IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book said yesterday it expects June new-vehicle sales to close the month with 1.55 million units sold, which would represent a 5% increase form a year ago. This increase, the firm added, should result in an estimated 17.1 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).
If realized, the firm's prediction would bring total sales for the first half of the year to 8.66 million, the highest on record and an increase of 2% from the year-ago period.
“June 2016 is expected to bring mostly positive numbers for new-vehicle sales and the industry remains on pace for another top-performing year,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “As we head into summer, sales should stabilize just slightly ahead of last year’s pace. This month’s volume will mark the highest June since 2005, when 1.67 million units were sold during a wave of discounts.”
While KBB expects all manufacturers to see a sales increase in June, Subaru is expected to see the largest uptick during the month.
“Subaru has been the fastest-selling brand this year by far, with models averaging just 27 days to turn, but sales have been hampered by low inventories,” Fleming said. “While still tight, inventory is much better than last year and should help Subaru achieve another record month.”
The firm expects American Honda to post a 10% increase in sales from a year ago, with sales of the brand's Civic and Accord models expected to drive that uptick. While Honda is seeing success with its compact and mid-size models, the rest of the industry is not seeing similar results. With some exceptions, sales for most mid-size car models are expected to decline from this time last year, according to KBB.
Compact SUVs are expected to remain the top segment in June. According to KBB, the refreshed Ford Escape and redesigned Kia Sportage will help boost the segment's numbers for the month. So far this year, it has taken an average of 61 days to turn CUVs, while compact and mid-size cars have averaged 80 days.
The firm also noted that June 2016 has 26 sales days, compared to the 25 in June 2015.