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Edmunds.com Forecasts January Auto Sales

January 29, 2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This month's new vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1.05 million units, a 2.9 percent decrease from January 2007 and a 23.8 percent decrease from December 2007, according to Edmunds.com. This amounts to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.1 million units.

"Car sales were remarkably slow in January, probably in part because of dramatic stock market fluctuations that flustered consumers at a time when the housing market and other economic uncertainties were also making headlines and causing stress,” observed Jesse Toprak, executive director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com. "Activity at dealerships began to pick up a bit toward the end of the month, pulling up the average from what would have been a much more significant decline compared with previous periods."

Edmunds predicts that almost all automakers suffered a decline in sales in January. The month-over-month comparison is within a normal range since it is not unusual for December holidays to cause a mid-winter boost that cannot be sustained in January. However, Edmunds’ analysts point out that the year-over-year declines are notable.

"The first half of 2008 will be tough going for all automakers, but the second half looks more promising because of a host of interesting new products, political changes and, hopefully, a settling down of this economic roller coaster we're on right now," commented Michelle Krebs, senior editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com.

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 50.7 percent in January 2008, down from 51.8 percent in January 2007 and down from 51.9 percent in December 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 148,000 units in January 2008, down 5.4 percent compared to January 2007 and down 22.6 percent from December 2007. This would result in a new-car market share of 14.0 percent for Chrysler in January 2008, down from 14.4 percent in January 2007 and up slightly from 13.8 percent in December 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 155,000 units in January 2008, down 3.8 percent compared to January 2007 and down 24.9 percent from December 2007. This would result in a market share of 14.7 percent of new-car sales in January 2008 for Ford, down slightly from 14.8 percent in January 2007 and down slightly from 14.9 percent in December 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 232,000 units in January 2008, down 5.3 percent compared to January 2007 and down 27.5 percent from December 2007. GM's market share is expected to be 22.0 percent of new vehicle sales in January 2008, down from 22.6 percent in January 2007 and down from 23.1 percent in December 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 103,000 units in January 2008, up 2.3 percent from January 2007 and down 21.8 percent from December 2007. Honda’s market share is expected to be 9.8 percent in January 2008, up from 9.3 percent in January 2007 and up slightly from 9.5 percent in December 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 81,000 units in January 2008, down 1.7 percent from January 2007 and down 9.0 percent from December 2007. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.7 percent in January 2008, up slightly from 7.6 percent in January 2007 and up from 6.4 percent in December 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 176,000 units in January 2008, unchanged from January 2007 and down 21.6 percent from December 2007. Toyota's market share is expected to be 16.7 percent in January 2008, up from 16.2 percent in January 2007 and up from 16.2 percent in December 2007.

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