New-Car Sales Hold Steady at 14 Million Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, According to Kelley Blue Book Analysts

   New-Car Sales Hold Steady at 14 Million Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate,
                    According to Kelley Blue Book Analysts

Pent-Up Demand, Affordable Pricing Continue to Drive Vehicle Sales in Slowing

PR Newswire

IRVINE, Calif., July 26, 2012

IRVINE, Calif., July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --New-vehicle sales are projected
to hit 14 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in July 2012,
consistent with the 14.3 million average pace maintained through the first
half of the year, according to Kelley Blue Book,, the leading
provider of new car and used car information.


The daily selling rate is projected to top 48,300 light-vehicle sales per day,
which is better than last month's 47,500 sales per day and nearly 19 percent
above the July 2011 pace, when sales were still suppressed by inventory
shortages.The daily selling rate has remained stable between 46,000 and
51,000 units per day since February, and Kelley Blue Book believes the pace
will stay in this range throughout the remainder of 2012 before spiking in
December during annual year-end clearance event sales.Vehicle sales still are
expected to top 14.2 million units overall in 2012, despite slowing in the
U.S. economic recovery in recent months.This assumes consumer demand remains
strong enough to overcome the worsening economic picture.

"Mid-size cars remain the top-selling segment in July.The redesigned Toyota
Camry has been a favorite among consumers since launching earlier this year,
and we expect the redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima to add further fuel to the
fire this month," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive
insights for Kelley Blue Book. "The segment only stands to push industry sales
further later this year when the hotly anticipated redesigns of the Honda
Accord, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu arrive at dealerships."

Kelley Blue Book: Sales to Hit 14 Million SAAR in July on Strength of
Mid-Size Cars
                        Sales Volume                     Market Share
Segment                 Jul-12       Jul-11      YOY%    Jul-12  Jul-11  YOY
Mid-Size Car            218,100      170,791     27.7%   18.8%   16.6%   2.2%
Compact Car             154,300      141,108     9.3%    13.3%   16.9%   -3.6%
Compact Crossover       133,400      116,971     14.0%   11.5%   10.8%   0.7%
Full-Size Pickup Truck  121,800      126,507     -3.7%   10.5%   10.2%   0.3%
Subcompact Car          55,700       51,564      8.0%    4.8%    3.5%    1.3%
Total                   1,160,000*   1,059,730   9.5%    -       -       -
*Includes segments not

Pent-Up Demand, Strong Redesigns Continue to Drive Sales Despite Slowing
Economic Growth
Although the economy shows signs of weakness, consumer demand remains
resilient and continues to drive sales consistently upward.Today's rebound is
driven by pent-up demand from consumers who delayed their purchase during the
downturn due to the fallout from the recession, which led many to lose their
jobs, homes and savings. These purchase delays along with improvements in
vehicle quality over the past 10 years have driven up the age of vehicles on
the road today to 11 years on average, according to Polk. In fact, according
to the Q2 Consumer Sentiment Survey conducted by Kelley Blue Book Market
Intelligence, 30 percent of all in-market consumers said that the primary
reason they are shopping for a new vehicle is because their existing vehicle's
mileage is too high. In addition to pent-up demand, improvements in vehicle
supply, new introductions and redesigns, and affordable pricing also have been
strong drivers of the ongoing sales recovery.

Kelley Blue Book: Pent-Up Demand Drives Steady Sales
Sales in June             2008         2009      2010      2011      2012
12-Month Moving Average   1,293,450    911,192   923,592   1,016,367 1,121,139

"Consumers had even more options to choose from last month as the highly
anticipated all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, Ford Escape and Dodge Dart went on
sale for the first time," said Gutierrez. "These vehicles have received
favorable reviews thus far and only add to an already-robust selection of
strong redesigns and introductions from nearly every manufacturer across all
product categories that have hit showrooms in the last few years."

Supply conditions also remain favorable for consumers, with a nearly 60-day
supply of vehicles available for sale in early July.In terms of incentives,
cash rebates are available on trucks and SUVs as well as those models with a
2013 model-year redesign either currently on sale or expected to arrive later
this year. Even for models with little to no cash rebate support, low interest
rates and lease deals await consumers.

Affordable transaction prices relative to comparable late-model used vehicles
are further driving sales. Values of 1- to 3-year-old used vehicles remain
strong and have led many savvy consumers to purchase a new vehicle rather than
pay for an expensive used vehicle.Used-vehicle registrations have declined
year-over-year during the past three months, while new-car sales show solid
gains. Although both demand and supply conditions remain conducive to
new-vehicle sales growth, trouble on the economic front could spell trouble
for the recovery down the road.

Japanese Brands Continue Strong Gains, Domestics Remain Stable
Kelley Blue Book expects both Ford and General Motors to remain relatively
flat year-over-year, while Chrysler will post a 16 percent gain.General
Motors and Ford will maintain their existing market share until later this
year when the highly anticipated redesigns of the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet
Malibu finally go on sale.Ford may see a slight bump prior to the launch of
the Fusion as sales of the 2013 Escape increase, although it has lost some
momentum in the last few weeks due to recalls.

Toyota and Honda once again will lead industry gains in comparison with a
relatively weak July 2011 that remained low due to inventory shortages.Toyota
and Honda finally have regained most of the market share lost in 2011 due in
large part to strong sales of the Toyota Prius family of vehicles, redesigned
Toyota Camry, Honda Civic and Honda CR-V.Kelley Blue Book expects Nissan to
increase in July as the 2013 Nissan Altima begins to make headway with

"Hyundai's market share has been relatively stagnant at nearly 9 percent
during the past several months due in large part to its inability to keep pace
with demand," said Gutierrez."Hyundai has maintained less than a month's
supply of vehicles since 2011, and although sales have grown, the brand has
been unable to significantly increase market share beyond 9 percent due to
production capacity constraints."

Hyundai announced a third shift will be added to its production facility in
Alabama where the popular Sonata and Elantra are built, which should help to
keep sales for the company moving forward later this year.

Kelley Blue Book: Domestics Remain Stable as Japanese OEMs Continue to
                         Sales Volume                    Market Share
Manufacturer             Jul-12       Jul-11      YOY%   Jul-12  Jul-11  YOY
General Motors           218,100      214,915     1.5%   18.8%   20.3%   -1.5%
Ford Motor Company       179,800      180,315     -0.3%  15.5%   17.0%   -1.5%
Toyota Motor Company     168,200      130,802     28.6%  14.5%   12.3%   2.2%
Chrysler Group           129,900      112,026     16.0%  11.2%   10.6%   0.6%
American Honda           111,350      80,502      38.3%  9.6%    7.6%    2.0%
Hyundai-Kia              106,700      105,065     1.6%   9.2%    9.9%    -0.7%
Nissan North America     93,950       84,601      11.1%  8.1%    8.0%    0.1%
Volkswagen               46,400       38,354      21.0%  4.0%    3.6%    0.4%
Total                    1,160,000*   1,059,730   9.5%   -       -       -
*Includes brands not

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