Edmunds estimates that US light vehicle sales in May (including fleet sales) will hit 1,080,200 units, a 17.9% gain on the same month last year.

The firm foresees a strong end to the month with Memorial Day Weekend sales taking May’s Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Rate (SAAR) to 11.4m units, up from 11.2m in April 2010.

“This month hasn’t been particularly good for the car business so far, but we anticipate that the holiday weekend will more than make up for it,” stated Jessica Caldwell, Director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com.

“In the last three years Memorial Day weekend car sales averaged about 40 % higher than the for non-holiday May weekends, and sales on the last day of May were about 130 % more than the average sales day.”

The combined monthly US market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 46.5 % in May 2010, up from 46.3 % in May 2009 and up from 45.3 % in April 2010.

“It should be a great month for the industry, even though Chrysler and Toyota are continuing to pay for past mistakes and Honda is having trouble finding its way,” commented Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs.

Manufacturer forecasts

Edmunds noted that starting from this month May 2010, its forecast will now only include the “new GM” and its four brands. But it will still be comparing month-over-month and year-over-year with the “old GM” and its eight brands.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 100,500 units in May 2010, up 27.7 % compared to May 2009 and up 5.2 % from April 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 9.3 % for Chrysler in May 2010, up from 8.6 % in May 2009 but down from 9.8 % as in April 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 189,000 units in May 2010, up 22.4 % compared to May 2009 and up 16.7 % from April 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 17.5 % of new car sales in May 2010 for Ford, up from 16.9 % in May 2009 and up from 16.6 % in April 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 212,800 units in May 2010, up 11.7 % compared to May 2009 and up 15.8 % from April 2010. GM’s market share is expected to be 19.7 % of new vehicle sales in May 2010, down from 20.8 % in May 2009 but up from 18.9 % in April 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 117,600 units in May 2010, up 22.2 % from May 2009 and up 3.4 % from April 2010. Honda’s market share is expected to be 10.9 % in May 2010, up from 10.5 % in May 2009 but down from 11.7 % in April 2010.
 
Edmunds.com predicts Hyundai will sell 80,300 units in May 2010, up 27.5 % from May 2009 and up 8.5 % from April 2010. Hyundai’s market share is expected to be 7.4 % in May 2010, up from 6.9 % in May 2009 but down from 7.6 % in April 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 75,100 units in May 2010, up 11.3 % from May 2009 and up 17.9 % from April 2010. Nissan’s market share is expected to be 7.0 % in May 2010, down from 7.4 % in May 2009 but up from 6.5 % in April 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 163,900 units in May 2010, up 7.5 % from May 2009 and up 4.6 % from April 2010. Toyota’s market share is expected to be 15.2 % in May 2010, down from 16.6 % in May 2009 and down from 16.1 % in April 2010.