Edmunds.com August Auto Sales Forecast: Sales Pace Pushes Against Economic Headwinds

Edmunds.com August Auto Sales Forecast: Sales Pace Pushes Against Economic Headwinds

Edmunds.com August Auto Sales Forecast: Sales Pace Pushes Against Economic Headwinds

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — August 25, 2011 — An estimated 1,087,000 new cars will be sold in August for a projected Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of 12.3 million, forecasts Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. The sales pace is virtually flat compared to July's 12.2 million SAAR.

"Auto sales stayed on a relatively flat road this month, even as the stock market took a roller coaster ride," said Lacey Plache, chief economist at Edmunds.com. "Stronger buying conditions are telling consumers to go ahead and make their car purchases, but a weak economic landscape is telling them to wait until later this year, or even longer. This is the battle that will determine exactly how much the auto industry will grow this year."

Sales Volume Aug-11 Forecast Aug-10 July-11 Change from Aug 2010 Change from Aug 2010 (adjusted)* Change from July 2011
GM 221,944 185,113 214,915 19.9% 15.3% 3.3%
Ford 179,485 157,327 180,323 14.1% 9.7% -0.5%
Toyota 132,125 148,388 130,802 -11.0% -14.4% 1.0%
Chrysler 120,744 99,611 112,026 21.2% 16.6% 7.8%
Nissan 93,374 76,827 84,601 21.5% 16.9% 10.4%
Honda 84,825 108,729 80,502 -22.0% -25.0% 5.4%
Industry 1,087,119 997,038 1,059,118 9.0% 4.8% 2.6%
*NOTE: August 2011 had 26 sales days; August 2010 had 25

Overall sales are expected to be up 2.6 percent over July 2011 and 4.8 percent over August 2010. Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 10.0 million in August, with fleet sales accounting for 18.5 percent of all sales this month.

Edmunds.com forecasts that Japanese automaker Nissan will see the biggest month-over-month gains among the top six automakers. Nissan is projected to sell 10.4 percent more vehicles in August than July, and 16.9 percent more vehicles than in July 2010. The boost in sales is expected to bring Nissan a 0.6 percentage point increase in market share.

"Nissan's market share growth is a testament to how well it has recovered from the March earthquake compared to its chief Japanese rivals," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. "In recent marketing campaigns, Nissan has been directly targeting shoppers who have trouble finding Toyota and Honda vehicles in stock, while further enticing them with juicy incentives like zero percent financing on a majority of their models."

Market Share Aug-11 Forecast Aug-10 Jul-11 Change from August 2010 Change from July 2011
GM 20.4% 18.6% 20.3% 1.8% 0.1%
Ford 16.5% 15.8% 17.0% 0.7% -0.5%
Toyota 12.2% 14.9% 12.4% -2.7% -0.2%
Chrysler 11.1% 10.0% 10.6% 1.1% 0.5%
Nissan 8.6% 7.7% 8.0% 0.9% 0.6%
Honda 7.8% 10.9% 7.6% -3.1% 0.2%

Edmunds.com projects that Toyota will have done little in August to build on its momentum from July, with just a one percent increase in sales this month, and a decrease of 0.2 percentage points in market share over the same period. Toyota's August sales are expected to be down 14.4 percent compared to last year.

Even with lingering inventory issues still to sort out, Honda will likely show some month-over-month sales gains in this month. Edmunds.com projects that Honda's August sales will grow 5.4 percent over July, with a market share gain of 0.2 percentage points. Compared to last year, however, August sales are still expected to be off about 25 percent.

Edmunds.com forecasts that Ford will be the only major automaker this month to report a decline in sales from July to August. Ford's sales are expected to be down 0.5 percent from July, leading to a market share loss of 0.5 points. Ford's sales will still enjoy a 9.7 percent increase over August 2010, according to Edmunds.com.

Chrysler and General Motors are each expected to post month-over-month sales gains of 7.8 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. Chrysler's market share will climb 0.5 percentage points in August, while General Motors tick up 0.1 points over July.

For ongoing updates on automotive industry news and analysis, please register to receive the AutoObserver.com newsletter at http://www.edmunds.com/newsletter.

Additional data on sales, market share and incentive spending can also be found in Edmunds.com's Data Center at http://www.autoobserver.com/car-data-center/.

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

Edmunds.com Inc. publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site and hosts the most established automotive community online. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.edmunds.com, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. InsideLine.com is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.insideline.com, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. AutoObserver.com provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. 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 at http://www.facebook.com/edmunds.

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