WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.— New-vehicle retail sales are experiencing further recovery and strength through the first half of November, according to a monthly sales forecast developed by J.D. Power and Associates Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive. J.D. Power and LMC Automotive have a strategic alliance to share data and produce monthly new-vehicle retail sales forecasts based on J.D. Power’s real-time transaction data gathered from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States, and LMC Automotive’s analysis and intelligence.
Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
November new-vehicle retail sales are projected to come in at 791,900 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 11.3 million units—the highest monthly selling rate in three and a half years. Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles.
“Retail light-vehicle sales in November are outperforming expectations on a month-to-date basis, providing good news as 2011 comes to a close and the focus starts to shift to 2012,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. “The improving performance of the past three months suggests that the current momentum, primarily driven by replacement demand and improvements in vehicle availability, is not an aberration.”
U.S. Retail SAAR—November 2010 to November 2011
(in millions of units)
Total Light-Vehicle Sales
Total light-vehicle sales in November are expected to come in at 975,600 units, which is 8 percent higher than in November 2010. Fleet sales are expected to decrease by 6 percent compared with November 2010, but will account for 19 percent of total sales.
J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons
|New-vehicle retail sales|
|Total vehicle sales|
11.3 million units
10.5 million units
9.7 million units
13.4 million units
13.2 million units
12.3 million units
1Figures cited for November 2011 are forecasted based on the first 11 selling days of the month.
2The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days (25 days vs. 24 days one year ago).
After a solid October and expectations for a strong November, LMC Automotive is increasing its forecast for 2011 to 12.7 million units (from 12.6 million units) for total light-vehicle sales and to 10.3 million units (from 10.2 million units) for retail light-vehicle sales.
LMC Automotive is maintaining its forecast for 2012 at 13.8 million units for total light-vehicle sales and 11.2 million units for retail light-vehicle sales.
“The upward forecast revision to 2011 represents the first increase to the forecast all year and tempers the cloud of uncertainty that has been over the automotive market for several months,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “The current recovery pace appears sustainable into 2012. As long as there is not an external shock or economic setback, the selling rate could be stable above the 14-million-unit level during the second half of 2012.”
North American Production
Light-vehicle production volume in North America has increased by 920,000 units, or 9 percent through the first 10 months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, according to LMC Automotive. The Detroit 3 OEMs are seeing nearly a 14 percent increase in year-to-date production through October, while European OEMs are up 38 percent.
Hyundai Group production is up 48 percent after increased production of existing models and additional localization of models in 2011. Japanese manufacturers, as a group, posted an 8 percent decline year-to-date in October from the same period in 2010. The decline is due to the Japan earthquake disaster and additional setbacks to Honda and Toyota from the flooding in Thailand. The impact of the flooding is expected to continue through the fourth quarter, causing further downtime to their North American operations. Toyota is recovering faster than initially anticipated, with lost volume estimated to be 5,000 units in the fourth quarter. The impact to Honda is expected to be more severe due to the location of their Thai plants. Honda’s fourth quarter loss in North America is estimated at 35,000 units.
Overall vehicle inventory improved to a 58-day supply at the beginning of November from 50 days at the beginning of October. Car inventory improved to a 53-day supply, up from 43 days in October, while truck levels are stable with a 62-day supply. Several manufacturers continue to remain below the industry norm of a 60-day supply. Hyundai/Kia began November with 28 days’ supply, Honda was at 37 days’ supply, and BMW at 28 days’ supply.
Despite some setbacks, the 2011 North American production outlook remains on track for 12.9 million units, an increase of nearly 9 percent from 2010. While overall production volume in 2011 is the highest since 2007’s 15- million-unit level, it remains well below the mid-15 million level during the 2001-2006 time period.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. Leading brands include Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and McGraw-Hill Education. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2010, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. On September 12, 2011, the Corporation announced its intention to separate into two public companies – McGraw-Hill Markets (working name), primarily focused on global capital and commodities markets and McGraw-Hill Education focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.
About LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive, formerly J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, is the premier supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base of automotive manufacturer, component suppliers, logistics and distribution companies, as well as financial and government institutions around the world. Its global forecasting services encompass automotive sales, production and powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has offices in the U.S., the UK, Germany, China and Thailand. It is part of the Oxford, UK-based LMC group, the global leader in economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector.