US sales growth buoyed by extra weekend image

Analysts and researchers estimate all state that this year’s May sales would thoroughly benefit from the extra weekend of sales, with the average rise of new car and truck deliveries slated at around 7%.

Kelley Blue Book, TrueCar, LMC Automotive and J.D. Power & Associates all forecast increased sales ranging from 5.5 to 7% for last month, with a predicted 1.52 to 1.54 million vehicles delivered, for a seasonally adjusted rate of 16.1 million units.

“Three consecutive months of solid growth has returned the market to the expected trend level on a year-to-date basis,” said Jeff Schuster, of LMC. “As we move toward the second half of the year, the selling rates are expected to continue improving, but the growth rates will begin to flatten out, increasing competitive pressures for all brands.”

With automakers expected to announce May results later today, the forecasters are optimistic that May’s five weekends and the fact there is still consumer demand coming from the very harsh first three months would provide high numbers this year.

The incentive war has continued, with an expected rise of the average by 0.7% to $2,677 per vehicle, according to TrueCar. The difference is that not all automaker will resort to bigger incentives, as brands with rising market share like Chrysler or Nissan they would go down; while Ford, Honda or Hyundai need to build up on the incentives plan.