July Auto Sales Underscore the Strength of the Retail Market, Says Edmunds.com

July Auto Sales Underscore the Strength of the Retail Market, Says Edmunds.com

July Auto Sales Underscore the Strength of the Retail Market, Says Edmunds.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — July 26, 2012 — An estimated 1,166,665 new cars will be sold in July for a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.0 million light vehicles, according to the latest auto sales forecast by Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. The projected sales would be a 9.2 percent decrease from June 2012, but a 10.2 percent increase from July 2011 — even with two fewer selling days, year over year.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 12.0 million vehicles in July, with fleet transactions accounting for 14.2 percent of total sales, accounting for the lowest mix of fleet sales of any month in 2012.

"July generally has the lowest mix of fleet sales every year, so this month tested the strength of the retail market," says Edmunds.com Senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. "With a pace that's still on track for around 14 million vehicles, it's a good sign that fleet is not carrying the industry.

Sales Volume July-12 Forecast July-11 June-12 Change from July 2011* Change from June 2012
GM 214,315 214,915 248,750 -0.3% -13.8%
Ford 175,791 180,323 207,204 -2.5% -15.2%
Toyota 169,617 130,802 177,795 29.7% -4.6%
Honda 123,668 80,502 124,808 53.6% -0.9%
Chrysler 122,301 112,026 144,811 9.2% -15.5%
Nissan 98,216 84,601 92,237 16.1% 6.5%
Industry 1,166,665 1,059,118 1,284,960 10.2% -9.2%
*NOTE: July 2012 had 24 selling days; July 2011 had 26

An estimated 3.2 million used cars will be sold in July, for a SAAR of 36.4 million. The pace is relatively flat compared to the 2.9 million used car sales in June for a SAAR of 36.5 million.

Low Fleet Levels Affect U.S. Automakers
July's low fleet levels will, however, have a clear impact on individual automakers this month. Edmunds.com projects that each of the Big 3 U.S. manufacturers will lose market share in July, while the Japanese Big 3 will show gains.

"Because domestic automakers tend to have a higher percentage of fleet sales, it's no surprise that their market shares will all take a hit this month," says Caldwell. "But with new product launches driving today's ultra-competitive retail environment between automakers, it will be that much more difficult to recover any lost market share."

Market Share July 12 Forecast July-11 Jun-12 Change from July 2011 (Percentage pts.) Change from Jun 2012 (Percentage pts.)
GM 18.4% 20.3% 19.4% -1.9% -1.0%
Ford 15.1% 17.0% 16.1% -2.0% -1.1%
Toyota 14.5% 12.4% 13.8% 2.2% 0.7%
Honda 10.6% 7.6% 9.7% 3.0% 0.9%
Chrysler 10.5% 10.6% 11.3% -0.1% -0.8%
Nissan 8.4% 8.0% 7.2% 0.4% 1.2%

Ford is expected to lose the most among the major automakers month over month (-1.1 percentage points), while Edmunds.com expects Nissan to show the biggest gain (+1.2 percentage points).

About Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. 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.

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