Car Sales Expected to Get Back on Track in May: Edmunds.com

BY GERRY MILES

Looking into their crystal ball, the folks at Edmunds.com opine that the forecasts for May sales will show a 10% increase from April and 6.5% over a year ago, 2012.

Maybe May showers – those that we had keeping us in the northeast from enjoying a true spring climate before jumping right into summer temps – drove buyers into showrooms. Edmunds.com noted Nissan enjoyed the biggest sales boost last month, prompting analyst Jessica Caldwell to note the market points to the resiliency of the auto market. The full release and figures appear below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — May 30, 2013 — Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, forecasts that 1,420,937new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in May for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) this month of 15.1 million light vehicles.The projected sales will be a 10.6 percent increase from April 2013 and a 6.5 percent increase from May 2012.

“May sales quickly chased away any of last month’s concerns that the auto recovery is stalling,” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “This quick rebound is just another example of how the auto industry is currently one of the most resilient areas of the overall economy.”

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume May-13 Forecast May-12 Apr-13 Change from May 2012* Change from Apr 2013*
GM 250,007 245,256 237,646 1.9% 5.2%
Ford 243,782 215,699 211,984 13.0% 15.0%
Toyota 202,482 202,973 176,160 -0.2% 14.9%
Chrysler Group 163,539 150,041 156,638 9.0% 4.4%
Honda 136,256 133,997 130,999 1.7% 4.0%
Hyundai/Kia 121,382 118,790 110,871 2.2% 9.5%
Nissan 109,789 91,794 87,847 19.6% 25.0%
VW/Audi 53,254 50,160 46,801 6.2% 13.8%
Industry 1,420,937 1,333,961 1,284,628 6.5% 10.6%

*NOTE: May 2013 had 26 selling days, May 2012 had 26 and April 2013 had 25.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 12.2 million vehicles in May, with fleet transactions accounting for 18.9 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.14 million used cars will be sold in May, for a SAAR of 36.8 million (compared to 3.26 million – or a SAAR of 37.2 million – used car sales in April).

AUTOMAKER PERFORMANCE

Edmunds.com projects that in May Nissan saw a bigger jump in sales than any other manufacturer. Its nearly 110,000 sales this month will be a 19.6 percent increase over May 2012, and would easily make it Nissan’s biggest May sales performance ever. This success will be little surprise to the industry, given that Nissan cut prices on seven popular models – including its bestselling Altima – at the beginning of the month. 

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share

May-13 Forecast

May-12

Apr-13

Change from May 2012
(Percentage pts.)

Change from April 2013
(Percentage pts.)

GM

17.6%

18.4%

18.5%

-0.8%

-0.9%

Ford

17.2%

16.2%

16.5%

1.0%

0.7%

Toyota

14.2%

15.2%

13.7%

-1.0%

0.5%

Chrysler Group

11.5%

11.2%

12.2%

0.3%

-0.7%

Honda

9.6%

10.0%

10.2%

-0.5%

-0.6%

Hyundai/Kia

8.5%

8.9%

8.6%

-0.4%

-0.1%

Nissan

7.7%

6.9%

6.8%

0.8%

0.9%

VW/Audi

3.7%

3.8%

3.6%

0.0%

0.1%

On the other end of the spectrum, Edmunds.com projects that Toyota will be the only manufacturer that won’t show any year-over-year increase. Edmunds.com projects that Toyota’s market share will be down one percentage point year over year, even as it climbs a half a point from April.

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in Edmunds.com’s Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.

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