New Vehicle Sales Expected to Lift Slightly in August, Edmunds Forecasts

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Lift Slightly in August, Edmunds Forecasts

Hurricane Harvey depressed August auto sales in 2017, making for a favorable year-over-year comparison, but Edmunds analysts say auto market still shows signs of weakness


SANTA MONICA, CA — August 29, 2018 — Edmunds forecasts that 1,496,834 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in August for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.8 million. This reflects a 10.2 percent increase in sales from July 2018 and a 1.2 percent increase from August 2017.

"Hurricane Harvey depressed August sales by 2 percent when it hit last year, which is likely why we're seeing a year-over-year lift in sales," said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis. "Despite this slight boost, August sales fall in line with the slower overall sales pace we expect to see through the second half of the year."

Edmunds analysts also note that through July, inventories reached their lowest levels since 2016. While this is a positive sign that the industry has right-sized supply for decreasing demand, fewer vehicles on dealer lots means fewer vehicles are being sold compared to recent years.

"There are a lot of things working against the automotive market right now: Incentive spending is maxed out, interest rates are rising, and vehicle prices are reaching record highs," said Acevedo. "Add to that the uncertainty that comes with renegotiating NAFTA and tariff talks and it amounts to what could be a challenging back half of the year for automakers."

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Sales
Volume
August 2018
Forecast
August
2017
July
2018
Change from
August 2017
Change from
July 2018
GM 252,215 275,552 220,000 -8.5% 14.6%
Toyota 228,757 227,625 208,770 0.5% 9.6%
Ford 205,305 209,029 192,743 -1.8% 6.5%
Fiat Chrysler 202,363 176,033 170,970 15.0% 18.4%
Honda 149,647 146,015 138,602 2.5% 8.0%
Nissan 120,379 108,326 108,792 11.1% 10.7%
Hyundai/Kia 110,872 107,633 104,864 3.0% 5.7%
VW/Audi 53,450 51,826 49,741 3.1% 7.5%
Industry 1,496,834 1,478,581 1,358,054 1.2% 10.2%
*GM sales totals for July 2018 are estimated

**NOTE: August 2018 had 27 selling days, August 2017 had 27 and July 2018 had 24.

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.3 million vehicles in August 2018, with fleet transactions accounting for 14.5 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.4 million used vehicles will be sold in August 2018, for a SAAR of 39.7 million (compared to 3.4 million — or a SAAR of 39.5 million — in July).

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Market
Share
August 2018
Forecast
August
2017
July
2018
Change from
August 2017
Change from
July 2018
GM 16.8% 18.6% 16.2% -1.8% 0.7%
Toyota 15.3% 15.4% 15.4% -0.1% -0.1%
Ford 13.7% 14.1% 14.2% -0.4% -0.5%
Fiat Chrysler 13.5% 11.9% 12.6% 1.6% 0.9%
Honda 10.0% 9.9% 10.2% 0.1% -0.2%
Nissan 8.0% 7.3% 8.0% 0.7% 0.0%
Hyundai/Kia 7.4% 7.3% 7.7% 0.1% -0.3%
VW/Audi 3.6% 3.5% 3.7% 0.1% -0.1%

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 guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. 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 Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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