Edmunds, an online car shopping guide with a satellite office in Detroit, forecasted that just over 1.5 million new cars and trucks were sold in the U.S. in June, leading to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.2 million vehicles. Numbers are forecasted because the report was released before the end of the month.
The sales pace represents a 5.4 percent decrease in sales from May 2019 and a 3.3 percent decrease from June 2018. Sales for 2019 through June are expected to be down by 2.5 percent year over year.
“June auto sales aren’t hitting the same levels that they did last year, but they aren’t dropping off a cliff either,” says Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. “The strength of the economy has kept retail demand in decent shape despite the higher interest rates, rising vehicle costs, and other headwinds that have been placing pressure on the new vehicle market so far this year, but we’re expecting to see the industry continue to settle into a slower sales pace as we head into the rest of 2019.”
Although Edmunds analysts are predicting a seasonally adjusted annual rate above 17 million for the third time of the year in June, they also predict that the numbers may be propped up by automakers’ practices when faced with mounting inventory levels.
“Old vehicles are stacking up on dealer lots, and automakers are relying on fleet sales a little more than they probably should to clear them out,” says Acevedo.
The estimated retail seasonally adjusted annual rate is 13.4 million vehicles in June 2019, and fleet transactions are expected to account for 20.3 percent of total sales.
An estimated 3.4 million used vehicles are predicted to have been sold in June 2019 for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 39.4 million. This is compared to May numbers, when about 3.5 million used vehicles were sold for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 39.6 million.
Edmunds offers reviews of new vehicles, shopping tips, and consumer and automotive market insights. It is based in California.