An Early Look at May Sales


An early look at the May sales pacing reveals no big surprises, just that the slow sales decline of the past couple months is continuing. The decline is not significant enough to worry about, but it does suggest that the strong sales we saw in January and February benefited from lingering earthquake bounce back effects and the pull ahead of unusually mild weather.

So far the current pace and historical pattern point to May retail sales of 1.12m, which would equate to a SAAR of 11.6m. (This compares with around 961k units, or 11.7m SAAR last month.) If we assume a fleet mix of around 19% (compared to around 18.8% last month — which are usually about the same), then May will end up with total sales of around 1.38m, or SAAR of 14.3m. This compares with 1.18m units and a SAAR of 14.4m last month).

Looking at retail share, GM continues to slide, while Ford is bouncing back strongly. Chrysler is up also. Here are the details:

Retail Share Change

The big question mark about May is usually the strength of the Memorial Weekend sales events. These have become something of an unofficial kick-off to the summer sell down season. We will have to wait a couple weeks to see how this plays out.

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