By on February 25, 2012

 

Edmunds has handed in its predictions for February sales. Its bottom line is similar to the forecast made by Kelley Blue Book a few days ago: More than a million cars sold, GM the big loser of the month. Edmunds has better news for Ford. And much better news for Chrysler, if that is at all possible.

Sales Volume 12-Feb 11-Feb YOY YOY adj
GM 196,742 207,030 -5.0% -8.8%
Ford 184,812 156,238 18.3% 13.6%
Toyota 149,780 141,846 5.6% 1.4%
Chrysler 125,990 95,102 32.5% 27.2%
Honda 103,183 98,059 5.2% 1.0%
Nissan 97,971 92,370 6.1% 1.8%
Industry 1,095,059 993,009 10.3% 5.9%

Looking at a few more days of data than Kelley, Edmunds predicts that somewhere around 1,095,059 new cars will be sold in February, for a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.4 million units. This would be a 5.9 percent increase over February 2011. Edmunds.com figures that retail SAAR will come in at 11.3 million vehicles in February, with fleet transactions accounting for 21 percent of total sales. Edmunds Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell sees a veritable spring for U.S. auto sales:

“There’s a rising tide of excellent buying conditions right now that is really driving auto sales momentum. Between surprisingly strong sales over Presidents Day weekend, optimistic economic news, and unseasonably mild weather conditions across the country, things seem to be breaking the right way for both car buyers and dealers.”

Edmunds agrees with Kelley that GM will get it on the chin, and predicts even more hurt: Unadjusted for sales days, Edmunds foresees a 5 percent decrease in GM sales. Ford (+18%) and Chrysler (+32.5%) are doing much better on the Edmunds spreadsheet than predicted by Kelley.

Market Share 12-Feb 11-Feb YOY
GM 18.0% 20.8% -2.9%
Ford 16.9% 15.7% 1.1%
Toyota 13.7% 14.3% -0.6%
Chrysler 11.5% 9.6% 1.9%
Honda 9.4% 9.9% -0.5%
Nissan 8.9% 9.3% -0.4%

If Edmunds’ predictions pan out, then GM will suffer a huge hit to their year-over-year market share, dropping almost three percentage points from February of last year. According to Edmunds, “GM’s year-over-year decline is a direct result of its aggressive incentives push that pumped up sales in early 2011.”

Pretty much all of that lost market share will be snapped-up by the cross-town rivals. Edmunds has Ford gaining 1.1 percent in share, and Chrysler a very respectable 1.9 percent.

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12 Comments on “Edmunds: Spring For U.S. Car Sales, Winter For GM...”


  • avatar

    yes Doctor Olds I’m still singing the same song “At GM the results don’t change, just the excuses”. it’s not a product problem, it’s a sales and marketing problem. I can fix it, they won’t listen. GM US market share will be approaching 15% by year end. have a nice day.

    • 0 avatar
      TheHammer

      If they would only listen to Buickman…

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The fleet sales numbers for February are massive, and will distort the annual sales estimation greatly, making it quite volatile on a month over month basis going forward.

        These numbers are very bad.given all the stimulus, bank recapitalization (on the taxpayer dime), quantitative easing and twist by the Federal Reserve, what was supposed to be a V-shaped recovery that then turned into an anticipated U shaped one, that is now looking more and more each day to be an L shaped one.

        There can be no doubt that a second wave contraction, or double dip, is still a very distinct possibility.

        That auto sales are this weak with even Tier II credit buyers able to access low interest rate loans for purchases and leasing, given what was strong pent-up demand for cars & trucks (given that average vehicle age is near or at a record) and in the face of rising fuel prices should be an warning shot clear across the bow of the rose-colored glasses association of economists.

      • 0 avatar
        tparkit

        DeadWeight has it right. There is no good economic news. The entire globe is melting down financially. Here at home, our unemployment data is a fraud, entitlement costs and enrollments are exploding, cities and states are bankrupt, Republicans are competing to out-spend Democrats, and our collective assets consist of pieces of paper with numbers written on them. The party is over, and that goes for autos, too.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Honda and Toyota also lost market. Why are they under-performing too? No natural disasters to explain it away and they have some new product like the Civic, CRV and Camry.

    GM may have some reasons like cutting fleet sales at Cadillac, the Malibu on run-out and comparison with a strong Q1 last year when they freely used incentives but it is a poor performance.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    For GM in 2012, it’s not so much that its products are bad, they’re not; it’s just that there’s no compelling reason to buy from them rather than any number of competitors. The end result is a continued erosion of once-dominant marketshare.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Monthly sales figures are one thing, but GM’s loss of 14% of the pie it had last year is appalling.

    But, I recall GM’s leadership saying this is OK, since their real plan is focused on profits… right? Heh.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Again we’re looking at huge gains by Chrysler. Last year they were behind Honda and Nissan, and Hyundai-Kia was gaining on them. Now, they’ve passed both Honda and Nissan and are leaving H-K in the dust, making Chrysler the number four maker in America.

