Counting Cars

May Sales Thread: SAAR Bounces Back to Q1 Level

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U.S. Light Vehicle market posts 24th consecutive month of year-over-year volume gains, as May sales rise 8.7%.

May  2013 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:              1.433 million units
Actual LV sales:                                     1.436 million units

Differential between WardsAuto forecast and actual sales: -0.2%.

May 2013 Light Vehicle SAAR:

WardsAuto forecast:        15.2 million
FInal Projected SAAR: 15.2 million

WardsAuto tracks sales throughout the day. Year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). May had 26 selling days this year and last year.

A slew of auto makers reported their best May sales to date, and two companies logged their best monthly sales ever. May marked the 24th consecutive month that LV sales volumes outpaced same-month prior-year results, and the 32nd consecutive month the monthly daily sales rate grew compared to year-ago.U.S. LV total in May was 1.44 million units, up 8% over May 2012. Year-to-date sales for the first five months of 2013 finished at 6.39 million units, up 7.1% over same-period year-ago. 

2:55 p.m.: Kia reports record May sales of 52,327 units, up 1.1% over year-ago. 

1:45 p.m.: With only Kia to report, U.S. May sales are tracking at a 15.19 million unit seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). Daimler reported LV deliveries of its brands, including Mercedes, were up 8.3% over year ago.

1:15 p.m.: Jaguar Land Rover sales up 10.5%. Mazda up 19.2%. 

1:00 p.m.: Hyundai tweets May sales were 68,358, which would be the company's best month ever on a daily basis, and second best volume month, after March 2012 (28 selling days).

12:50 p.m.: Honda reported record May light truck sales, on the way to delivering 140,013 units - up 4.5% over year-ago. LIke Toyota, Honda's sales volume was the company's highest since the Cash for Clunkers peak in August 2009.

BMW/Mini sales were up 10.1% in May, to 31,174 units. The curren projected SAAR is 15.2 million units, directly in line with WardsAuto's earlier forecast.

10:30 a.m.: VW sales were down vs. year ago for the second consecutive month, falling 1.7% to 38,013. Stablemate Audi, however, saw sales rise 15% in May with sales of 13,228. 

10:15 a.m.: General Motors reports LV sales up 3.1% to 252,894 units, it's best month since September 2008. Chrysler, meanwhile, had its best sales month since March 2007, registering an 11.3% gain over year-ago, to 165,466, while Ford topped Detroit 3 companies in year-over-year growth, improving 13.3% over prior year with 241,048 light vehicle sales for the month.

Collectively Detroit auto makers were up 8.7% for the month, with 659,408 LVs sold - the group's best month since December 2007. Detroit 3 auto makers and now tracking an even 10% over year-ago year-to-date. 

Toyota, meanwhile, sold more vehicles in May than in any month since August 2009 (the peak of the governments's Cash for Clunkers scrappage program. Toyota sold 207,952 vehicles, up 2.5% over like-2012.

Subaru, meanwhile, had it's best month ever, with 39,892 deliveries, up 32.5% over year-ago. 

Nissan, meanwhile had its best-selling May, up 24.7% versus year-ago on deliveries of 114,457 Nissan and Infinti brand vehicles.

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John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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