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March New-Vehicle Sales to Rise 2.6 Percent Y/Y; 2018 Fleet Sales Down

| March 28, 2018


New-vehicle sales are expected to rise year-over-year to 1.59 million units in March, resulting in an estimated 16.7 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to a forecast released by Cox Automotive.  At the same time, 2018 fleet sales are anticipated to drop.

“March is the year’s first month that traditionally delivers high volumes and this March is no exception, with sales expected to increase nearly 300,000 units over February and more than 400,000 units above January,” said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive.

March 2018 is forecast to be up over year-ago levels, although with 28 selling days versus 27 last year, some increase was expected. Chesbrough added, “The record for March was set in 2000 when sales reached 1.66 million, or a 17.8 million SAAR. It’s highly unlikely that sales will exceed that level this year, particularly since the market pace has been slowing gradually since the record year in 2016.”

Key Highlights for Estimated March 2018 Sales Forecast

In March, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to reach 1.59 million units, up 2.6 percent, or 40,000 units, compared to March 2017 and up over 22 percent from last month.
The SAAR in March 2018 is estimated to be 16.7 million, down from 17 million in February 2018 and equal to the March 2017 pace. Fleet sales are expected to account for 22 percent of market sales in March, a similar level to last year.

After a strong year of 17.1 million units in 2017, a top 5 all-time finish, Cox Automotive expects 2018 sales to fall 400,000 units and finish near 16.7 million.


Category: General Update, News, Vehicles

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