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KBB Predicts 12% Increase in New-Vehicle Sales

October 27, 2015

IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book said this week it expects new-vehicle sales to increase nearly 12% year over year to a total of 1.43 million units in October, a predication that would put the seasonally adjusted annual rate at 197.9 million if realized. It would also be the highest October sales total since 2001.

Fueling the vehicle information site’s double-digit growth prediction is new-vehicle sales continue to roll off dealer lots after the industry experienced its strongest sales month in over a decade in September. Employment and fuel prices are other drivers of KBB’s prediction.

“Key economic indicators for auto sales are still strong, including jobless claims at a historic low as the national unemployment rate approaches 5%, fuel pricing nearing six-year lows, and interest rates that remain near zero,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “This momentum has pushed Kelley Blue Book’s forecast to 17.4 million for 2015, a 5.6% year-over-year improvement.”

 

Sales Volume 1

Market Share 2

Manufacturer

Oct-15

Oct-14

YOY %

Oct-15

Oct-14

YOY %

General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)

250,000

226,819

10.2%

17.5%

17.8%

-0.3%

Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)

219,000

187,897

16.6%

15.3%

14.7%

0.6%

Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)

198,000

180,580

9.6%

13.8%

14.1%

-0.3%

Fiat Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep, RAM)

191,000

170,480

12.0%

13.4%

13.3%

0.0%

American Honda (Acura, Honda)

135,000

121,172

11.4%

9.4%

9.5%

0.0%

Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)

120,000

103,117

16.4%

8.4%

8.1%

0.3%

Hyundai-Kia

110,000

94,775

16.1%

7.7%

7.4%

0.3%

Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)

50,000

49,130

1.8%

3.5%

3.8%

-0.3%

Total 3

1,430,000

1,277,821

11.9%

-

-

-

1 Historical data from OEM sales announcements

           

While General Motors is expected to lead the way in sales volume, Ford Motor Co.’s expected 16.6% increase in new-vehicle sales from a year ago would be the biggest gain in October. Expected to lead the way, according to KBB, is the F-150, which is pushing overall F-Series volume to new levels of growth this year. Ford’s refreshed Explorer should also be a solid driver of growth this year for the automaker.

The Volkswagen Group is also expected to show a slight gain in sales volume, despite its recent troubles, the site noted. “With most brands experiencing growth this month, Volkswagen Group should report fairly even sales totals in the wake of their diesel emissions issue,” said Gutierrez. “Audi and Porsche will be driving the sales growth for the manufacturer, as the Volkswagen brand posts negative figures, largely due to the stop-sale of its diesel models, which previously made up nearly 20 percent of the brand’s sales volume.”

By vehicle segment, compact utility vehicles are expected to lead the way for the third month in a row with nearly 40% growth. This segment has seen five new models enter the segment in the past year, which has resulted in more than 20,000 units sold per month. Still, the rest of the segment continues to strengthen at double the rest of the industry’s pace.

With low fuel prices and exploding popularity of small utilities, small and mid-size cars will continue to lose market share in October. These are already two of the most competitive segments in the market, and year-to-date sales in both segments have declined. While Kelley Blue Book said it expects an increase in volume in October, due to strong overall sales momentum in the automotive industry, it also believes market share will drop by more than a full percentage point for these car segments.

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