Forecast: U.S. Auto Market Continues Downward Trend in August

Forecast: U.S. Auto Market Continues Downward Trend in August

The report puts the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for August at 16.5 million units, below the 17.1 million SAAR from same-month 2016 and 16.7 million in the prior month.

A WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. automakers to deliver 1.51 million light vehicles in August.

The forecasted daily sales rate of 56,081 over 27 days is a 3.2% decline from same-month 2016 (26 days).

The forecast 0.5% DSR downtick from July (25 days) contrasts with the 3-year average increase of 2.7% between the two months.

The report puts the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for August at 16.5 million units, below the 17.1 million SAAR in same-month 2016 and 16.7 million in prior-month 2017.

Light-vehicle inventory stood at 3.86 million units at the end of July, up 9.4% from year-ago and about 15% higher than necessary with current sales rates. The streak of record-high stock is expected to continue with 3.8 million units at the end of August, 7.5% greater than same-month 2016. This will leave automakers with a 69 days’ supply, same as prior-month, but well above year-ago’s 62. Slowdowns in production and higher sales incentives through September are expected to narrow the gap between supply and demand.

WardsAuto is projecting General Motors will sell 254,000 cars and light trucks this month, a 4.4% drop in DSR from year-ago. GM will account for 16.8% of deliveries compared with 17.0% last year. Its 8-month tally will be 3.5% below like-2016.

Ford is forecast to slip 5.5% to 206,000 units, a LV share of 13.6% vs 13.9% in August 2016. Year-to-date, sales will decline 4.1%.

Toyota’s DSR will be up 3.8% from last year on 230,000 units. Market share will jump from 14.1% to 15.2% in the current month. Its 8-month 2017 total is expected to sit 1.1% below like-2016.

The forecast calls for FCA sales to drop to 185,000 LVs, a 9.1% decline. The automaker’s share of the market falls from 13.0% to 12.2%. January-August sales will be 7.2% less than same-period 2016.

Nissan’s August deliveries are expected to fall 2.3%, resulting in 126,000 units. The automaker’s year-to-date 2017 total is forecast 1.8% above prior-year.

Honda should come in nearly flat with year-ago, up just 0.3% on 156,000 sales. Market share will surpass 10% for the first time since July 2016. Over the first eight months of the year, sales will be 0.4% greater than like-2016.

Hyundai-Kia will sell about 119,000 vehicles in August, leaving the group down 9.0%. The decline in sales will bring share down to 7.9% vs 8.4% in 2016. Year-to-date, deliveries will drop 9.5%.

Projected August LV sales would bring the industry’s 8-month total to 11.32 million units, a 2.5% decrease from same-period 2016. WardsAuto currently is forecasting no more than 17.1 million LV deliveries in full-year 2017.

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