US Auto Sales my hit 14.5M this year – report image

U.S. new-car sales could hit 14.5 million this year – 13 percent more compared to 2011, industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said today. That would be the best full year since 16.1 million in 2007.

On the same time, Edmunds estimates that 1,391,163 new cars will be sold in May, for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 14.4 million. This would be a 17.5 percent increase from April 2012 and a 31.1 percent increase (unadjusted for number of selling days) from May 2011.

“This is the largest year-over-year gain since February 2011, when sales increased 27%,” John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement.

Chrysler Group LLC is projected to post a 33% sales jump from a year earlier, while U.S. rivals Ford Motor Co.  and General Motors Co. are expected to see gains of 11% and 17%, respectively. TrueCar Vice President Toprak said GM’s monthly sales are expected to be the highest since September 2008.

May’s increase follows a 2.3 percent gain in April to 1.18 million, according to Autodata. The industry’s seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, was 14.4 million last month.

May is typically among the highest volume selling months of the year for the U.S. automotive industry. Automakers often offer enticing incentives in May, especially over Memorial Day weekend.