’s how to smartly and safely find a used-car deal from a rental company in the age of COVID-19:

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Bargain-conscious Americans lift used-car sales in the coronavirus economy

By Nick Carey

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Reuters) – At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-April, used-car dealer Alex Tovstanovsky had vehicles jammed six rows deep on his lot in the western Chicago suburb of Naperville.

But the seeming oversupply was not a mistake.

Despite plummeting sales at his store, Prestige Motor Works, Tovstanovsky was betting on a recovery, buying dozens of cars in early April as auction prices for used vehicles dropped.

That bet is now paying off. Tovstanovsky can offer cars cheaper than local competitors and his sales jumped 38% in May versus May 2019.

“This is an election year and I felt the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress would do whatever it took to keep the economy strong,” Tovstanovsky said.

Rising demand has now pushed used-vehicle prices about 20% higher than when Tovstanovsky made his bet.

“I just wish I’d bought more cars when prices

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