Fewer fleet sales drives best car sales since 2006: Edmunds.com

BY GERRY MILES

Fewer fleet sales combined with stronger retail sales result in a July forecast from Edmunds.com that 1,328,397 new cars and trucks will be sold this month. The estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) for the year is 15.8 million. The projected sales will be a 5.3 percent decrease from June 2013 via a month vs. month comparison, but more importantly it will show a whopping 15.2 percent increase from July 2012 in a year over year comparison.

Edmunds.com anticipates that this month will be the biggest July performance since 2006 when automakers sold 1,489,359 vehicles.

 “What makes July truly impressive is that fleet sales are so low,” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “That means retail sales are stepping up as the driving force for the auto industry. When people jump back into the market, it’s great news not just for the automotive sector, but for the entire U.S. economy.”

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume

Jul-13 Forecast

Jul-12

Jun-13

Change from Jul 2012*

Change from Jun 2013*

GM

239,972

201,237

264,843

19.2%

-9.4%

Toyota

199,716

164,898

195,235

21.1%

2.3%

Ford

193,914

173,482

234,917

11.8%

-17.5%

Chrysler Group

140,160

126,089

156,686

11.2%

-10.5%

Honda

134,429

116,944

136,915

15.0%

-1.8%

Hyundai/Kia

117,354

110,095

115,543

6.6%

1.6%

Nissan

115,697

98,341

104,124

17.6%

11.1%

VW/Audi

48,272

48,721

50,663

-0.9%

-4.7%

Industry

1,328,397

1,153,092

1,402,274

15.2%

-5.3%

*NOTE: July 2013 had 25 selling days, July 2012 had 24 and June 2013 had 26.

 Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.6 million vehicles in July, with fleet transactions accounting for 14 percent of total sales, the lowest proportion for any month this year. An estimated 3.18 million used cars will be sold in July, for a SAAR of 36.2 million (compared to 3.07 million – or a SAAR of 37.1 million – used car sales in June).

AUTOMAKER PERFORMANCE

In a bit of a surprise, Edmunds.com projects that Toyota will beat Ford in total sales this month, the first time since March 2010. The Japanese automaker will claim 15.0 percent of U.S. auto sales in July, its highest share since January 2013. Ford’s share, meanwhile, is expected to fall 2.2 percentage points from June, the biggest month-to-month decrease of any automaker. Its projected 14.6 percent share this month will be the company’s lowest single-month share since August 2009 (14.3 percent).

 MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share

Jul-13 Forecast

Jul-12

Jun-13

Change from
July 2012
(Percentage pts.)

Change from
June 2013
(Percentage pts.)

GM

18.1%

17.5%

18.9%

0.6%

-0.8%

Toyota

15.0%

14.3%

13.9%

0.7%

1.1%

Ford

14.6%

15.0%

16.8%

-0.4%

-2.2%

Chrysler Group

10.6%

10.9%

11.2%

-0.4%

-0.6%

Honda

10.1%

10.1%

9.8%

0.0%

0.4%

Hyundai/Kia

8.8%

9.5%

8.2%

-0.7%

0.6%

Nissan

8.7%

8.5%

7.4%

0.2%

1.3%

VW/Audi

3.6%

4.2%

3.6%

-0.6%

0.0%

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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