Automakers are pulling the pins on their year-end clearance sales, offering 0% financing among other spiffs in anticipation of a 2009 market that will limp to the finish line.
Edmunds.com, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based automotive shopping and market analysis firm, says in a November preview that the month is turning out badly. The firm predicts that November sales will dip to around 710,000 units. Although that would be a 3.8% increase from November 2008, when fewer selling days this month are considered, it's also a 15% decrease from October 2009.
Edmunds.com analysts predict that November's Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate will be 10.34 million, down from 10.43 in October 2009.
The firm says the combined monthly U.S. market share for domestics Chrysler, Ford and General Motors will be about 46.4% this month -- down from 48.6% last year and but up from 45.1% last month. Edmunds also says 2010-model inventory is sitting on lots because of big deals on 2009 models. This was especially true of Chrysler, GM, Hyundai and Nissan, per Edmunds -- which says fewer than 42% of new vehicles sold by those automakers were 2010 model-year vehicles, while the industry average was 59%.
"The old inventory is heavily discounted, and this is forcing down the price of cross-shopped 2010 models, especially new Fords," says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs on Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "This dynamic is playing a role in automaker sales volumes since many of this season's car shoppers are focused on finding bargains and landing at the dealerships flush with 2009 inventory."
Edmunds.com predicts that Chrysler will sell 55,000 units in November 2009, down 35% versus last year and down 15.8% from last month. If so, Chrysler, per Edmunds, will have 7.8% of the U.S. market -- down from 11.4% in the month last year.
Ford sales will be essentially flat versus last year, per the firm, and down 8.8% from last month. But Ford's market share will reach a four-year high of 17.3%, up from 16.6% in November 2008 and 16.1% last month. In its yearly "Car Wars" study, Merrill Lynch this summer predicted that Ford will own more of the U.S. market than GM, rising 3 points over the next four years to 18%, at least two percentage points above where the firm says GM will settle.
The latter company will sell some 151,000 vehicles this month -- down 1.3% versus last year and down 14.2% from last month, Edmunds predicts. The firm sees GM's market share at 21.3% by month's end, up from 20.6% last year and up from 21.1% in October. Among the big three Japanese brands, Honda will see sales drop 9.1% from last year and 18.9% from October; Nissan will sell 46,000 units in November down 0.7% from last year and 23.1% from October 2009; and Toyota will sell 125,000 units in November 2009, down 4.4% from November 2008 and down 18.2% from October.
The firm predicts Hyundai will see sales rise 25.9% from last year and drop 19% from last month, giving it market share of 6.1%, up from 4.6% from the month last year.