Edmunds Forecasts Flat New-Vehicle Sales in May

Automakers will sell 1,527,363 new cars and trucks in May, according to the monthly sales forecast issued today by Edmunds. That would be a 7.5 percent jump from April 2017 and a 0.3 percent increase from May 2016, essentially flat performance compared to this time last year. But a lot depends on whether shoppers visit dealerships and pump up sales over the holiday weekend.

"Generous incentives are keeping traffic flowing to dealer lots, but a lot is riding on Memorial Day sales for automakers to keep momentum strong through the critical summer selling months," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. "As long as high inventories continue to drive attractive deals and the economy remains strong, consumers will be in a great position to take advantage of a buyer's market this summer."

Edmunds analysts estimate that 3.3 million used vehicles will be sold in May 2017, compared to 3.4 million in April.

Among major manufacturers, only General Motors, Ford and Toyota will realize year-over-year sales growth in May, according to Edmunds. GM will see the largest increase, with a jump of 5.7 percent (254,104 sales this month, compared to 240,450 in May 2016). It is followed by Ford, with an increase of 2 percent (239,435 sales, up from 234,748 at this time last year). Toyota will see a gain of 0.1 percent (219,654 sales, compared to 219,339 in May of 2016).

According to the Edmunds forecast, Fiat Chrysler will experience the largest year-over-year sales reduction: 4.8 percent (185,367 sales this month, down from 194,720 in May 2016). Hyundai/Kia will see a drop of 3 percent (129,905 units, compared to 133,932 at this time last year), followed by Nissan with a loss of 2.1 percent (130,743 sales, down from 133,496 in May of 2016). Honda sees a 1.4 percent decline (145,105 units, compared to 147,108 in May 2016). VW/Audi is expected to have a 1.2 percent decline (46,936 units, off from 47,507 at this time last year).

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center.

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