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J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report: New-Vehicle Retail Sales Expected to Close Out 2012 with Strong Performance

  J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report: New-Vehicle Retail Sales Expected to
                    Close Out 2012 with Strong Performance

PR Newswire

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Dec. 20 2012

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Dec. 20 2012 /PRNewswire/ --December's new-vehicle
retail selling rate remains robust near the close of 2012, with potential
buyers unfazed by the current level of economic uncertainty generated by the
fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington, D.C., according to a monthly sales
forecast developed by J.D. Power and Associates' Power Information Network®
(PIN) and LMC Automotive.

(Info: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121220/LA33001-INFO)

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Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
December new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 1,152,500 units,
which represent a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 12.2 million
units. December's selling rate remains strong and is 500,000 units higher than
the expected 2012 full-year rate. Retail transactions are the most accurate
measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles.

Luxury-vehicle sales are on pace to account for 16.0 percent of all retail
vehicles sold in December, an increase from 15.3 percent in November 2012 and
14.8 percent in December 2011. Luxury share in December is the highest in 2012
and the highest since December 2009, when it reached 16.2 percent.

"Luxury sales always do well this time of the year, but December is turning
out to be a great month," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global
automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. "New and re-designed
vehicle introductions, along with enhanced incentive activity, have been key
drivers of the recovery in the luxury market."

Total Light-Vehicle Sales
Total light-vehicle sales in December 2012 are projected to increase 14
percent from December 2011, with volume at 1,358,600 units. Fleet mix is
expected to reach 15 percent, which is consistent with a managed supply and
demand market, and is the sixth consecutive month below 20 percent.

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons

                    December 2012^1            November 2012   December 2011
                    1,152,500 units^2
New-Vehicle Retail                             953,449 units   1,040,035 units
Sales               (15% higher than December
                    2011)
                    1,358,600 units
Total Vehicle Sales                            1,141,696 units 1,240,263 units
                    (14% higher than December
                    2011)
Retail SAAR         12.2 million units         13.2 million    11.3 million
                                               units           units
Total SAAR          15.3 million units         15.4 million    13.5 million
                                               units           units

^1 Figures cited for December 2012 are forecasted based on the first 13
   selling days of the month.
^2 The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days in
   the month (26 days in December 2012 vs. 27 days in December 2011).

Sales Outlook
Based on strong sales in November and early December, LMC Automotive is edging
up its 2012 forecast for total light-vehicle sales in the United States to
14.5 million units from 14.4 million units and maintaining the forecast for
retail sales at 11.7 million units. The forecast for 2013 remains 15 million
units for total light-vehicles and 12.2 million for retail sales, but
represents a slower growth rate of four percent from 2012.

"The U.S. light-vehicle sales market continues to be a bright spot in the
tremulous global environment," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of
forecasting at LMC Automotive. "The only major roadblock ahead for the U.S.
market is the fiscal cliff. Assuming that hurdle is cleared, 2013 is one step
closer to a stable and sustainable growth rate for autos, with volume above
the 15 million unit mark."

North American Production
Light-vehicle production in North America is up 19 percent through November
2012, compared with the same period in 2011. Volume with one month remaining
in 2012 is nearly 14.4 million units, an increase of 2.3 million units,
compared with 2011.

Vehicle inventory in early December fell below the 70-day level—to a 69-day
supply, compared with 71 days in November. The supply reduction is a result of
the strong sales pace in November bouncing back from the impact of Hurricane
Sandy at the end of October. Car inventory is steady with a 65-day supply,
down slightly from 66 days in November, while truck inventory has decreased to
a 72-day supply from 77 days. Vehicle inventory levels should stabilize even
further this month and into early 2013 with automakers' scheduled holiday
production shutdowns in late December and the expected robust sales pace in
the month.

As 2012 draws to a close, LMC Automotive projects the 2012 North American
production forecast to finish with nearly 15.4 million units produced, a 17
percent increase from 2011. For 2013, the North American production forecast
is expected to reach 15.8 million units, a modest three percent rise from
2012, with further upside potential contingent on the pace of demand in the
first half of 2013.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a
global marketing information services company providing performance
improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions.
The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses
from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and
ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please
visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The
McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into
two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and
analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading
education company focused on digital learning and education services
worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's
Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information
services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011,
the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280
offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at
http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

About LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive, formerly J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, is the premier
supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base
of automotive manufacturer, component supplier, logistics and distribution
companies, as well as financial and government institutions around the world.
LMC's global forecasting services encompass automotive sales, production and
powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has
offices in the United States, the UK, Germany, China and Thailand and is part
of the Oxford, UK-based LMC group, the global leader in economic and business
consultancy for the agribusiness sector. For more information please visit
www.lmc-auto.com.

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
Emmie Littlejohn; LMC Automotive; Troy, Mich.; (248) 817-2100;
elittlejohn@lmc-auto.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this
release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates
or LMC Automotive. www.jdpower.com/corporate www.lmc-auto.com

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates

Website: http://www.jdpower.com
 
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