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Auto Sales in August May Reach Highest Monthly Level in 7 Years

Auto Sales in August May Reach Highest Monthly Level in 7 Years

By Jeff Youngs, August 23, 2013
New-car and light-truck sales in August may reach the highest mark for any month in seven years, according to a monthly forecast update from J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive. In addition, J.D. Power expects consumer spending on new vehicles in August will be nearly $36 billion, which would be the highest monthly level on record.

Total light-vehicle sales, which include retail deliveries at the dealerships and fleet sales to rental car companies and businesses, may hit 1.5 million unit sales in August--up in double digits (+12%)--when adjusted for one more selling day than in the same month a year ago.* The forecast is based on analysis through the first 15 selling days of this month. The actual sales volume forecast is the highest since May 2007. In addition, fleet sales are likely to account for 15% of the total sales mix.

"The auto industry as a whole continues to experience a robust improvement in demand," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power. He adds that a strong selling environment coincides with consumers spending more on new vehicles than in any month on record.

Confirming a welcome stage of stability in the U.S. auto industry, Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at partner firm LMC Automotive, adds, "We do expect to see a lower selling rate in September as Labor Day sales are counted with August totals, but the positive potential still outweighs downside risk in 2013 going into 2014."

*The percentage of change in sales is selling-day adjusted. There are 28 selling days in August 2013 vs. 27 days in August 2012.