Friday, July 26, 2013

Vehicle Sales: Another strong month in July

by Bill McBride on 7/26/2013 11:59:00 AM

Note: The automakers will report July vehicle sales on Thursday, August 1st. 

According the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), light vehicle sales in June were at a 15.9 million rate, on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis.  It looks like July sales will be in the same range.

Here are a few forecasts:

From Kelley Blue Book: Pickup Trucks, Compact Cars And Crossovers Drive July New-Car Sales Up 16 Percent

In July 2013, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to be 1,340,000 units, up 16.1 percent from July 2012 and down 4.4 percent from June 2013. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for July 2013 is estimated to be 15.8 million, up from 14.0 million in July 2012 and down from 15.9 million in June 2013.
...
While the overall economy continues to improve at a slow pace, demand for new vehicles is rapidly approaching pre-recession levels. Due to economic improvement during the first half of the year, Kelley Blue Book is raising its sales forecast from 15.3 million to 15.6 million for 2013.
Press Release: J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report: July New-Vehicle Retail Sales -- Let the Good Times Roll
Total light-vehicle sales in July 2013 are expected to grow to 1,336,700, an 11 percent increase from July 2012 [15.9 million SAAR] ...

LMC Automotive is raising its forecast for both retail and total light-vehicle sales in 2013. The outlook for total light-vehicles is now at 15.6 million units—previously 15.4 million units—while the retail light-vehicle sales forecast increases to 12.8 million units from 12.6 million units.
From TrueCar: July 2013 New Car Sales Expected to Be Up 15.3 Percent According to TrueCar; July 2013 SAAR at 15.8M, Highest July SAAR since 2006
For July 2013, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,326,035 units, up 15.3 percent from July 2012 and down 5.1% percent from June 2013 (on an unadjusted basis).

The [July] 2013 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate ("SAAR") of 15.8 million new car sales, [down] from 15.9 million in June 2013 and up from 14.1 million in July 2012.

"July delivered the highest year-over-year increase so far in 2013," said [Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar.com]
Two key points: 1) sales growth will slow in 2013, and 2) it appears auto sales were solid in July.

Analysts are upping their 2013 projections, but it appears sales will not increase at a double digit rate like the last few years - but this will be another strong growth year for auto sales.

Light Vehicle Sales
Sales (millions)Annual Change
200516.90.5%
200616.5-2.6%
200716.1-2.5%
200813.2-18.0%
200910.4-21.2%
201011.611.1%
201112.710.2%
201214.413.4%
2013115.68.3%
1Projections from Kelley Blue Book and J.D. Power / LMC .