If the automotive market and research firm is correct, Ford will perform better than Toyota and Nissan, and nearly as well as Honda for the month, and better than GM and Chrysler.
Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com, says the company's predictions average plus or minus 3% accuracy. The predictions come from actual sales for the month up to the point of the forecasting date, historical sales trends for the month going back a decade, current inventory levels versus past levels, and Web site behavior on Edmunds.com, "Because the traffic we get has been a strong indicator of future sales," he says, "we look at consumers who are intending to purchase [and] not just traffic."
Chrysler's sales, if Edmunds is right, will fall by 39.2% versus last April, and GM's will drop by 36%. Versus March, however, the firm sees GM sales improving 6.2% versus last month while Chrysler's sales will be off 11.1% versus last month.
For Ford, Edmunds sees total sales off 27.2% versus the month in 2008 but with an improvement of 10.5% versus last month. Edmunds predicts that Honda will see an 11.9% improvement versus March and a 26.9% drop versus last April.
Toprak says Ford's situation has positives and negatives. "The good news is they are definitely going to have improved market share, but their sales are still down." He says Ford is benefiting from bad news at GM and Chrysler. "We have seen that in transaction data and on Edmunds.com, where more people looking for domestic cars are likely to consider Ford," he says.
For the other imports, Edmunds.com predicts that Hyundai and Kia sales will have dropped 10.9% versus the month last year and 5.6% versus last month; Nissan sales will be off 27.3% versus last year and 17% last month and Toyota sales are set to be off a whopping 40.2% versus last April and down 2% versus last month.
The total market share for domestic automakers will be around 46.2%, per the firm -- down from 48.4% in April 2008 and up from 45.1% in March 2009.
Chrysler is heading toward a 10.4% market share for the month, down from 11.8% last year. General Motors will come in at around a 19% share of the U.S. market down from 20.7% last year, but better than the 18.2% it had last month. Ford's share is heading up, to 16.6% of new car sales from 15.8% last year and 15.1% in March 2009.
Toprak says that while consumers have returned to SUVs and trucks with the softening gasoline market, the truck segment will see weakness through May. "Not the best months for SUVs and trucks, but better for small cars and mid-sized sedans and crossovers."