J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Forecast April 2015

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 24 April 2015 — U.S. total and retail new-vehicle sales in April 2015 are expected to reach their highest levels for the month since 2005, according to a monthly sales forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

Retail Light-Vehicle Sales

New-vehicle retail sales in April 2015 are forecasted to reach 1,179,000 units, a 5 percent increase compared with April 2014 and the highest retail sales volume for the month since April 2005 when sales hit 1,190,125. Retail transactions are the most accurate measure of consumer demand for new vehicles.

The retail seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate (SAAR) in April is expected to be 13.7 million units, 400,000 units stronger than in April 2014 and the highest SAAR for April since 2005 (13.8 million).

U.S. Retail SAAR—April 2014 to April 2015
(in millions of units)

Source: Power Information Network® (PIN) from J.D. Power

“The industry continues to outperform prior-year levels with respect to retail sales and transaction prices,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power. “The average new-vehicle transaction price so far in April is $30,680, on pace to achieve a new record for the month.” The current record was set in April 2014 when transaction prices averaged $29,948.

The combination of strong sales and high transaction prices positions April to set a new record for the month for consumer spending on new vehicles at approximately $36.2 billion, according to the Power Information Network (PIN) from J.D. Power. 

Low gas prices continue to put pressure on car segments, while truck sales have surged. Through April 19, trucks comprised 56 percent of industry retail sales, up 4.5 percentage points from April 2014 and marking the first time truck sales have exceeded 55 percent in the month of April since 2004.

Total Light-Vehicle Sales

Total light-vehicle sales are projected to reach 1,463,700, a 5 percent increase compared with April 2014 and the highest level for the month since April 2005 when 1,500,624 new vehicles were sold. Fleet volume is expected to hit 284,700 units, accounting for 19.4 percent of total sales. Through the first four months of 2015, fleet share averages 20.6 percent, up from 19.5 percent for the same period in 2014.

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons

 

April 20151

March 2015

April 2014

New-Vehicle Retail Sales

1,179,000 units

(5% higher than April 2014)

1,226,193 units

1,120,687 units

Total Vehicle Sales

1,463,700 units

(5% higher than April 2014)

1,543,523 units

1,388,167 units

Retail SAAR

13.7 million units

13.5 million units

13.3 million units

Total SAAR

16.6 million units

17.0 million units

16.0 million units

1Figures cited for April 2015 are forecasted based on the first 16 selling days of the month.

Sales Outlook

LMC Automotive is holding its total light-vehicle sales forecast for 2015 at 17.0 million units, but has reduced its retail forecast to 13.9 million units from its previous outlook of 14.0 million units due to a slight increase in fleet sales.

“Overall, auto sales remain strong, a trend that is sustainable throughout 2015 due to  consumer demand that is being fueled by 50 new or redesigned models in showrooms this year,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “High year-over-year growth will become more challenging over the next few months, but a slip in the growth rates doesn’t change the underlying positive trend.”

North American Production

After a pullback in February, North American production in March bounced back and hit 1.58 million units, a 5 percent increase from March 2014. Year-to-date volume through March hit 4.28 million units, up from 4.19 million units during the same period in 2014. Given a solid sales pace, inventory levels declined to a 59-day supply at the beginning of April, down from a 69-day supply at the start of March and a 63-day supply at the beginning of April 2014.

LMC Automotive’s production forecast for 2015 remains at 17.5 million units, aided by 20 new production entries in late 2014 and in 2015, which are adding 600,000 units of incremental volume that was not present in 2014.

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Power Information Network (PIN) from J.D. Power has revolutionized the automotive industry by collecting and analyzing real-time transaction-level data for new and used vehicles. PIN’s data and analytics help automakers and dealers manage risk, monitor metric performance and improve business results. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit www.JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial 

McGraw Hill Financial  (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL and J.D. Power. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.

About LMC Automotive

LMC Automotive is the premier supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base of automotive manufacturer, component supplier, logistics and distribution companies, as well as financial and government institutions around the world. LMC’s global forecasting services encompass automotive sales, production and powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has locations in the United States, the UK, France, Germany, China, Japan and Thailand and is part of the Oxford, UK-based LMC group, the global leader in economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector.  For more information please visit www.lmc-auto.com.

Media Relations Contacts

John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

Emmie Littlejohn; LMC Automotive; Troy, Mich.; 248-817-2100; elittlejohn@lmc-auto.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power or LMC Automotive. www.jdpower.com/corporate  www.lmc-auto.com

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New-Vehicle Sales in April Strongest for the Month in a Decade

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U.S. total and retail new-vehicle sales in April 2015 are expected to reach their highest levels for the month since 2005, according to a monthly sales forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

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J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Forecast April 2015

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New-Vehicle Sales in April Strongest for the Month in a Decade

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