March New-Car Sales To Hit Highest Monthly Total Since August 2007 According To Kelley Blue Book

 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, 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.


"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

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

^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 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

^2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights

^3 Includes brands not shown

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About Kelley Blue Book (
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, 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. 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.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

Contact: Joanna Pinkham, +1-949-268-3079,, Brenna Robinson,
+1-949-267-4781,, or Natalie Kumaratne, +1-949-267-4770,
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