Retail car sales drives auto market, up 10% in August: Edmunds.com

BY GERRY MILES

Sales for August should be up some 10.9%, based upon a forecast of 1,455,911 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 15.6 million, according to Edmunds.com. The projected sales will be a 10.9 percent increase from July 2013, and a 13.3 percent increase from August 2012.

“Car buyers are continuing their steady march into car dealerships and they’ll keep marching right through Labor Day weekend with attractive deals and promotions luring them in,” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs.

“While retail sales are strong in August, automakers are further reducing their dependence on fleet sales. This month’s fleet percentage of total sales looks to be the lowest since at least 2007, and the result will be stronger resale values for customers buying new cars and healthier bottom lines for automakers.”

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume

Aug-13 Forecast

Aug-12

Jul-13

Change from Aug 2012*

Change from Jul 2013*

GM

266,868

240,520

234,071

11.0%

14.0%

Toyota

217,915

188,520

193,394

15.6%

12.7%

Ford

215,298

196,749

193,080

9.4%

11.5%

Chrysler Group

161,785

148,472

140,102

9.0%

15.5%

Honda

156,688

131,321

141,439

19.3%

10.8%

Hyundai/Kia

123,185

111,127

115,009

10.9%

7.1%

Nissan

112,849

98,515

109,041

14.5%

3.5%

VW/Audi

54,031

52,538

48,843

2.8%

10.6%

Industry

1,455,911

1,284,633

1,313,013

13.3%

10.9%

*NOTE: August 2013 had 28 selling days, August 2012 had 27 and July 2013 had 25.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.5 million vehicles in August, with fleet transactions accounting for 13.6 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.02 million used cars will be sold in August, for a SAAR of 36.4 million (compared to 3.17 million – or a SAAR of 35.7 million – used car sales in July).

AUTOMAKER PERFORMANCE

Edmunds.com projects that General Motors could deliver its highest single-month sales (266,868) since September 2008. GM also stands to gain the biggest piece of market share (+0.5 percentage points) of any major manufacturer from July to August.

Meanwhile, Honda’s projected 19.3% year-over-year sales increase will be the biggest gain by any major automaker in August.

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share

Aug-13 Forecast

Aug-12

Jul-13

Change from
August 2012
(Percentage pts.)

Change from
July 2013
(Percentage pts.)

GM

18.3%

18.7%

17.8%

-0.4%

0.5%

Toyota

15.0%

14.7%

14.7%

0.3%

0.2%

Ford

14.8%

15.3%

14.7%

-0.5%

0.1%

Chrysler Group

11.1%

11.6%

10.7%

-0.4%

0.4%

Honda

10.8%

10.2%

10.8%

0.5%

0.0%

Hyundai/Kia

8.5%

8.7%

8.8%

-0.2%

-0.3%

Nissan

7.8%

7.7%

8.3%

0.1%

-0.6%

VW/Audi

3.7%

4.1%

3.7%

-0.4%

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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