The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Software & Technology

March New-Car Sales Expected to Increase 2%

March 27, 2014

IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book reported this week that it expects new-vehicle sales to rise nearly 2% year over year to 1.48 million units. The firm’s prediction for March’s seasonally adjusted annual rate is 15.7 million.

First quarter total sales are expected to be at 3.68 million, down 0.3% from the first quarter 2013. A 15.7 million SAAR would mark the 17th consecutive month above 15 million and the greatest March since 2007.   

“Following two months of weaker-than-expected sales, the industry should start to bounce back in March,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Although we aren’t expected to hit 16 million SAAR, indications show that consumers are returning to showrooms in spring. The momentum built in March should set the market up for a big month in April. 

“Those consumers that delayed a purchase in January and February will find a modest increase in available incentives, which should help to offset gains in average transaction prices.” 

Kelley Blue Book said it expects new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, to hit 1,475,000 units in March, up 1.5% from March 2013 and up 23.8% from February 2014. The SAAR for March is estimated to be 15.7 million, up from 15.3 million in both February 2014 and March 2013.

Retail sales are expected to account for 82% of volume in March 2014, the firm added.

Chrysler is expected to report the biggest gain in year-over-year March sales at 7.2%, with its Jeep and RAM brands leading the way. Their gains are continually driven by the popular all-new Jeep Cherokee and the RAM pickup truck, with sales up nearly 25% so far this year. Kelley Blue Book said it also expects Toyota to rebound from the slow start to the year with a big push form Camry and continued strength in sales for the recently redesigned RAV4. 

Compact crossovers continue to lead industry gains in March, with the firm projecting a 15% year-over-year increase. The Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4, all redesigned last year, are leading the way, accounting for 70% of the segment’s growth since the beginning of the year. 

“Consumers are opting for compact crossovers at the expense of segments like mid-size cars, which transact just $1,500 lower,” Gutierrez said. “Kelley Blue Book expects mid-size cars to remain mostly flat in March due to big sales of the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Honda Accord, but demand in this segment in 2014 has been weaker than the previous two years.” 

There are 26 selling days in March 2014 compared to 27 in March 2013. All percentages are based on raw volume, not daily selling rate. 

 

Sales Volume 1

Market Share 2

Manufacturer

Mar-14

Mar-13

YOY %

Mar-14

Mar-13

YOY %

General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)

247,000

245,950

0.4%

16.7%

16.9%

-0.2%

Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)

238,000

235,643

1.0%

16.1%

16.2%

-0.1%

Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)

210,000

205,342

2.3%

14.2%

14.1%

0.1%

Chrysler Group (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, RAM)

184,000

171,606

7.2%

12.5%

11.8%

0.7%

American Honda (Acura, Honda)

136,000

136,038

0.0%

9.2%

9.4%

-0.1%

Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)

140,000

137,726

1.7%

9.5%

9.5%

0.0%

Hyundai-Kia

115,000

117,431

-2.1%

7.8%

8.1%

-0.3%

Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen)

47,000

50,957

-7.8%

3.2%

3.5%

-0.3%

Total 3

1,475,000

1,453,038

1.5%

-

-

-

1 Historical data from OEM sales announcements

           

2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights

           

3 Includes brands not shown

           

 

 

Sales Volume 1

Market Share

Segment

Mar-14

Mar-13

YOY %

Mar-14

Mar-13

YOY %

Mid-Size Car

248,000

249,053

-0.4%

16.8%

17.1%

-0.3%

Compact Car

208,000

219,909

-5.4%

14.1%

15.1%

-1.0%

Compact Crossover

205,000

177,602

15.4%

13.9%

12.2%

1.7%

Full-Size Pickup Truck

167,000

168,344

-0.8%

11.3%

11.6%

-0.3%

Entry Luxury Car

57,000

57,304

-0.5%

3.9%

3.9%

-0.1%

Total 2

1,475,000

1,453,038

1.5%

-

-

-

1 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights

           

2 Includes segments not shown

           

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

CLOSE [X]

READ NEXT

Industry Summit Adds Dealership Sales & Technology Track

Dealership Sales & Technology joins the F&I, Special Finance and P&A Leadership tracks for the annual event, which will be held Sept. 8–10 at Paris Las Vegas.