By Demian Russian
With Sirius XM Radio’s (NASDAQ:SIRI) satellite radio business tied so closely to U.S. auto sales, savvy investors continue to monitor the U.S. auto industry for further signs of recovery and strength. TrueCar, an authority on new car pricing, trends and forecasting, released their official January 2013 auto sales and incentives forecast today and it points to continuing strength for the U.S. auto industry and Sirius XM Radio heading into 2013.
“January is off to an amazing start and this momentum will carry forward through the rest of the year with auto sales expected to reach 15.5 million units.”
– Jesse Toprak, Senior Analyst for TrueCar.com
TueCar is forecasting that new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet sales) for the month of January 2013 will total 1,050,938 units. While this translates into a 22.5% decline month-over-month from December 2012 due to seasonality, January auto sales are actually up 15.1% year-over-year from January 2012 on an unadjusted basis and this forecast translates into a SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate) of 15.4 million — the highest January SAAR since 2008.
TrueCar’s sales forecasts for the top eight manufacturers for January 2013:
It’s also important to consider January’s auto sales numbers in the context of historical incentive spending trends. TrueCar expects total incentive spending by the automakers in January 2013 will be at the lowest level since October 2005. The industry average incentive spending per unit for the month is expected be approximately $2,274, which represents a decrease of 8.3% year-over-year and a decrease of 12.2% month-over-month.
“Automakers are kicking off the year strong, staying true to disciplined incentive spending as many curtailed their spending in January as the current lineup of products speak for themselves.”
– Kristen Andersson, Analyst for TrueCar.com
Retail sales are down 19.8% month-over-month from the seasonally strong month of December, but up 14.2% year-over-year. Fleet and rental sales are expected to make up 16.5 percent of total industry sales.
U.S. pre-owned vehicle sales, which includes sales from franchise dealerships, independent dealerships and private party sales, are expected to be 2,314,574, up 5.0% year-over-year from January 2012 and down 26.6% month-over-month from December 2012. The ratio of new to used for the month is estimated to be 1:2.
*Graphs provided courtesy of TrueCar.
Disclosure: Long SIRI
Contact the author: DemianRussian@SatelliteRadioPlayground.com