TrueCar.com, the authority on new car pricing, trends and forecasting, released last week its May 2012 sales and incentives forecast. The forecast shows the following:
For May 2012, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,400,665 units, up 32 percent from May 2011 and up 18.3 percent from April 2012 (on an unadjusted basis)
The May 2012 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of 14.5 million new car sales, up from 11.7 million in May 2011 and flat from 14.5 million in April 2012
Retail sales are up 29.4 percent compared to May 2011 and up 21.1 percent from April 2012
Fleet and rental sales are expected to make up 21.0 percent of total industry sales in May 2012
The industry average incentive spending per unit will be approximately $2,392 in May 2012, which represents an increase of 4.0 percent from May 2011 and decrease of 2.0 percent from April 2012
Used car sales* are estimated to be 4,387,554, up 6.3 percent from May 2011 and up 15.7 percent from April 2012. The ratio of new to used is estimated to be 1:3 for May 2012
“Pent up demand continues to fuel auto sales at a steady and sustainable level in May” said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence for TrueCar.com. “All major manufacturers will see double digit growth this month; Toyota’s recovery stemming from the natural disasters has happened at a breakneck pace and sales this month for Toyota will be the highest we have seen in a few years led by strong sales of the Camry and Prius along with strong sales from GM, which will be the highest since September 2008.
Estimates for the top eight manufacturers for May 2012:
Strong products from all automakers are driving sales as automakers continue to maintain or reduce incentive levels,” said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. “Volkswagen should have their best sales ever in the month of May with strong sales of the redesigned Passat and Jetta.”
TrueCar.com also projects sales down to the brand level, which can be viewed in its entirety at the Truth Blog on TrueCar.com. Brand level incentive spending forecasts are available upon request.
TrueCar.com bases its forecast on actual transaction data. The transaction data based forecast is refined by other current and historical factors that impact vehicle sales, including: sales, inventory, incentives, fuel prices, and macro economic data (major stock market indexes, consumer confidence, new home starts, and CPI). TrueCar.com does not adjust for selling days in year-over-year percentage change calculations.
*Used car sales figures include sales from franchise dealerships, independent dealerships and private party sales