HyreCar Inc., a carsharing marketplace for ridesharing and delivery, reported first quarter growth in its financial results and provided a corporate update for the first quarter ended March 31.

“HyreCar’s first quarter revenues grew 20 percent sequentially to $5.8 million and through the first two and a half months of the first quarter we were on pace to exceed $6.0 million in quarterly revenue, exhibiting the leverage and growth capabilities of HyreCar’s platform,” said Joe Furnari, CEO of HyreCar. “We are very happy that our weekly rental days are back to over 17,000 - within 5 percent of our first quarter average of 17,800 and we continue to see acceleration in the month of May.”

Total revenue in the first quarter of 2020 increased 65 percent, to a record $5.8 million, compared to $3.5 million, in the first quarter of 2019. Revenue growth in the first quarter was primarily driven by increased booking revenue that rose 16 percent during the quarter as net rental days increased from approximately 197,000 in the fourth quarter 2019 to approximately 229,000 in the first quarter. Revenues were also impacted by a reduction in new driver incentives, seasonality and timing of commercial car supply onto the platform.

Spartan Motors Inc.’s sales jumped 32 percent in 2019.

The North American company focusing on specialty vehicle manufacturing and assembly for the commercial and fleet vehicle industries (including last mile delivery, specialty service and vocation-specific upfit markets), as well as for the recreational vehicle markets, reported operating results for the fourth quarter and full-year periods ending Dec. 31.

For the full-year 2019 compared to the full-year 2018:

  • Sales increased $186 million, or 32.6 percent, to $756.5 million from $570.5 million.  Including discontinued operations, sales were $1 billion compared to $816.2 million.
  • Income from continuing operations increased $18.7 million, or 103.3 percent, to $36.8 million, or $1.03 per share, from $18.1 million, or $0.52 per share.
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 80.8 percent to $64 million, or 8.5 percent of sales, from $35.4 million, or 6.2 percent of sales.  Including the discontinued operations, adjusted EBITDA was $57.7 million compared to $34.4 million. Adjusted EBITDA as a percent of sales would have been approximately 110 basis points higher, or 9.6 percent, excluding the pass-through impact on sales from the one-time multi-year USPS truck body order.

Overall customer satisfaction has increased to 837 (on a 1,000-point scale), marking the fifth consecutive year of increasing satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2020 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

Buick ranks highest in satisfaction with dealer service among mass market brands for a fourth consecutive year, with a score of 861. Chevrolet (852) ranks second, followed by GMC (847), Mitsubishi (846) and Toyota (843).  Lexus ranks highest in satisfaction with dealer service among luxury brands, with a score of 889. Cadillac and Porsche rank second in a tie, each with a score of 882. Infiniti (875) ranks fourth and Lincoln (872) ranks fifth.

However, as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, the ability to meet customer expectations for prompt service and repairs will be undermined.

“Automakers and dealers need to prioritize securing sources for their parts supplies or face the consequences of losing business,” said Chris Sutton, vice president of the U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power.

“Customers will be initially understanding of coronavirus consequences, but shortages will continue well beyond the current public health crisis.”

Expectations for year-ahead credit availability improved slightly, with fewer respondents expecting credit will become harder to obtain, according to a survey from The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data.

The February Survey of Consumer Expectations also showed expectations about household income growth moderated somewhat slowed, while spending growth and home price change expectations both ticked up. Perceptions of credit access compared to a year ago deteriorated with a smaller proportion of respondents reporting easier credit access and a greater proportion of respondents reporting harder credit access.

The average perceived probability of missing a minimum debt payment over the next three months declined from 11.8 percent to 11.4 percent in February, falling below its 12-month average of 11.5 percent.

The report also shows a small increase in medium-term inflation expectations.

The main findings from the survey show median inflation expectations at the one-year horizon were unchanged at 2.5 percent and increased at the three-year horizon to 2.6 percent in February from 2.5 percent in January. In terms of the labor market,  the median one-year ahead expected earnings growth was unchanged at 2.6 percent in February, remaining above the 12-month trailing average of 2.4 percent. Median earnings growth uncertainty increased slightly. Mean unemployment expectations—or the mean probability that the U.S. unemployment rate will be higher one year from now—decreased slightly to 34.2 percent in February, from 34.8 percent in January and 34.6 percent in December and November.

Other findings show median expected household income growth declined to 2.7 percent in February after three consecutive monthly readings of 2.9 percent.  The decline was driven by respondents under age 40. Median household spending growth expectations increased 0.1 percentage point to 3.1 percent in February, its third consecutive increase and approaching its trailing 12-month average of 3.2 percent.

According to the recently released Q1 2020 Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index, U.S. automobile dealers’ view of the current automotive market remains negative and is mostly unchanged from Q4 2019. With an index score of 49, the rating was slightly more positive than last quarter, but the increase from Q4’s index score of 47 was not statistically significant. Year over year, the current market index was up by only one point, which was not statistically significant and remained below 50, indicating more dealers view conditions as weak rather than strong.

The quarterly survey by Cox Automotive was measured in late January and early February, during the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump and before the spreading economic worries – and stock market volatility – fueled by concerns over COVID-19.

As the CADSI has consistently demonstrated, the current market sentiment skews more positive for franchised dealers compared to independent dealers, who sell only used vehicles. The gap expanded this quarter after narrowing in Q4, with franchised dealers becoming more positive about current market conditions – increasing from 51 in Q4 to 55 in Q1 – while independents remained negative at 47, up only one point from Q4.

“The start of 2020 seems to have favored franchised dealers over independents,” said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “All dealers are optimistic about the spring, but the strong start of the year has made franchised dealers the most optimistic we have seen since the beginning of 2018.”

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