The automotive industry has seen a strong year of sales so far, and that is likely to continue at the end of August.
According to Edmunds.com, there is expected to be 1,455,911 new car and truck sales by the end of August, up 10.9 percent on a month-over-month comparison and 13.3 percent on a year-over-year comparison. The report noted that these sales translate to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 15.6 million.
"Car buyers are continuing their steady march into car dealerships and they'll keep marching right through Labor Day weekend with attractive deals and promotions luring them in," said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs. "While retail sales are strong in August, automakers are further reducing their dependence on fleet sales. This month's fleet percentage of total sales looks to be the lowest since at least 2007, and the result will be stronger resale values for customers buying new cars and healthier bottom lines for automakers."
Which automakers will see the most sales
General Motors will see the most sales in August, as Edmunds forecasts 266,868 vehicles will have rolled off the lot by the end of the month, accounting for an 11 percent increase on a year-over-year comparison and 14 percent on a month-over-month comparison. Toyota will likely come in second, with sales of 217,915 vehicles, up 15.6 percent from a year before and 12.7 percent from a month before. And finally, Ford will come in third with sales of 215,298 units, up 9.4 percent from a year ago and 11.5 percent from a month ago.
TrueCar has similar end-of-the-month predictions
Edmunds is not the only online source predicting a strong sales month. TrueCar.com recently issued a report with nearly identical sales predictions. According to the source, new light vehicle sales are predicted to hit 1,464,214 units in August, translating to seasonally adjusted selling rate of 15.75 million. The August 2013 sales are expected to be up 14.4 percent from August 2012 and 11.8 percent from July 2013.
TrueCar predicts retail sales will be up 10.5 percent by the end of the month when compared to a year before, and 11.7 percent from a month ago.
"New vehicle sales defied their typical strong correlation with Wall Street in August and continued to post a healthy increase despite the lackluster performance in financial markets," said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar.com. "Small SUVs became the fastest growing segment this month, with this very functional and affordable vehicle category now making up 15.5 percent of all sales, up from 13.5 percent from a year ago."
Why the strong sales in August?
Vehicle sales have been strong all year, but August was a particularly popular month for buying a car because dealers are offering good deals on 2013 models in order to make room for 2014 vehicles.
Edmunds released a separate report showing that 2013 model vehicles had discounts of 12.7 percent in July, well above the 7.7 percent discount on 2014 models. Experts noted that the deals will likely continue through this month and the next.
"Shoppers typically will find the perfect blend of discounts and selection during this late-August-to-September time period," said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "If they wait much longer, they might be able to find better discounts on a new car, but they'll find that inventory of those vehicles will be limited."
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