April New Car Sales on Track for Another Strong Month

Paul Ausick

Source: Thinkstock
Estimated U.S. new car sales in the month of April suggest that a total of about 1.46 million units were sold during the month and that the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of new car sales in 2015 will total around 16.5 million to 16.7 million units. Automakers are set to report sales figures on Friday.

Sales slipped 5.1% month-over-month, according to Edmunds, but rose 5.5% year-over-year for April. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) estimates new light vehicle sales at 1.46 million units, down 5.2% from March and up 5.2% over April 2014.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is forecast to sell 265,000 units for a market share of 18.1% in April (Edmunds). Kelley Blue Book estimates 263,000 units sold for an 18.0% share. Both KBB and Edmunds have GM losing market share, down 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively, compared with April 2014. Unit sales are estimated to rise 3.5% (KBB) to 4.4% (Edmunds) compared with April 2014.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is expected to sell more than 222,000 units for a 15.2% share (Edmunds). Analysts at KBB project sales of 221,000 for a market share of 15.1%. Ford’s market share is flat with April 2014, and the carmaker is expected remain in second place in the market-share battle. Year over year, unit sales will rise 5.8%, according to Edmunds, and 5.1% according to KBB.

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Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) is expected to hold on to about 14.4% of the U.S. market with sales of more than 211,000 units (Edmunds). Kelley Blue Book has pegged Toyota sales at 210,000 units with a 14.4% share. Both research firms expect Toyota’s market share to remain flat with April of last year. KBB expects unit sales to rise 5.2% and Edmunds estimates a 5.9% rise from a year ago.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) is forecast to sell about 192,000 units and nab 13.1% share (Edmunds). Kelley Blue Book expects sales of 191,000 units for a 13.1% share. Chrysler’s share rises 0.2% year-over-year, according to Edmunds, and by the same amount according to KBB. The analysts at Kelley note especially the strong sales Chrysler has had from its Jeep brand and its sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Edmunds estimates unit sales up 7.5% year-over-year, and KBB reckons on a 6.9% increase.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) is expected to sell more than 132,000 units according to Edmunds, while KBB estimates sales of 138,000 units. Kelley projects Honda’s market share to remain stable at 9.5%, while Edmunds sees a drop of 0.5% to a 9.0% share. KBB estimates unit sales up 4.2%, while Edmunds sees sales remaining flat with a year ago.

Volkswagen is forecast to sell about 48,000 units for a market share of 2.8% (Edmunds). Kelley Blue Book pegs VW’s April U.S. sales at 50,000 units for a 3.4% share. Year over year, VW unit sales are either up 2.8% (Edmunds) or down 1.1% (KBB). In either case, VW loses 0.1% or 0.2% of market share.

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