Edmunds.com Data Suggests Stock Market Turmoil and Decreased Consumer Confidence Not Significantly Affecting Car Sales Yet
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — August 11, 2011 — Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, estimates that so far in August, new cars are selling at a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of about 12.1 million units.
"Compared with July, sales look essentially flat. Prior to all the financial market gyrations, I was expecting August sales to increase over July, triggered by improved supply, lower prices and model year-end sales events," commented Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl in his AutoObserver.com column. "Sales could still pick up as the month progresses, but, considering the uncertainty in the marketplace, even if we end up at July's sales pace I would have to see it as good news."
Edmunds.com data for the first week of August shows a retail sales pace of approximately 880,000 new cars, equating to a retail SAAR of about 9.9 million units, compared to July's retail SAAR of 10.1 million.
According to Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Ray Zhou, PhD, "Fleet sales are usually a bit stronger in August, so total sales will be around 1.08 million units if the current pace holds."
"The downgrade of U.S. debt has not negatively affected car-buying conditions. While the risk to new vehicle sales from falling consumer confidence is undoubtedly higher as a result of the downgrade, favorable buying conditions — increased vehicle availability, increased incentives and continued low interest rates — should offset much of the debt downgrade's effect on consumer confidence," noted Edmunds.com Chief Economist Lacey Plache, PhD, who provides detailed analysis in an AutoObserver.com blog entry entitled "Rising Auto Loan Rates Shouldn't Be a Worry" at http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/08/rising-auto-loan-rates-shouldnt-be-a-worry.html.
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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.