Strong April Results Push 2012 Auto Sales Forecast to 14.4 Million Vehicles, Says

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--()--April auto sales will continue at the strong pace set in the first quarter for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) this month of 14.4 million light vehicles, according to, the premier online resource for automotive information. The surging sales performance so far this year has forced to revise its 2012 auto sales forecast from 13.6 million to 14.4 million units.

“Higher consumer confidence, as well as warmer winter weather and strong fleet sales have spurred sales strength so far this year,” says Chief Economist Dr. Lacey Plache. “We can expect the auto sales rate to stay elevated through most of the rest of the year, even as downside risks – like political and fiscal uncertainty in the U.S. and slowing economies in Europe and China – continue to loom.” estimates that 1,181,929 new cars will be sold in April. The projected sales would be a 15.8 percent decrease from March 2012 but a 2.1 percent increase (unadjusted for number of sales days) over April 2011.


Sales Volume Apr-12 Forecast Apr-11 Mar-12 Change from Apr 2011* Change from Mar 2012
GM 215,603 232,538 231,052 -7.3% -6.7%
Ford 176,917 189,293 223,262 -6.5% -20.8%
Toyota 174,923 159,540 203,282 9.6% -14.0%
Chrysler 139,373 117,224 163,381 18.9% -14.7%
Honda 123,919 124,799 126,999 -0.7% -2.4%
Nissan 79,678 71,526 135,939 11.4% -41.4%
Industry 1,181,929 1,157,303 1,404,109 2.1% -15.8%

*NOTE: April 2012 had 24 sales days; April 2011 had 27 estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 11.6 million vehicles in March, with fleet transactions accounting for 18.2 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.63 million used cars will be sold in March, for a SAAR of 39.3m (compared to 3.69 million – or a SAAR of 38.9 million – used car sales in March).


General Motors is expected to make the biggest month-over-month gains in market share of any Big 6 automaker this month, climbing 1.8 percentage points to 18.2 percent. Nissan, meanwhile is expected to take the biggest month-over-month tumble of any major automaker, falling three percentage points to 6.7 percent. The drop is mostly attributed to Nissan’s significantly lower fleet sales month over month, which is a typical March-to-April trend for the company as it begins a new fiscal year.


Market Share Apr-12 Forecast Apr-11 Mar-12 Change from Apr 2011 Change from Mar 2012
GM 18.2% 20.1% 16.5% -1.9% 1.7%
Ford 15.0% 16.4% 15.9% -1.4% -0.9%
Toyota 14.8% 13.8% 14.5% 1.0% 0.3%
Chrysler 11.8% 10.1% 11.6% 1.7% 0.2%
Honda 10.5% 10.8% 9.0% -0.3% 1.5%
Nissan 6.7% 6.2% 9.7% 0.5% -3.0%

In terms of raw unit sales, Chrysler will continue its string of sales success with an 18.9 percent increase in sales over April 2011. And even with its month-over-month market share success, General Motors is projected to sell 7.3 percent fewer vehicles year over year, the biggest decrease of any major automaker.

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Contacts Corporate Communications
Jeannine Fallon/Aaron Lewis
Media Hotline: 310-309-4900

Release Summary predicts that 1,181,929 new cars will be sold in April 2012 for a monthly SAAR of 14.4 million. has also revised its 2012 sales forecast up to 14.4 million units.

Contacts Corporate Communications
Jeannine Fallon/Aaron Lewis
Media Hotline: 310-309-4900