CARY, N.C. – With fewer weekends to move metal, most used- and new-vehicle sales projections from TrueCar, Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book consisted of varying degrees of softening against year-ago results.
However, TrueCar’s used-vehicle sales projection for May was a bit upbeat as analysts expect this month’s total sales — including franchised and independent dealership turns as well as private-party transactions — to reach 3,181,877 units. Should the industry hit that mark, the result would represent a 2-percent gain versus May of last year.
Meanwhile, the team at Edmunds.com thinks used-vehicle sales will reach a slightly higher figure — an estimated 3.2 million units for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 38.5 million. That projected SAAR is the same as a year ago, but Edmunds.com indicated last May’s sales figure came in at 3.4 million so the unit sales forecast is slightly lower.
In its May projection, the Kelley Blue Book team mentioned a prediction that could be noteworthy to used-car managers. KBB suspects that General Motors could be sustain a notable new-model sales decline because of its rental reduction strategy.
“General Motors is expected to report one of the largest sales declines of all major manufacturers in May 2016,” Kelley Blue Book analyst Tim Fleming said.
“GM has been outspoken about its rental reduction strategy, which accounts for much of the drop in volume and will impact sales totals on the company’s high rental units like the Chevrolet Cruze, Impala and Equinox,” Fleming continued. “GM is keeping the end-game in mind here. By reducing the volume of GM vehicles in rental fleets, the company will eventually see strengthened residual values.”
No matter what automakers and dealers might do to move used or new metal before the end of May, they’re all facing the situation of one less weekend — a factor multiple analysts noted as likely to impact sales results.
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