May 2016 U.S. LV Sales Thread: SAAR Stays Above 17 Million

(FINAL) U.S. automakers achieved a 17.37 million-unit monthly light-vehicle SAAR on 1.53 million deliveries, while setting a record for daily sales in May.​

John Sousanis, Director, Information Content

June 1, 2016

6 Min Read
WardsAuto logo




WardsAuto Forecast LV Sales

1.52 million

Current Projected May LV Sales

 1.53 million

WardsAuto Forecast LV SAAR   

    17.32 million

Current Projected May LV SAAR

   17.37 million

WardsAuto tracks light-vehicle (LV) deliveries throughout sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR).  May had 24 selling days this year compared with 26 days in 2015, meaning DSR % change will be larger than straight volume %change for year-over-year comparisons this month.

Related Table 

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Summary table

SUMMARY (FINAL): U.S. automakers had their best May ever on a daily sales basis, selling 63,649 light-vehicles a day in May, for a total of 1.528 million. The 1.7% improvement in the industry's daily sales rate (over 24 selling days) compared  to year-ago (26 selling days) was directly in line with an earlier WardsAuto forecast that called for U.S. automakers to deliver 1.523 million light vehicles in May. 

LV deliveries equated to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales of 17.37 million units, slightly above April's 17.32 million SAAR and down slightly from the 17.6 million SAAR reached in May 2015.

The reporting period for the month began May 3, leaving just four weekends in the month this year versus five in 2015.

GM led all automakers, by a slim margin, with a 15.7% share of LV sales, down dramatically from its year-ago take of 18%. Ford followed with a 15% share, ahead of Toyota (14.4%), FCA (13.3%) and Honda (9.6%).

Year-to-date, U.S. LV sales reached 7.09 million units, a 1.1% improvement over the first five months of 2015. 

See company updates below.

UPDATE 3:10 PM ET: Hyundai and Kia brands skyrocketed in May, with Hyundai's DSR rising 20.9% from year-ago, and Kia improving 9.2%. The two Hyundai Group brands combined to outsell Nissan for the first time since April 2015, albeit by just 500 units.

Hyundai's May sales spike put the automaker 1% ahead of year-ago YTD, while Kia's five-month total is up 3.5% from like-2015. 

Daimler's 32,577 LV deliveries lifted its DSR 6.3% over year-ago, while rival BMW Group saw its DSR fall 1.1% on 33,612 BMW- and Mini-branded vehicles. Daimler's YTD sales, though, lag year-ago by 1.2%, while BMW deliveries trail YTD-2015 by 9.8%.

UPDATE 12:40 PM ET: Volkswagen and Audi brands continue to move in opposite directions. VW delivered 28,779 LVs, representing a 10.3% DSR decline from year-ago, slightly better than the German brands 13.1% dip YTD.

Honda reported LV sales of 147,108, a 3.1% improvement over its year-ago daily sales rate. YTD, Honda sales are up 5.7%.

Audi, meanwhile, saw its May DSR jump 10.1% over year-ago on 18,728 deliveries, putting its YTD sales 4.2% over same-period 2015.

UPDATE 12:20 PM ET: Toyota saw a 2% drop in daily sales, along with a 22,000 unit volume decline from year-ago May. The automaker sold 219,339 LVs in the month, bringing its year-to-date total just a few hundred units shy of 1,000,000 -  down 2.2.% from same-period year-ago.

Nissan had a better month, relative to year-ago, with daily sales increasing 7.3% on 133,496 units, and YTD sales up 7.4% to 657,561.

UPDATE 11:30 AM ET: General Motors sold 240,250 LVs in May, a decided decline from year-ago on a volume basis (-18%), as well as on a daily basis (11.1%), finishing some 3% below low forecast expectations. GM's YTD sales fell 5% below year-ago through May.

Mazda moved in the opposite direction, outpacing its year-ago DSR  by 3.7% on 28,328 May deliveries. However, year-to-date LV sales still lag year-ago by 9.6%.

UPDATE 11:10 AM ET: Ford fell slightly short of forecast levels, delivering slightly less than 230,000 light vehicles in May, a 1.2% increase in daily sales versus year-ago. Ford has sold 1.08 million LVs through the first five months of 2016, a 3.6% YTD improvement.

FCA sold 202,941 LVs last month, a 9.5% DSR increase from like-2015, and slightly better than forecast. The automaker's 948,153 YTD LV deliveries represents a 6.4% improvement over same-period year-ago.

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