Edmunds.com December Auto Sales Forecast: Industry Ends Year on a Note of Caution, Even as Chrysler Turns up the Heat

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--()--An estimated 1,230,099 new cars will be sold in December, for a projected Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 13.4 million units, forecasts Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. The sales pace is a slight dip from the 13.6 million SAAR recorded last month. Edmunds.com projects that 2011 will close at 12.8 million sales, which would be about a 10 percent increase over last year’s 11.6 million sales.

“December sales are still good in the context of 2011’s overall sales, but new car transactions slowed down by the middle of this month,” said Edmunds.com Vice Chairman Jeremy Anwyl. “When you consider that sales performance late this year was boosted by a tailwind of buyers who deferred their purchases this summer, it suggests we may have some sales speed bumps to deal with next year.” (Mr. Anwyl’s analysis of December sales can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/commentary/preview-to-official-december-forecast.html).

Sales are expected to rise 23.7 percent from November 2011 and 13.0 percent over December 2010. This would make December the second best sales month of the year, continuing the trend of exceptionally strong December sales in recent years.



Sales Volume       Dec-11 Forecast       Dec-10       Nov-11       Change from Dec 2010       Change from Nov 2011
GM       235,558       224,147       180,402       5.1%       30.6%
Ford 205,110 190,191 166,445 7.8% 23.2%
Toyota 171,515 177,488 137,960 -3.4% 24.3%
Chrysler 138,198 100,702 107,172 37.2% 28.9%
Nissan 102,095 129,616 83,925 -21.2% 21.7%
Honda 99,991 93,730 85,182 6.7% 17.4%


1,230,099 1,144,162 994,199 7.5% 23.7%

*NOTE: December 2011 had 27 sales days; December 2010 had 27


Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 11.0 million vehicles in December, with fleet transactions accounting for 18 percent of sales.

Chrysler’s Hot December

Edmunds.com forecasts that Chrysler will have the biggest year-over-year sales jump of any major automaker in December, climbing more than 37 percent. Chrysler’s surge is also reflected in its market share, which Edmunds.com expects to climb an impressive 2.4 percentage points over December 2010. The driving force behind Chrysler’s success is its Dodge brand, which is expected to deliver 51 percent more sales this month than in December 2010.

General Motors, meanwhile, will enjoy the biggest month-over-month increases among the major automakers in both sales and market share. Edmunds.com projects that GM’s sales will increase by 30.6 percent over November, leading to a one-percentage-point bump in market share.



Market Share       Dec-11 Forecast       Dec-10       Nov-11       Change from Dec-10       Change from Nov-11
GM 19.1% 19.6% 18.1% -0.5% 1.0%
Ford 16.7% 16.6% 16.7% 0.1% 0.0%
Toyota 13.9% 15.5% 13.9% -1.6% 0.0%
Chrysler 11.2% 8.8% 10.8% 2.4% 0.4%
Nissan 8.3% 11.3% 8.4% -3.0% -0.1%
Honda 8.1% 8.2% 8.6% -0.1% -0.5%

Edmunds.com forecasts that in December Nissan will struggle more than any other Big 6 manufacturer. The Japanese automaker is expected to sell 21 percent fewer cars this month compared to December 2010, leading to a three-percentage-point hit to its market share.

Looking to 2012…

As 2011 comes to a close, Edmunds.com Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plache expects that 2012 car sales will improve to an estimated 13.6 million vehicles. Dr. Plache’s full 2012 sales forecast can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/commentary/edmundscom-2012-auto-sales-forecast-136-million.html.

Additional data on sales, market share and incentive spending can also be found in Edmunds.com’s Data Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/data/.

About Edmunds.com, Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)

Edmunds.com Inc. publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its mobile site makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. InsideLine.com is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. AutoObserver.com and its newsletter provide insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/edmunds.


Edmunds.com Corporate Communications
Jeannine Fallon/Pamela Morris/Aaron Lewis
Media Hotline: 310-309-4900

Release Summary

The December sales pace of 13.4 million vehicles is a slight dip from the 13.6 million SAAR recorded last month.


Edmunds.com Corporate Communications
Jeannine Fallon/Pamela Morris/Aaron Lewis
Media Hotline: 310-309-4900