Wednesday, March 27, 2019

March Vehicle Sales Forecast: 16.9 Million SAAR

by Calculated Risk on 3/27/2019 11:26:00 AM

From JD Power: Auto Retail Sales Off to Slowest Q1 Start Since 2013

Total sales in March are projected to reach 1,562,800 units, a 2.1% decrease compared with March 2018. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total sales is expected to be 16.9 million units, down 400,000 from a year ago.

New vehicle total sales in Q1 are projected to reach 3,952,100 units, a 2.5% decrease compared to the first quarter of last year.

“This is the first time in six years that Q1 sales will fall short of 3 million units. While the volume story could be better, there is remarkable growth in transaction prices, with records being set monthly. New-vehicle prices are on pace to reach $33,319 in Q1—the highest ever for the first quarter—and it’s more than $1,000 higher than last year.”

Given the current weakness and uncertain future, LMC’s forecast for 2019 total light-vehicle sales has been trimmed by 75,000 units to 16.9 million units, a decline of 2.2% from 2018.
emphasis added
This forecast is for sales to be higher than in January and February, and down from 17.2 million SAAR in March 2018.