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 ›

Large Pickups Bolster July U.S. Sales; Consumers Enticed by Easier Credit Terms

CarDealership Compact CUV 06In July, consumers continued to replace aging vehicles and take advantage of easier credit, including low-interest rate loans and longer terms. New-vehicle sales totaled 1.313 million units in July and were up 9.4% on a selling-day adjusted basis from July 2013, according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate in July was 15.8 million units. There was one more selling day in July 2013 than in July 2012.

Large pickups and compacts—especially compact cars and compact crossovers—outpaced most other segments as nearly all U.S. automakers reported higher sales than in July 2012. Some U.S. automakers said they had their best July sales since 2006—before the Great Recession. 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 ›

January Retail Sales Pace Up Significantly from Year-Ago Rate

Cars on Lot  U.S. new light-vehicle sales finished January on a strong note, with retail deliveries rising 15.7% from the same month in 2012 and total sales (retail and fleet) increasing 9.7% from January a year ago, based on analysis of retail transaction data from J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. All changes are selling-day adjusted since there were 25 selling days in January 2013 vs. 24 in January 2012.

A few highlights from PIN and LMC Automotive analysis:

• Total light-vehicle sales reached nearly 1.042 million units in the first month this year, which translated to a 15.3 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR), up 1.4 million units from January a year ago.

• Retail deliveries totaled more than 822,000 units, which translated to a retail SAAR of 13.1 million units—up 2.2 million units from January 2012 and also up 1.1 million units from December 2012’s pace. Continue reading ›

January’s Strong U.S. Retail Sales Pace Adds Clout to 2013 Auto Forecast


John Humphrey

Retail new-vehicle sales in the U.S. market were robust in the first half of January, averaging a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.9 million units, which would be the highest retail pace in the month in five years and some 2.0 million units stronger than in January 2011, according to a sales update created by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.

The retail sales pace, which outperforms the calendar-year forecast of 12.4 million units for 2013, seems to build on the recovery of the industry during the past two years and remains on a path to return to near pre-recession levels within the next few years. Retail sales should reach 812,600 units, which is significantly ahead of 682,171 unit sales in January 2011.

Total light-vehicle sales, which include retail and fleets, are projected to surpass 1.027 million units—up 8% on a selling-day-adjusted basis from January 2012. The fleet share is likely to account for 21% of deliveries, which is lower than 25% in 2012. This sales forecast translates to a 15.0 million-unit pace, up from 13.9 million units in January 2012. Continue reading ›

December U.S. Auto Sales Expected to Continue Double-Digit Climb

John Humphrey

John Humphrey

Despite economic uncertainty related to down-to-the-wire “fiscal cliff” negotiations about tax hikes and expenditure cuts that are slated to happen at the start of 2013, consumers continued to head to dealer showrooms in December to buy and lease more new vehicles than they did a year ago. U.S. new-vehicle sales remain resilient and are likely to increase by 14% from last year, according to the monthly forecast update from our Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

Based on sales transactions during the first 13 selling days of December, retail sales this month are anticipated to reach 1.153 million units, which is 15% higher than last December’s 1.04 million units on a selling-day adjusted basis.* This estimate translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.2 million units, which is stronger than last December’s 11.3 million-unit pace, but not as strong as the 13.2 million-unit SAAR in November, 2012—which turned out to be the highest monthly retail selling rate since January 2008. Continue reading ›

Retail U.S. Auto Sales Remain Robust in First Half of October

Deirdre Borrego

U.S. retail light-vehicle sales during the first 17 selling days of October continued to increase at a robust pace that was similar to the pace in September, according to a monthly sales forecast update developed by our Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

In October, retail sales are likely to reach 943,200 units, which is a 13% increase (on a selling-day adjusted basis) in volume vs. the same month a year ago. This translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.0 million units, which would be the second consecutive month of a retail pace above 12 million. Rates in September and October of this year would be the best in four years (since April and May 2008).

Total light-vehicle sales this month, which include retail and fleet deliveries, are projected to rise 11% from October 2011, with volume surpassing 1.134 million units. This translates to an overall SAAR of 14.8 million units, which is just 100,000 units below September’s 14.9 million-unit SAAR.

Fleet deliveries in October are anticipated to account for 17% of total sales—slightly below the 5-year average of 19% for October, which Continue reading ›

U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales in September Best Since 2008

Retail light-vehicle sales during the last week of September were much stronger than expected, pushing up the month’s retail seasonally adjusted sales pace, or SAAR, to 12.4 million units—the second highest average retail pace this year, according to analysis by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. Total sales were strong as well—highest since March 2008—and finished with a 14.9 million SAAR.

In September, retail car and light-truck deliveries climbed 16.8%* from last year to just under (2,700 units less) 1 million units At the same time, September retail totals slipped 1.5% from a strong retail performance in August, when adjusted on a selling-day basis. Yet, September’s retail SAAR was 1.9 million units stronger than in the same month of 2011.

Fleet sales declined 4.1% and accounted for only 16% of total sales in September, which was down from a 19% share of total sales a year ago. Nearly 190,000 fleet units were delivered. The fleet SAAR averaged 2.5 million units—up 600,000 units from last month, but down 100,000 units from September 2011. Continue reading ›

U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Soften Only Slightly due to Lower Fleets in July

Car and light-truck sales in the U.S. reached 1.152 million units in July, which is an increase of 18% from July last year on a selling-day-adjusted basis.* That translates to a 14.1 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR), and is slightly lower than June’s 14.3 million SAAR (recently adjusted with the revised U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) seasonal factors), but is much stronger than the 12.2 million-unit pace in July 2011, according to data collected and analyzed by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) with LMC Automotive.**

There were two fewer selling days in July this year (24) vs. last year (26), which means that Detroit-based Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. actually posted gains from a year ago on a selling-day-adjusted basis, as reduced fleet deliveries in the month impacted their total sales performance. Continue reading ›

First-Quarter US Sales Increase Sets Positive Tone for Auto Industry

The first-quarter of 2012 ended on a strong note for automakers in the U.S. market despite higher gas prices, which began to drop slightly in the past week and in spite of the negative influence of still high unemployment rates. On a seasonally adjusted annual selling basis, the first-quarter selling rate, or SAAR, averaged 11.7 million units for retail and 14.5 million units for total light vehicles—a tempo that was ahead of our earlier retail and total sales forecast.

In fact, the selling pace in the first three months of 2012 outperformed the J.D. Power annual sales forecast for the first time since 2008, when the auto market began slipping into recession, according to Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive.*

Fiat-Chrysler and VW Groups Make First-Quarter Sales Headlines

Two multi-franchise automakers, Fiat-Chrysler and Volkswagen Groups, achieved stellar double-digit sales and share gains in the first quarter of 2012 vs. their results in the same 3-month period a year ago. In addition, two of the four smaller independents, Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru brand and Mazda, also posted robust, double-digit year-over-year gains vs. the same period in 2011. Continue reading ›