Quality Magazine

Edmunds.com Forecasts February Auto Sales

February 26, 2010

SANTA MONICA, CA - This month's new vehicle sales, including fleet sales, are expected to be 785,000 units, a 14.2% increase from February 2009 and a 12.9 percent increase from January 2010, according to Edmunds.com, an online resource for automotive information.

Edmunds.com analysts predict that February's Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) will be 10.6 million, down from 10.7 in January 2010. February 2010 had 24 selling days, the same number of selling days as February 2009.

“February sales figures looked encouraging, up from January of this year and up from an abysmal performance last February. A more nuanced view, however, raises some issues - the most important being that based on sales of recent months, February sales should have been higher. (We would estimate in the range of 11.3-11.7 million SAAR.) Sales over the Presidents’ Day weekend were robust-indicating that deal-seekers are still buying, but one strong weekend further illustrates how lackluster sales were the remainder of the month,” says Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds.com.

Caldwell continued, “Some of this can be explained by supply constraints for hot models, severe weather and/or by sales disruptions linked to Toyota’s recent troubles. Less easy to explain is the recent drop in consumer confidence and the dampening effect this has on sales. We will have to wait until March to see if February is an aberration or a fundamental sign that the recovery in sales will be more subdued than hoped.”

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 44.5% in February 2010, down from 45.2% in February 2009 and down from 45.6% in January 2010.

"Toyota’s market share will be the lowest since July 2005, and is expected to drop to 12.6% - but many of its Asian competitors benefitted from its recall woes," says Michelle Krebs, senior analyst of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "Hyundai and Nissan are predicted to have their highest U.S. market share." Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 67,000 units in February 2010, down 20.2% compared to February 2009 but up 18.2% from January 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 8.5% for Chrysler in February 2010, down from 12.2% in February 2009 but up from 8.1% as in January 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 136,000 units in February 2010, up 35.3 percent compared to February 2009 and up 18.9% from January 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 17.3% of new car sales in February 2010 for Ford, up from 14.6% in February 2009 and up from 16.5% in January 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 147,000 units in February 2010, up 16.2% compared to February 2009 and up 0.2% from January 2010. GM's market share is expected to be 18.7% of new vehicle sales in February 2010, up from 18.4% in February 2009 but down from 21% in January 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 89,000 units in February 2010, up 24.1% from February 2009 and up 31.6% from January 2010. Honda’s market share is expected to be 11.3% in February 2010, up from 10.4% in February 2009 and up from 9.7% in January 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Hyundai will sell 66,000 units in February 2010, up 24.7% from February 2009 and up 24.9% from January 2010. Hyundai’s market share is expected to be 8.4% in February 2010, up from 7.7% in February 2009 and up from 7.6% in January 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 75,000 units in February 2010, up 38.1% from February 2009 and up 19.7% from January 2010. Nissan's market share is expected to be 9.5% in February 2010, up from 7.9% in February 2009 and up from 9% in January 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 99,000 units in February 2010, down 10.1% from February 2009 and down 0.2% from January 2010. Toyota's market share is expected to be 12.6% in February 2010, down from 15.9% in February 2009 and down from 14.2% in January 2010.