Car Sales Slip at the End of the First Quarter

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Edmunds forecasts that 1,588,185 new carsand trucks will be sold in the U.S. in March for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.2 million. This reflects a 25.3 percent increase in sales from February 2019, but a 4 percent decrease from March 2018. Sales in the first quarter of 2019 are expected to be 122,000 units lower than in 2018, a 3 percent decrease.

“We can now confidently say new vehicle sales are past their peak; the question now is what the new normal will be,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis. “With new vehicle prices continuing to rise, interest rates sustaining post-recession highs and leasing growing increasingly expensive, pressure on the market is mounting.”

Edmunds analysts say that if auto sales continue to decline for the rest of 2019 at the same rate they did in the first quarter, the industry could see a significant reduction compared to 2018.

“It’s still early in the year, so there could be some surprises,” Acevedo noted. “If inventory gets out of hand, it’s possible that automakers will react by pumping up incentives, which could give sales a bit of a boost. But with the possibility of an economic downturn and potential tariffs looming, it seems certain new vehicle sales are settling into a slower pace.”

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales 
Volume

March 2019 
Forecast

March 
2018

February 
2019

Change from 
March 2018

Change from 
February 2019

GM*

271,388

296,341

208,000

-8.4%

30.5%

Ford*

229,221

243,021

185,000

-5.7%

23.9%

Toyota

217,012

222,782

172,748

-2.6%

25.6%

Fiat Chrysler

199,748

216,063

162,036

-7.6%

23.3%

Honda

142,191

142,392

115,139

-0.1%

23.5%

Nissan

140,169

162,535

114,342

-13.8%

22.6%

Hyundai/Kia

113,876

112,185

90,546

1.5%

25.8%

VW/Audi

51,574

52,638

39,266

-2.0%

31.3%

Tesla

22,062

Industry

1,588,185

1,654,398

1,268,008

-4.0%

25.3%

*GM & Ford sales totals for February 2019 are estimated

**NOTE: March 2019 had 27 selling days, March 2018 had 28 and February 2019 had 24.                                                                                                                

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.7 million vehicles in March 2019, with fleet transactions accounting for 20.4 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.7 million used vehicles will be sold in March 2019, for a SAAR of 39.2 million (compared to 3.5 million — or a SAAR of 39.3 million — in February).

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market 
Share

March 2019 
Forecast

March 
2018

February 
2019

Change from 
March 2018

Change from 
February 2019

GM*

17.1%

17.9%

16.4%

-0.8%

0.7%

Ford*

14.4%

14.7%

14.6%

-0.3%

-0.2%

Toyota

13.7%

13.5%

13.6%

0.2%

0.0%

Fiat Chrysler

12.6%

13.1%

12.8%

-0.5%

-0.2%

Honda

9.0%

8.6%

9.1%

0.3%

-0.1%

Nissan

8.8%

9.8%

9.0%

-1.0%

-0.2%

Hyundai/Kia

7.2%

6.8%

7.1%

0.4%

0.0%

VW/Audi

3.2%

3.2%

3.1%

0.1%

0.2%

Tesla

1.4%

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About kevin 1546 Articles
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