March Sales Uptick Closes Out Strong First Quarter, Edmunds Forecasts

March Sales Uptick Closes Out Strong First Quarter, Edmunds Forecasts

Despite SAAR of 16.9 million, analysts warn absence of strong incentives may temper sales in coming months


SANTA MONICA, CA — March 28, 2018 — Edmunds, the leading car shopping and information platform, forecasts that 1,597,256 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in March for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.9 million. This reflects a 23.2 percent increase in sales from February 2018 and a 3.0 percent increase from March 2017.

"Healthy first-quarter numbers indicate the industry is on solid ground, but that doesn't mean we can expect another banner year for new car sales," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. "Though March tends to be a prognosticator for the year as a whole, if automakers remain disciplined with incentives and further rein in spending, we could potentially see sales start to tumble in the high-volume summer months when shoppers aren't seeing the deals they are looking for."

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Sales
Volume
March
2018 Forecast
March
2017
February
2018
Change from
March 2017
Change from
February 2018
GM 265,570 256,224 220,905 3.6% 20.2%
Ford 241,438 234,895 193,362 2.8% 24.9%
Toyota 225,727 215,224 182,195 4.9% 23.9%
Fiat Chrysler 196,477 190,254 165,903 3.3% 18.4%
Nissan 167,596 168,832 129,930 -0.7% 29.0%
Honda 142,552 137,227 115,557 3.9% 23.4%
Hyundai/Kia 109,891 118,694 86,767 -7.4% 26.7%
VW/Audi 52,044 46,340 42,111 12.3% 23.6%
Industry 1,597,256 1,549,991 1,296,840 3.0% 23.2%
*NOTE: March 2018 had 28 selling days, March 2017 had 27, and February 2018 had 24.

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.3 million vehicles in March 2018, with fleet transactions accounting for 21.4 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.7 million used vehicles will be sold in March 2018, for a SAAR of 39.3 million (compared to 3.5 million — or a SAAR of 39.1 million — in February).

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Market
Share
March
2018 Forecast
March
2017
February
2018
Change from
March 2017
Change from
February 2018
GM 16.6% 16.5% 17.0% 0.1% -0.4%
Ford 15.1% 15.2% 14.9% 0.0% 0.2%
Toyota 14.1% 13.9% 14.0% 0.2% 0.1%
Fiat Chrysler 12.3% 12.3% 12.8% 0.0% -0.5%
Nissan 10.5% 10.9% 10.0% -0.4% 0.5%
Honda 8.9% 8.9% 8.9% 0.1% 0.0%
Hyundai/Kia 6.9% 7.7% 6.7% -0.8% 0.2%
VW/Audi 3.3% 3.0% 3.2% 0.3% 0.0%

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.

About Edmunds
Edmunds is the leading car information and shopping platform, helping millions of visitors each month find their perfect car. With products such as Edmunds Your Price, Your Lease and Used+, shoppers can buy smarter with instant, upfront prices for cars and trucks currently for sale at more than 13,000 dealer franchises across the U.S. Edmunds' in-house team of unbiased car-shopping experts provide industry-leading vehicle reviews and shopping tips, and the company also has a 20-year-old forums community of car shoppers and enthusiasts, where members can get shopping advice and learn what others are buying and leasing cars for. The company is regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work. Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Michigan.

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