Friday, August 28, 2015

Vehicle Sales Forecasts for August: Over 17 Million Annual Rate Again

by Bill McBride on 8/28/2015 11:49:00 AM

The automakers will report August vehicle sales on Tuesday, Sept 1. Sales in July were at 17.5 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales in August will be over 17 million SAAR again.

Note:  There were 26 selling days in August, down from 27 in August 2014 (Also note: Labor Day is not included in August this year).  Here are two forecasts:

From J.D. Power: Industry Strength Continues in August, Full-Month Volume Impacted by Calendar

For the first time since 2012, new-vehicle sales over the Labor Day weekend will be tallied as part of September’s sales rather than counted in August’s number. Even when the Labor Day holiday falls in early September, its sales are often part of the August total, but not this year when the holiday lands on Sept. 7.
...
New-vehicle retail sales are projected to hit 1.3 million units in August, a 1.2 percent decrease on a selling-day adjusted basis, compared with August 2014. ... [Total forecast 17.2 million SAAR]

On a year-over-year basis, August sales are going to appear weak, when in fact it’s really a variance in the numbers created by the calendar,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.“There certainly is no cause for alarm. In fact, the daily selling rate month-to-date in August is trending 8 percent higher than the same period a year ago, although we do anticipate the absence of the holiday in August sales will diminish that rate by the end of the month.

“Our expectation is that with Labor Day falling in September, sales that would have occurred this month are being pushed into next month. If that happens, September will move sales back to the strong trend line we’ve been seeing throughout the year.”
emphasis added
From Kelley Blue Book: New-Car Sales To Drop 4 Percent In August 2015, According To Kelley Blue Book
New-vehicle sales are expected to decline 4 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.52 million units in August 2015, resulting in an estimated 17.2 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book
Another solid month for auto sales - although some reporting will ignore the calendar issues (Labor Day not included in August this year).