U.S. Auto Sales Climb in November as Total Pace Surpasses 16 Million Units

John Humphrey

John Humphrey

Through the first half of November 2013, sales returned to a stronger pace than in September and October—which were hampered by negative external factors, including the U.S. government shutdown in October and the pull forward of Labor Day sales with two less selling days in September—according to an auto sales forecast update from J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Retail new-vehicle deliveries in November are expected to reach 1.03 million units—up 4% from November 2012 on a selling-day adjusted basis*. This figure translates to a 13.0 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR), which is higher than the year-to-date level of 12.8 million units.

Fleet sales on a selling-day adjusted basis are expected to account for 16% of the sales mix in November, which is 3% lower than a year ago and consistent with the low fleet share that has held throughout 2013. Continue reading ›

Tepid September U.S. Sales Impacted by Strong August Deliveries

2013 Ford EscapeSeptember U.S. new car and light-truck sales were expected to be less than stellar after strong August totals that included near-record Labor Day deliveries, according to J.D. Power and media reports. In addition, there were two fewer selling days in September 2013 than in September a year ago, which impacted totals.

New-vehicle sales reached 1.136 million units and were up 4% from the same month a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis, which matched a monthly forecast update from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. On an unadjusted basis, deliveries were down 4% from last year.

Retail Sales Slip a Fraction of a Point in September

Retail sales finished the month at just under 917,000 units—down slightly from last September (-0.1%) when adjusted for fewer selling days. The September tally represented a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.1 million units. Fleet sales improved by 25.5% from a year ago and represented a 3.1 million-unit SAAR. Continue reading ›

September U.S. Sales are Slightly Weaker after Strong Labor Day Finish

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John Humphrey

During the first 10 selling days in September, U.S. new car and light-truck sales were up 4% from a year ago yet were not as robust as in recent months, according to a monthly sales forecast

update from J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

As was expected, more than 248,000 new-vehicle sales during the Labor Day weekend were pulled from September into August tallies, according to the forecast update.

September retail sales are projected to rise just 2% from September 2012, when adjusted for two fewer selling days in September vs. the same month a year ago (23 days in September 2013 vs. 25 days in September 2012). Continue reading ›

Labor Day Sales Events Boost August U.S. Light-Vehicle Delivery Totals

Buyer and Dealership ManagerU.S. new light-vehicle sales in August were more robust than anticipated, mainly due to a heady retail sales finish over the Labor Day weekend. Retail sales even outperformed the accurate monthly forecast from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive, which already had projected one of the strongest sales months in six years.

There was an extra boost from holiday sales, especially on August 31 since Labor Day weekend was counted in August’s sales total as the month ended on a weekend. J.D. Power experts say they are not sure yet how much August sales will pull forward from September results. Total consumer spending on new vehicles in August was the highest on record—reaching $38.5 billion,—mainly due to strong transaction prices and higher sales, according to J.D. Power analysis.

Retail sales in August climbed 17.7% above retail totals in the same month of 2012. The final week of August sales totals (August 26 – Sept. 3) captured nearly 35% of the month’s retail sales volume, according to Dave Cutting, senior manager of North American Forecasting at LMC Automotive. Retail deliveries totaled 1.34 million units and the seasonally adjusted selling pace (SAAR) of 13.8 million was the highest since 2006. Continue reading ›

U.S. Retail Sales in July 2013 Offset Lower Fleet Deliveries

Cars on Lot drawingJuly total (retail and fleet) new-vehicle sales rose 9.4% from the same month a year ago to 1.313 million units, which translated to a 15.8 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling pace (SAAR), according to analysis by J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive. At the segment level, Large Pickup sales were up by nearly one-fourth from a year ago and Compact Conventional car deliveries were nearly twice as strong as the overall industry pace.

Through the first 7 months of 2013, U.S. new-vehicle sales were up 8.5% from the same period in 2012.

The strength of retail deliveries in July 2013—which rose 12.7% from July 2012, helped bolster total sales, despite a decline in fleet sales. The fleet share of sales in July was the lowest for any month since 2009 (when “Cash for Clunkers,” or the CARS scrappage program, was in effect from July-August 2009). Fleet sales accounted for only 13.0% of the sales mix. Usually, fleet deliveries average between 19% and 22% of monthly sales totals. Continue reading ›

Second-Half Begins with Good News for U.S. Auto Industry

John Humphrey

John Humphrey

U.S. new-vehicle sales in July 2013 are expected to climb in double digits from the same month a year ago as demand continues to be strong and credit continues to be available, enabling higher transaction prices, according to a monthly sales forecast update from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Based on analysis of the first 10 selling days of the month, retail deliveries in July will likely reach 1.127 million units—a 12% gain from July 2012 on a selling-day adjusted basis.* This translates to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) of 13.2 million units—which is nearly as strong as the robust 13.3 million-unit pace in June of this year and is a major improvement from an 11.5 million-unit pace in July 2012.

