J.D. Power sees a strong March in its crystal ball, powered by real-time transaction data of 8,600 retail franchises throughout the United States. However growth is expected to be much more sedate than the 27 percent jump in February.
In its March forecast, J.D. Power expects total light-vehicle sales for March to come in at 1,205,200 units, 9 percent higher than in March 2010. Fleet sales in March are expected to decrease to 213,000 units, “based on the expectations that Japanese manufacturers will reduce fleet sales and channel that volume to the retail market, due to concerns about inventory shortages.” J.D. Power projects the March SAAR at 12.7 million units. They keep their forecast for total vehicle sales at 13 million units, up 13 percent from 2010.
Power sees near-term production to be impacted by parts shortages caused by the earthquake and tsunami crisis in Japan. “With the uncertainty remaining high about the full extent of the parts supply situation, North American production could be impacted in the weeks to come,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power. “However, our 2011 production forecast remains at 12.9 million units, as we expect any lost volume would be made up later in the year.”
J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons
|March 20111||February 2011||March 2010|
|New-vehicle retail sales||991,900 units
(12% higher than March 2010)2
|785,698 units||849,735 units|
|Total vehicle sales||1,205,200 units
(9% higher than March 2010)
|991,576 units||1,064,072 units|
|Retail SAAR||10.9 million units||11.1 million units||9.3 million units|
|Total SAAR||12.7 million units||13.4 million units||11.7 million units|