Chiming with other analysts, Edmunds forecasts a small decline to the US light vehicle market in June.
However, although June sales are seen as down slightly year over year, its analysts predict a SAAR of 17.2m as automakers and dealers take steps toward rightsizing mounting inventory levels.
Edmunds forecast that 1,501,158 new cars and trucks will be sold in the US in June, a 5.4% decrease in sales from May 2019, and a 3.3% decrease from June 2018. 2019 sales through June are expected to be down by 2.5% year over year.
“June auto sales aren’t hitting the same levels that they did last year, but they aren’t dropping off a cliff either,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis. “The strength of the economy has kept retail demand in decent shape despite the higher interest rates, rising vehicle costs and other headwinds that have been placing pressure on the new vehicle market so far this year, but we’re expecting to see the industry continue to settle into a slower sales pace as we head into the rest of 2019.”
Although Edmunds analysts predict a SAAR above 17m for the third time of the year in June, they caution that these numbers might be slightly propped up by automakers falling back into old habits when faced with mounting inventory levels.
“Old vehicles are stacking up on dealer lots, and automakers are relying on fleet sales a little more than they probably should to clear them out,” said Acevedo.
Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.4m vehicles in June 2019, with fleet transactions accounting for 20.3% of total sales.