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December New-Vehicle Sales Up From Previous Month, Says Edmunds.com

December 29, 2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- December's new vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 852,000 units, a 38.4 percent decrease from December 2007 but a 14.6 percent increase from November 2008, according to Edmunds.com. Typically, this month's sales are about 18 percent higher than November’s.

"Despite the unit sales increase from November, December's expected 9.8 million SAAR will be the lowest of the year," stated Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com. "As questions about the economy remain unanswered, many consumers are reluctant to respond to the incredibly generous deals available on new cars."

Based on this forecast, annual sales for 2008 will total just over 13 million, a decrease of almost three million, or 18 percent, from 2007.

December 2008 had 26 selling days, the same as last December 2007 and one more than November 2008.

Edmunds.com analysts predict that for the first time in nine months, trucks will outsell cars.

"Despite all the public discussion of fuel efficiency, SUVs and trucks are the industry's biggest sellers right now as a remarkable number of buyers seem to be compelled by three factors: great deals, low gas prices and winter weather," commented Michelle Krebs, Senior Editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "Meanwhile, Toyota has slowed production of the industry’s flagship hybrid vehicle, the Prius, due to lack of interest and growing inventory of the once best-selling model."

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 51.0 percent in December 2008, down from 51.9 percent in December 2007 and up from 48.2 percent in November 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 104,000 units in December 2008, down 45.6 percent compared to December 2007 and up 22.4 percent from November 2008. This would result in a new car market share of 12.2 percent for Chrysler in December 2008, down from 13.8 percent in December 2007 and up from 11.4 percent in November 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 137,000 units in December 2008, down 33.8 percent compared to December 2007 and up 13.5 percent from November 2008. This would result in a new car market share of 16.0 percent of new car sales in December 2008 for Ford, up from 14.9 percent in December 2007 and down from 16.2 percent in November 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 194,000 units in December 2008, down 39.3 percent compared to December 2007 and up 26.6 percent from November 2008. GM's market share is expected to be 22.8 percent of new vehicle sales in December 2008, down from 23.1 percent in December 2007 and up from 20.6 percent in November 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 82,000 units in December 2008, down 37.7 percent from December 2007 and up 7.7 percent from November 2008. Honda’s market share is expected to be 9.6 percent in December 2008, up from 9.5 percent in December 2007 and down from 10.3 percent in November 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 52,000 units in December 2008, down 42.1 percent from December 2007 and up 11.2 percent from November 2008. Nissan's market share is expected to be 6.1 percent in December 2008, down from 6.5 percent in December 2007 and down from 6.3 percent in November 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 137,000 units in December 2008, down 38.8 percent from December 2007 and up 5.4 percent from November 2008. Toyota's market share is expected to be 16.1 percent in December 2008, down from 16.2 percent in December 2007 and down from 17.5 percent in November 2008.

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