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Cars.com Projects Highest February SAAR Since 2008

As the month comes to a close and automakers gear up to report February's sales on Monday, March 3, Jesse Toprak, chief analyst for Cars.com announces his predications. New-vehicle sales are expected to improve 1.1 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.2 million units and an estimated 15.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). If confirmed, these numbers would reflect the highest sales rate since February 2008.

"As the industry continues to gain strength, February car sales have the potential to reach their highest rate in six years," said Toprak. "The positive impact of the recovering stock market has been dampened by ongoing severe weather conditions, however year-over-year new-vehicle sales show that the industry is pushing to surpass the mark set in 2013."

According to Toprak's analysis, the compact SUV segment is seeing a particularly high increase in demand. "Consumers can't get enough small SUVs," said Toprak. "The segment's market share reached a record high 18 percent this month, up from 15 percent this time last year."

Key highlights for estimated February 2014 sales forecast:

  • New light-vehicle sales in the United States (including fleet) are expected to reach 1,205,140 units, up 1.1 percent from February 2013 and up 19.3 percent from January 2014
  • The February 2014 forecast translates into a SAAR of 15.4 million new car sales, up 0.5 percent from February 2013 and up 1.0 percent over January 2014
  • Retail sales are expected to account for 79.3 percent in February 2014, down 4.2 percent from February 2013

Automotive sales forecasts for February 2014 for the ‘Big Eight' manufacturers:

Unit Sales

Manufacturer

February 2014 Sales Forecast

YoY

MoM

Chrysler Group

146,842

5.6%

15.5%

Ford

181,040

-7.3%

17.9%

GM

214,126

-4.5%

24.9%

Honda

110,805

2.6%

20.9%

Hyundai/Kia

92,263

-1.7%

13.9%

Nissan

107,685

8.1%

19.0%

Toyota

169,565

1.9%

15.9%

Volkswagen

38,208

-15.4%

3.5%

Industry Total

1,205,140

1.1%

19.3%

 

Market Share

Manufacturer

February 2014 Sales Forecast

Jan-14

Feb-13

Chrysler Group

12.2%

12.6%

11.7%

Ford

15.0%

15.2%

16.4%

GM

17.8%

17.0%

18.8%

Honda

9.2%

9.1%

9.1%

Hyundai/Kia

7.7%

8.0%

7.9%

Nissan

8.9%

9.0%

8.4%

Toyota

14.1%

14.5%

14.0%

Volkswagen

3.2%

3.7%

3.8%

About Cars.com

Cars.com is an award-winning online destination for car shoppers that offers information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. Cars.com offers thousands of new and used vehicle listings, consumer reviews, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and many other tools. Cars.com put millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions. Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).

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