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KBB Sees New-Car Sales Cooling in October

October 25, 2012

IRVINE, Calif. —Through the first three weeks of October, the seasonal fourth-quarter slowdown in new-car sales clearly is in full effect, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The vehicle information site said it expects new-vehicle sales to drop to a 14.7 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in October after hitting 14.9 million last month. Analysts expect declines in both fleet and retail sales. 

“Fleet sales likely will decline 20,000 to 25,000 units overall, while retail sales will drive the remaining decline,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. “Retail sales typically slow in October following September’s model-year clearance sales, featuring heavy discounts on soon-to-be replaced vehicles.”

Although sales have dropped month over month, they remain high compared to this time last year. Sales will improve 10.7 percent vs. October 2011, led by strong sales of fuel-efficient compact cars. Kelley Blue Book expects compact cars such as the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus to increase nearly 44 percent in October, coinciding with the highest fuel prices on record for this time of year. 

“Sales in California will be especially strong with gas prices currently more than 70 cents per gallon above the national average,” said Gutierrez. “This will trigger incremental sales growth in the electric and hybrid categories as well. However, due to their high cost of entry, Kelley Blue Book doesn’t anticipate sales volume for these segments to increase beyond the 2 percent market share consistently held during the past several years.”

Kelley Blue Book:  Compact Car Sales to Surge with High Fuel Prices

   

 

Sales Volume

Market Share

Segment

Oct-12

Oct-11

YOY%

Oct-12

Oct-11

YOY

Mid-Size Car

178,540

165,689

7.8%

15.8%

16.2%

-0.4%

Compact Car

178,540

123,621

44.4%

15.8%

12.1%

3.7%

Compact Crossover

129,950

111,457

16.6%

11.5%

10.9%

0.6%

Full-Size Pickup Truck

135,600

134,035

1.2%

12.0%

13.1%

-1.1%

Subcompact Car

46,330

43,383

6.8%

4.1%

4.2%

-0.1%

Total

1,130,000

1,021,185

10.7%

-

-

-

*Includes segments not shown

           

 

Volkswagen to Lead Year-Over-Year Sales Gains

Once again, Volkswagen will lead industry gains in October, thanks to strong sales of the redesigned Jetta and Passat. “A lower point of entry and competitive lease offers for these models have helped increase sales among mainstream consumers, while those seeking fuel efficiency and a sporty drive can look to Volkswagen’s TDI offerings,” said Gutierrez. “High fuel prices and Volkswagen’s multiple diesel offerings have helped the brand continue to capture U.S. market share.” 

Toyota also benefits from high fuel prices, and Kelley Blue Book said it expects the brand to improve by 26.4 percent this month. Toyota has seen strong demand for the Prius, Corolla, Yaris and other fuel-sipping options, allowing it to continue to recapture market share. All manufacturers are expected to show solid gains compared to last year, despite month-over-month industry declines. 

     

 

Sales Volume

Market Share

Manufacturer

Oct-12

Oct-11

YOY%

Oct-12

Oct-11

YOY

General Motors

203,400

186,895

8.8%

18.0%

18.3%

-0.3%

Ford Motor Company

172,890

167,502

3.2%

15.3%

16.4%

-1.1%

Toyota Motor Company

169,500

134,046

26.4%

15.0%

13.1%

1.9%

Chrysler Group

133,340

114,512

16.4%

11.8%

11.2%

0.6%

American Honda

115,000

98,333

16.9%

10.2%

9.6%

0.0%

Hyundai-Kia

100,000

90,092

11.0%

8.8%

8.8%

0.0%

Nissan North America

91,000

82,346

10.5%

8.1%

8.1%

0.0%

Volkswagen

49,720

38,253

30.0%

4.4%

3.7%

0.7%

Total

1,130,000

1,021,185

10.7%

-

-

-

*Includes brands not shown

           

 

 

 

 

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