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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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

HumphreyJ

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 ›

February U.S. Auto Sales Remain Strong with Robust 13.1 Million-Unit Pace

2012 WAC Humphrey-27-MNew-vehicle sales are expected to remain resilient through the rest of February even though the retail selling rate is weaker than it was in January of this year, according to the monthly sales forecast update from our Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive. The forecast is based on analysis of transaction data during the first 14 selling days of the month.

Retail light-vehicle sales this month are projected to reach 931,100 units, which would be 9% higher than in February 2012 and would translate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.1 million units, up from last February’s 11.7 million unit pace, but weaker than the 13.1 million-unit retail pace in January 2013.

Total light-vehicle sales (retail and fleet) this month are estimated to reach 1.176 million units—up 7% from deliveries in February 2012 on a selling-day-adjusted basis.* Fleet deliveries are expected to remain at the same level as in January—accounting for 21% of the sales mix. The total light-vehicle SAAR is projected to reach 15.2 million units, which is the fourth straight month at or above 15.2 million units. Continue reading ›

The New Year Begins with Stronger-than-Expected U.S. Auto Sales

1Salesperson and Couple at DealershipJanuary new-vehicle sales in the U.S. market were stronger than expected. Sales climbed nearly 10% due to consumers continuing to trade in their current vehicles (vehicle age in the United States averages 11 years) for new ones or replacing vehicles damaged or totaled during last October’s East Coast Sandy superstorm.

Easier credit and discounts in some segments also made new-vehicle purchases and leases more viable in January. Compacts were still popular, partly due to gas prices beginning to rise again*, and there appears to be a revival in the light-truck segment due to the start of a comeback in the housing industry.

Detroit Three Achieve Double-Digit Sales Gains

It was a good month for Michigan. All three Detroit-based manufacturers—Fiat-Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Co.—reported that new-vehicle sales were up in double digits from January 2012. Continue reading ›