By Demian Russian
With Sirius XM Radio’s (NASDAQ:SIRI) OEM activated satellite radio trials tied closely to its business model, investors are watching for continuing signs of recovery in the U.S. auto industry. TrueCar.com, an authority on new car pricing, trends and forecasting, released their official November 2012 auto sales and incentives forecast today and it points to continuing strength in the U.S. auto industry.
According to TrueCar’s forecast, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet sales) for the month of November, 2012 is anticipated to be 1,120,088 units, up 12.7% year-over-year from and up 2.6% month-over-month (on an unadjusted basis). This translates into a SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate) of 15.2 million, up 13.5 million year-over-year and up 14.3 million month-over-month. Retail auto sales are up 13.1% year-over-year and up 6.3% month-over-month. Fleet and rental sales are forecasted to make up 16.1% of total industry sales in November 2012. The industry average incentive spending per unit for the month of November is expected to be approximately $2,764, which represents an increase of 4.4 percent year-over-year and an increase of 19.3% month-over-month.
TrueCar forecasts for the top eight manufacturers for November 2012:
“November was a strong month for new car sales and the impact from Hurricane Sandy helped to boost auto sales to its highest since February 2008. Import automakers got the biggest lift due to some increased incentive spending building momentum heading into next year. We don’t expect any major impact on auto sales from the ongoing fiscal cliff discussions.”
– Jesse Toprak, Senior Analyst for TrueCar.com
“Incentives are expected to increase nearly 20 percent in November and to their highest levels in over two years. Nissan’s incentive spend increased by almost 80 percent while the Asian automakers incentives also grew by over 20 percent. GM was the only domestic automaker that increased incentive spending last month.”
– Kristen Andersson, analyst for TrueCar.com
Used car sales, which includes sales from franchise dealerships, independent dealerships and private party sales, are estimated to be 2,685,944, up 3.8% year-over-year and down 11.7 percent month-over-month. The ratio of new to used is estimated to be 1:3.
TrueCar bases its forecast on actual auto sales transaction data. Their transaction data based forecast is refined by other current and historical factors that impact vehicle sales, which includes sales, inventory, incentives, fuel prices, and macro economic data (major stock market indexes, consumer confidence, new home starts, and CPI). TrueCar does not adjust for selling days in year-over-year percentage change calculations.
Disclosure: Long SIRI
Contact the author: DemianRussian@SatelliteRadioPlayground.com