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Cox Automotive sales trend analysis

U.S. auto sales on pace for second increase of year, but headwinds loom

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Article Highlights

  1. Cox has a more conservative estimate of 16.7 million. March 2018 has one more selling day -- and more importantly one additional weekend -- than March 2017.
  2. Cox and LMC said they still expect total sales this year to fall below 17 million, vs. 17.2 million in 2017.
  3. Edmunds and Cox are forecasting market-share gains for GM and losses for Ford Motor Co. and Hyundai-Kia.

U.S. new-vehicle sales are on pace to reach the highest March volume since at least 2001, according to three forecasts issued Wednesday, marking a solid start to the closely watched spring selling season.

The forecasts, from LMC Automotive/JD Power, Edmunds and Cox Automotive, project sales to rise about 3 percent this month from March 2017. That would be the industry’s largest year-over-year increase since September and the second gain so far in 2018. In contrast, last year started out with eight consecutive months of declines.

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