April New Car Sales: The Last Hurrah?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Forecasts for April U.S. new vehicle sales differ widely amongst the industry soothsayers this month.

J.D. Power expects total light-vehicle sales for April to come in at 1,147,300 units, 13 percent higher than in April 2010.

Truecar thinks that new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) will be 1,145,209 units in April, up 16.6 percent from April 2010.

Edmunds is the most bullish of the augurs, expecting April new car sales (including fleet sales) to be approximately 1,171,000 units, a 19.3 percent increase from April 2010.

Edmunds immediately rains on its parade: “As inventories rapidly deteriorate, April could be the last month that we’ll see strong sales numbers until late summer or early fall,” said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “May and June are traditionally high-volume months, and with anticipated supply constraints — especially on the fuel-efficient vehicles that have been in higher demand with spiked gas prices — inventories will be exhausted further. The big unknown is how this market will adjust to supply restrictions, when demand has been the key problem for the past three years.”

Forecast by J.D.Power:

J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons

April 20111

March 2011

April 2010

New-vehicle retail sales

948,100 units
(16% higher than April 2010)2

978,471 units

790,469 units

Total vehicle sales

1,147,300 units
(13% higher than April 2010)

1,244,009 units

980,107 units

Retail SAAR

11.1 million units

10.7 million units

9.3 million units

Total SAAR

13.1 million units

13.1 million units

11.2 million units

Forecast by Truecar:

TrueCar Unit Sales ForecastManufacturerApril 2011 Forecast% Change vs. March 2011% Change vs. April 2010 Chrysler 114,298-5.7%19.4% Ford 187,523-11.7%15.2% GM 195,404-5.4%6.7% Honda 124,933-6.5%9.9% Hyundai/Kia 107,8001.6%45.6% Nissan 97,162-19.8%52.4% Toyota 160,087-9.2%1.2%Industry1,145,209-8.1%16.6%

Forecast by Edmunds:

Change from April 2010 (Adjusted for one more selling day)Change from April 2010 (Unadjusted for one more selling days)Change from March 2011 (Same number of selling days)Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep)21.6%17.1%-4.4%Ford (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)14.0%9.8%-10.2%GM (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saturn)19.6%15.2%6.3%Honda (Acura, Honda)14.1%9.8%-3.0%Nissan (Infiniti, Nissan)29.5%24.7%-31.8%Toyota (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)6.3%2.4%-5.0%Industry Total19.3%14.9%-6.0%
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8 of 11 comments
  • Tparkit Tparkit on Apr 30, 2011
    "The big unknown is how this market will adjust to supply restrictions, when demand has been the key problem for the past three years.” Once auto industry production capacity is restored and temporary supply/demand imbalances clear, the "big unknown" is how fast the phony economic recovery will unravel. Nationwide cheerleading not withstanding, we are in a depression, and it will get worse as state and local spending contracts in the face of increasing costs and declining revenues. This will be on top of an already very negative trend: "The inflation-adjusted income of the median household — smack in the middle of the populace — fell 4.8% between 2000 and 2009..." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703440604575495670714069694.html

    • See 3 previous
    • Thornmark Thornmark on May 01, 2011

      @NulloModo Homes in Florida are selling for less than last year and values are expected to fall about 18% in 2011.

  • George B George B on Apr 30, 2011

    At some point car and light truck sales will increase as people need to replace the ones that have worn out. Prices for used cars are really high. I'd be ready to buy a new car if their was something out there that I wanted. Too bad nobody builds a Japanese car with Italian design and German suspension tuning.

    • See 1 previous
    • Rocketrodeo Rocketrodeo on May 02, 2011

      " Too bad nobody builds a Japanese car with Italian design and German suspension tuning." The last one of those was built in 2008. The Acura TL Type S: half Alfa and half Audi.

  • Golden2husky You'd be way better off in a base Vette for that money.
  • Gene Sedans and coupes don't sell in the quantity that they used to but they still make up a significant market. Why Ford abandoned this segment still baffles me. Again, just look at Toyota, Dodge, Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, etc who have not abandoned this segment.
  • JMII Cracker Barrel - there is one off every major interstate interchange east of the Mississippi.I don't drink coffee - and based on the constant debate / worry of others just drinking water or tea has greatly simplified my life.Regardless of your choice in snacks and drinks I recommend the iExit app: https://www.iexitapp.com/ it shows what hotels, restaurants and gas stations are coming up so you can decide if its worth pulling off.
  • Redapple2 My dad s buddy got a tire thru the windshield. DRT -dead right there.
  • Redapple2 Hope they fix the:1 ride. worse than a corvette2 seating position. ankles at the height of my butt is UNCOMFORTABLE .As is. Horrible truck