Forecasters Expect Extremely Strong March

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
forecasters expect extremely strong march

This coming Monday, new car sales for March will be announced. Forecasters increasingly are of the opinion that March will look like carmageddon never happened. Real-time data equipped TrueCar has released its opinions. Here are the highlights:

  • For March 2012, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,416,703 units, up 13.7 percent from March.
  • The March 2012 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of 14.5 million new car sales, up from 13.1 million in March 2011 and down from 15.1 million in February 2012.
  • The industry average incentive spending per unit will be approximately $2,440 in March 2012, which represents a decrease of 1.5 percent from February 2012 and decrease of 1.7 percent from March 2011.

Says Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence for TrueCar:

“We are looking at a record-breaking month for many manufacturers in March with Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen expected to have their highest unit sales ever in the U.S.We also forecast that Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda and Toyota will have an extremely strong month, with some of the highest unit sales in years. Due to stronger than expected recovery, we’ve increased our sales forecast another 3.6 percent, from 14.0 million unit sales to 14.5 million unit sales in 2012.“

TrueCar Forecasts for the top eight manufacturers for March 2012

ManufacturerMarch ForecastYoYChrysler160,25631.20%Ford215,1821.40%GM249,88720.90%Honda145,5948.90%Hyundai/Kia126,35119.10%Nissan129,1886.60%Toyota195,29810.80%Volkswagen49,22533.10%Industry1,416,70313.70%

TrueCar Market Share Forecasts for March 2012

ManufacturerMarch ForecastFeb-12Mar-11Chrysler11.30%11.70%9.80%Ford15.20%15.50%17.00%GM17.60%18.20%16.60%Honda10.30%9.60%10.70%Hyundai/Kia8.90%8.40%8.50%Nissan9.10%9.30%9.70%Toyota13.80%13.90%14.10%Volkswagen3.50%3.40%3.00%

TrueCar Incentive Spending Forecasts for March 2012

ManufacturerMarch ’12MoMYoYChrysler$3,137-1.80%5.60%Ford$2,726-3.80%-2.80%GM$3,1440.90%-5.10%Honda$2,122-0.20%-8.10%Hyundai/Kia$8824.80%-30.60%Nissan$3,115-3.70%28.00%Toyota$1,7045.20%-13.50%Volkswagen$2,021-2.70%4.50%Industry$2,440-1.50%-1.70%

With 1.42 million cars for March, TrueCar is relatively conservative. Kelley forecasted 1.43 million. TrueCar’s colleagues at Edmunds forecast 1.44 million. Edmunds will supply an updated forecast on Thursday.

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7 of 10 comments
  • APaGttH APaGttH on Mar 27, 2012

    Toyota and Honda should show some really big YoY numbers starting next month for the next six months or so as they will be compared against last year earthquake/tsunami numbers. Although it happened in March 2011, it shouldn't reflect in these numbers as inventory wasn't adversely impacted until May. Anything on the six week boat ride from factory to dealer was already off the shore in March last year. We'll see if GM really hits that 20.8% number.

    • See 2 previous
    • Fusion Fusion on Mar 27, 2012

      @mike978 In March 2011, the market grew by 17% (compared to March 2010). Yet Toyotas sales (including Scion and Lexus) declined by 6%. So no - March 2011 should not be a high bar for Toyota to beat, but the same could have been said for the first two months of this year. Yet Toyota also performed weaker than the market then...

  • PenguinBoy PenguinBoy on Mar 27, 2012

    Does VW even belong on this list? There seems to be quite a gap between Hyundai at 8.5% market share, and VW at 3%. Are there other makers in between? I'm not sure where brands like Mazda, Subaru, etc. sit but I would think there must be someone between VW and Hyundai...

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    • Fusion Fusion on Mar 27, 2012

      No, at least in 2012 so far there wasn't. Mazda, Subaru and BMW are the closest followers, and they are all about .5 percent behind VW. And also notice that VW's numbers don't include Audi, which would put them about .8 percent higher. And since this is a "Top 8" list, VW does belong onto it. One could of course ask, why this is a Top 8 list, instead of Top 5, Top 10 or whatever. ;)

  • Duane Baldinger Where can I send the cash? It's a surprise BDAY present for my cupcake Mailman. D Duane
  • Art Vandelay Pour one out for the Motors Liquidation Corporation
  • Bill Wade Norm, while true I'll leave you with this. My 2023 RAM is running Android 8 released in 2017.My wife's navigation on her GM truck is a 2021 release, I believe the latest. Android Auto seems to update very week or two. Now, which would you rather have? Anybody with a car a couple of years old NEVER sees any updates. Heck, if your TV is a few years old it's dead on updates. At least cell phones are rapidly updated. If your old phone won't update, buy another $200 phone. If your GM vehicle doesn't update do what, buy another $50,000 GM vehicle?
  • Lou_BC Once again, Mustang is the last pony car standing. Camaro RIP, Challenger RIP.
  • FreedMike Next up should DEFINITELY be the Cadillac Eldorado. On the subject of Caddies, I saw a Lyriq in person for the first time a couple of days ago, and I'm changing my tune on its' styling. In person, it works quite well, and the interior is very nicely executed.