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New-Car Sales To Jump 8 Percent In March 2016; Highest Monthly Volume In 10 Years, According To Kelley Blue Book
Fiat Chrysler to Report Greatest Year-Over-Year Gains on Minivans, Jeep Brand

IRVINE, Calif., March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- New-vehicle sales are expected to increase 8 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.66 million units in March 2016, resulting in an estimated 17.2 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry.  Two additional selling days will help this month's volume totals as the SAAR will stay relatively consistent with recent months.

Kelley Blue Book Logo.

"The industry continues to maintain its momentum in March as we expect the highest volume of any month in more than 10 years," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "However, we continue to follow indicators that demand for new cars is weakening, while there is increased incentive spending and an increasing share of fleet sales."

The 1.66 million units will bring the first quarter total to 4.15 million, which is up 5 percent year-over-year, making this the second highest first quarter on record, surpassed only by Q1 2000.  This also could be the highest March sales total since 2000, when sales also hit 1.66 million units, and the highest volume total of any month since July 2005.

Key Highlights for Estimated March 2016 Sales Forecast:

  • In March, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,660,000 units, up 8 percent from March 2015 and up 24 percent from February 2016.
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for March 2016 is estimated to be 17.2 million, up from 17.1 million in March 2015 and down from 17.4 million in February 2016.
  • Retail sales are expected to account for 76.1 percent of volume in March 2016, down from 77.2 percent in March 2015.

Fiat Chrysler to Report Greatest Year-Over-Year Gains on Minivans, Jeep Brand
Fiat Chrysler could have the best month of all major manufacturers, with double-digit growth expected in March.  The largest year-over-year improvements will be from Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans, which were low on inventory at this time last year.  The Jeep brand also should post another record in March with year-over-year strength headlined by the Renegade. 

Kelley Blue Book also anticipates American Honda will report double-digit growth in March, led by the new Civic.  In addition, the new HR-V continues to perform well and collect industry awards, including Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost to Own Award.  Meanwhile, the Honda Pilot is one of the fastest selling models this month, averaging just 18 days in dealer inventory.               

 

Sales Volume 1

Market Share 2

Manufacturer

Mar-16

Mar-15

YOY %

Mar-16

Mar-15

YOY %

General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)

264,000

249,875

5.7%

15.9%

16.2%

-0.3%

Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)

257,000

234,786

9.5%

15.5%

15.2%

0.3%

Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)

239,000

225,959

5.8%

14.4%

14.6%

-0.2%

Fiat Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep, RAM)

225,000

197,261

14.1%

13.6%

12.8%

0.8%

Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)

159,000

145,085

9.6%

9.6%

9.4%

0.2%

American Honda (Acura, Honda)

143,000

126,293

13.2%

8.6%

8.2%

0.4%

Hyundai-Kia

129,000

133,790

-3.6%

7.8%

8.7%

-0.9%

Subaru of America

53,000

49,111

7.9%

3.2%

3.2%

0.0%

Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)

46,000

51,418

-10.5%

2.8%

3.3%

-0.6%

Total3 1,660,000 1,542,841 7.6% - - -

1 Historical data from OEM sales announcements

           

2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights

           

3 Includes brands not shown

           

Small Utility Vehicles Averaging 20 Percent Growth This Year
"Small utility vehicles continue to outpace the rest of the industry, as the most popular segment is now averaging 20 percent growth this year," said Fleming.  "Mainstay models like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V still sit atop the segment, while new models like the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V are gaining popularity with consumers by demonstrating their values as more affordable, but still versatile, small crossovers."

Full-size trucks are another segment that could gain market share in March.  However, incentive spend has been on the rise, topping $4,000 average per unit year-to-date and a number that we are watching this year.   

 

Sales Volume 1

Market Share

Segment

Mar-16

Mar-15

YOY %

Mar-16

Mar-15

YOY %

Compact SUV/Crossover

246,000

199,915

23.1%

14.8%

13.0%

1.9%

Compact Car

238,000

230,118

3.4%

14.3%

14.9%

-0.6%

Mid-Size Car

232,000

219,120

5.9%

14.0%

14.2%

-0.2%

Full-Size Pickup Truck

204,000

184,445

10.6%

12.3%

12.0%

0.3%

Mid-Size SUV/Crossover

186,000

174,803

6.4%

11.2%

11.3%

-0.1%

Total 2

1,660,000

1,542,841

7.6%

-

-

-

1 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights

           

2 Includes segments not shown

           

There are 27 sales days in March 2016, compared to 25 sales days in March 2015.  All percentages are based on raw volume, not daily selling rate. 

To discuss this topic, or any other automotive-related information, with a Kelley Blue Book analyst on-camera via the company's on-site studio, please contact a member of the Public Relations team to book an interview.

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb, and get updates on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+kbb.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the 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 Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used 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's KBB.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for four consecutive years.  Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive company.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121108/LA08161LOGO

 

 

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

For further information: Chintan Talati, 949-267-4855, chintan.talati@kbb.com, or Joanna Pinkham, 404-568-7135, joanna.pinkham@kbb.com, or Brenna Robinson, 949-267-4781, brenna.robinson@kbb.com, or Michelle Behar, 949-268-4259, michelle.behar@kbb.com
Key Contacts

Sr. Public Relations Manager
Brenna Buehler
949.473.6595
brenna.buehler@coxautoinc.com

Sr. Public Relations Manager
Nichole Mrasek
404.568.6352
nichole.mrasek@coxautoinc.com  

 

  

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