Memorial Day Weekend Sales Expected to Prop Up New Vehicle Sales in May, Edmunds Forecasts
Analysts predict a SAAR of 11.8 million as generous incentives helped drive more consumers back to the market

SANTA MONICA, CA — May 28, 2020 — The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that generous financing offers and incentives during Memorial Day weekend helped give the auto industry a much-needed boost in May, forecasting that 1,074,542 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 11.8 million. This reflects a 32.5% decrease in sales from May 2019, but a 50.5% increase from April 2020.

"We can safely say that April was the bottom for auto sales during the coronavirus pandemic," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. "There's still a long road to recovery ahead, but May auto sales are a really encouraging sign for the industry. The unprecedented deals broadcast by automakers and dealers really did the trick in getting more consumers to reenter the market, social distancing and all."

Edmunds experts note that automakers have already begun to dial back some of the more generous financing incentives made available at the start of the crisis; consumer demand continues to grow and inventory could begin to dwindle as auto manufacturers work on getting their factories safely and consistently up and running.

"The best car shopping deals of the summer are happening right now and they're not going to last," said Caldwell. "If you're in the market for a new car, now is the time to pull the trigger. Once automakers start to pump the brakes on their incentive spending, many cash-strapped Americans will be left in the lurch."

2020 May
May 2019 April 2020 Change from
May 2019
Change from
April 2020
GM 186,325 260,618 138,420 -28.5% 34.6%
Ford 158,088 233,560 120,044 -32.3% 31.7%
Toyota 152,336 222,174 84,694 -31.4% 79.9%
FCA 141,506 218,702 91,749 -35.3% 54.2%
Honda 101,203 145,532 57,751 -30.5% 75.2%
Hyundai/Kia 97,581 128,496 66,479 -24.1% 46.8%
Nissan 71,065 131,983 46,287 -46.2% 53.5%
VW/Audi 32,008 54,594 25,678 -41.4% 24.7%
Industry 1,074,542 1,591,116 713,962 -32.5% 50.5%

*NOTE: May 2020 had 26 selling days, May 2019 had 26 and April 2020 had 26.


Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 10.2 million vehicles in May 2020, with fleet transactions accounting for 13.5% of total sales.

2020 May
May 2019 April 2020 Change from
May 2019
Change from
April 2020
GM 17.3% 16.4% 19.4% 5.9% -10.6%
Ford 14.7% 14.7% 16.8% 0.2% -12.5%
Toyota 14.2% 14.0% 11.9% 1.5% 19.5%
FCA 13.2% 13.7% 12.9% -4.2% 2.5%
Honda 9.4% 9.1% 8.1% 3.0% 16.4%
Hyundai/Kia 9.1% 8.1% 9.3% 12.4% -2.5%
Nissan 6.6% 8.3% 6.5% -20.3% 2.0%
VW/Audi 3.0% 3.4% 3.6% -13.2% -17.2%

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

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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