Costa Mesa, California — Automotive retail sales in the US are likely to be 1.1 m units in June 2019. This represents a 7% fall compared with June 2018, according to consultants JD Power and LMC Automotive.
The numbers are forecast on the first 19 days' sales, and ignore the number of selling days in each month.
Over the first half of 2019, total new vehicle sales in the US are projected to be 8.4 m units. This is a 1.8% decrease from the first half of 2018, the consultants said.
However, it is not all bad news for retailers. 'While the first half of 2019 is expected to deliver its weakest retail sales since 2013, the growth in prices has been nothing short of remarkable,' said Thomas King, senior vice president of data and analytics at JD Power. 'Average transaction prices set a record during the first half.'
Jeff Schuster, who carries out Americas operations and global vehicle forecasts at LMC Automotive, said: 'Despite the external noise, the beat goes on! The Fed is under pressure and is now expected to make a series of interest rate cuts. This will provide support for car sales in the second half of the year and help offset rising vehicle prices.'
He added that trucks are expected to remain strong, with further growth in SUV sales, but the pickup war is heating up. 'We expect pickup share to reach 17.8% in 2019,' he said. This is 1% higher than 2018.
In 2019, LMC is forecasting total light vehicle sales in the US at 16.9 m units, down 2.1% on 2018. But, it said, retail sales of light vehicles will be down by about 3.1% from 2018, at 13.5 m units.