SANTA MONICA, Calif. — April auto sales will continue at the strong pace set in the first quarter for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) this month of 14.4 million light vehicles, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. The surging sales performance so far this year has forced Edmunds.com to revise its 2012 auto sales forecast from 13.6 million to 14.4 million units.
“Higher consumer confidence, as well as warmer winter weather and strong fleet sales have spurred sales strength so far this year,” says Edmunds.com Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plache. “We can expect the auto sales rate to stay elevated through most of the rest of the year, even as downside risks — like political and fiscal uncertainty in the U.S. and slowing economies in Europe and China — continue to loom.”
Edmunds.com estimates that 1,181,929 new cars will be sold in April. The projected sales would be a 15.8 percent decrease from March 2012 but a 2.1 percent increase (unadjusted for number of sales days) over April 2011.
|Sales Volume||Apr-12 Forecast||Apr-11||Mar-12||Change from Apr 2011*||Change from Mar 2012|
*NOTE: April 2012 had 24 sales days; April 2011 had 27
Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 11.6 million vehicles in March, with fleet transactions accounting for 18.2 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.63 million used cars will be sold in March, for a SAAR of 39.3m (compared to 3.69 million — or a SAAR of 38.9 million — used car sales in March).
General Motors is expected to make the biggest month-over-month gains in market share of any Big 6 automaker this month, climbing 1.8 percentage points to 18.2 percent. Nissan, meanwhile is expected to take the biggest month-over-month tumble of any major automaker, falling three percentage points to 6.7 percent. The drop is mostly attributed to Nissan’s significantly lower fleet sales month over month, which is a typical March-to-April trend for the company as it begins a new fiscal year.
|Market Share||Apr-12 Forecast||Apr-11||Mar-12||Change from Apr 2011||Change from Mar 2012|
In terms of raw unit sales, Chrysler will continue its string of sales success with an 18.9 percent increase in sales over April 2011. And even with its month-over-month market share success, General Motors is projected to sell 7.3 percent fewer vehicles year over year, the biggest decrease of any major automaker.
About Edmunds.com, Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)
Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its acclaimed mobile site, Edmunds.com Android App and five-star Edmunds iPhone and iPad apps make car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and on the go. Its automotive enthusiast web site, InsideLine.com, is the most-read car publication of its kind. Its highly regarded mobile site and iPhone app features the wireless Web’s most comprehensive gallery of automotive photos and videos. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook.