January Car Sales Drop From December on Fewer Fleet Sales, Edmunds.com Forecasts

By Michelle Krebs January 29, 2009

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- U.S. car and truck sales in January are expected to come in at a weak 730,000 units when automakers report them Tuesday.

January sales are expected to be down 18.1 percent from very weak sales in December, Edmunds.com estimates, largely due to significantly lower rental-car and corporate fleet sales. Retail sales will be about flat with December's.

"Our research indicates that retail sales are pretty much flat compared with December," said Jesse Toprak, Edmunds.com's executive director of Industry Analysis. "However, automakers' decision to cut fleet sales and make other production cuts will cause a large sales decline to be recorded on the books."

January sales will drop 30.1 percent from last January, according to the forecast by Edmunds.com, parent of AutoObserver.com Year-to-year comparisons are less meaningful since 2008 grew progressively weaker in terms of the economy and vehicle sales. The opposite is expected for 2009, predicted to end on a higher note than it starts. Evidence of a 2009 that will end on a higher note than it starts is indicated by the fact that pent-up demand seems to be growing.

"Given the dramatic downturn in car sales since September, it is reasonable to assume there must be an underlying demand building," said David Tompkins, Ph.D., Edmunds.com senior analyst. "Edmunds.com site traffic behavior in January reflected a 13 percent increase in purchase intent compared with December, so within the next six weeks we should begin seeing those sales come through -- though perhaps some will manifest themselves as late-model used car sales."

The Big Six Breakdown

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors domestic nameplates is estimated to be 46.1 percent in January, down from 52.1 percent in January 2008 and down from 50.0 percent in December 2008. Domestic automakers sell the largest number of vehicles to fleets and all three report they had significantly lower fleet sales in January.

On a company-by-company basis, Edmunds.com forecasts the following:

Chrysler will sell 71,000 units in January, down 48 percent compared to January 2008 and down 20.3 percent from December 2008. This would result in a new car market share of 9.8 percent for Chrysler in January 2009, down from 13.1 percent in January 2008 and down from 10.0 percent in December 2008.

Ford will sell 109,000 units in January, down 29.8 percent compared to January 2008 and down 19.4 percent from December 2008. This would result in a new car market share of 15 percent of new car sales in January for Ford, up slightly from 14.9 percent in January 2008 and down from 15.2 percent in December 2008.

GM will sell 156,000 units in January, down 38 percent compared to January 2008 and down 29.3 percent from December 2008. GM's market share is expected to be 21.3 percent of new vehicle sales in January, down from 24.1 percent in January 2008 and down from 24.7 percent in December 2008.

Honda will sell 76,000 units in January, down 22.9 percent from January 2008 and down 11.8 percent from December 2008. Honda's market share is expected to be 10.4 percent in January 2009, up from 9.4 percent in January 2008 and up from 9.7 percent in December 2008.

Nissan will sell 55,000 units in January, down 28.1 percent from January 2008 and down 11.4 percent from December 2008. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.5 percent in January 2009, up from 7.3 percent in January 2008 and up from 7.0 percent in December 2008.

Toyota will sell 130,000 units in January, down 24.5 percent from January 2008 and down 8.6 percent from December 2008. Toyota's market share is expected to be 17.8 percent in January 2009, up from 16.5 percent in January 2008 and up from 15.9 percent in December 2008.

January had 26 selling days, one more than last January 2008. When adjusted for this difference, sales decreased 32.8 percent from January 2008.

JANUARY SALES FORECAST

 

 

Change from January 2008 (Adjusted for more selling days)

Change from January 2008 (Unadjusted for more selling days)

Chrysler

-50.0%

-48.0%

Ford

-32.5%

-29.8%

GM

-40.4%

-38.0%

Honda

-25.9%

-22.9%

Nissan

-30.9%

-28.1%

Toyota

-27.4%

-24.5%

Industry Total

-32.8%

-30.1%


Edmunds.com 

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LEAVE A COMMENT

mrohhh2says says: 1:22 PM, 02.21.09

The big 3's bail out will only help them if they act accordingly with the times we are in today .They need to stop the double and triple platform sharing on popular vehicles that sell with some of the spin offs that don't. Example- chevy cobolt vs pontiac g5 or mailibu vs g6 vs aura .Yes they defrentiate in style but would be a better deal to come up with one domonant design style merge and sell as one car and use their individual brands traits as options . I overheard the axe is being swung at Pontiac and Saturn in opposed to killing Buick . which is typical gm to kill off brands that that just need retooling to save an old nameplate that isn't worth anything anymore at all (except in China).Clean burning Deisel should be embraced! and fused to the Hybrid application. It's poor decisions like these that keeps Gm shooting itself repeatedly. All that GM needs is Cadilac and Chevy primarily. Then Merge Pontiac Saturn and Buick to make a complete brand over the fragments that they currently are now.Eco friendly cars don't have to be such a bore. Honda's Fit ,BMW's 335d and Vw's Jetta TDI are economical and sporty. Chrysler pulls off the platform sharing bid better than GM because It's broken down to 2 brands that cater to 4 different bases Dodge does economy , sport and utility, while Chrysler does all that but in entry level Luxury and it works for them . Ford can survive without Mercury.But tends to need Mazda and Volvo more than they think.

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