Typical Spring Selling Boost Has Been Tempered by Consumer Uncertainty

Global Automotive Markets Beginning to Show Signs of Recovery

DETROIT, May 21, 2009 /PRNewswire/ – While the rate of decline in new-vehicle retail sales has slowed in May, compared with the previous 12 months, a high level of consumer uncertainty remains, which has led to a flattening of retail sales and a projected delay in market recovery of two to three months beyond the spring selling season, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 10,000 dealerships across the United States.

Based on the first 14 selling days of the month, new-vehicle retail sales for the month of May are expected to come in at 716,000 units, which represent a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 7.6 million units. This is down by 36 percent from one year ago, but up by 9 percent compared with April 2009.

J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons – May 2009

May 2009(1)April 2009May 2008
New-vehicle retail sales716,000 units (36% lower than May 2008)659,000 units1,161,000 units
Total vehicle sales876,000 units (35% lower than May 2008)819,000 units1,395,000 units
Retail SAAR7.6 million units7.6 million units12.1 million units
Total SAAR9.3 million units9.3 million units14.3 million units

(1) Figures cited for May 2009 are forecasted numbers based on the first 14 selling days of the month.

Due to the delay of a pronounced recovery, J.D. Power and Associates has revised its total new light-vehicle sales forecast for 2009 to 10.0 million units – 400,000 units fewer than previously forecast. The revision is driven primarily by a projected reduction in retail sales of 230,000 units – to total 8.3 million units in 2009 – as well as by expected reductions in fleet sales.

“While there are some signs of stability in the automotive market, current sales rates indicate that achieving recovery will not be a quick proposition,” said Gary Dilts, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. “We remain optimistic that the fundamentals will continue to improve and that we will see an uptick during the summer sales season, which will help the industry stabilize further and help build consumer confidence.”

While sales remain at historically low levels in the United States, some European and Asian automotive markets are demonstrating improvement in monthly sales rates. Specifically, Germany and China are now experiencing increases in sales rates, following a period of year-over-year declines. These increases can be attributed in large part to aggressive stimulus programs such as scrappage incentives. In addition, although sales are still expected to decline from 2008 for the India and Brazil automotive markets, volume forecasts for both regions have been revised upward for 2009.

“Since January, the global monthly SAAR has remained stable in the 58- to 60-million-unit range,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. “As major international automotive markets continue their recovery, we have increased our outlook for 2009 global light-vehicle sales to 58.6 million units, from 57.5 million units forecasted in March.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; (248) 312-4119; media.relations@jdpa.com
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate
Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com