New car and light-truck sales in the U.S. market in April were weaker than expected, says J.D. Power, but still showed some gains in some segments.
Get the full sales performance wrap-up for April.
New car and light-truck sales in the U.S. market in April were weaker than expected, mainly due to slower fleet sales, according to analysis by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and its strategic partner, LMC Automotive. On a bright note, sales of compact crossovers and large pickups in April outperformed the industry’s increase nearly fourfold.
Total sales (retail and fleet) in April edged up 4.3% from a year ago on a selling-day adjusted basis*, and the April seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) averaged 14.9 million units—the slowest pace since October 2012. It was the first time in the first four months of the year that the pace dipped below 15.0 million units.
Retail sales were slightly better than anticipated, finishing the month at 1.032 million units, which was an increase of 9.1% from April 2012 on a selling-day adjusted basis. The retail SAAR was 12.1 million units, which was significantly stronger than last April’s 10.6 million-unit pace, and was 100,000 units stronger than the pace in March.
A few highlights from PIN and LMC Automotive analysis:
• The negotiated price of a new vehicle in April was up 3.0% from a year ago, but down 0.5% from last month (not seasonally adjusted).
• The average cash rebate amount was up 5.2% vs. a year ago, but down 4.1% from last month.
• Lease penetration for the industry was steady with 23.6% of retail sales in April; up 3.5 percentage points from last year.
• Segments that outperformed the market’s overall 4.3% increase in April include Compact CUVs (+22.4%), Large Pickups (+22.3%), and Midsize Utilities (+12.3%).
• The average retail turn rate (average number of days that a vehicle remains on a dealer’s lot before being sold) in April was 57 days, which is down from 59 days in March, but 11 days longer than in April 2012.
*There were 25 selling days in April 2013 and 24 in April 2012. The figures in this post are selling-day adjusted.