Edmunds predicts August new car sales will be nearly flat

(August 27, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — An estimated 1,087,000 new cars will be sold in August for a projected Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of 12.3 million, forecasts Edmunds.com. J.D. Power last week forecast a 12.6 million SAAR.

The sales pace is virtually flat compared to July's 12.2 million SAAR.

"Auto sales stayed on a relatively flat road this month, even as the stock market took a roller coaster ride," said Lacey Plache, chief economist at Edmunds.com. "Stronger buying conditions are telling consumers to go ahead and make their car purchases, but a weak economic landscape is telling them to wait until later this year, or even longer. This is the battle that will determine exactly how much the auto industry will grow this year."


Market Share Aug-11 Forecast Aug-10 Jul-11 Change from August 2010 Change from July 2011
GM 20.4% 18.6% 20.3% 1.8% 0.1%
Ford 16.5% 15.8% 17.0% 0.7% -0.5%
Toyota 12.2% 14.9% 12.4% -2.7% -0.2%
Chrysler 11.1% 10.0% 10.6% 1.1% 0.5%
Nissan 8.6% 7.7% 8.0% 0.9% 0.6%
Honda 7.8% 10.9% 7.6% -3.1% 0.2%

Edmunds.com projects that Toyota will have done little in August to build on its momentum from July, with just a one percent increase in sales this month, and a decrease of 0.2 percentage points in market share over the same period. Toyota's August sales are expected to be down 14.4 percent compared to last year.

Even with lingering inventory issues still to sort out, Honda will likely show some month-over-month sales gains in this month. Edmunds.com projects that Honda's August sales will grow 5.4 percent over July, with a market share gain of 0.2 percentage points. Compared to last year, however, August sales are still expected to be off about 25 percent.

Edmunds.com forecasts that Ford will be the only major automaker this month to report a decline in sales from July to August. Ford's sales are expected to be down 0.5 percent from July, leading to a market share loss of 0.5 points. Ford's sales will still enjoy a 9.7 percent increase over August 2010, according to Edmunds.com.

Chrysler and General Motors are each expected to post month-over-month sales gains of 7.8 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. Chrysler's market share will climb 0.5 percentage points in August, while General Motors tick up 0.1 points over July.