Forecast: SAAR Could Reach 17.5 Million in May

The latest WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. automakers to sell 1.6 million light vehicles this month, equating to a 17.5 million-unit SAAR.

John Sousanis, Director, Information Content

May 28, 2015

2 Min Read
Forecast: SAAR Could Reach 17.5 Million in May

A WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. automakers to deliver 1.6 million light vehicles this month.

The forecasted daily sales rate of 61,601 over 26 days represents a 3.9% improvement from like-2014 (27 days), while total volume for the month would be flat with year-ago. If deliveries meet or exceed WardsAuto’s forecast, May will be the 15th consecutive month to outpace prior-year comparisons.

The forecast 10.6% DSR increase from April (26 days) is ahead of the 7-year average 9% increase.

The report puts the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for the month at 17.5 million units, significantly above the 16.6 million SAAR from the first four months of 2015, and the 16.7 million SAAR from a same-month year-ago.

The forecast reflects reports of strong retail activity throughout the month, bolstered by Memorial Day weekend sales and a fifth weekend after the holiday to close the month.

Inventory is expected to fall to 3.4 million units, from 3.6 million units at the end of April, giving the industry its lowest month-end stock volume since September, and leaving automakers with a 56 days’ supply, down from April’s 65 days and year-ago’s 60.

WardsAuto is projecting General Motors  will sell nearly 293,000 cars and light trucks vehicles this month, up 6.7% from year-ago, accounting for 18.3% of sales compared with 17.8% last year.

Ford’s DSR is forecast to rise 1%, leaving the automaker’s volume sales several thousand units shy of year-ago, with a LV share of 15.1%, down from year-ago’s 15.5% take. Short inventory of its new F-Series pickup likely will keep Ford from taking full advantage of heightened end-of-month sales activity, providing an opportunity for chief segment competitors GM and FCA tp build share.

Strong retail sales should boost Toyota’s DSR 3% over a strong year-ago comparison, with 241,000 deliveries equating to a 15.1% share.
The forecast calls for FCA sales to exceed 200,000 LVs for the first time since March 2007, with a 8.2% rise in DSR equating to a 12.6% market share.

Nissan’s DSR is forecasted to rise 1.7%, while accounting for 8.3% of monthly sales – just ahead of rival Hyundai Group’s expected 8% share.
Honda is not expected to match its exceptional year-ago results, with forecasted DSR falling 4.7% on projected deliveries of just over 140,000. The forecast calls for Subaru to lead all volume-automakers in year-over-year growth with a 17.8% DSR gain resulting in 50,100 sales.

Projected May LV sales would bring year-to-date deliveries to 6.99 million units, a 4.1% improvement from same-period 2014. WardsAuto currently is forecasting 16.9 million to 17.1 million LV deliveries for calendar 2015.

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John Sousanis

Director, Information Content, WardsAuto

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