New car sales should be up 5.7 percent from a year ago, according to a report by TrueCar.com. The top three automakers by unit sales are expected to be General Motors, Toyota and Ford.
New light vehicle sales in the U.S. should hit 1.2 million units year over year, for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 15.7 million new car sales, compared to 14.5 million in February 2012. About 21 percent of industry sales are expected to be fleet and rental sales.
Unit sales should be 221,019 for GM, 168,917 for Toyota and 199,843 for Ford.
"The unusual strength of the full-size truck segment in February helped industry sales to nearly reach the 15.7 million SAAR mark, despite gas prices increasing," Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar.com, said in a statement. "Pent-up demand for pickup trucks by small businesses will be a critical factor in this year's continued sales recovery."
Incentive spending dropped year over year, with the industry average per unit expected to be $2,392, down 3.9 percent from February 2012. Total incentive spend among the Big Three should be: GM, $694.6 million; Ford, $541.7 million; and Chrysler, $438.5 million. Toyota's total incentive spend is expected to top out at $284 million.
Market share leaders should be GM, Ford and Toyota. GM and Toyota's market share will remain static at 18.2 percent and 13.9 percent respectively, according to the report, but Ford's share is expected to rise to 16.5 percent from 15.6 in February 2012.
Used car sales are also expected to be up, with a new-to-used ratio of 1-3.
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