Vehicle market summary: U.S. outlook for full-year 2013

2013/10/16

Summary

Sales of January-September 2013 period are at 11.78 million units, recovery continues backed by gradual improvement in economic situation

Passenger car and light truck sales in the US in the January-September 2013 period grew 8.1% year-over-year (y/y) to 11,786,000 units backed by a rise in replacement demand. This rise is thanks to a gradual improvement in the unemployment rate and a persistent low interest rate. By quarter, sales in the third quarter (July to September) increased 9.0% y/y, showing a steady increase from the first quarter (up 6.5%) and the second quarter (up 8.8%).  The single-month sales in September dropped from the same month a year ago for the first time in 28 months (see Figure 2). This drop can be ascibed to two factors; The number of business days at dealers was two days less in September than those in 2012; A part of sales on Labor Day was registered as sales in August. However, the decrease was offset by strong sales in July and August.



Among leading groups, second place Ford expands market share; ninth place Subaru continues to be...



As for sales of passenger cars and light trucks sales in the leading groups for the January-September 2013 period, the top five groups of GM, Ford, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler and Honda saw increased sales (see Table 1).  Among these five groups, second place Ford recorded a 12.0% increase y/y, exceeding the market average. Brisk sales of a wide range of models, including F-Series pickup trucks, Escape SUV and Fusion midsize sedan (see Table 2) pushed its market share up to 16.0%, up 0.5 point from 2012 level.

As for other leading groups, ninth place Subaru posted a 27.7% increase, the largest increase among 10 leading groups. With strong sales of the new Forester and XV Crosstrek released in autumn 2012 or later, Subaru will surely hit a record sales again in 2013. Meanwhile, sixth place Hyundai-Kia was the sole group among 10 leading groups that posted a sales decline, recording a 1.0% drop. The factor behind this decline was a 12.9% drop in sales of its flagship model Sonata facing competition with the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord.

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Full-year sales forecast for 2013 to exceed 15.5 million units

In a full-year sales outlook for 2013, passenger car and light truck sales are forecast to exceed 15.5 million units, getting close to 16 million units recorded in 2007 (see Figure 1). As shown in Figure 4, seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) has been in the range of 15.2 million to 16.1 million for the nine months of January to September, with a nine-month average of 15.51 million units. As of September 2013, Dr. Mustafa Mohatarem, General Motors’ Chief Economist, forecast that the figure will be at the 15.8 million-unit level, while LMC Automotive’s estimate was 15.6 million. Despite negative factors including the financial issues of the US government and the unstable situation in the Middle East, steady growth is expected to continue backed by an improvement to the unemployment rate and a low-interest rate on new car purchases.



Reference materials

(Table1):US Light Vehicle Sales by Group (Q3 2013, Jan.-Sep. 2013)

(unit)

GroupQ3 2012
(Jul.-Sep.)
Q3 2012
(Jul.-Sep.)
Y-o-YShare2012
(Jan.-Sep.)
2013
(Jan.-Sep.)
Y-o-YShare
GM  652,002 697,113 6.9% 17.6% 1,967,715 2,117,459 7.6% 18.0%
Ford  544,685 597,936 9.8% 15.1% 1,685,068 1,887,672 12.0% 16.0%
Toyota 525,328 589,388 12.2% 14.9% 1,571,424 1,698,179 8.1% 14.4%
Fiat-Chrysler  416,602 448,671 7.7% 11.3% 1,250,670 1,357,003 8.5% 11.5%
Honda 365,476 413,434 13.1% 10.5% 1,066,458 1,159,012 8.7% 9.8%
Hyundai-Kia 329,352 326,240 -0.9% 8.2% 974,728 964,601 -1.0% 8.2%
Renault-Nissan 288,763 316,407 9.6% 8.0% 866,484 941,116 8.6% 8.0%
VW 158,465 158,415 0.0% 4.0% 448,607 460,794 2.7% 3.9%
Subaru 81,159 108,810 34.1% 2.8% 245,463 313,407 27.7% 2.7%
BMW  76,365 89,413 17.1% 2.3% 234,928 262,200 11.6% 2.2%
Others 189,923 209,767 10.4% 5.3% 588,522 624,808 6.2% 5.3%
Total 3,628,120 3,955,594 9.0% 100.0% 10,900,067 11,786,251 8.1% 100.0%

(Source:MarkLines)

(Table2):US Top 20 Selling Models for Jan.-Sep 2013

(unit)

RankBrandModelQ3 2012
(Jul.-Sep.)
Q3 2013
(Jul.-Sep.)
Y-o-Y2012
(Jan.-Sep.)
2013
(Jan.-Sep.)
Y-o-Y
1 Ford F-Series 162,592 192,020 18.1% 463,733 559,506 20.7%
2 Chevrolet Silverado 103,692 118,189 14.0% 298,200 360,775 21.0%
3 Toyota Camry 100,885 111,364 10.4% 314,788 318,990 1.3%
4 Honda Accord 92,669 95,242 2.8% 247,847 282,102 13.8%
5 Ram Ram P/U 75,012 92,468 23.3% 213,593 262,787 23.0%
6 Honda Civic 71,447 94,857 32.8% 234,029 253,561 8.3%
7 Nissan Altima 76,939 81,731 6.2% 234,040 249,518 6.6%
8 Toyota Corolla 70,977 74,575 5.1% 222,703 233,547 4.9%
9 Honda CR-V 66,699 83,319 24.9% 213,381 229,082 7.4%
10 Ford Escape 72,908 71,664 -1.7% 200,075 228,290 14.1%
11 Ford Fusion 57,316 65,147 13.7% 194,165 226,293 16.5%
12 Chevrolet Cruze 66,716 62,086 -6.9% 180,600 195,775 8.4%
13 Hyundai Elantra 54,806 68,349 24.7% 152,575 194,593 27.5%
14 Ford Focus 55,263 53,869 -2.5% 186,686 188,654 1.1%
15 Chevrolet Equinox 55,972 59,023 5.5% 166,862 185,420 11.1%
16 Toyota RAV4 44,729 58,968 31.8% 134,167 160,242 19.4%
17 Chevrolet Malibu 38,028 43,850 15.3% 179,465 154,950 -13.7%
18 Hyundai Sonata 57,934 49,692 -14.2% 175,346 152,702 -12.9%
19 Ford Explorer 39,909 44,691 12.0% 117,803 145,934 23.9%
20 GMC Sierra 39,236 48,037 22.4% 112,181 135,670 20.9%

(Source:MarkLines)