Analysts Say Auto Sales Off to a Steady Start

   SANTA MONICA, Calif. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - 1/29/2011 - This month's new car sales (including fleet sales) are expected to hit approximately 816,000 units, a 17.3 percent increase from January 2010 but a 28.4 percent decrease from December 2010, according to Edmunds.com, a major online resource for automotive information.
   Retail sales are expected to total approximately 661,000 units, down from approximately 947,000 last month.
    Edmunds.com analysts predict that January's Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) will be 12.57 million, up from 12.48 in December 2010. SAAR for retail sales is about 10.2 million, down slightly from last month.
    Average automaker incentives in the U.S. are estimated to be $2,516 per vehicle sold in January 2011, down $22, or 0.9 percent, from December 2010, but up $163, or 6.9 percent, from January 2010.
   “January’s sales figures continue a trend of steady, sustainable growth for the auto industry,” Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell said. “What’s even more encouraging is that this month’s figures were less dependent on fleet sales than last year. That means 2011 is already seeing a more robust retail market supported by individual consumers.”
    January 2011 had 24 selling days, the same as last January 2010.
    “January is typically the worst sales month of the calendar year, so this is an impressive jumping off point for 2011,” added Caldwell. “Because this year’s January baseline is so much higher than the last two years, carmakers can be reasonably optimistic that this growth can continue.”
    The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 44.8 percent in January 2011, down from 45.6 percent in January 2010, and the same as December 2010.
    Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 74,300 units in January 2011, up 31.6 percent compared to January 2010 but down 25.6 percent from December 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 9.1 percent for Chrysler in January 2010, up from 8.1 percent in January 2010 and up from 8.8 percent as in December 2010.
    Ford is predicted to sell 129,000 units in January 2011, up 12.8 percent compared to January 2010 but down 30.9 percent from December 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 15.8 percent of new car sales in January 2011 for Ford, down from 16.5 percent in January 2010 and down from 16.4 percent in December 2010.
    GM will sell 162,600 units in January, analysts predict, up 11.1 percent compared to January 2010 but down 27.4 percent from December 2010. GM's market share is expected to be 19.9 percent of new vehicle sales in January 2011, down from 21.0 percent in January 2010 but up from 19.7 percent in December 2010.
    Honda is predicted to sell 81,800 units this January, up 21.3 percent from January 2010 but down 36.9 percent from December 2010. Honda’s market share is expected to be 10.0 percent in January 2011, up from 9.7 percent in January 2010 but down from 11.4 percent in December 2010.
    Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 71,900 units in January 2011, up 15.0 percent from January 2010 but down 23.2 percent from December 2010. Nissan's market share is expected to be 8.8 percent in January 2011, down from 9.0 percent in January 2010 but up from 8.2 percent in December 2010.
    Finally analysts predict that Toyota will sell 117,400 units in January 2011, up 18.8 percent from January 2010 but down 33.8 percent from December 2010. Toyota's market share is expected to be 14.4 percent in January 2011, up from 14.2 percent in January 2010 but down from 15.6 percent in December 2010.

Photo by Steve Rensberry (c) 2014