New Vehicle Sales Continue to Slip in February, Edmunds Forecasts
Analysts say February marks the second consecutive month that the industry will see a SAAR under 17 million, reflecting an ongoing slump in retail demand

SANTA MONICA, CA — February 20, 2019 — Edmunds forecasts that 1,271,009 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in February for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.7 million. This reflects a 12.3 percent increase in sales from January 2019 and a 2.2 percent decrease from February 2018.

"Although the drop-off in sales is rather subtle year over year, February is shaping up to be a good barometer of the gradual sales decline we expect through 2019," said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis. "We're really starting to see a slump in retail demand that stems from the growing costs of new car purchases."

Edmunds analysts note that although Presidents Day marked the first auto sales event of the year, the weekend's sales did not see a significant lift compared to the rest of the month. They also note that the slower sales pace in February indicates that there were few sales recuperated from either the extreme weather conditions or the government shutdown last month.

"It's easy to point fingers at anomalous factors like the polar vortex as the reason for a sales slowdown, but the numbers don't show that's the case," said Acevedo. "Record-high interest rates and rising average transaction prices are what's really putting pressure on the market and keeping car shoppers at bay so far in 2019," said Acevedo.

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Sales
Volume
February
2019 Forecast
February
2018
January
2019
Change from
February 2018
Change from
January 2019
GM 208,137 220,905 185,000 -5.8% 12.5%
Ford 191,743 193,362 171,763 -0.8% 11.6%
Toyota 176,677 182,190 156,021 -3.0% 13.2%
Fiat Chrysler 162,720 165,903 136,082 -1.9% 19.6%
Honda 113,895 115,557 106,139 -1.4% 7.3%
Nissan 113,122 129,930 100,741 -12.9% 12.3%
Hyundai/Kia 87,259 86,767 79,396 0.6% 9.9%
VW/Audi 40,738 42,111 37,327 -3.3% 9.1%
Tesla 19,644
Industry 1,271,009 1,299,533 1,131,804 -2.2% 12.3%

*GM & Ford sales totals for January 2019 are estimated

**NOTE: February 2019 had 24 selling days, February 2018 had 24, and January 2018 had 25.

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.1 million vehicles in February 2019, with fleet transactions accounting for 21.3 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.5 million used vehicles will be sold in February 2019, for a SAAR of 39.3 million (compared to 3.1 million — or a SAAR of 39.2 million — in January).

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER
Market
Share
February
2019 Forecast
February
2018
January
2019
Change from
February 2018
Change from
January 2019
GM 16.4% 17.0% 16.3% -0.6% 0.0%
Ford 15.1% 14.9% 14.8% 0.2% 0.2%
Toyota 13.9% 14.0% 13.8% -0.1% 0.1%
Fiat Chrysler 12.8% 12.8% 12.0% 0.0% 0.8%
Honda 9.0% 8.9% 9.4% 0.1% -0.4%
Nissan 8.9% 10.0% 8.9% -1.1% 0.0%
Hyundai/Kia 6.9% 6.7% 7.0% 0.2% -0.1%
VW/Audi 3.2% 3.2% 3.3% 0.0% -0.1%
Tesla 1.5%

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

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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