The latest forecast for January 2017 U.S. auto sales is that 1,153,459 new cars and trucks will be sold for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 17.7 million. This is a -31.5% decrease in sales from a record December 2016, and, more importantly, a trivial -0.7% decrease from January 2016. By market share, GM, Nissan and Honda and VW Audi will be up. The big loser year-over-year – if the predictions are accurate – appears to be FCA, down to 145,172 for a -15.3% drop. (January 2017 had 24 selling days, January 2016 had 24 and December 2016 had 27.)
“January had the potential of being a very slow month at dealerships, given the fact that auto sales shattered records in December,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis, the data source. “But January is shaping up to be a surprisingly healthy month. The economy continues to show signs of strength and consumers are feeling confident, boosting auto sales above initial expectations.”
Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.6 million vehicles in January 2017, with fleet transactions accounting for 17.3% of total sales. An estimated 3.1 million used vehicles will be sold in January 2017, for a SAAR of 38.4 million (compared to 2.6 million – or a SAAR of 38.2 million – in December).