Auto Sales Expected to Cool Down in January, Edmunds Forecasts

Expected reduction in incentives, severe winter weather slow sales on the heels of higher-selling holiday months


Santa Monica, CAJanuary 24, 2018 — Edmunds, the leading car shopping and information platform, forecasts that 1,121,932 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in January for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.7 million. This reflects a 29.8% decrease in sales from December 2017 and a 1.4% decrease from January 2017.

“In January, automakers are expected to pull the reins in on the more generous incentive programs that we saw at the end of 2017,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds. “However, it’s typical to see a slowdown at dealerships in January following the high-selling holiday months. This isn’t necessarily a solid indicator of the direction that the year is headed in terms of overall sales.”

Sluggish January sales are also expected as a result of severe winter weather in many parts of the country.

“The bomb cyclone that tore through the East Coast at the beginning of the month certainly didn’t help an already slower sales month,” said Caldwell.

SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Sales Volume January 2018 Forecast January 2017 December 2017 Change from January 2017 Change from December 2017
GM 204,225 195,909 308,539 4.2% -33.8%
Ford 158,704 171,186 240,910 -7.3% -34.1%
Toyota 154,066 143,048 222,985 7.7% -30.9%
Fiat Chrysler 129,127 152,218 171,946 -15.2% -24.9%
Nissan 113,630 112,319 138,226 1.2% -17.8%
Honda 107,218 106,380 149,317 0.8% -28.2%
Hyundai/Kia 83,930 82,133 106,633 2.2% -21.3%
VW/Audi 36,261 36,711 57,258 -1.2% -36.7%
Industry 1,121,932 1,138,241 1,597,826 -1.4% -29.8%

*NOTE: January 2018 had 25 selling days, January 2017 had 24, and December 2017 had 26.

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.4 million vehicles in January 2018, with fleet transactions accounting for 19.5% of total sales. An estimated 3.1 million used vehicles will be sold in January 2018, for a SAAR of 38.9 million (compared to 2.7 million—or a SAAR of 38.7 million—in December).

MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share January 2018 Forecast January 2017 December 2017 Change from January 2017 Change from December 2017
GM 18.2% 17.2% 19.3% 1.0% -1.1%
Ford 14.1% 15.0% 15.1% -0.9% -0.9%
Toyota 13.7% 12.6% 14.0% 1.2% -0.2%
Fiat Chrysler 11.5% 13.4% 10.8% -1.9% 0.7%
Nissan 10.1% 9.9% 8.7% 0.3% 1.5%
Honda 9.6% 9.3% 9.3% 0.2% 0.2%
Hyundai/Kia 7.5% 7.2% 6.7% 0.3% 0.8%
VW/Audi 3.2% 3.2% 3.6% 0.0% -0.4%

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.

About Edmunds

Edmunds is the leading car information and shopping platform, helping millions of visitors each month find their perfect car. With products such as Edmunds Your Price, Your Lease, and Used+, shoppers can buy smarter with instant, upfront prices for cars and trucks currently for sale at more than 13,000 dealer franchises across the U.S. Edmunds’ in-house team of unbiased car-shopping experts provide industry-leading vehicle reviews and shopping tips. The company also hosts a 20-year-old forums community that connects members to other car shoppers and enthusiasts. The company is regarded as one of America’s best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work. Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Michigan.

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