    How are they doing it with their line-up, and can they bring enough new models online in time to keep the momentum going? More importantly, how is Fiat going to afford to buy out the UAW VEBA’s 42% and merge Chrysler and Fiat?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It doesn’t surprise me about Chrysler. Ever since they became a foreign-owned company they have been making pretty decent stuff. I’m sure Daimler’s engineering and design input is also helping a great deal and is coming into its own starting with the 2011 MY.

      I’ve never been a Chrysler fan but when my wife caught sight of a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee on a flatbed trailer in Arizona a few months back, that was all she wrote. We took it home with us.

      Not only is their styling and choice of colors better than it ever has been, I’ll put our 2012 JGC Overland Summit next to any Mercedes ML-350 and match it point for point. It’s that good!

      There was wisdom in bribing Fiat to take a dead Chrysler off our hands and giving a chunk of it to the UAW. Maybe now the UAW won’t be so eager to strike themselves or bargain themselves into bankruptcy.

      Call it a vested interest, whatever, but it caused those UAW members to focus on doing a decent job, especially since Sergio fired the guys drinking, smoking and toking on their lunch hour.

      Most Americans were against the bail outs, especially the nationalization of GM. We’re still stuck with that zombie and have no assurance of ever getting back any of that money we wasted on bailing out GM.

      With Chrysler it is different. Fundamentally it is no different than Toyota, Honda or any of the other transplants in that Fiatsler is a foreign company providing jobs to Americans to build cars in America for Americans.

      Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and so is the appealing look of the new Chrysler products. More people are catching on to that and are sneaking a peek at their local Chrysler dealer. Turns out, more of them are buying, too.

      • 0 avatar
        windswords

        a subsidiary company’s domicile depends on where the company is articled, and has nothing to do with who owns the shares. Chrysler is a private American company. Even if Chrysler eventually becomes a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat, it will still be an American company. Corporate domiciliary has nothing to do with the nationality of the entity which owns its issued shares. People unfamiliar with corporate structure need to learn this concept.

        The scion of the Agnelli family, John Elkann is an American. Fiat and Chrysler are both being run from Auburn Hills, Michigan where Sergio Marchionne a Canadian citizen (his mom and son live in Canada) runs the whole deal. The UAW still owns over 40% of the company. Chrysler is certainly an American company.

        Which brings us to your Jeep. The 2012 JGC you own is not a cheap version of a Mercedes. You bought a very good Jeep, created and designed by Jeep and Chrysler employees, and built in the US (Detroit as a matter of fact) by UAW members. If your Jeep has the Pentastar engine and you thought your Jeep had a Mercedes engine then again you are mistaken. It is a Chrysler engine designed by Chrysler engineers and built in the US at a Chrysler engine plant by UAW members. I hope your ownership experience is a good one.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        windswords, I wouldn’t post it if I didn’t get my info from reputable sources. I attended NADA meetings during 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the view from the floor is very different than your view.

        You are entitled to your interpretation of the facts but I prefer to believe what actual owners of Chrysler dealerships have told me.

        If you want to spread misinformation around that’s your business. But the people who are actually vested in making a living selling Fiatsler products tell a different story.

        Chrysler cannot do anything unilaterally without seeking permission from Fiat and the board. Fiat, OTOH, does not have to consult with Chrysler about anything to include kicking off the UAW members on the board. Chrysler cannot tap into Fiat’s money where Fiat owns ALL of Chrysler’s money. That should tell you a lot.

        One thing we could possibly agree on and that is that the Chrysler division of Fiat has a bright future ahead if the boys and girls employed by them in the US of A can keep a low profile and not get caught drinking, smoking and toking during their lunch hour.

        Look for Fiat products built elsewhere to be sold in the US under a Chrysler label starting in 2013. Sounds to me like Fiat is calling all the shots here. Not the other way around.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    So, can it be objectively said that Chrysler is taking significant market share from GM, Honda, and Toyota? One thing I keep thinking with Chrysler’s numbers is that if one only sold 3 or 4 cars last year, it’s not very hard to show an impressive percentage increase in sales.

    Additionally can anyone comment as if to any of these sales are impacted by access to, or lack of access to, captive financing arms? I seem to recall the GM was forced to divest itself of GMAC at one point, and I can’t recall if they got it back although I believe that they did.

    As always, it’s a big benefit in bad financial times if you can set your own credit standards.

    However, I don’t honestly know enough to even guess and while noting what’s been said above, I think that GM’s line-up looks as good as it ever has. I’m a still a bit puzzled as to why their sales are down.

    By the way, my financial adviser braced me for the idea that the economy is going to stay down for 3 or 4 years (note to political commentators -regardless of who wins the election, so please just don’t go there, OK?).

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