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Edmunds.com: March Auto Sales Will Be Low

April 01, 2008

Santa Monica, Calif. Last month's new-vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1.33 million units, a 13.2-percent decrease from March 2007 and a 13.9-percent increase from February 2008, according to Edmunds.com.

March 2008 had 26 selling days, two less than March 2007. When adjusted for this difference, sales decreased 6.5 percent from March 2007.

"Consumers feel there is no compelling reason to buy a car right now," observed Jesse Toprak, executive director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com. "Some shoppers seem to be waiting for dramatic incentive announcements that seem inevitable, while other consumers are likely more focused on general economic and personal financial concerns."

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 51.1 percent in March 2008, down from 52.7 percent in March 2007 and down from 52.2 percent in February 2008.

"March was tough and virtually no automaker was spared," commented Michelle Krebs, senior editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "Unfortunately, the industry is still on track to have the worst year in recent memory."

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 170,000 units in March 2008, down 17.7 percent compared to March 2007 and up 13.4 percent from February 2008. This would result in a new-car market share of 12.8 percent for Chrysler in March 2008, down from 13.5 percent in March 2007 and even at 12.8 percent in February 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 217,000 units in March 2008, down 15.1 percent compared to March 2007 and up 13.5 percent from February 2008. This would result in a new-car market share of 16.3 percent of new-car sales in March 2008 for Ford, down from 16.7 percent in March 2007 and even at 16.3 percent in February 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 294,000 units in March 2008, down 15.1 percent compared to March 2007 and up 9.0 percent from February 2008. GM's market share is expected to be 22.1 percent of new-vehicle sales in March 2008, down from 22.6 percent in March 2007 and down from 23.1 percent in February 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 134,000 units in March 2008, down 6.7 percent from March 2007 and up 16.0 percent from February 2008. Honda's market share is expected to be 10.1 percent in March 2008, up from 9.4 percent in March 2007 and up slightly from 9.9 percent in February 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 102,000 units in March 2008, down 8.4 percent from March 2007 and up 18.1 percent from February 2008. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.7 percent in March 2008, up from 7.2 percent in March 2007 and up slightly from 7.4 percent in February 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 211,000 units in March 2008, down 13.0 percent from March 2007 and up 15.9 percent from February 2008. Toyota's market share is expected to be 15.9 percent in March 2008, up from 15.8 percent in March 2007 and up slightly from 15.6 percent in February 2008.

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