By on March 22, 2012

Despite rising gasoline prices, America’s newfound appetite for new cars continues. Both J.D. Power and Kelley Blue Book predict very strong auto sales for the month of March.

J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive expect March sales rising 6 percent compared to March 2011. The forecasters see total sales in March rise to 1,372,400 units, up from 1,244,009 vehicles in the same month last year. This would translate into a SAAR of 14.1 million vehicles.

Kelley Blue Book is more aggressive and projects new-vehicle sales to reach 1,425,000 units, or 14.6 million seasonally adjusted sales rate (SAAR), in March 2012. This would be a 14 percent gain from March 2011. This would be the best March since 2007, when industry sales topped 1.5 million units overall. KBB sees especially strong sales for subcompacts.

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7 Comments on “Forecasters See Strong March Auto Sales...”

  • avatar
    George B

    Guess more people need to replace aging cars after delaying for a couple years. High used car prices plus record high gasoline prices shift more people towards purchasing a fuel efficient new car.

    • 0 avatar

      SHHHHHHH – what are you doing George? Don’t get Bertel started on “pent up demand”!!!

      I kid.

      I just added 1 to March’s total – my once per decade purchase.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Sorry, I just don’t see it, fears over losing one’s job and the iffy economy plus the ever rising gas prices don’t paint a very rosy picture.

    • 0 avatar

      but unemployment is down. and that same argument could have been made for february, but that was a record month. and rising gas prices tilts people towards cheaper, more efficient compacts.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    These unemployment number don’t reflect those that have been unemployed for months and have just about given up on finding a job and whose benefits have run out, those figures don’t count, if they did the numbers would be much larger and alarming.

  • avatar

    I added to those sales, but not for new cars, but for a used one, and that was back in late January.

    A lot of us have had to replace cars because they have either died, or are dying ore are about to head in the direction of dying and once you get into that stage and the costs of repairs outstrip what the car is worth, time to replace it – even if it means another used, but newer and with lower miles in better shape.

    • 0 avatar

      Good. This will help to take the pressure off of the used car market.

      I’ve noticed what I’m interested in buying used is down a few grand over the past month.

      Unemployment still is high, but there are still lots of people who have steady work, that a) either need a new car, or b) people like me who are more than ready for a new car.

      I think there is a lot of pent up demand, and built up savings accounts that are about ready to be tapped.

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