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Vehicle Sales Could Use Stimulation, Says Edmunds

August 27, 2010

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This month's new-vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1,028,200 units, a 17.7 percent decrease from August 2009 and a 1.4 percent decrease from July 2010, according to Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com analysts predict that August's seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) will be 11.8 million, up from 11.5 in July 2010.

“Based on the pattern of previous recessions, new-car sales should have recovered 71 percent from 2009's low point, delivering a SAAR of 16.6 million units by this June. However, not this time – and the same factors depressing the recovery in auto sales over the past year are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, keeping sales in the 12-million unit range even through next year,” Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Karl Brauer stated in his AutoObserver.com report “What’s Really Holding Back the Auto Industry.”

August 2010 had 25 selling days, one less than last August 2009. When adjusted for this difference, sales decreased 14.4 percent from August 2009. (The chart below sets forth other unadjusted and adjusted comparisons.)

 

 

Change from August 2009 (Adjusted for less selling days)

Change from August 2009 (Unadjusted for less selling days)

Change from July 2010 (Unadjusted for less selling days)

Chrysler

11.6 %

7.3 %

6.4 %

Ford

-6.9 %

-10.5 %

-3.2 %

GM

-20.1 %

-23.1 %

-5.8 %

Honda

-24.7 %

-27.6 %

3.4 %

Nissan

-23.5 %

-26.5 %

-6.6 %

Toyota

-25.4 %

-28.3 %

-4.6 %

Industry Total

-14.4 %

-17.7 %

-1.4 %

"Comparing to last August is not meaningful since Cash for Clunkers distorted the market so badly last year," observed Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com. “It is likely that the current slow sales pace can be partly attributed to the thousands of ‘pull-ahead’ sales that last year’s CARS program stole from subsequent months.”

Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl reflects on Cash for Clunkers one year later at his blog Just to Clarify.

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 43.4 percent in August 2010, up from 41.2 percent in August 2009, but down from 43.8 percent in July 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 98,100 units in August 2010, up 7.3 percent compared to August 2009 and up 6.4 percent from July 2010. This would result in a new-car market share of 9.5 percent for Chrysler in August 2010, up from 7.3 percent in August 2009, and up from 8.8 percent as in July 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 159,500 units in August 2010, down 10.5 percent compared to August 2009 and down 3.2 percent from July 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 15.5 percent of new car sales in August 2010 for Ford, up from 14.3 percent in August 2009, but down from 15.8 percent in July 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 188,100 units in August 2010, down 23.1 percent compared to August 2009 and down 5.8 percent from July 2010. GM's market share is expected to be 18.3 percent of new-vehicle sales in August 2010, down from 19.6 percent in August 2009, and down from 19.1 percent in July 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 116,300 units in August 2010, down 27.6 percent from August 2009, but up 3.4 percent from July 2010. Honda’s market share is expected to be 11.3 percent in August 2010, down from 12.9 percent in August 2009, but up from 10.8 percent in July 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 76,900 units in August 2010, down 26.5 percent from August 2009, and down 6.6 percent from July 2010. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.5 percent in August 2010, down from 8.4 percent in August 2009, and down from 7.9 percent in July 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 161,400 units in August 2010, down 28.3 percent from August 2009, and down 4.6 percent from July 2010. Toyota's market share is expected to be 15.7 percent in August 2010, down from 18.0 percent in August 2009, and down from 16.2 percent in July 2010.

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