Total new-vehicle deliveries (retail and fleet) are expected to grow by 11% from a year ago to nearly 1.337 million units. In that mix, fleet deliveries, which average between 15-16% of total sales in July, are forecast to come in below 209,600 units. The average selling pace is anticipated to match last month’s pace of 15.9 million units. That’s up significantly from a 14.1 million-unit SAAR in July 2012. Continue reading ›

May U.S. Auto Sales Finish the Month on a Higher Note than Anticipated

buyer looking at carNew car and light-truck sales in May finished the month higher than projected, according to analysis from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The better-than-expected performance was propelled by a strong retail market especially during the last four days of the month—which included the Memorial Day weekend—and accounted for 25% of May’s retail totals.

Automakers in the U.S. market sold 8.2% more new vehicles than in the same month of 2012. Both months in both years had the same number of selling days. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) averaged more than 15.2 million units for total sales (retail and fleet).

Fleet sales were not as strong as retail deliveries. May retail sales were up 10% and totaled 1.177 million units, which translated to a 12.7 million-unit SAAR—more than 1 million units stronger than the retail pace a year ago. May’s retail SAAR was the strongest in five years.

PIN and LMC Automotive also reported that nearly all manufacturers posted year-over-year retail sales increases. Through the first 5 months of 2013, total sales were up 7.3% from the total in the same time period of 2012. Continue reading ›

April U.S. Auto Sales Edge Up, Primed by Retail Deliveries

CarLot03New car and light-truck sales in the U.S. market in April were weaker than expected, mainly due to slower fleet sales, according to analysis by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and its strategic partner, LMC Automotive. On a bright note, sales of compact crossovers and large pickups in April outperformed the industry’s increase nearly fourfold.

Total sales (retail and fleet) in April edged up 4.3% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis*, and the April seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) averaged 14.9 million units—the slowest pace since October 2012. It was the first time in the first four months of the year that the pace dipped below 15.0 million units.

Retail sales were slightly better than anticipated, finishing the month at 1.032 million units, which was an increase of 9.1% from April 2012 on a selling-day adjusted basis. The retail SAAR was 12.1 million units, which was significantly stronger than last April’s 10.6 million-unit pace, and was 100,000 units stronger than the pace in March. Continue reading ›

U.S. Auto Sales Remain Strong Due to Pent-Up Demand from Aging Fleet Owners

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John Humphrey

Through the first half of April, retail new light-vehicle sales in the U.S. market remained strong enough to remain in “a healthy holding pattern” with continuing consumer demand to replace aging vehicles, according to a monthly sales forecast update from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic forecasting partner LMC Automotive.

Retail new-vehicle deliveries in April, which has 25 selling days vs. 24 in the same month of 2012, are anticipated to reach 1.03 million units, which is a 9% increase from 908,685 unit sales in April a year ago (on a selling-day adjusted basis). That translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.1 million units, up slightly from 12.0 million units in March 2013, and 1.5 million units stronger than the 10.6 million units in April 2012.

Total new-car and light-truck sales (including retail and fleet) are forecast to rise 7% from a year ago, to 1.3 million units vs. 1.2 million units in April 2012. That represents a 15.2 million-unit SAAR, which matches the March SAAR, but is 1.1 million units stronger than the 14.1 million-unit pace in April 2012. April’s fleet share of total deliveries is projected to be a little larger than a year ago and will account for 22% of total sales. Continue reading ›

U.S. Auto Sales Weaken at Month-End; March Totals Remain Robust

Buyer Receiving Vehicle  Keys from SalespersonMarch new car and light-truck sales in the U.S. market ended on a slightly weaker note than anticipated in a forecast update by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Yet, the month’s sales volume was robust and the strongest since 2007, which also saw the beginning of the Great Recession.*

Retail sales in March reached 1.148 million units, up nearly 9% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis. There were 27 selling days in March this year vs. 28 in the year-ago month. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) averaged 12.0 million units, which was 500,000 units stronger than a year ago, but down by about 100,000 units from the pace in February 2013. Fleets edged up slightly from a year ago and accounted for nearly 21% of total light-vehicle sales—although that was slightly lower than a 22% share of the sales mix in March 2012. Continue reading ›