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Edmunds.com Forecasts March Will Deliver Biggest Sales Month in Almost Five Years


sales graph (select to view enlarged photo)

SANTA MONICA, CA--Mar h 28, 2013: Edmunds.com, forecasts that 1,478,208 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in March for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 15.6 million light vehicles. Edmunds.com expects March to be the biggest single month since 1,555,945 new cars and trucks were sold in May 2007. It is also the fifth consecutive month to register a SAAR above 15 million light vehicles. The projected sales will be a 24.0 percent increase from February 2013, and a 5.3 percent increase from March 2012.

“We're not quite back to pre-recession levels, but the industry is getting closer to a full recovery every month.”

"As long as the auto industry continues this string of 15-plus million SAAR every month, there won't be any shortage of optimism," says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "We're not quite back to pre-recession levels, but the industry is getting closer to a full recovery every month."

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume

March 2013
Forecast

March
2012

February
2013

Change from
March 2012*

Change from
February 2013*

GM 251,444 231,052 224,314 8.8 % 12.1 %
Ford 231,844 223,262 195,310 3.8 % 18.7 %
Toyota 204,782 203,282 166,377 0.7 % 23.1 %
Chrysler Group 173,007 163,381 139,014 5.9 % 24.5 %
Honda 138,204 126,999 107,987 8.8 % 28.0 %
Nissan 139,693 135,939 99,636 2.8 % 40.2 %
Industry 1,478,208 1,403,909 1,191,904 5.3 % 24.0 %

*NOTE: March 2013 had 27 selling days, March 2012 had 28 and February 2013 had 24.

Edmunds.com estimates that Retail SAAR will come in at 12.4 million vehicles in March, with fleet transactions accounting for 20.4 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.44 million used cars will be sold in March, for a SAAR of 36.6 million (compared to 3.36 million -- or a SAAR of 37.4 million -- used car sales in February).

AUTOMAKER PERFORMANCE

Edmunds.com predicts that General Motors will show the biggest month-to-month declines, falling from 18.8% of all U.S. auto sales in February to 17.0 percent in March. Disappearing truck incentives from February are a big reason for the sharp decline. Nissan, meanwhile, is expected to enjoy the biggest market share bump in March, climbing 1.1 percentage points to 9.5% of all U.S. auto sales. It's anticipated to be Nissan's biggest single-month market share since March of last year.

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share

Mar-13
Forecast

Mar-12 Feb-13 Change from March 2012
(Percentage pts.)
Change from February 2013
(Percentage pts.)
GM 17.0 % 16.5 % 18.8 % 0.6 % -1.8 %
Ford 15.7 % 15.9 % 16.4 % -0.2 % -0.7 %
Toyota 13.9 % 14.5 % 14.0 % -0.6 % -0.1 %
Chrysler Group 11.7 % 11.6 % 11.7 % 0.1 % 0.0 %
Honda 9.3 % 9.0 % 9.1 % 0.3 % 0.3 %
Nissan 9.5 % 9.7 % 8.4 % -0.2 % 1.1 %