Edmunds forecasts a reduction in new vehicle sales for March, ending Q1 with a low note

Edmunds has projected that 1,588,185 new vehicles were sold in the country in March, with a forecasted seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.2 million.

The projection reflected a 25.3 percent growth in sales from February 2019, but a comparative 4 percent drop from March 2018. The first quarter sales of 2019 is expected to be 3 percent lower than the same period last year, which is about 122,000 units lesser.

“We can now confidently say new vehicle sales are past their peak; the question now is what the new normal will be,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis. “With new vehicle prices continuing to rise, interest rates sustaining post-recession highs and leasing growing increasingly expensive, pressure on the market is mounting.”

The car shopping experts further noted that the auto industry could see a considerable decline in sales compared with the preceding year if the rest of 2019 sales continue to decrease at the same it did in its first three months.

“It's still early in the year, so there could be some surprises,” Acevedo continued. “If inventory gets out of hand, it's possible that automakers will react by pumping up incentives, which could give sales a bit of a boost. But with the possibility of an economic downturn and potential tariffs looming, it seems certain new vehicle sales are settling into a slower pace.”

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales
Volume
March 2019
Forecast
March
2018
February
2019
Change from
March 2018
Change from
February 2019
GM*
271,388
296,341
208,000
-8.4%
30.5%
Ford*
229,221
243,021
185,000
-5.7%
23.9%
Toyota
217,012
222,782
172,748
-2.6%
25.6%
Fiat Chrysler
199,748
216,063
162,036
-7.6%
23.3%
Honda
142,191
142,392
115,139
-0.1%
23.5%
Nissan
140,169
162,535
114,342
-13.8%
22.6%
Hyundai/Kia
113,876
112,185
90,546
1.5%
25.8%
VW/Audi
51,574
52,638
39,266
-2.0%
31.3%
Tesla
22,062
-
-
-
-
Industry
1,588,185
1,654,398
1,268,008
-4.0%
25.3%

*GM & Ford sales totals for February 2019 are estimated

**NOTE: March 2019 had 27 selling days, March 2018 had 28 and February 2019 had 24.

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market
Share
March 2019
Forecast
March
2018
February
2019
Change from
March 2018
Change from
February 2019
GM*
17.1%
17.9%
16.4%
-0.8%
0.7%
Ford*
14.4%
14.7%
14.6%
-0.3%
-0.2%
Toyota
13.7%
13.5%
13.6%
0.2%
0.0%
Fiat Chrysler
12.6%
13.1%
12.8%
-0.5%
-0.2%
Honda
9.0%
8.6%
9.1%
0.3%
-0.1%
Nissan
8.8%
9.8%
9.0%
-1.0%
-0.2%
Hyundai/Kia
7.2%
6.8%
7.1%
0.4%
0.0%
VW/Audi
3.2%
3.2%
3.1%
0.1%
0.2%
Tesla
1.4%
-
-
-
-
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