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U.S. Sales Projected to Fall 6th Straight Month

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Article Highlights

  1. Fleet shipments are expected to continue supporting overall light-vehicle sales, according to Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive chief economist.
  2. While rising fleet deliveries would historically be cause for concern, Smoke said such sales are commanding higher prices with lower incentives.
  3. Cox expects fleet sales to increase marginally in 2019 to a record 3.2 million vehicles, which would account for 19 percent of the roughly 16.9 million light vehicles projected to be sold in 2019.

Automotive News, June 28, 2019 — For just the third time in a decade, the U.S. auto industry is expected to enter the summer selling season without a monthly sales gain.

Light-vehicle deliveries are predicted to decline between 1.5 and 3.3 percent this month from June 2018, according to estimates from four forecasters. That would mark the sixth straight month of declines and the third time since 2009 that the industry hasn’t experienced a monthly increase during the first half of the year. It also happened in 2009, at the peak of the last economic downturn, and in 2017, with overall volume dropping in each year.

The seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate is projected to remain healthy in June, with estimates between 17 million and 17.3 million — even as most analysts expect industry sales this year to come in below 17 million for the first time since 2014. U.S. sales dipped 2.4 percent through May, with retail demand down and fleet sales up. U.S. sales rose 5.2 percent in June 2018, one of the biggest gains of the year, and the SAAR tallied 17.32 million. There are 26 selling days this month, down from 27 in June 2018.

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