- JD Power
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report:
New-Vehicle Sales Rebound in March to Highest Levels for the Month since 2005
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 20 March 2015 — U.S. total new-vehicle sales in March 2015 are bouncing
back from last month and are expected to reach their highest levels for the month in a decade, according to
a monthly sales forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
After winter storms stymied sales in February, total new light-vehicle sales in March 2015 are expected to
reach 1,539,600 units, a 4 percent increase on a selling-day adjusted basis compared with March 2014 and
their highest levels for the month since March 2005 when 1,572,909 new vehicles were sold.
Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
New-vehicle retail sales in March 2015 are projected to reach 1,234,700 units, a 4 percent increase on a
selling-day adjusted basis compared with March 2014 (March 2015 has one fewer selling day than March
2014) and the highest retail sales volume for the month since March 2007 when sales hit 1,244,656.
The retail seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate (SAAR) in March is expected to be 13.6 million units,
449,000 units stronger than in March 2014 and the highest retail SAAR for the month since March 2002
U.S. Retail SAAR—March 2014 to March 2015
(in millions of units)
Source: Power Information Network® (PIN) from J.D. Power
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“Inclement weather in February caused many consumers to delay their new-vehicle purchase until March,”
said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power. “Other key
industry metrics continue to demonstrate the industry’s underlying strength. The average new-vehicle
transaction price so far in March is $30,530, the highest level ever for the month of March.”
The combination of strong sales and high transaction prices positions March to set a new record for the
month for consumer spending on new vehicles at approximately $37.7 billion, according to the Power
Information Network (PIN) from J.D. Power.
Humphrey notes that elevated transaction prices continue to be enabled by extended term loans. Thus far
in March, extended term financing (loans of 72 months or longer) has been used in more than 35 percent of
retail deliveries, on pace to set a new record for any month.
Total Light-Vehicle Sales
Fleet volume in March is projected to hit 304,900 units—accounting for 20 percent of total sales—which is
consistent with the year-to-date level. Fleet volume is expected to fall as the year progresses.
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons
New-Vehicle Retail 1,234,700 units
(4% higher than March 2014)2
Total Vehicle Sales 1,539,600 units
(4% higher than March 2014)
13.6 million units
12.7 million units
13.1 million units
17.0 million units
16.2 million units
16.4 million units
1Figures cited for March 2015 are forecasted based on the first 11 selling days of the month.
2The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days in the month (25 days in March
2015 vs. 26 days in March 2014).
LMC Automotive is holding its 2015 U.S. forecast at 14.0 million units for retail sales and 17.0 million for
total light-vehicle sales, both an increase of 3 percent from 2014.
“Autos didn’t escape a weather-driven hit to the vigorous selling rate trend in February, but upward
performance returns in March and is expected to continue throughout the year,” said Jeff Schuster, senior
vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “The U.S. continues to be one of the brighter spots in
the global vehicle sales picture in 2015 with stable volume growth.”
North American Production
The West Coast port strike, slow ramp-ups of new launches, weather and inventory corrections led to a
reduction in overall production in February, compared with a year ago. Despite negative pressures, output
declined by less than 1 percent to 1.38 million units, signaling a stable environment for continued growth.
Manufacturers were also able to clear a significant amount of inventory, as levels declined to a 69-day
supply at the beginning of March, down from 82 days in February.
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LMC Automotive production forecast for 2015 remains at 17.5 million units, a 3 percent gain from 2014.
The small and compact segments will comprise more than 60 percent of the volume growth, with the
compact premium car segment projected to have the largest volume growth at nearly 90,000 units.
About J.D. Power
J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social
media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction
measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Power Information Network
(PIN) from J.D. Power has revolutionized the automotive industry by collecting and analyzing real-time
transaction-level data for new and used vehicles. PIN’s data and analytics help automakers and dealers
manage risk, monitor metric performance and improve business results. Headquartered in Westlake
Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information
on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit
www.JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.
About McGraw Hill Financial
McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global
capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk
solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P
Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL and J.D. Power. The Company has approximately 17,000
employees in 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.
About LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive is the premier supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base
of automotive manufacturer, component supplier, logistics and distribution companies, as well as financial
and government institutions around the world. LMC’s global forecasting services encompass automotive
sales, production and powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has locations in
the United States, the UK, France, Germany, China, Japan and Thailand and is part of the Oxford, UK-based
LMC group, the global leader in economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. For more
information please visit www.lmc-auto.com.
Media Relations Contacts
John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; [email protected]
Emmie Littlejohn; LMC Automotive; Troy, Mich.; 248-817-2100; [email protected]
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express
prior written consent of J.D. Power or LMC Automotive. www.jdpower.com/corporate www.lmc-auto.com
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