IRVINE, Calif., March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- New-vehicle sales are expected to rise 2 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.48 million units, and an estimated 15.7 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Bookwww.kbb.com, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. First quarter total sales are expected to hit 3.68 million, down 0.3 percent from the first quarter of 2013. A 15.7 million SAAR would mark the seventeenth consecutive month above 15 million and the greatest March since 2007.
"Following two months of weaker-than-expected sales, the industry should start to bounce back in March," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Although we aren't expected to hit 16 million SAAR, indications show that consumers are returning to showrooms in spring. The momentum built in March should set the market up for a big month in April. Those consumers that delayed a purchase in January and February will find a modest increase in available incentives, which should help to offset gains in average transaction prices."
Key Highlights for Estimated March 2014 Sales Forecast:
In March, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,475,000 units, up 1.5 percent from March 2013 and up 23.8 percent from February 2014.
The SAAR for March 2014 is estimated to be 15.7 million, up from 15.3 million in both February 2014 and March 2013.
Retail sales are expected to account for 82 percent of volume in March 2014.
Chrysler Continues to Dominate; Toyota to Rebound on Big Push from Camry and RAV4 Chrysler is expected to report the biggest gains in March at 7.2 percent, entirely on the surge of both its Jeep and RAM brands. Their gains are continually driven by the popular all-new Jeep Cherokee and the RAM pickup truck, which is up nearly 25 percent so far this year. Kelley Blue Book expects Toyota to rebound from the slow start to the year with a big push form Camry and continued strength in sales for the recently redesigned RAV4.
Sales Volume 1
Market Share 2
General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)
Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)
Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)
Chrysler Group (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, RAM)
American Honda (Acura, Honda)
Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)
Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen)
1 Historical data from OEM sales announcements
2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights
3 Includes brands not shown
Compact Crossover Lead Industry; Mid-Size Car Demand Falters from Previous Years Compact crossovers continue to lead industry gains in March with 15 percent expected growth year-over-year. The Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4, all redesigned last year, are leading the way, comprising 70 percent of the segment's growth since the beginning of the year.
"Consumers are opting for compact crossovers at the expense of segments like mid-size cars, which transact just $1,500 lower," said Gutierrez. "Kelley Blue Book expects mid-size cars to remain mostly flat in March due to big sales of the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Honda Accord, but demand in this segment in 2014 has been weaker than the previous two years."
Sales Volume 1
Full-Size Pickup Truck
Entry Luxury Car
1 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights
2 Includes segments not shown
There are 26 sales days in March 2014, compared to 27 in March 2013. All percentages are based on raw volume, not daily selling rate.
About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only 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 and Suggested Retail Values, and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new 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 Co., Inc. is a subsidiary of AutoTrader Group, which includes AutoTrader.com, vAuto, VinSolutions and HomeNet Automotive. AutoTrader Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.