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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vehicle Sales Forecasts: Decent sales in February; Some weather impact

by Calculated Risk on 2/26/2014 04:55:00 PM

Note: The automakers will report January vehicle sales on Monday, March 3rd.

Here are a couple of forecasts:

From Kelley Blue Book: New-Car Sales To Report Sixteenth Consecutive Month Above 15 Million SAAR According To Kelley Blue Book

New-vehicle sales are expected to hit a total of 1.19 million units, and an estimated 15.3 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book ... While a 15.3 million SAAR is flat compared to February 2013, it marks the sixteenth month in a row above 15 million.

"For the second consecutive month, winter storms and unusually cold weather in many parts of the country are expected to negatively impact sales," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "However, it is likely these purchases have only been delayed and many lost sales will be recorded in March or April."
From J.D. Power: Healthy New-Vehicle Demand Exists Despite Severe Winter Weather
"Although severe weather impacted sales in early February, the negative effect should be somewhat mitigated since the majority of vehicle sales occur in the second half of the month," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power. "The industry is on track to reach its highest-ever average transaction price for the month of February, with prices exceeding $29,000. This beats the previous record from February 2013 by more than $400."

In addition to forecasting a record transaction price for the month of February, the firms expect new-vehicle sales to increase 5% over the same month in 2013. LMC Automotive is also holding steady its prediction that annual sales will reach 16.2 million units, despite the bitterly cold winter weather and slow start to the year. However, LMC Automotive does note that all automakers except for Subaru are experiencing bloated inventories. If they are unsuccessful at resolving the situation by summer, production cuts may loom during the second half of the year.
It appears sales in February were OK.