SANTA MONICA, Calif. — TrueCar.com, the authority on new car pricing, trends and forecasting, today released its March 2012 sales and incentives forecast. The forecast shows the following:
- For March 2012, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,416,703 units, up 13.7 percent from March 2011 and up 23.3 percent from February 2012 (on an unadjusted basis)
- The March 2012 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of 14.5 million new car sales, up from 13.1 million in March 2011 and down from 15.1 million in February 2012
- Retail sales are up 14.3 percent compared to March 2011 and up 26.5 percent from February 2012
- Fleet and rental sales are expected to make up 19.5 percent of total industry sales in March 2012
- The industry average incentive spending per unit will be approximately $2,440 in March 2012, which represents a decrease of 1.5 percent from February 2012 and decrease of 1.7 percent from March 2011
- Used car sales* are estimated to be 2,736,250, up 9.5 percent from March 2011 and up 28.7 percent from February 2012. The ratio of new to used is estimated to be 1:2 for March 2012
“We are looking at a record breaking month for many manufacturers in March with Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen expected to have their highest unit sales ever in the U.S.,” said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence for TrueCar.com. “We also forecast that Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda and Toyota will have an extremely strong month, with some of the highest unit sales in years. Due to stronger than expected recovery, we’ve increased our sales forecast another 3.6 percent, from 14.0 million unit sales to 14.5 million unit sales in 2012.”
Forecasts for the top eight manufacturers for March 2012:
|Manufacturer||March 2012 Forecast||% Change vs. February 2012||% Change vs. March 2011|
|Manufacturer||March 2012 Forecast||February 2012||March 2011|
|Manufacturer||March 2012 Incentives||% Change vs. February 2012||% Change vs. March 2011||Total Spending|
“Consumers who wanted a new vehicle, but were cautiously sitting on the sidelines, are entering the market and feeling more confident about buying,” said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. “Automakers have hit the sweet spot this month with lowered incentives and double digit sales increases, which signifies the underlying strength in consumer demand.”
TrueCar.com also projects sales down to the brand level, which can be viewed in its entirety at the Truth Blog on TrueCar.com. Brand level incentive spending forecasts are available upon request.
TrueCar.com bases its forecast on actual transaction data. The transaction data based forecast is refined by other current and historical factors that impact vehicle sales, including: sales, inventory, incentives, fuel prices, and macro economic data (major stock market indexes, consumer confidence, new home starts, and CPI). TrueCar.com does not adjust for selling days in year-over-year percentage change calculations.
*Used car sales figures include sales from franchise dealerships, independent dealerships and private party sales
TrueCar, Inc. is an online automotive information and communications platform focused on creating a better car buying experience for dealers and consumers. Consumers want a hassle-free car buying experience and dealers want high-quality sales velocity. TrueCar helps achieve these goals by providing unbiased market information on new car transactions and by supplying an online communications platform through which dealers and consumers can communicate with each other. TrueCar’s market-based information provides both consumers and dealers with an accurate and comprehensive understanding of what others actually paid recently for similar vehicles, both locally and nationally. TrueCar’s communications platform then allows informed, ready-to-buy consumers to communicate directly with participating dealers. Some of the nation’s largest and most well respected membership and service organizations rely on websites powered by TrueCar to help educate their members and customers who are in the automotive market. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, and has offices in San Francisco, CA, and Austin, TX. After experiencing dramatic growth since 2006, TrueCar is developing a suite of products and services centered on radical clarity through the comprehensive analysis of market data and information. TrueCar’s participating dealer partners have sold over 500,000 new vehicles to TrueCar users nationwide.
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