December Forecast Puts 2013 LV Sales at 15.6 Million

A WardsAuto forecast is calling for U.S. automakers to sell 1.41 million light vehicles this month, which would lift full-year 2013 sales to 15.6 million units.

John Sousanis, Director, Information Content

December 27, 2013

3 Min Read
December Forecast Puts 2013 LV Sales at 15.6 Million

Strong post-holiday sales should make up for a slow December start, according to a new WardsAuto forecast, which calls for U.S. automakers to sell more than 1.41 million light vehicles this month.

The forecast looks for strong retail sales, fueled by competitive end-of-year incentives, to fuel year-over-year growth despite a weak market for fleet sales.

The forecast volume (over 25 days) would represent a daily sales rate of 56,404 units, an 8.5% rise over same-month year-ago (26 days).

The resulting 15.95 million-unit SAAR would fall below the seasonal spike attained in November, when the SAAR rose to an 81-month high 16.3 million, but would lift the 3-month average SAAR from 15.5 million to 15.8 million.

The expected strong finish to December would bring full-year 2013 LV deliveries to 15.6 million units, an 8.1% improvement over 2012’s 14.4 million tally.

The forecast volume is dependent on the success of automakers’ year-end sales efforts to make up for fewer-than-anticipated retail deliveries in the first 20 days of the month as well as lackluster fleet orders that are expected to make up less than 16% of overall deliveries.

Light-vehicle inventory, meantime, was at a 9-year high heading into the month, increasing automakers’ capacity, and motivation, for a big year-end sales push.

Sellers should be helped by improving consumer attitudes, which rose for the first time in three months, according to the December Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment.

Adding to the positive sales outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the addition of 203,000 non-farm jobs in November, dropping the U.S. unemployment rate to a 5-year low 7%.

The WardsAuto forecast calls for Detroit Three automakers to sell 637,000 LVs in December, a 9.1% year-over-year increase in the companies’ collective daily sales rate that would lift full-year sales 9.6% over prior-year to nearly 7.1 million units.

General Motors, expected to deliver 250,000 LVs in December, would finish 2013 with 2.8 million sales, an 8.1% gain over full-year 2012.

Ford is expected to increase daily sales 7.6% this month, bringing the No. 2 automaker’s full-year volume to 2.44 million units, a 10.6% annual gain. Chrysler, forecast to deliver nearly 170,000 LVs this month, would finish the year with 1.8 million sales, up 9.5%.

The forecast looks for Asian automakers to account for 44.7% of monthly sales, on total deliveries of 630,000 units, finishing 2013 7.4% ahead of year-ago with 7.1 million sales. Toyota’s forecast 201,000 December deliveries would bring 2013 sales to 2.24 million units, a 7.8% year-over-year improvement that would make the Japanese company the third-largest auto seller in the U.S. for the year. Subaru is expected to show the fastest growth among major automakers, with a projected full-year volume increase of 27.4% on 430,000 deliveries.

The WardsAuto forecast shows European automakers accounting for 10.2% of monthly sales, compared with 11.1% in the same-month last year, with the group’s collective sales rising 4.5% for the year to 1.45 million units. Despite a 6.9% projected downturn for the year, Volkswagen will finish the year as the top European brand, with an expected 408,000 sales.

[email protected]

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

John Sousanis

Director, Information Content, WardsAuto

Subscribe to a WardsAuto newsletter today!
Get the latest automotive news delivered daily or weekly. With 5 newsletters to choose from, each curated by our Editors, you can decide what matters to you most.

You May Also Like