Kelly Blue Book (KBB) expects May 2015 US new vehicle sales to decline 1% year on year to 1.59m units for an estimated 17.3m seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).

“May sales will reach the highest total year to date and could remain the highest until December of this year,” said senior analyst Alec Gutierrez.

“While we expect an overall decline in volume versus last year, the difference is the result of one fewer sales day from May 2014, and total SAAR will reflect year over year improvement.

“May typically is a strong sales month, as consumers take advantage of warmer weather and advertised deals for the extended Memorial Day sales weekend.”

Total sales are projected to hit 16.9m units in 2015, a 2.5% annual increase and the highest overall total since 2005 when sales fell just shy of 17m units overall.

In May 2015, new light vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to reach 1,590,000 units, down 1% from May 2014 and up 9.5% from April 2015.

The SAAR for May 2015 is estimated to be 17.3m, up from 16.7m in May 2014 and from 16.5m in April 2015.

Retail sales are expected to account for 82.2% of volume in May 2015, up from 81.7% the previous year.

Jeep continues share push

“Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expected to narrowly continue its sales gain streak to 62 straight months of growth, largely due to the surging Jeep brand, which is poised to set another record in monthly sales,” added Gutierrez.

“The all-new Renegade would have helped push Fiat Chrysler’s total even higher, if not for the halt on its deliveries due to a software issue. Nonetheless, the Cherokee experienced similar troubles at its launch in late 2013 and is now Jeep’s top seller.”