US Auto Sales Growing at Steady Pace

US Auto Sales Growing at Steady PaceUS Auto Sales Growing at Steady Pace

New vehicle sales across the United States are expected to increase 5.2 percent year-on-year to a total of 1.46 million units by the end of April, according to Kelly Blue Book via PR Newswire. The resulting total would be an estimated 16.5 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) which would be the highest new car sales since 2005.

"While April won't bring too many surprises, sales should continue to grow at a steady pace," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "Retail sales continue to be strong which continues to keep the overall sales outlook healthy.  There is restrained incentive spending and steadily rising transaction prices, which are both good signs for the industry."

Total sales in 2015 are projected to hit 16.9 million units overall in 2015, a 2.5 percent year-over-year increase and the highest overall total since 2005, when sales fell just shy of 17 million units overall. "Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expected to have another lift in April, driven by its popular Jeep brand and its SUV models," said Tim Fleming, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Adding, Jeep has been setting records for the last few years, and the recent addition of the all-new Renegade to the lineup will certainly bring even more customers to the rapidly growing brand.

Nissan also will benefit from the growing popularity of SUVs, especially with its Rogue and Murano vehicles.  The Rogue now comprises of nearly 20 percent of Nissan's sales, and is closing much of the gap to segment leaders like the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.  Meanwhile, the recently redesigned Murano should provide a lift in April 2015. Compact and mid-size SUVs will still be the fastest growing segments in April with double-digit growth expected.  Combined market share for these segments is at 24.6 percent for the year, up a full point from last year.  SUVs as a whole have had growth of 10.7 percent, while cars are only up 0.1 percent.