SANTA MONICA, Calif. — May 29, 2014 — Edmunds.com, the premier destination for car shopping, forecasts that 1,547,771 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in May, for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 16.2 million. The projected sales will be an 11.5 percent increase from April 2014 and a 7.3 percent increase from May 2013.
"Credit conditions are making it easier to buy or lease a new car," says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "Shoppers are opting for longer terms at lower interest rates. In other words, they're able to afford more expensive cars by keeping their monthly payments at or near what they're used to paying."
Edmunds.com's finance data shows that the average new loan term during the first four months of 2014 was an all-time high of 66 months. And the average interest rate for new loans (4.4%) in 2014 is only slightly higher than the all-time historic lows that have been well publicized within the last two years. Edmunds.com also points to loans secured with lower credit scores and all-time high lease penetration (27.9% YTD, through April) as sure signs that credit continues to loosen.
Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.2 million vehicles in May, with fleet transactions accounting for 18.3 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.05 million used cars will be sold in May, for a SAAR of 36.4 million (compared to 3.10 million — or a SAAR of 35.9 million — used car sales in April).
Shoppers in the market right now for a new car are encouraged to check out Edmunds.com's Deals of the Month page where they can find some of the strongest available deals, including 0% financing for up to 72 months on a 2014 Cadillac ATS or $1,000 cash on a 2014 Ford Mustang Convertible.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site driven to make car buying easy. Almost 18 million visitors use our shopping tools every month to connect with over 9,500 dealer franchises across the U.S. Shoppers can browse our inventory listings for available cars and trucks, and with Edmunds.com's Price PromiseSM, they can get an instant, upfront price on those same vehicles. Recently named by Maritz Research as one of the most trusted online consumer review sites - and the only automotive site listed in the top ten - Edmunds.com is also home to comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories. Even when you're at the dealership, we're always by your side. Just call our free Live Advice Line at 1-855-782-4711 or use our acclaimed Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps or Edmunds.com Android App. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook. You can also find us on Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Flipboard.