New-vehicle sales are expected to hit a total of 1.19 million units, and an estimated 15.3 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new and used car information. While a 15.3 million SAAR is flat compared to February 2013, it marks the sixteenth month in a row above 15 million.
“For the second consecutive month, winter storms and unusually cold weather in many parts of the country are expected to negatively impact sales,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “However, it is likely these purchases have only been delayed and many lost sales will be recorded in March or April.”
Key Highlights for Estimated February 2014 Sales Forecast:
- In February, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,190,000 units, down 0.2 percent from February 2013 and up 17.8 percent from January 2014.
- The seasonally adjusted annual rate for February 2014 is estimated to be 15.3 million, up from 15.2 million in January 2014 and even compared to February 2013.
- Retail sales are expected to account for 80 percent of volume in February 2014.
Chrysler, Nissan Expected to Continue New-Car Sales Strength
Once again, Chrysler is expected to post positive numbers due to strong sales among its Jeep and Ram products, which were up 38 and 24 percent, respectively, in January 2014. The new Jeep Cherokee has sold more than 10,000 units in its first three full months on the market.
Nissan also is expected to come out on top with the largest percentage gain of all major manufacturers. The all-new Rogue (up 55 percent in January, while the segment only increased 13 percent) is a big driver of Nissan’s strength, as is the top-selling Nissan Altima, which was up 5 percent in January, while the segment average was down 15 percent.
Compact Crossovers Outpace Automotive Industry; Upcoming Redesigns to Spark Mid-Size Car Interest
Compact crossovers continue to outpace the rest of the industry, and February should bring the sixteenth month of consecutive double-digit growth in the segment. Recently redesigned products such as the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue are powering the segment’s growth.
“Following redesigns of most major automakers’ mid-size cars in 2012 and 2013, consumer interest in the mid-size segment appears to be weakening recently,” said Gutierrez. “Upcoming redesigns such as the 2015 Hyundai Sonata and 2015 Chrysler 200 should help reverse this trend; however, rising inventory and stagnant transaction prices might push manufacturers to use incentives to jump-start sales.”
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About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values, and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a subsidiary of AutoTrader Group, which includes AutoTrader.com, vAuto, VinSolutions and HomeNet Automotive. AutoTrader Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.