By on May 23, 2012

When new car sales will be announced on June 1, sales could be up by 30 percent, thinks Kelley Blue Book. When sales approach 1.4 million units, or 14.2 million seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) in May, Kelley expects GM and Ford to underperform the market, while Toyota could nearly double its sales and surpass Ford in market share.

These projections are based on real time sales data, but they remain projections until the real and hopefully true data come in. One of the reasons for the big jump are two additional selling days in May, and a strong Memorial day weekend.

Sales and market share projections, May 2012, Kelley Blue Book

Sales Volume Market Share
Manufacturer May ’12 May ’11 YOY% May ’12 May ’11 YOY
General Motors 245,284 221,192 10.90% 17.80% 20.80% -3.00%
Toyota Motor Co 210,834 108,387 94.50% 15.30% 10.20% 5.10%
Ford Motor Co 209,456 191,529 9.40% 15.20% 18.00% -2.80%
Chrysler Group 161,226 115,363 39.80% 11.70% 10.90% 0.80%
American Honda 139,178 90,773 53.30% 10.10% 8.50% 1.60%
Hyundai Kia 124,020 107,426 15.40% 9.00% 10.10% -1.10%
Nissan NA 96,460 76,148 26.70% 7.00% 7.20% -0.20%
VW 52,364 40,783 28.40% 3.80% 3.80% 0.00%
Total 1,378,000* 1,061,841 29.80%

Toyota and Honda are expected to be up strongly. In May last year, inventory shortages from the earthquake in Japan became a factor. In May 2011, Toyota was down 33 percent, Honda 23 percent. Both are back with a vengeance. Kelley sees Toyota nearly double its May 2011 sales, and expects Honda sales to rise by more than 50 percent.

While GM and Ford are expected to underperform the market with a sales gain around 10 percent, Chrysler is seen continuing its race to the top with a plus of nearly 40 percent.

General Motors, Ford and (surprise) Hyundai are expected to lose market share. Toyota is seen gaining 5 percent of share.

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15 Comments on “Record Month Expected For May, Except For GM And Ford. Toyota Could Double Its Sales...”

  • avatar

    So what is the record?

  • avatar

    Bertel: I’ve seen lots of your reporting on Toyota and Nissan. Just don’t care for the Honda scene? (I wouldn’t blame you)

  • avatar

    I’m sure their data is generally correct. But I have to laugh at using 6 significant figures in a “projection”. Considering what was going on a year ago, comparisons to last month are probably more meaningful.

  • avatar

    Okay, Why? indeed! Facts, please!

    Why MIGHT Toyota double its sales? Really? I’m certainly not going to contribute to that figure anytime soon. The company appears to continue to sell based on a no-longer-deserved reputation of building bulletproof cars and I’m surprised the majority hasn’t figured that out. But double? C’mon now… Admittedly, they still build a good vehicle, but not that much better, if at all, than anyone else. I do, however, like the general appearance of the refreshed Camry. Our neighbor has one because the Toyota dealer basically gave her a cradle-to-grave deal, effectively buying her loyalty, so maybe that’s what Toyota is doing. Glad they can afford it…

    Honda? 50? Really? Why? What is the driving force behind the supposed 50%? Have the Civic and the Accord miraculously transfigured themselves into something they’re not right now? Or, are they “buying” their buyers, too? If so, I demand TTAC do an expose’ like they would skewer GM in a similar fashion!

    WHY is GM and Ford EXPECTED to under-perform? Their cars have vastly improved, except in TTAC’s collective mind. My Impala’s excellent record of reliability thus far shoots that notion down.

    It’s things like this, this speculation, that drives me crazy. If the predictions come true, fine and dandy, but merely throwing things out there with no seeming reason to base the predictions on just to see what sticks is iffy reporting on the part of those responsible for this information, not you, Bertel.

    At least it’s great to see how well Chrysler IS doing. My next car would be a 300 if it weren’t for the mpg compared to my Chevy. Is their reliability living up to the sales?

    Sorry, but I have no answers, either, just questions about the speculation.

    Long live GM! Yeah, I had to say that “just because” I love going against the grain.

    • 0 avatar

      more power to you!

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know what else Toyota has going that would drive a 90% increase over last year and a 30K increase over April but there’s reason for some improvement, for sure:
      – Hybrids help. The Camry hybrid has greatly improved fuel economy, hits a new price point and is almost certainly adding at least 3K units that just weren’t there before. Gas is down a little here but maybe the price of gas has grabbed enough attention to keep Camry hybrid momentum going. It’s currently a better offering than the much more expensive Fusion hybrid (stay tuned for improvement there) or the similarly priced Sonata hybrid. GM has elected not to compete.
      – Hybrids help more. The Prius C and V are new for at least 4K units each. Maybe KBB is expecting some supply increase that will allow increased sales. Prius cars were up 10K, March on March, and I think that was before the PHV was avaialble and likely before the C was readily available. In April, the Prius line was up about 100%, 12K increase. The price point of the C is amazing and is almost certainly attracting new customers (at the risk of cannibalizing standard Prius sales).
      – The conventional Camry is improved (fuel economy, space, performance and, IMHO, looks). At the moment, it’s competing against a Malibu that’s 4 years old and really doesn’t measure up in a number of ways.
      – For whatever reason, the Yaris is showing signs of life. I think it’s a pretty good car for the money but sales have been lackluster for a while.
      – For a laugh, I’ll add the Scion IQ but it looks like it’s going to settle in at 1K units/month or, maybe, fall off from there. But it’s still 1K units. I foresee former Smart owners absolutely flocking to it. :)

      And some of Toyota/Honda’s increase is just bounce from a bad year.

