March New-Car Sales To Hit Highest Monthly Total Since August 2007 According To Kelley Blue Book Volkswagen, Honda Expected to Lead in Automaker Gains; Trucks Continue to Lead Segment Sales PR Newswire IRVINE, Calif., March 26, 2013 IRVINE, Calif., March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --New-car sales will remain steady at a 15.2 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in March. This marks a 3.2 percent increase from last year, according to Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new and used car information. However, after adjusting for selling days in March, sales are set to improve by more than 7 percent. Although the percentage improvements are slightly slower than the first two months of the year, the expected 1,450,000 unit total is set to be the highest monthly sales total since August 2007. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121108/LA08161LOGO) "Sales will be boosted by record low interest rates and a slowly improving job market, which recently saw the unemployment rate and new unemployment claims fall to five-year lows," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "In addition, with attractive financing and ample inventory to choose from, many people receiving tax refunds will use their returns toward a down payment on a new vehicle this month." At the manufacturer level, Kelley Blue Book expects year-over-year gains in March to be modest, due in part to one fewer selling day this year. However, Volkswagen and Honda will lead the way with expected gains of 9.6 and 8.7 percent, respectively. While leading in terms of year-over-year improvement, this contrasts with the double-digit growth Volkswagen posted throughout 2012. Honda's sales will be led by its all-new Accord, which is up 51 percent from last year through the first two months. The new Accord has been flying off showroom floors since its arrival and is poised to challenge the Toyota Camry for the top spot in the ultra-competitive mid-size segment. Volkswagen and Honda to Lead Gains in March Sales Volume^1 Market Share^2 Manufacturer Mar-13 Mar-12 YOY % Mar-13 Mar-12 YOY % General Motors 246,000 231,052 6.5% 17.0% 16.4% 0.5% Ford Motor Company 233,000 222,884 4.5% 16.1% 15.9% 0.2% Toyota Motor Company 209,000 203,282 2.8% 14.4% 14.5% -0.1% Chrysler Group 169,000 163,381 3.4% 11.7% 11.6% 0.0% American Honda 138,000 126,999 8.7% 9.5% 9.0% 0.5% Nissan North America 130,500 136,317 -4.3% 9.0% 9.7% -0.7% Hyundai-Kia 119,500 127,233 -6.1% 8.2% 9.1% -0.8% Volkswagen 53,000 48,379 9.6% 3.7% 3.4% 0.2% Total^3* 1,450,000 1,404,623 3.2% - - - ^1Historical data pulled from OEM sales announcements ^2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights ^3 Includes brands not shown Trucks Expected to Lead Segment Gains Once Again With attractive incentives still widely available, Kelley Blue Book anticipates sales of full-size pickup trucks to improve 14.9 percent year-over-year in March; the best among all segments. "Although incentives have helped boost truck sales in recent months, a steady climb in housing starts will continue to support the truck market even if incentive spending declines," said Gutierrez. "Incentives aren't expected to come down anytime soon, especially with a more than 90-day supply of Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 pickups available for sale nationwide. With supply still ample and incentives plentiful, consumers looking for a new pickup truck should not hesitate to pull the trigger." While truck sales are expected to lead industry sales gains, mid-size cars remain at the top of most shoppers' minds. The Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion were among the highest researched vehicles on KBB.com in March 2013, with mid-size sedans accounting for 13.6 percent of overall new-car shopper activity on the site. With so many attractive vehicle options, recently refreshed for the 2013 model year, Kelley Blue Book anticipates mid-size cars to continue to lead the industry with 18.4 percent market share. Truck Sales Continue to Drive Industry Growth Sales Volume^1 Market Share^2 Segment Mar-13 Mar-12 YOY % Mar-13 Mar-12 YOY % Mid-Size Car 267,000 269,716 -1.0% 18.4% 19.2% -0.8% Compact Car 219,000 216,479 1.2% 15.1% 15.4% -0.3% Compact Crossover 172,500 159,068 8.4% 11.9% 11.3% 0.6% Full-Size Pickup Truck 170,000 147,905 14.9% 11.7% 10.5% 1.2% Subcompact Car 64,000 68,612 -6.7% 4.4% 4.9% -0.5% Total^3* 1,450,000 1,404,623 3.2% - - - ^1 Historical data pulled from OEM sales announcements ^2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights ^3 Includes brands not shown For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb, and get updates on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+kbb/. About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. KBB.com provides consumer pricing and information on cars for sale, minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader Group. 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March New-Car Sales To Hit Highest Monthly Total Since August 2007 According To Kelley Blue Book
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