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Auto Inventories Reach Highest Level Since 2004

Despite warning signs of a market slowdown, Edmunds analysts anticipate a slight sales bump in March and a flat first quarter

SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Edmunds, the leading car shopping and information platform, forecasts that 1,609,846 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in March, for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 17.2 million. This reflects a 21 percent increase in sales from February 2017, and a 2 percent increase from March 2016. Edmunds experts also forecast that auto sales in the first quarter of 2017 will total 4,076,463, which is essentially flat compared to Q1 of 2016 when 4,083,747 vehicles were sold.

"If you only look at the sales numbers, it could be tempting to say that the industry is just as strong as it was a year ago," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. "But there are several areas of concern this year lurking just below the surface. Inventories have reached levels not seen in more than a decade, and incentives are rising. We're also seeing an increase in loan duration and indications of an increase in subprime lending, both of which demonstrate sales aren't coming as easily as they used to."


SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales
Volume

March 2017
Forecast

March
2016

February
2017

Change from
March 2016

Change from
February 2017

GM

276,294

252,128

237,388

9.6%

16.4%

Ford

232,418

253,064

207,464

-8.2%

12.0%

Toyota

222,541

219,842

174,339

1.2%

27.6%

Fiat Chrysler

204,805

199,467

168,326

2.7%

21.7%

Nissan

167,962

163,559

135,740

2.7%

23.7%

Honda

142,100

138,221

121,686

2.8%

16.8%

Hyundai/Kia

129,820

133,589

95,693

-2.8%

35.7%

VW/Audi

47,251

45,306

38,886

4.3%

21.5%

Industry

1,609,846

1,577,507

1,328,391

2.1%

21.2%

*NOTE: March 2017 had 27 selling days, March 2016 had 27 and February 2016 had 24.


Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.1 million vehicles in March 2017, with fleet transactions accounting for 23.7 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.6 million used vehicles will be sold in March 2017, for a SAAR of 38.2 million (compared to 3.4 million – or a SAAR of 38.2 million – in February).


MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market
Share

March 2017
Forecast

March
2016

February
2017

Change from
March 2016

Change from
February 2017

GM

17.2%

16.0%

17.9%

1.2%

-0.7%

Ford

14.4%

16.0%

15.6%

-1.6%

-1.2%

Toyota

13.8%

13.9%

13.1%

-0.1%

0.7%

Fiat Chrysler

12.7%

12.6%

12.7%

0.1%

0.1%

Nissan

10.4%

10.4%

10.2%

0.1%

0.2%

Honda

8.8%

8.8%

9.2%

0.1%

-0.3%

Hyundai/Kia

8.1%

8.5%

7.2%

-0.4%

0.9%

VW/Audi

2.9%

2.9%

2.9%

0.1%

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 is the leading car information and shopping platform, helping millions of visitors each month find their perfect car. With products like Edmunds Your Price, Your Lease and Used+, shoppers can buy smarter with instant, upfront prices for cars and trucks currently for sale at more than 13,000 dealer franchises across the U.S. Edmunds' in-house team of unbiased car shopping experts provide industry-leading vehicle reviews and shopping tips, as well as welcome all car-shopping questions to the free Shopper Advice line at 1-855-782-4711, via email at help@edmunds.com, via text at ED411 and on Twitter and Facebook. The company is regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Places to Work. Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, Calif. and has a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Mich.

Contact:
Nicole Carriere
Edmunds.com Corporate Communications
www.Edmunds.com
Media Hotline: 310-309-4900
pr@edmunds.com

SOURCE Edmunds