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U.S. Forecast: January Sets Stage for Anticipated Year-Over-Year Decline

U.S. Forecast: January Sets Stage for Anticipated Year-Over-Year Decline

The daily sales rate falls 2.1%. Most automakers will undersell year-ago.

The Wards Intelligence January forecast calls for 1.16 million LVs to be delivered over 25 selling days, resulting in a 46,430-unit daily sales rate compared with 47,442 in prior-year (24 days). The DSR is down 2.1% from like-2017.

The 24.3% decline in DSR from December is close to the average decrease between the two months, 21%.

The resulting seasonally adjusted annual rate is 17.24 million units, below the 17.75 million in the previous month and 17.34 million year-ago.

U.S. automakers are heading into 2018 with inventory closely in line with anticipated demand, balanced from production cuts and highly incentivized sales in the previous few months. Dealer stock totaled 3.74 million units at the end of December, 3.4% below same-month 2016’s 3.87 million.

Inventory at the end of January is expected to sit near 3.99 million units. At the forecast sales rate, this results in an 86 days’ supply, well above the prior month’s 61 but only slightly greater than like-2017’s 84.

General Motors is expected to sell approximately 198,000 units in January, a 3.0% drop in DSR from same-month 2017. Its market share will dip slightly from 17.2% year-ago to 17.0%.

Ford also shows a slight loss of market share (14.7% to 14.5%) as DSR slips 3.3% with 168,000 LVs delivered.

Toyota will sell about 160,000 LVs, leading to the greatest year-over-year gain of the top seven auto groups, 7.0%. Market share jumps from 12.6% to 13.7%.

FCA US will take the largest fall among the major automakers, down 15.4% with 133,000 sales. Its market share drops to 11.5% in January vs. 13.3% in like-2017.

Nissan is forecast to sell 118,000 units, a 1.1% gain on January 2017 and 10.2% of industry sales.

Honda is expected to exceed its January 2017 result by 0.5% at 111,000 units, leading to a 9.6% market share.

Hyundai-Kia will deliver 82,000 units, 4.5% less than January 2017 and 7.0% of U.S. sales.

The rest of the industry shows a 1.2% gain in daily sales and accounts for 16.4% of the market, up from 15.9% in January 2017.

Wards Intelligence expects 2018 to close at 16.4 million U.S. LV sales, approximately 4% below the 17.1 million seen in 2017.

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