December Auto Sales on Track to Deliver a “True Photo Finish” for Annual Record in 2016, Says Edmunds.com

“Automakers are hustling to squeeze out just enough units to set an annual record” —Jeremy Acevedo



Santa Monica, CA December 21, 2016 — Edmunds.com, the leading car information and shopping network, forecasts December auto sales of 1,629,011 new cars and trucks in the U.S., for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.7 million. This reflects an 18.5% increase from November 2016, but a 0.3% decrease from December 2015.

Based on this forecast, Edmunds.com projects a new annual record of 17,480,294 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in 2016. This would squeak past 2015’s record sales by the slight margin of 0.03%—or less than 5,000 units.

“While December sales are tracking to finish lower than they did last year, dealers and automakers are hustling to squeeze out just enough units to set an annual record,” says Edmunds.com senior analyst Jeremy Acevedo. “It’s safe to say that the final week of the year will decide whether 2016 will make automotive history. It’s shaping up to be a true photo finish.”

Sales Volume Forecast, by Manufacturer

Sales volume December 2016 forecast December 2015 November 2016 Change from December 2015 Change from November 2016
GM 299,286 290,230 252,644 3.1% 18.5%
Toyota 235,891 238,350 197,645 -1.0% 19.4%
Ford 233,697 237,606 196,441 -1.6% 19.0%
Fiat Chrysler 187,821 213,942 160,827 -12.2% 16.8%
Honda 147,295 150,893 122,924 -2.4% 19.8%
Nissan 134,491 139,300 115,136 -3.5% 16.8%
Hyundai/Kia 129,952 117,749 115,011 10.4% 13.0%
VW/Audi 54,611 51,355 46,790 6.3% 16.7%
Industry 1,629,011 1,634,365 1,374,133 -0.3% 18.5%

*NOTE: December 2016 had 27 selling days, December 2015 had 28 and November 2016 had 25.

One trend running in the industry’s favor for a record-setting 2016 is that the final week of December is traditionally the single busiest week of the year. This year Edmunds projects that new car sales during the final week of December will be 72% higher than the average for the weeks earlier in the month. By comparison, the last week of any other month is just 40% higher than sales in earlier weeks.

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 15.0 million vehicles in December 2016, with fleet transactions accounting for 15.2% of total sales. An estimated 2.6 million used cars will be sold in December 2016, for a SAAR of 38.2 million (compared to 2.8 million—or a SAAR of 37.9 million—used car sales in November).

Market Share Forecast, by Manufacturer

Market share December 2016 forecast December 2015 November 2016 Change from December 2015 Change from November 2016
GM 18.4% 17.7% 18.4% 0.7% 0.0%
Toyota 14.5% 14.6% 14.4% -0.1% 0.1%
Ford 14.3% 14.5% 14.3% -0.2% 0.1%
Fiat Chrysler 11.5% 13.1% 11.7% -1.5% -0.2%
Honda 9.0% 9.2% 8.9% -0.2% 0.1%
Nissan 8.3% 8.5% 8.4% -0.2% -0.1%
Hyundai/Kia 8.0% 7.2% 8.4% 0.8% -0.4%
VW/Audi 3.4% 3.1% 3.4% 0.2% -0.1%

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

About Edmunds.com, Inc.

Car shopping destination Edmunds.com serves millions of visitors each month. Regarded as one of the best places to work in Southern California, Edmunds.com was also named one of “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Automotive” by Fast Company. The company is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Michigan, but you can find Edmunds from anywhere on YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn,Instagram, Google+ and Flipboard. Dealers can learn more at Edmunds Dealer Center.

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