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Strong Economy Masks Auto Market Challenges, According to New Edmunds Report

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Strong Economy Masks Auto Market Challenges, According to New Edmunds Report

Trade policy, interest rates and an influx of younger buyers give auto sales a boost in the first half of 2018, but Edmunds forecasts market will cool later in the year

PR Newswire

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- So far 2018 has been a strong but inconsistent year for the auto industry, and according to a new in-depth report from the car shopping experts at Edmunds, the market could be nearing a tipping point.

Car-buying platform Edmunds.com serves nearly 20 million visitors each month. With Edmunds.com Price Promise(R), shoppers can buy smarter with instant, upfront prices for cars and trucks currently for sale at over 10,000 dealer franchises across the U.S.

"The strength of the economy is creating a very thick forcefield for automakers now, but once that starts to weaken, there are a lot of market factors bubbling just below the surface that could really start to slow down sales," said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. "Even though millennials are finally starting to buy new vehicles, the U.S. market is virtually saturated. Add to that record-high vehicle prices, rising interest rates and historically high numbers of people who owe more than their cars are worth, and the stage is set for a market contraction."

The Edmunds Midyear Automotive Market Trends report takes a deep look at the major factors that have influenced the industry so far in 2018, from economic indicators to trade policy to car shopping behavior and more. The report also explores the trends that will shape the industry in the years ahead, such as the transition away from cars in favor of SUVs, the impact of the expiration of tax credits on electric vehicles, the impact of the flood of off-lease vehicles on residual values, and the rise in vehicle subscription offerings. The report is now available for download in the Edmunds Industry Center here.

This new report comes on the heels of Edmunds releasing its forecast for June auto sales, which are expected to be up slightly compared to last year. Edmunds forecasts that 1,519,072 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in June for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.1 million. This reflects a 4.1 percent decrease in sales from May 2018, but a 3.4 percent increase from June 2017.

"June sales look a bit healthier than they actually are because there was an additional selling day and weekend this year," said Acevedo. "On a daily selling rate basis, June sales were actually lower than last year. This is exactly in line with how the rest of this year has gone: Sales look strong, but there are other factors at play that make this success a bit fragile."

 

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume

June 2018
Forecast

June 2017

May 2018

Change from June
2017

Change from May
2018







GM

256,793

243,155

265,030

5.6%

-3.1%

Ford

229,046

227,166

241,527

0.8%

-5.2%

Toyota

209,424

202,376

215,321

3.5%

-2.7%

Fiat Chrysler

200,474

187,348

214,294

7.0%

-6.4%

Honda

145,007

139,793

153,069

3.7%

-5.3%

Nissan

133,307

143,328

131,832

-7.0%

1.1%

Hyundai/Kia

116,125

110,650

125,518

4.9%

-7.5%

VW/Audi

48,491

46,793

50,526

3.6%

-4.0%

Industry

1,519,072

1,468,867

1,584,660

3.4%

-4.1%

*GM sales totals for May 2018 are estimated

**NOTE: June 2018 had 27 selling days, June 2017 had 26, and May 2018 had 26.

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.9 million vehicles in June, with fleet transactions accounting for 18.4 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.2 million used vehicles will be sold in June 2018, for a SAAR of 39.2 million (compared to 3.3 million – or a SAAR of 39.3 million – in May).

 

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market
Share

June 2018
Forecast

June 2017

May
2018

Change from
June 2017

Change from May
2018







GM

16.9%

16.6%

16.7%

0.4%

0.2%

Ford

15.1%

15.5%

15.2%

-0.4%

-0.2%

Toyota

13.8%

13.8%

13.6%

0.0%

0.2%

Fiat Chrysler

13.2%

12.8%

13.5%

0.4%

-0.3%

Honda

9.5%

9.5%

9.7%

0.0%

-0.1%

Nissan

8.8%

9.8%

8.3%

-1.0%

0.5%

Hyundai/
Kia

7.6%

7.5%

7.9%

0.1%

-0.3%

VW/Audi

3.2%

3.2%

3.2%

0.0%

0.0%

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.

About Edmunds 
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

CONTACT:
Talia James
Senior Public Relations Manager
PR@Edmunds.com
310-309-4900
http://edmunds.com/about/press

 

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SOURCE Edmunds

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