July Auto Sales Should Be Slightly Below June’s Level

Automakers will release July vehicle sales next Wednesday (August 2) and currently, analysts estimate July sales to be slightly below previous month level (15.89 million seasonally adjusted and annualized).


Here are some forecasts from specialists:


1/Edmunds: Retail Market Drives Strongest July Car Sales Since 2006, Says Edmunds.com


Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, forecasts that 1,328,397 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in July for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 15.8 million. The projected sales will be a 5.3 percent decrease from June 2013, but a 15.2 percent increase from July 2012. Edmunds.com anticipates that this month will be the biggest July performance since 2006 when automakers sold 1,489,359 vehicles.
“Overall sales are undoubtedly strong, but what makes July truly impressive is that fleet sales are so low,” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “That means retail sales are stepping up as the driving force for the auto industry. When people jump back into the market, it’s great news not just for the automotive sector, but for the entire U.S. economy.”


2/TrueCar: July 2013 New Car Sales Expected to Be Up 15.3 Percent According to TrueCar; July 2013 SAAR at 15.8M, Highest July SAAR since 2006


For July 2013, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,326,035 units, up 15.3 percent from July 2012 and down 5.1% percent from June 2013 (on an unadjusted basis).
The July 2013 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (“SAAR”) of 15.8 million new car sales, up from 15.9 million in June 2013 and up from 14.1 million in July 2012.
“Value conscious buyers are devouring the compact segment inventories while the recovering housing sector is fueling the small business purchases of large trucks,” said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar.com.
“July delivered the highest year-over-year increase so far in 2013,” said Toprak. “Consumer demand for new vehicles remained healthy, with small cars/SUVs and large trucks outperforming the industry sales rate.


3/ JD Power: July New-Vehicle Retail Sales — Let the Good Times Roll

Total light-vehicle sales in July 2013 are expected to grow to 1,336,700, an 11 percent increase from July 2012. Fleet sales, which typically average between 15 and 16 percent of total sales in July, are expected to fall within the lower end of the average, with volume projected at 209,600 units.
“The overall trend in vehicle demand has outshined economic growth, and looking forward, the improving economic fundamentals should hold demand at the current level, if not accelerate it over the next several months,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “With a strong tailwind, it is not unreasonable to think about a 16-million-unit level of demand in 2013.”


4/ Wards: Fleet Orders, Low Stocks Temper July U.S. Sales Forecast

Diminished inventories and a decline in fleet orders likely will keep U.S. auto makers from equaling last month’s 67-month-high light-vehicle seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, according to a new WardsAuto forecast.
The data report calls for 1.31 million LV deliveries in July, equivalent to a 52,401-unit daily selling rate over 25 selling days. That’s a 9.4% improvement on year-ago (24 days), but a 2.6% decline from June’s DSR (26 days).
The resulting 15.6 million SAAR also would fall shy of June’s 15.9 million.


5/ Kelley Blue Book: Pickup Trucks, Compact Cars And Crossovers Drive July New-Car Sales Up 16 Percent

In July 2013, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to be 1,340,000 units, up 16.1 percent from July 2012 and down 4.4 percent from June 2013.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for July 2013 is estimated to be 15.8 million, up from 14.0 million in July 2012 and down from 15.9 million in June 2013.
“As new-car demand continues to improve with leases accounting for nearly 25 percent of all new-car sales, along with continued solid truck sales, we’ve improved our forecast for 2013 to 15.6 million units,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “Consumer confidence has a played a key role in the ongoing recovery and currently is at the highest levels seen since January 2008. With modest improvements in unemployment and housing expected to continue through the rest of the year, confidence likely will follow suit, driving new-car demand along with it.”