Edmunds.com May Auto Sales Forecast: Steady Pace Continues as Summer Approaches


Edmunds.com May Auto Sales Forecast: Steady Pace Continues as Summer Approaches

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — May 24, 2012 — Light vehicle sales are expected to continue at a healthy clip in May, reports Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. Edmunds.com estimates that 1,391,163 new cars will be sold in May, for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.4 million. This would be a 17.5 percent increase from April 2012 and a 31.1 percent increase (unadjusted for number of selling days) from May 2011.

"Almost halfway through the year, the auto industry keeps chugging along toward a mid-14 million unit sales pace," said Jessica Caldwell, Sr. Analyst at Edmunds.com. "With continued pent-up demand and consumers gaining more and more access to credit, there's every reason to believe that sales can continue at this rate through the rest of the year."

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Sales Volume May-12 Forecast May-11 Apr-12 Change from May 2011* Change from Apr 2012
GM 246,321 221,192 213,387 11.4% 15.4%
Ford 222,712 191,537 179,658 16.3% 24.0%
Toyota 205,391 108,387 178,044 89.5% 15.4%
Chrysler 164,083 115,363 141,165 42.2% 16.2%
Honda 135,908 90,773 122,012 49.7% 11.4%
Nissan 97,545 76,148 71,329 28.1% 36.8%
Industry 1,391,163 1,061,132 1,184,027 31.1% 17.5%
*NOTE: May 2012 had 26 selling days; May 2011 had 24

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 11.6 million vehicles in May, with fleet transactions accounting for 19.3 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.23 million used cars will be sold in May, for a SAAR of 37.5m (compared to 3.49 million — or a SAAR of 37.6 million — used car sales in April).

AUTOMAKER PERFORMANCE

Toyota stands out above the other top auto manufacturers this month, thanks to a projected 90 percent sales increase and a 4.5 percentage point market share increase year over year. The growth underscores the progress that Toyota has made since the March 2011 earthquake in Japan that temporarily damaged its production capabilities and severely weakened its U.S. market position last year. Honda's numbers also reflect its year-long battle to shake off the quake's aftereffects, with sales and market share projected to be up almost 50 percent and 1.2 percentage points, respectively, year over year.

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Market Share May-12 Forecast May-11 Apr-12 Change from May 2011 Change from Apr 2012
GM 17.7% 20.8% 18.0% -3.1% -0.3%
Ford 16.0% 18.1% 15.2% -2.0% 0.8%
Toyota 14.8% 10.2% 15.0% 4.5% -0.3%
Chrysler 11.8% 10.9% 11.9% 0.9% -0.1%
Honda 9.8% 8.6% 10.3% 1.2% -0.5%
Nissan 7.0% 7.2% 6.0% -0.2% 1.0%

The resurgence of Japanese automakers comes at the expense of U.S. manufacturers whose market shares are coming back to earth after gains in the months following the earthquake. General Motors and Ford are expected to see their year-over-year market shares fall 3.1 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively, this month. Chrysler, meanwhile, is still showcasing its resilience, with an expected market share gain of 0.9 percentage points. Its estimated 164,000 sales could be the automakers biggest single month since March 2008.

About Edmunds.com, Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)

Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its acclaimed mobile site, Edmunds.com Android App and five-star Edmunds iPhone and iPad apps make car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and on the go. Its automotive enthusiast web site, InsideLine.com, is the most-read car publication of its kind. Its highly regarded mobile site and iPhone app features the wireless Web's most comprehensive gallery of automotive photos and videos. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook.

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