New-Car Sales To Jump 9 Percent In February 2016, According To Kelley Blue Book

American Honda Expected to Increase Despite Civic Stop-Sale; Mid-Size Trucks Are Fastest Selling Segment

Feb 25, 2016, 14:45 ET from Kelley Blue Book

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- New-vehicle sales are expected to increase 9 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.37 million units in February 2016, resulting in an estimated 17.9 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. With this growth, this could be the highest February sales total since 2000, when sales hit 1.5 million units. 

"February 2016 numbers should reveal solid growth and continued momentum in the auto industry," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "Economic indicators remain positive for the industry, with the unemployment rate down below 5 percent, average home prices on the rise and gas prices averaging under $2 per gallon.  However, increased incentives also are helping consumers close deals, as in recent months incentive spend has approached pre-recession levels."

Key Highlights for Estimated February 2016 Sales Forecast:

  • In February 2016, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,370,000 units, up 9 percent from February 2015 and up 20 percent from January 2016.
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for February 2016 is estimated to be 17.9 million, up from 16.3 million in February 2015 and up from 17.5 million in January 2016.
  • Retail sales are expected to account for 77.6 percent of volume in February 2016, down from 77.9 percent in February 2015.

American Honda Expected to Increase Despite Civic Stop-Sale
American Honda is expected to increase most out of the major automakers, with growth of nearly 13 percent year-over-year.  Most of this strength will be from the new Civic, even though sales recently were slowed by the stop-sale on one of the engine options.  Regardless, the Civic remains extremely popular with consumers and is averaging 45 days in dealer inventory before selling, much lower than the compact car segment average of 80 days. 

Ford also could post double-digit growth in February 2016, with improvement expected from its truck and SUV models.  In particular, the F-Series and Explorer are likely to fuel the brand's strength.


Sales Volume 1

Market Share 2

Manufacturer

Feb-16

Feb-15

YOY %

Feb-16

Feb-15

YOY %

General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)

250,000

231,378

8.0%

18.2%

18.4%

-0.2%

Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)

202,000

179,673

12.4%

14.7%

14.3%

0.4%

Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)

194,000

180,467

7.5%

14.2%

14.4%

-0.2%

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

181,000

163,586

10.6%

13.2%

13.0%

0.2%

American Honda (Acura, Honda)

119,000

105,466

12.8%

8.7%

8.4%

0.3%

Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)

129,000

118,436

8.9%

9.4%

9.4%

0.0%

Hyundai-Kia

100,000

96,535

3.6%

7.3%

7.7%

-0.4%

Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)

42,000

40,367

4.0%

3.1%

3.2%

-0.1%

Total 3

1,370,000

1,255,458

9.1%

-

-

-

1 Historical data from OEM sales announcements







2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights







3 Includes brands not shown







Small Utility Vehicles Remain Most Popular Segment; Mid-Size Trucks Are Fastest Selling Segment

 "Once again, small utility vehicles remain the most popular segment in February 2016 and are expected to increase 25 percent in volume," said Gutierrez.  "Consumers continue to be drawn to this segment in favor of traditional sedans, helping brands such as Jeep and Subaru reach new records nearly every month." 

Truck sales look strong in February as gas prices sit at their lowest point since 2009, with full-size truck growth expected to be around the industry average.  Mid-size trucks also are in high demand as the fastest selling segment in the industry, spending just 40 days in dealer inventory on average. 


Sales Volume 1

Market Share

Segment

Feb-16

Feb-15

YOY %

Feb-16

Feb-15

YOY %

Compact SUV/Crossover

199,000

159,145

25.0%

14.5%

12.7%

1.8%

Compact Car

182,000

174,011

4.6%

13.3%

13.9%

-0.6%

Mid-Size Car

177,000

177,045

0.0%

12.9%

14.1%

-1.2%

Full-Size Pickup Truck

170,000

156,954

8.3%

12.4%

12.5%

-0.1%

Mid-Size SUV/Crossover

161,000

150,653

6.9%

11.8%

12.0%

-0.2%

Total 2

1,370,000

1,255,458

9.1%

-

-

-

1 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights







2 Includes segments not shown







There are 25 sales days in February 2016, compared to 24 sales days in February 2015.  All percentages are based on raw volume, not daily selling rate. 

To discuss this topic, or any other automotive-related information, with a Kelley Blue Book analyst on-camera via the company's on-site studio, please contact a member of the Public Relations team to book an interview.

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About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry.  Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week.  The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies.  Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for four consecutive years.  Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive company.

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SOURCE Kelley Blue Book



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