Edmunds projects new auto sales will approach record for 2018

Edmunds experts estimate that  just over 1.60 million new cars and trucks will be sold in the country this month for a projected seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.4 million. 

This indicates a 16 percent sales growth from last month and a 0.3 percent increase from December 2017. Edmunds notes this month is anticipated to be the second-best month of this year’s auto sales, drawing 2018 to close at approximately 17.3 million sales, surpassing last year’s 17.2 million vehicles.

"We've been saying all year that 2018 would be a down note for the auto industry, but it ended up defying the odds," said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis. "Automakers are really pulling out all the stops in December to close the year on a high note, and car shoppers seem to be in a buying mood."

Edmunds remarked that unsustainable levels of perks and augmented fleet deliveries contributed to increased sales totals. It estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.6 million vehicles this month, with 16.1 percent fleet transactions of total sales. A projected 2.7 million used vehicles will be sold in this month, for a SAAR of 39.7 million (compared to 3.0 million or a SAAR of 39.8 million last month).

"Even though 2018 is ending stronger than expected, there are a lot of reasons to approach 2019 with caution," Acevedo said. "Automakers continue to rely heavily on upping fleet sales to mask eroding retail demand, and that's not a sustainable place to be. A record number of lessees returning to the market should help give dealers a boost in the New Year, but rising interest rates and vehicle costs are going to continue to give car shoppers pause and create uncertainty in the market."

Sales
Volume
December
2018 Forecast
December
2017
November
2018
Change from
December 2017
Change from
November 2018
GM*
297,572
308,539
249,000
-3.6%
19.5%
Toyota
220,041
222,974
190,423
-1.3%
15.6%
Ford
218,111
240,910
195,255
-9.5%
11.7%
Fiat Chrysler
199,560
171,946
181,310
16.1%
10.1%
Honda
146,522
149,317
120,534
-1.9%
21.6%
Nissan
129,736
138,226
110,513
-6.1%
17.4%
Hyundai/Kia
115,405
106,633
102,600
8.2%
12.5%
VW/Audi
54,991
57,258
43,871
-4.0%
25.3%
Tesla
19,336
-
-
-
-
Industry
1,607,724
1,603,129
1,385,917
0.3%
16.0%

*GM sales totals for November 2018 are estimated

**NOTE: December 2018 had 26 selling days, December 2017 had 26 and November 2018 had 25.

Market
Share
December
2018 Forecast
December
2017
November
2018
Change from
December 2017
Change from
November 2018
GM
18.5%
19.2%
18.0%
-0.7%
0.5%
Toyota
13.7%
13.9%
13.7%
-0.2%
-0.1%
Ford
13.6%
15.0%
14.1%
-1.5%
-0.5%
Fiat Chrysler
12.4%
10.7%
13.1%
1.7%
-0.7%
Honda
9.1%
9.3%
8.7%
-0.2%
0.4%
Nissan
8.1%
8.6%
8.0%
-0.6%
0.1%
Hyundai/Kia
7.2%
6.7%
7.4%
0.5%
-0.2%
VW/Audi
3.4%
3.6%
3.2%
-0.2%
0.3%
Tesla
1.2%
-
-
-
-


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