  • avatar

    A 90% increase YOY is not to be sneezed at but Fukushima confuses things, for sure.

    In May, 2010, Toyota sold 163K vehicles. Hitting 210K now would represent 14% annual unit growth since May, 2010.

  • avatar

    Just check with Jessica Caldwell at She’s generally bang on with her projections.

  • avatar

    Didn’t VW say something about being the dominant player in America?

  • avatar

    A little context would be in order.

    Last May, Toyota sales nosedived b/c Toyota slashed incentives (supply really wasn’t the problem yet).

    And in May of 2010, Toyota was still suffering the effects of sudden acceleration.

    Here are the Toyota sales figures for the last 5 years.

    2011 – 1,644,661
    2010 – 1,763,595
    2009 – 1,770,147
    2008 – 2,217,662
    2007 – 2,620,825

    As we can see, Toyota US sales were down nearly a MILLION units from its height in 2007 – so Toyota has a lot of ground to make up as the auto market recovers.

    Chrysler sales are also seeing a big jump b/c they were just dismal in prior years (plus the addition of Fiat 500 sales adds to the sales figures).

    While GM and Ford are seeing more modest gains, they both have cut back sharply on fleet sales (unlike others who have increased fleet sales – ahem, Toyota) and they both are awaiting the launch of what should be big sellers (the new Malibu and new Focus, as well as the XTS and ATS for GM; yeah, the Malibu Eco is already out but it has limited appeal).

    Hyundai/Kia simply don’t have the capacity to grow much more – growth is pretty much limited to models imported from Korea until the expansion of Hyundai’s Alabama facilities are completed.

  • avatar

    Any gain is better than no gain (or a loss).

    Still, I’m surprised that GM is not projected to realize a larger gain with all the incentives and discounts they have been advertising (at least in MY Region — West TX/Southcentral NM). It would be informative to have others tell us about GM’s discounts in their area.

    Sales generally are good in my area for GM. Maybe elsewhere in the nation GM products are like a rock, and selling like yesterday’s pet rock.

    There are some excellent buys in my region like $11500 off MSRP on 2012 4dr Silverado, down to less than $20K for a Standard Cab. Similar discounts on 2012 Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse, Equinox, Malibu, Impala, with Cruze going for less than $16K after discounts. Roll’m, roll’m, roll’m, keep those donkeys rollin’!

    People are coming out to buy them spurred-on by special financing deals from the credit unions and some banks. My credit union offers 2.75% APR with NO MONEY DOWN and repayment schedules all the way up to 84 months, OAC of course.

    Not everyone qualifies for those loans but those who do can speculate with other people’s money, right in line with the GM and UAW philosophy of bailouts, handouts and nationalization, by letting others take all the risk.

    As long as you’re employed, zero down with 84 payments might still be doable if you don’t eat too much and don’t have a foreclosure looming in your future. But defaults and foreclosures are looming starting with 1 July when certain ARMs will reset, and then again 1 January when even more will reset (at least in my area).

    Big worry here for a lot of people. Their only hope and salvation is with bailout-Obama to have their mortgage forgiven because many of them bought at the top of the market and have seen their property revalued at -40% of the taxable value since they bought it. Example: house valued at $172K in March 2008, valued in March 2012 at $103K.

    No such deals and discounts on Ford products, many selling for full pop-plus, like the EB V6, and the only discounts on Chryslers are their slow selling products and the turtles from Jeep, Dodge and RAM.

    No special deals or huge discounts on Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru either, but Nissan has a perpetual sale advertising Altimas for $20K.

    As a recently converted fan to Toyota, I’m glad to see that Toyota is coming back. They can still do better in the future but any improvement is better than no improvement.

    Timely article, Bertel. Thank you.

  • avatar

    The numbers look dramatic but of course the rapid gains on Toyota and Honda’s part are mostly because sales were so low last year from the tsunami etc. (though I’m still surprised at nearly a 100% increase on Toyota’s part, that’s huge).

    It might actually be more informative to compare numbers with May 2010 to look for any trends.

  • avatar

    Let’s just wait until the end of the month and see what happens; May is almost over.

    If these numbers pan out, so be it. If not, we can disregard this kind of idle speculation, grenade launching, etc. forever more.

  • avatar

    Dont brag too much about Toyota’s current % increases, they of course will look good since last year something called a ‘tsunami’ occured.

  • avatar

    The beast of Nagoya is back as the 800 pound gorilla :)

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