US Car Sales Expected to Rise 4%, Led by an 11% Surge by Nissan

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Anxiety that car sales in the United States may slow should be offset by expected sales of 1.51 million vehicles in May, up 4% from May of last year. Leading the improvement, Nissan sales are forecast to move up 11.1% to 122,000.

Nissan’s U.S. market share is only 8.1% of the market. However, its improvement is not much better than sales increases from much larger manufacturers. Kelley Blue Book forecasts that Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sales will be up 6.5% to 236,000. Ford’s market share is 15.6%. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) sales are expected to rise 6.3% to 201,000, for a 13.3% share of the market.

The fortunes of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), the largest manufacturer in the United States by sales, will be poor, down 3% to 261,000. That gives it 17.3% of the American market.

Retail sales in the industry are not the only thing that will help continue the industry’s health. Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book, pointed out:

Following a disappointing March, we expect sales to get back on track in April with SAAR in the mid-17 million range. Increased fleet sales and rising incentive spending among automakers remain the factors to watch, but retail demand appears to be holding steady, signaling the industry’s strong run isn’t over quite yet.

Even if retail sales are not growing, a sale is a sale, at least as the industry measures it.