January New Car Sales Forecast at 15.4 Million

3159_1_2In December 2012, new car and light truck sales in the U.S. came in at about 15.4 million units sold. According to TrueCar.com, forecast sales for January put new light vehicle sales flat with the December rate of 15.4 million units sold, an increase of 15.1% over January 2012 sales. The research firm estimates 15.5 million new cars will be sold in the U.S. in 2013.

According to TrueCar.com's forecast, 1.05 million new vehicles will be sold in January, up 15.1% from a year ago and down 22.5% (unadjusted) month-over-month. All eight automakers included in the survey are expected to post lower sales in January than they did in December, with Honda Motor Corp. (NYSE: HMC), down 24.3%; Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), down 24.2%; Toyota Motor Co. (NYSE: TM), down 23.2%; General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), down 22.4%; Chrysler, down 21.6%; Volkswagen down 21.4%; Nissan down 18.6%; and Hyundai/Kia sales down 14.8%.

For the year-over-year comparison, sales are up at every manufacturer, with Volkswagen leading the way with an increase of 26.5% followed by Honda, up 21.1%. GM, Ford, and Toyota remain the top three in terms of market share, with 18.4%, 14.9%, and 13.6% share, respectively.

Incentive spending dropped 12.2% month-over-month in January, and dropped 8.3% year-over-year. GM offered the highes incentives in December, with an average $3,150 per vehicle. According to a TrueCar.com analyst:

Automakers are kicking off the year strong, staying true to disciplined incentive spending as many curtailed their spending in January as the current lineup of products speak for themselves.

Used car sales are down 26.6% month-over-month and up 5% year-over-year in January. TrueCar.com estimates that about 2.31 million used cars will be sold in January. The ratio of new car sales to used car sales in January is estimated at 1:2.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos, Research Tagged: F, GM, HMC, TM
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