Market Overview

TrueCar Finds Winter Storm Jonas Flattens U.S. Auto Sales in January

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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

As residents of the U.S. East Coast dig out of Winter Storm Jonas, which dumped more than two feet of snow in major urban areas, TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) projects total new vehicle sales, including fleet deliveries, will be flat from a year ago, notching a 0.3 percent decline.

Consumers will likely buy 1,147,700 new cars and trucks in January, the slowest selling month of the year. However, adjusting for two fewer selling days this year than in January 2015, sales growth may be 8 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total light vehicle sales should be 17.6 million units, up 5 percent from a year ago.

"Jonas curtailed business for many dealerships on the East Coast, but January is typically one of the slowest months for the industry, especially following holiday and year-end sales events," said Eric Lyman, TrueCar's vice president of industry insights. "Severe winter weather isn't ideal for car shopping, but we see signs of strength heading into 2016 and expect consumers to buy a record 18 million new vehicles this year."

BMW may post the best year-over-year sales gain, on pace to report a 6.8 percent rise in volume. Nissan will likely follow with a 2.7 percent sales increase in sales. General Motors may rank third, with a 1.9 percent increase in sales and the highest total volume of the industry.

Volume for non-luxury, mass-market brands will likely contract by 1.1 percent versus last year, while luxury vehicle sales may grow by 4.4 percent. Compact crossover models remain particularly popular this month and will be among the industry's biggest volume segments.

"Consumer preference has clearly shifted to crossovers, and that will contribute to a fourth consecutive year of contraction for the midsize car segment," said Stacey Doyle, TrueCar's senior industry analyst. "Light trucks will again outpace cars this year, with pickup trucks and utility vehicles likely accounting for 56 percent of total new vehicle volume."

Incentive spending by automakers averaged $2,932 per vehicle in January, up 13.4 percent from a year ago and down 4.2 percent from December 2015.

Amid global stock market volatility since the start of 2016, overall U.S. economic conditions remain healthy. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index® increased by 1.8 points in January from a month earlier to 98.1. December's unemployment rate was 5 percent, the lowest for that month in eight years, and gasoline prices also remain favorable for consumers, falling to a national average of $1.83 per gallon on January 25 from $2.04 a year earlier.

Other key findings for January:

  • Expected registration mix of 80.8 percent retail sales and 19.2 percent fleet versus 82.5 percent retail and 17.5 percent fleet last January.
  • Total used auto sales, including franchise and independent dealerships and private-party transactions, may exceed 2,783,790, down 6.8 percent compared to January 2015.

Forecasts for the 12 largest manufacturers by volume:

Total Unit Sales

Manufacturer

   

January
2016 Forecast

   

% Change vs. January
2015

   

% Change vs.
January 2015
(Daily Selling Rate)

BMW     23,800     6.8%     15.7%
Daimler     26,800     0.7%     9.1%
FCA     146,800     0.9%     9.3%
Ford     173,600     -2.2%     6.0%
GM     206,700     1.9%     10.4%
Honda     95,200     -6.8%     0.9%
Hyundai     42,400     -4.7%     3.2%
Kia     38,000     -0.8%     7.5%
Nissan     106,900     2.7%     11.2%
Subaru     40,000     -2.0%     6.2%
Toyota     160,000     -5.4%     2.4%
Volkswagen Group     39,600     1.1%     9.5%

Industry

   

1,147,700

   

-0.3%

   

8.0%

           

Total Market Share

Manufacturer

    January 2016 Forecast     January 2015     December 2015
BMW     2.1%     1.9%     2.4%
Daimler     2.3%     2.3%     2.4%
FCA     12.8%     12.6%     13.3%
Ford     15.1%     15.4%     14.5%
GM     18.0%     17.6%     17.7%
Honda     8.3%     8.9%     9.2%
Hyundai     3.7%     3.9%     3.9%
Kia     3.3%     3.3%     3.3%
Nissan     9.3%     9.0%     8.5%
Subaru     3.5%     3.5%     3.4%
Toyota     13.9%     14.7%     14.5%
Volkswagen Group     3.5%     3.4%     3.4%
           

Retail Unit Sales

Manufacturer

   

January 2016 Forecast

   

% Change vs. January
2015

   

% Change vs.
January 2015
(Daily Selling Rate)

BMW     22,700     7.1%     16.0%
Daimler     25,500     -0.1%     8.2%
FCA     101,900     -9.7%     -2.2%
Ford     116,600     -8.7%     -1.1%
GM     160,000     6.8%     15.7%
Honda     94,200     -7.2%     0.6%
Hyundai     34,400     -5.7%     2.2%
Kia     32,000     -5.8%     2.1%
Nissan     82,900     0.8%     9.2%
Subaru     39,300     -0.7%     7.6%
Toyota     139,900     -7.1%     0.7%
Volkswagen Group     33,299     0.0%     8.3%

Industry

   

927,199

   

-2.4%

   

5.8%

           

Incentive Spending

Manufacturer

   

Incentive per
Unit January
2016 Forecast

   

Incentive per Unit
% Change vs.
January 2015

   

Incentive per Unit
% Change vs.
December 2015

   

Total Spending
January 2016
Forecast

BMW     $4,331     20.4%     -9.2%     $102,640,004
Daimler     $4,455     -5.1%     -1.4%     $119,400,699
FCA     $3,538     14.5%     0.5%     $514,438,425
Ford     $3,022     7.6%     -3.3%     $524,636,167
GM     $3,835     22.6%     -5.4%     $792,746,887
Honda     $1,798     1.2%     3.9%     $171,178,160
Hyundai     $1,977     10.4%     -0.6%     $83,831,046
Kia     $2,837     -2.5%     0.2%     $107,791,108
Nissan     $3,123     6.1%     -14.6%     $333,848,844
Subaru     $591     -24.2%     3.5%     $23,628,849
Toyota     $2,193     21.1%     -8.9%     $350,808,559
Volkswagen Group     $3,410     48.1%     -4.2%     $133,995,370

Industry

   

$2,932

   

13.4%

   

-4.2%

   

$3,353,747,907

(Note: This forecast is based solely on TrueCar's analysis of industry sales trends and conditions and is not a projection of the company's operations.)

About TrueCar

TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) gives consumers transparent insight into what others paid and access to guaranteed savings off MSRP from TrueCar Certified Dealers. TrueCar's network of more than 10,000 trusted Certified Dealers is committed to providing upfront pricing information and a hassle-free buying experience. TrueCar powers car-buying programs for some of the largest U.S. membership and service organizations, including AARP, American Express, AAA, Sam's Club and USAA. Not all program features are available in all states. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. For more information about TrueCar and industry analysis please visit www.truecar.com and insights.true.com. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

TrueCar media line: +1-844-469-8442 (US toll-free) | Email: pressinquiries@truecar.com

TrueCar
Carly Schaffner, 424-258-8897
CSchaffner@truecar.com
pressinquiries@truecar.com

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