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2013 Auto Sales Estimates Raised on Strong July Showing

Paul Ausick

Automakers will be reporting July sales tomorrow, and while sales month-over-month are projected to decline, sales compared with July of 2012 are expected to be significantly higher. For the full year, the seasonally adjusted annual rate is on track for its highest total since 2007, when 16.1 million light vehicles were sold in the U.S.

We have July estimates for eight carmakers from TrueCar.com for month-over-month changes and from Kelley Blue Book for year-over-year changes:

  • Chrysler Group LLC down 3.2% month-over-month, and up 14.4% from July 2012
  • Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) down 12.9% month-over-month, and up 15.9% year-over-year
  • General Motors Co. (GM) down 6.6% month-over-month, and up 19.3% from July 2012
  • Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC) down 0.9% month-over-month, and up 13.7% year-over-year
  • Hyundai/Kia down 3.5% month-over-month, and up 7.2% year-over-year
  • Nissan down 2.5% month-over-month, and up 14.9% from July 2012
  • Toyota Motor Co. (TM) down 2.1% month-over-month and up 17% year-over-year
  • Volkswagen down 1.8% month-over-month and up 7.3% year over year

Both KBB and TrueCar.com expect the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales to rise to an annual total of 15.8 million new light vehicles sold in 2013. U.S. new car sales fell to 10.4 million in 2009 but have climbed back on the strength of double digit increases in each of the past three years. The expected total sales increase in 2013 is 8.3%, still strong, but not on the same order as the past few years.

Extended payment schedules for new car buyers, more leasing, and increasing sales of pickup trucks are driving the growing sales.