Market Overview

TrueCar Projects March Auto Sales Likely to Climb 7.6% as Consumers Spring to Dealerships

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

TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) projects total new vehicle sales, including fleet deliveries, will reach 1,663,000 units in March, up 7.6 percent from a year ago, the highest volume for the month since 2000.

That level of growth would push the seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total light vehicle sales to an estimated 17.3 million units for the month, up from a 17.1 million-unit SAAR a year ago. Excluding fleet sales, U.S. retail deliveries of new cars and light trucks should rise 7.7 percent to 1,345,700 units on to steady consumer demand.

"Sales in the first quarter of this year continue to expand and the overall retail mix suggests consumers are still feeling confident," said Eric Lyman, TrueCar's vice president of industry insights. "Organic demand is always a favorable sign for automakers as it lessens their reliance on fleet sales, while sustaining healthy year-over-year growth."

Honda Motor Co. may report the biggest year-over-year sales gain, as it is currently on pace for a 19 percent rise in volume. FCA will likely follow with a 13.7 percent sales increase. Nissan Motor Co. may post the third-biggest gains, with a 9.9 percent increase.

Volume for non-luxury, mass-market brands will likely expand by 7.7 percent versus last year, while sales of luxury models may grow only 6.5 percent. Compact crossover vehicles remain in high-demand in March and will be among the industry's biggest volume segments.

"Small crossovers continue to make a big splash in the market, but the small car segment hasn't been forgotten," said Stacey Doyle, TrueCar's senior industry analyst. "The all-new Honda Civic is a hot product that has been well received by consumers, and as a result we expect Honda to see the highest retail sales growth this month."

Incentive spending by automakers averaged an estimated $3,005 per vehicle in March, up 10.4 percent from a year ago, though down 0.9 percent from February 2016.

The Federal Open Market Committee left interest rates unchanged this month and overall U.S. economic conditions remain healthy. February's unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, the lowest for that month in eight years, while gasoline prices remain favorable for consumers, falling to a national average of $1.99 per gallon on March 23 from $2.42 a year earlier.

Other key findings for March:

  • Registration mix is expected to be 80.9 percent retail sales and 19.1 percent fleet versus 80.9 percent retail and 19.1 percent fleet last March.
  • Total used auto sales, including franchise and independent dealerships and private-party transactions, may reach 3,549,408, up 5 percent from March 2015.

Forecasts for the 12 largest manufacturers by volume:

Total Unit Sales

Manufacturer

 

March

2016 Forecast

   

% Change vs. March
2015

   

% Change vs.
March 2015
(Daily Selling Rate)

BMW   40,600     1.0%     -6.5%
Daimler   34,100     3.7%     -4.0%
FCA   225,400     13.7%     5.3%
Ford   256,500     9.2%     1.2%
GM   265,600     6.3%     -1.6%
Honda   150,300     19.0%     10.2%
Hyundai   67,000     -10.7%     -17.3%
Kia   60,000     2.1%     -5.5%
Nissan   159,500     9.9%     1.8%
Subaru   49,000     -0.2%     -7.6%
Toyota   237,500     5.1%     -2.7%
Volkswagen Group   51,600     -0.3%     -7.7%

Industry

 

1,663,000

   

7.6%

   

-0.4%

Total Market Share

Manufacturer   March 2016 Forecast     March 2015     February 2016
BMW   2.4%     2.6%     1.9%
Daimler   2.1%     2.1%     1.9%
FCA   13.6%     12.8%     13.7%
Ford   15.4%     15.2%     16.1%
GM   16.0%     16.2%     16.9%
Honda   9.0%     8.2%     8.9%
Hyundai   4.0%     4.9%     3.9%
Kia   3.6%     3.8%     3.7%
Nissan   9.6%     9.4%     9.7%
Subaru   2.9%     3.2%     3.1%
Toyota   14.3%     14.6%     14.0%
Volkswagen Group   3.1%     3.3%     2.8%

Retail Unit Sales

Manufacturer

 

March 2016 Forecast

   

% Change vs. March
2015

   

% Change vs.
March 2015
(Daily Selling Rate)

BMW   39,400     1.3%     -6.2%
Daimler   32,000     3.7%     -4.0%
FCA   164,900     8.3%     0.3%
Ford   169,300     1.5%     -6.1%
GM   211,100     15.5%     7.0%
Honda   148,500     18.5%     9.7%
Hyundai   51,500     -8.2%     -15.0%
Kia   48,300     7.6%     -0.4%
Nissan   121,700     2.1%     -5.4%
Subaru   46,500     -3.7%     -10.9%
Toyota   209,100     10.0%     1.8%
Volkswagen Group   45,764     0.0%     -7.4%

Industry

 

1,345,700

   

7.7%

   

-0.3%

Incentive Spending

Manufacturer  

Incentive per
Unit March 2016
Forecast

   

Incentive per Unit
% Change vs.
March 2015

   

Incentive per Unit
% Change vs.
February 2016

   

Total Spending
March 2016
Forecast

BMW   $4,816     -4.3%     5.0%     $195,031,733
Daimler   $3,981     -0.1%     6.0%     $135,759,542
FCA   $3,887     13.7%     -0.7%     $870,728,786
Ford   $3,271     15.0%     -1.4%     $838,997,045
GM   $3,943     28.5%     -2.0%     $1,047,240,511
Honda   $1,590     -11.2%     6.7%     $238,931,377
Hyundai   $2,163     -16.1%     3.0%     $144,897,650
Kia   $2,868     4.8%     -0.1%     $172,065,223
Nissan   $3,362     5.6%     -1.0%     $536,273,370
Subaru   $569     -21.7%     2.2%     $27,892,618
Toyota   $2,027     10.7%     -3.6%     $481,497,396
Volkswagen Group   $3,349     21.6%     -1.1%     $171,827,772

Industry

 

$3,005

   

10.4%

   

-0.9%

   

$4,985,111,808

(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) is a digital automotive marketplace that provides comprehensive pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars and enables consumers to engage with TrueCar Certified Dealers who are committed to providing a superior purchase experience. TrueCar operates its own branded site and its nationwide network of more than 11,000 Certified Dealers also powers car-buying programs for some of the largest U.S. membership and service organizations, including USAA, AARP, American Express, AAA and Sam's Club. Over one third of all new car buyers engage with the TrueCar network during their purchasing process. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. For more information, go to www.truecar.com. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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

True Car, Inc.
Veronica Cardenas
424-258-2487
VCardenas@truecar.com
pressinquiries@truecar.com

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