2014 Models Pushing Consumer Interest; New, Used Sales Predictions Prove Similar
The overall new-car SAAR predictions are falling slightly and consumer interest in new rides may be fading a bit as fall gets underway, if Dataium’s latest Automotive Shopper Intensity report is any indicator. That said, new models, marketing campaigns and redesigns have spurred renewed interest for some brands.
Dataium explained that Chevrolet, in particular, benefited from a late summer marketing campaign, which helped generate an increase in shopping intensity for the Cruze, Silverado, Equinox and Malibu.
And according to General Motors, the Equinox had its best sales month ever in August.
“Due to the brand’s exceptional increases in shopping intensity over the previous three months, Dataium anticipates Chevrolet’s strong performance to continue into October,” officials shared.
And even though the ASI index — a predictive indicator of retail sales — fell 2.65 percent in August after holding strong in early summer, some brands are experiencing surges in consumer interest with new 2014 models hitting the lots.
For example, Mazda and Acura reversed lagging sales number to attract renewed shopping intensity with new models, according to the index.
In fact, the Acura MDX held the No. 1 spot in the ASI new-vehicle ranking for August after not even making it onto the top 10 list in July. This success was pushed by a 17-percent increase in sales for the model in August.
The Mazda3 made it on the list in the No. 10 spot, as well — it was also not ranked in July.
Despite individual brand success as summer wrapped up, Dataium was calling for the retail SAAR in September to come in at 13 million retail units, which represents a 0.02-percent decrease from August.
Dataium is also forecasting the retail SAAR to be 12.9 million retail units in October, a 0.01-percent decrease from September’s predictions.
However, Dataium president Jason Ezell suggested that these numbers are not indicators of slowing auto sales.
“The market is still strong from a major summer surge in automotive shopping activity. We love seeing brands outperforming our ASI projections, and Chevrolet, Mazda and Acura have done exactly that with the right timing and marketing,” he said
“We’re already seeing how promotions and media attention will impact auto shopping behaviors, and as we transition into fall, marketing will only become more important to winning shoppers over.”
Interestingly, guidance for used-car sales from other industry observers is very similar to what Dataium observed on the new-car side.
Showing some signs of seasonality, sales projections are coming in a bit lower than seen in August.
Edmunds.com was estimating that September would finish up with 3.01 million used sales — a number that constitutes a SAAR of 36.2 million, compared to 3.04 million pre-owned sales in August (SAAR of 36.8 million).
Over at TrueCar, analysts were predicting used-car sales to come in just slightly higher at 3.2 million. TrueCar was calling for a ratio of new-to-used sales of 1-to-3 for the month.
Edmunds was forecasting a SAAR for new sales of 12.7 million in September. According to Edmunds, fleet transactions were believed to have accounted for 17 percent of the expected new-car sales.