SANTA MONICA, California — Edmunds.com is predicting strong April car sales will preview a record-setting pace for the rest of 2016.
"Even though Q1 ended with a relatively lackluster March, the industry is still as strong as ever and this month's sales will only reinforce that strength," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com director of industry analysis. "Considering that April is typically the calm before the storm of summer sales, there's every reason to believe that 2016 will be a year for the history books."
The projected sales will be a 4.8-percent decrease from March 2016, but a 4.3-percent increase from April 2015.
This month's sales are poised to eclipse the April record of 1,500,648 new car and truck sales set in 2005, and 2016 is on track to shatter last year's full-year record of 17.5 million sales.
Truck and SUV sales are expected to be strong when automakers report April sales on Monday.
The Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan, Ford Edge SUV, Jeep Compass SUV and Nissan Sentra compact sedan were standouts in a positive March car sales report that saw car shoppers snapping up vehicles from a wide variety of segments.
Healthy truck sales powered much of the sales momentum in March and included strong sales of the Ford F-150.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers keep flooding showrooms, a trend that's expected to continue for the rest of the year.