TrueCar forecasts strong start for 2015 auto sales

(January 26, 2015) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — TrueCar, Inc. forecasts the pace of auto sales in January expanded to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 16.6 million new units on continued consumer demand. New light vehicle sales, including fleet, should reach 1,446,600 units for the month, up 13.2 percent over a year ago.

On a daily selling rate (DSR) basis, adjusting for one additional selling day this January versus a year ago, deliveries will likely rise 8.9 percent.

"2014 was a year of recovery and growth for the auto industry, and that trajectory continues into 2015 as TrueCar expects new vehicle sales will reach 17 million units," said Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights for TrueCar. "Even more compelling is our projected revenue growth of 4.8 percent, which is the result of increasing sales volume and rising average transaction prices."

Incentive spending by automakers averaged $2,642 per vehicle in January, up 3.6 percent over a year ago and down 10.4 percent from December 2014.

"With solid economic expansion under way and consumer-friendly gasoline prices, the auto industry remains a high-growth sector," said Lyman. "Other indicators signaling a home-run year for the industry include the recent high in U.S. single-family housing starts and pre-recession unemployment levels."

Other key findings for January include:

    • Expected registration mix of 82.7 percent retail sales and 17.3 percent fleet versus 83.4 percent retail and 16.6 percent fleet last January.

    • Total used auto sales, including franchise and independent dealerships and private party transactions, may exceed 2,921,002, up 5.8 percent compared with January 2014.

Forecasts for the 10 largest manufacturers by volume for January 2015: