Market Overview

TrueCar Finds Late Labor Day Helps Fuel Double-Digit September Gain

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

TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE), the modern car-buying service, projects the seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total light vehicle sales should reach 17.7 million units in September versus 16.5 million units a year ago, the highest in more than a decade, led by robust retail sales.

Total new vehicle sales, including fleet deliveries, may rise 12.6 percent to 1,403,200 compared to 1,246,006 a year ago. A later-than-usual Labor Day holiday weekend shifted sales activity that typically occurs at the end of August into September, resulting in a robust double-digit increase. Retail volume may increase 13.8 percent to 1,214,400 units as consumers took advantage of model year closeout specials.

"Labor Day and model year-end promotions combined to create an impressive outcome this month," said Eric Lyman, TrueCar's vice president of industry insights. "September's sales pace underscores the strength of the auto sector's continued expansion and our confidence that full-year sales will reach 17.2 million units in 2015."

On a daily selling rate (DSR) basis, adjusting for one more day this month versus September 2014, sales should rise 8.1 percent.

Sales of luxury cars and light trucks will likely grow 7.5 percent compared to a year ago. Crossover and utility vehicles remain in demand and are propelling overall industry growth. Notably, utility sales for Ford Motor Co.'s Ford division are tracking to be at the highest level in over a decade.

Volkswagen may be an outlier this month, following news that software on the carmaker's diesel models was altered to allow the vehicles to pass emissions tests. Sales of TDI diesel models have been suspended, and the Volkswagen group's volume may fall 5.2 percent in September.

"With 27 percent of VW sales coming in the form of TDI-equipped cars, we expect an immediate impact on the brand until the stop-sale on TDI vehicles ends," Lyman said.

Subaru may be the sales leader with a 24.3 percent rise in total volume, resulting in a best-ever September for the brand. Kia Motors America follows with a 23.1 percent increase in unit sales and should also see a record September. Toyota should rank third with a 19.1 percent increase amid gains for the company's light trucks.

Interest rates remain unchanged and overall U.S. economic conditions are still strong. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index® rebounded by 10.5 points in August, hitting 101.5. Meanwhile, the unemployment report in August was 5.1 percent, the lowest for the month in eight years. Gas prices also remain favorable, falling to a national average of $2.28 per gallon on September 23 from $3.34 a year earlier.

Incentive spending by automakers averaged $3,090 per vehicle in September, up 3.9 percent from a year ago and down 0.1 percent from August 2015.

Other key findings for September:

  • Expected registration mix of 86.5 percent retail sales and 13.5 percent fleet versus 85.6 percent retail and 14.4 percent fleet last September.
  • Total used auto sales, including franchise and independent dealerships and private-party transactions, may exceed 4,328,643, up 3.2 percent September 2014.

Forecasts for the 12 largest manufacturers by volume:

     

Total Unit Sales

 
Manufacturer  

September 2015
Forecast

 

% Change vs.
September 2014

 

% Change vs.
September 2014
(Daily Selling Rate)

BMW   31,200   4.5%   0.3%
Daimler   31,000   2.4%   -1.7%
FCA   187,800   9.7%   5.3%
Ford   213,000   18.7%   13.9%
GM   243,600   9.0%   4.7%
Honda   130,000   10.0%   5.6%
Hyundai   65,000   16.1%   11.4%
Kia   50,000   23.1%   18.1%
Nissan   113,000   9.8%   5.4%
Subaru   51,600   24.3%   19.3%
Toyota   199,200   19.1%   14.3%
Volkswagen Group   42,500   -5.2%   -0.6%
Industry   1,403,200   12.6%   8.1%
 
     

Total Market Share

 
Manufacturer  

September 2015
Forecast

  September 2014   August 2015
BMW   2.2%   2.4%   2.1%
Daimler   2.2%   2.4%   2.0%
FCA   13.3%   13.7%   12.9%
Ford   15.1%   14.4%   14.8%
GM   17.3%   17.9%   17.1%
Honda   9.2%   9.5%   9.9%
Hyundai   4.6%   4.5%   4.6%
Kia   3.6%   3.3%   3.7%
Nissan   8.0%   8.3%   8.5%
Subaru   3.7%   3.3%   3.3%
Toyota   14.2%   13.4%   14.2%
Volkswagen Group   3.0%   3.6%   3.6%
 
     

Retail Unit Sales

 
Manufacturer  

September 2015
Forecast

 

% Change vs.
September 2014

 

% Change vs.
September 2014
(Daily Selling Rate)

BMW   30,600   4.8%   0.6%
Daimler   29,100   1.4%   -2.6%
FCA   141,800   10.8%   6.4%
Ford   162,000   18.6%   13.8%
GM   197,800   13.8%   9.3%
Honda   129,400   10.1%   5.7%
Hyundai   54,700   14.7%   10.1%
Kia   44,400   22.7%   17.7%
Nissan   101,800   15.4%   10.8%
Subaru   50,400   23.7%   18.8%
Toyota   189,700   18.8%   14.0%
Volkswagen Group   39,200   -7%   -10.9%
Industry   1,214,400   13.8%   9.3%
 
       

Incentive Spending

 
Manufacturer  

Incentive per
Unit September
2015 Forecast

 

Incentive per Unit
% Change vs.
September 2014

 

Incentive per Unit
% Change vs.
August 2015

 

Total Spending
September 2015
Forecast

BMW   $4,449   3.2%   -1.0%   $138,356,284
Daimler   $4,608   21.9%   0.2%   $142,862,174
FCA   $3,624   2.6%   1.0%   $675,493,523
Ford   $3,503   -2.5%   0.9%   $746,081,078
GM   $4,037   10.0%   0.0%   $983,307,207
Honda   $2,130   -2.8%   0.5%   $276,913,173
Hyundai   $2,521   51.7%   -0.7%   $163,869,567
Kia   $2,904   12.3%   -0.3%   $145,199,894
Nissan   $3,249   0.4%   -5.5%   $367,097,784
Subaru   $596   -13.6%   -1.5%   $30,759,284
Toyota   $2,179   0.2%   -1.3%   $434,089,682
Volkswagen Group   $3,019   8.4%   -1.4%   $127,388,724
Industry   $3,090   3.9%   -0.1%   $4,323,912,872
 

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

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