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U.S. New Vehicle Sales Steady, but Low in June

SAAR at 9.2 million is consistent with depressed May levels.

by on Jun.25, 2009

New vehicle sales through the first 17 selling days of June are down 9% from May of 2008, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers transaction data from more than 10,000 dealerships across the United States.

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Retail sales for the month of June are predicted to come in at 789,400 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 9.2 million units. Retail sales for June have improved from May, but fleet sales have declined markedly. As a result, the June SAAR for total vehicle sales remains stuck at depressed levels not seen for 30 years or more.

This is obvious when you look at the total SAAR number, which has declined 3.5 million vehicles from a year ago period, and indicates just how much trouble the industry is in, as the ongoing effects of the Great Recession show no signs of abating. 

U.S. New Vehicle Sales and SAAR Comparisons

  June 2009 (1) May 2009 June 2008
Retail Sales 789,400 (-19% June ’08) 788,547 931,491
Total Sales 914,400 (-26% June ’08) 924,064 1,186,619
Retail SAAR 9.2 million 8.1 million 10.1 million
Total SAAR 10.3 million (-24% June ’08) 9.8 million 13.6 million
(1) Figures for June ’09 forecast from the first 17 selling days. J.D. Power and Associates

“Consumer confidence is improving, and market uncertainty is starting to decline, which has made consumers more willing to take advantage of deals on new vehicles,” said Gary Dilts, senior vice president of Power’s global automotive operations. “In addition, sales incentives –including those from Chrysler dealers facing closure — have helped contribute to the upswing.”