SOURCE: TrueCar

TrueCar

February 24, 2010 08:58 ET

TrueCar Forecasts February Auto Sales

Recovery Hindered by Recalls and Inclement Weather

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - February 24, 2010) - TrueCar.com (www.truecar.com), the authority on new car pricing, forecasted today that February 2010 light vehicle sales (including fleet) in the U.S. will be 752,668 units, a jump of nearly 8% from January 2010 and more than 9% from this time last year (on an unadjusted basis). February's forecast translates into a SAAR level of 10.04 million new car sales.

"The Toyota recall paired with bad weather across the country suppressed sales in February," said Jesse Toprak, VP of Industry Trends and Insight for TrueCar.com. "To see a 9% boost over last year is still encouraging for the industry, especially considering the circumstances. This relative growth indicates that the fundamentals that fuel car buying are slowly continuing to improve."

The February forecast bears out what has been speculated for the last month across the industry: Toyota has lost a great deal of its industry leading market share, ceding it to its primary competitors as well as several less heralded brands.

"We anticipate Toyota offering generous consumer incentives with hopes of bringing buyers back to their showrooms in the coming weeks," added Toprak. "Consumers now have more choices than ever and the quality gap that once existed between the different automakers no longer exists, making price the most important factor in purchasing a vehicle for the majority of consumers."

TrueCar.com offers a comprehensive forecast that also goes deeper into the numbers, looking at unit sales and market share by manufacturer, but also shows market share by origin and sales down to the brand level.

Forecasts for the top seven manufacturers for February:

                           Unit Sales Forecast

                      Feb. 2010          Change vs.          Change vs.
Manufacturer          Forecast           Jan. 2010           Feb. 2009
                     ----------          ----------          ----------
Chrysler                67,415               18%                -20%
Ford                   129,326               15%                 35%
GM                     152,797                5%                 21%
Honda                   82,981               23%                 16%
Nissan                  66,523                6%                 23%
Toyota                  80,543              -18%                -27%
Hyundai/Kia             62,671               19%                 19%


                          Market Share Forecast

                      Feb. 2010           January             February
Manufacturer          Forecast              2010                2009
                     ----------          ----------          ----------
Chrysler                9.0%                8.2%               12.2%
Ford                   17.2%               16.1%               14.0%
GM                     20.3%               20.9%               18.4%
Honda                  11.0%                9.7%               10.4%
Nissan                  8.9%                9.0%                7.9%
Toyota                 10.7%               14.2%               15.9%
Hyundai/Kia             8.3%                7.5%                7.6%

Market share forecasts for the origin of the manufacturer for February:

                      Feb. 2010           January             February
Manufacturer          Forecast              2010                2009
                     ----------          ----------          ----------
Europe                  9.2%                9.2%                8.4%
Japan                  36.1%               38.2%               39.5%
South Korea             8.3%                7.5%                7.6%
USA                    46.4%               45.2%               44.5%

TrueCar also projects sales down to the brand level, which can be viewed in its entirety at TrueCar.com.

TrueCar.com bases its forecast on actual transaction data that cover nearly 45% of all new car sales in the U.S. The transaction data based forecast is refined by other current and historical factors that impact vehicle sales including: sales, inventory, incentives, fuel prices, and macro economic data (major stock market indexes, consumer confidence, new home starts, and CPI). TrueCar.com does not adjust for selling days in year-over-year percentage change calculations.

About TrueCar

TrueCar (http://www.truecar.com/) is the authority in new car prices. TrueCar analyzes data from thousands of sources to show car buyers and car dealers how much people actually paid for a particular car in a specific local area. The innovative new car pricing service is offered online, free of charge at TrueCar.com. With TrueCar pricing, both new car buyers and new car dealers can know at any time what is considered a good or great price on a new car. Consumers no longer need to walk into a dealership partially informed and fully suspicious -- using TrueCar they walk in knowing the price of a fair deal. Dealers benefit by TrueCar's real-time, unbiased information about marketplace pricing, helping them price cars for increased sales, and ultimately gaining market share over other dealers. Led by a highly experienced team from the automotive and technology industries, TrueCar is based in Santa Monica, California.

Contact Information