Monday, November 21, 2016

Vehicle Sales Forecast: Sales Over 17 Million SAAR Again in November, Possible Record Year in 2016

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2016 11:07:00 AM

The automakers will report November vehicle sales on Thursday, December 1st.

Note: There were 25 selling days in November 2016, up from 23 in November 2015.

From WardsAuto: Forecast November U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Leave Potential for Record Year

U.S. light-vehicle sales results are expected to track above the year-to-date pace for the third straight month in November, leaving open the possibility that 2016 still could finish with record volume.

With an upward bias, November sales are forecast to end at a 17.7 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate, the third consecutive month the SAAR finished above the year-to-date total, which stands at 17.3 million through October.
...
If November’s outlook holds firm, year-to-date volume will total 15.8 million units, a smidgeon above 11-month 2015’s 15.7 million, but keeping the prospect alive that 2016 could end as a record year.
...
WardsAuto is forecasting 2016 to end ahead of 2015. An initial look at December points to a 17.8 million SAAR. Based on the November-December projections, sales will end the year slightly above 17.4 million units, barely topping 2015’s record volume of 17.396 million.
emphasis added
Here is a table (source: BEA) showing the 5 top years for light vehicle sales through October, and the top 5 full years. 2016 will probably finish in the top 3, and could be the best year ever - just beating last year.

Light Vehicle Sales, Top 5 Years and Through October
  Through OctoberFull Year
  YearSales (000s)YearSales (000s)
1200014,877201517,396
2200114,487200017,350
3201514,443200117,122
4201614,409200516,948
5200514,307199916,894