Kelley Blue Book: August Car Sales To Improve

  • August 23, 2012

August new-car sales will hit 1,273,000 units overall, an 18.7% increase from last year, according to Kelley Blue Book ( The firm says that after adjusting for one additional selling day in August, car sales are projected to improve by 14.3%. The firm expects daily selling rate to decline nearly 1,000 units per day compared to July. But the decline is seasonal, with a decline in fleet sales. Retail sales volume will remain relatively flat month-over-month, outperforming seasonal expectations.

KBB says retail demand has been steady, a sluggish economic recovery notwithstanding. Meanwhile consumer sentiment improved slightly this month because Americans feel that the housing market has bottomed. Unemployment, however, remains high at 8.3%. The firm says that will be a limiting factor on auto sales. 

“Although economic jitters remain top-of-mind for many, those consumers seeking replacement vehicles continue to opt for new cars with used-car values remaining high,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights, Kelley Blue Book, in a statement. 

Kelley Blue Book expects stronger sales of compact, subcompact and hybrid because of  fuel prices, now over $4 in many markets. Mid-size car sales also remain strong at 16.8% market share, per the firm, which adds that Toyota's Camry will continue to lead segment sales, though pressure will come from the 2013 Nissan Altima, which posts 38 mpg highway.



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