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April Car Sales Drop as Automakers Pull Back on Incentives

April 27, 2010

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This month's new-vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 988,100 units, a 20.9 percent increase from April 2009 and a 7.1 percent decrease from March 2010, according to Edmunds.com.

"In March, incentives really helped boost car sales – especially since Toyota’s high-profile recalls led consumers to expect huge bargains," observed Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com. "In April, incentives averaged nearly $200 less per vehicle industry-wide and sales fell along with incentives.”

“The economy is showing signs of recovery but consumers are still wary, so today car-shopping is largely about bargain-hunting,” commented Edmunds.com Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Anwyl. “Traditionally, summer discounts are worth waiting for but inventory may be spottier than usual this year. The next round of incentives may provide the best opportunity to pick up a great deal on a 2010 model.”

Edmunds.com analysts predict that April's seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) will be 11.2 million, down from 11.8 in March 2010.

“April's dip shows the auto industry's recovery will be a slow and bumpy one," noted Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs in her report for AutoObserver.com. “Ultimately, though, car sales are significantly better than the 9.2 million SAAR of a year ago.”

April 2010 had 26 selling days, the same as last April 2009 (The chart below sets forth comparisons.)

 

 

Change from April 2009

Change from March 2010

Chrysler

18.9%

-1.7%

Ford

25.9%

-8.3%

GM

4.1%

-4.7%

Honda

9.1%

1.8%

Hyundai

35.1%

3.8%

Nissan

51.3%

-25.2%

Toyota

32.6%

-10.2%

Industry Total

20.9%

-7.1%

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 44.2 percent in April 2010, down from 46.6 percent in April 2009 and up from 43.5 percent in March 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 90,800 units in April 2010, up 18.9 percent compared to April 2009 and down 1.7 percent from March 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 9.2 percent for Chrysler in April 2010, down from 9.3 percent in April 2009 and up from 8.7 percent as in March 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 166,500 units in April 2010, up 25.9 percent compared to April 2009 and down 8.3 percent from March 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 16.8 percent of new car sales in April 2010 for Ford, up from 16.2 percent in April 2009 and down from 17.1 percent in March 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 179,200 units in April 2010, up 4.1 percent compared to April 2009 and down 4.7 percent from March 2010. GM's market share is expected to be 18.1 percent of new vehicle sales in April 2010, down from 21.1 percent in April 2009 and up from 17.7 percent in March 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 110,200 units in April 2010, up 9.1 percent from April 2009 and up 1.8 percent from March 2010. Honda’s market share is expected to be 11.2 percent in April 2010, down from 12.4 percent in April 2009 and up from 10.2 percent in March 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Hyundai will sell 80,400 units in April 2010, up 35.1 percent from April 2009 and up 3.8 percent from March 2010. Hyundai’s market share is expected to be 8.1 percent in April 2010, up from 7.3 percent in April 2009 and up from 7.3 percent in March 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 71,400 units in April 2010, up 51.3 percent from April 2009 and down 25.2 percent from March 2010. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.2 percent in April 2010, up from 5.8 percent in April 2009 and down from 9.0 percent in March 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 167,800 units in April 2010, up 32.6 percent from April 2009 and down 10.2 percent from March 2010. Toyota's market share is expected to be 17.0 percent in April 2010, up from 15.5 percent in April 2009 and down from 17.6 percent in March 2010.

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