Monday, August 27, 2018

Vehicle Sales Forecast: Sales Around 16.8 Million SAAR in August

by Bill McBride on 8/27/2018 04:24:00 PM

The automakers will report August vehicle sales on Tuesday, September 4th.

Note: There were 27 selling days in August 2018, unchanged from 27 in August 2017.

From J.D. Power: Retail Sales Poised for Largest Gain of 2018; Spending Expected to Fall for Second Straight Month

New-vehicle retail sales in August are expected to rise from a year ago according to a forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales are projected to reach 1,280,400 units, a 1.3% increase compared with August 2017. [16.8 million SAAR] (Note: August 2018 has the same number of selling days as last year.)

“With no large disruptions from storms this year, new vehicle sales in August are expected to see the largest gain of the year,” said Thomas King, Senior Vice President of the Data and Analytics Division at J.D. Power. “Last year, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma made landfall during the end of the month, affecting Labor Day sales events. Labor Day remains one of the most heavily shopped periods in the year, accounting for nearly 3% of annual sales, as consumers take advantage of discounts that extend through the first weekend of September.”
emphasis added
It appears August will be another solid month for vehicle sales.   Through July, sales were down slightly compared to the same period in 2017.

Last year, August was the weakest sales month of the year at 16.45 million SAAR, due to the impact of the hurricanes.   Following the hurricanes, sales were strong through the end of the year in 2017 as hurricane victims replaced cars damaged during the storms.   So, even though sales will be up YoY in August, sales will probably down YoY for the last four months of the year.