US: March sales could surprisingly post a decline image

In what could bring a surprising and rare monthly decline, the auto sales for last month now hangs on the final days to see if results are positive or if March will become the sixth month since 2009 with a US auto market year-over-year sales slump.

If the tally indeed proves negative when sales figures are compiled, March could signal the beginning of a flatter position for the market, coming out of one of its longest-running periods of monthly increases in history. So far, volumes are very close to figures seen last year in the same period, so the end result is likely dependant on how many deliveries will be recorded by dealers until next Tuesday. Even if the tally turns negative this month, analysts are confident that earlier predictions that put total auto sales in 2015 in the 17 million units area would be met, while for the month Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is seen likely to continue its record streak of monthly increases (they would reach five consecutive years), though the margin might be insignificant. The negative figures could also come after the last month that industry sales were lower than the year ago period was February 2014.

“Spring has officially sprung, but much of the country is still pushing away snow,” commented Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights for TrueCar. “Given what a strong month last March was, this slight decline in total volume isn’t surprising.” Forecaster TrueCar puts March sales down 0.8 percent, Kelley Blue Book seems them sliding 0.3 percent and LMC Automotive projects them to be positive, growing 0.3 percent. Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson calls for the biggest slowdown, of 1.6 percent, though with an asterisk for the final week, when the situation might be overturned.

Via Automotive News