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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — While May's market hasn't exactly been glimmering, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend should provide a nice lift to new-vehicle sales and help push the month's seasonally adjusted annualized rate above the April level, according to Edmunds.com.

Analysts with the site indicated that such higher-than-average sales on Memorial Day weekend have become standard fare for the auto industry as of late.

More specifically, new-vehicle sales for May will likely hit just over 1.08 million units, which would be 17.9 percent stronger than the same period of 2009, Edmunds.com noted.

Moreover, this total would be an upswing of 10.8 percent as compared to April and result in a SAAR of 11.4 million units, versus April's pace of 11.2 million.

"This month hasn't been particularly good for the car business so far, but we anticipate that the holiday weekend will more than make up for it," explained Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com.

"In the last three years, Memorial Day weekend car sales averaged about 40 percent higher than the for non-holiday May weekends, and sales on the last day of May were about 130 percent more than the average sales day," she added.

Continuing on, Edmunds.com expects the Big 3 to command 46.5 percent market share. In April, the Detroit OEMs made up 45.3 percent of the market, and in May 2009, their market share was 46.3 percent.

Breaking it down by manufacturer, General Motors is projected to lead the pack with sales of 212,800 vehicles in May, which would be an 11.7-percent hike from May 2009 and a 15.8-percent upswing versus last month. Its market share would be 19.7 percent, compared with 18.9 percent in April and 20.8 percent a year ago.

With regard to General Motors, Edmunds.com noted that the site's projections — starting with these predictions for May 2010 — will consist of just the four brands under the "New GM" going forward. However, the site said it will still be doing year-over-year and month-over-month comparisons to the eight brands of the "Old GM."

Moving on, Ford is projected to sell 189,000 units, a gain of 22.4 percent year-over-year and a 16.7-percent rise from last month. Market share for the automaker will likely be 17.5 percent, a gain of 0.6 percentage points from May 2009 and 0.9 percentage points versus the previous month.

Sales for Chrysler are expected to hit 100,500 vehicles, an increase of 27.7 percent as compared to the year-ago period and a 5.2-percent hike from the prior month. Edmunds.com expects Chrysler's market share will reach 9.3 percent, a 0.5-percentage-point dip from April and a 0.7-percentage-point upswing from May 2009.

Moving over to Asian manufacturers, Toyota's sales are expected to reach 163,900 units in May, putting it No. 3 in the U.S. market behind GM and Ford, respectively. This sales total would be a 7.5-percent year-over-year climb and a 4.6-percent improvement from April.

The resulting market share for Toyota is projected at 15.2 percent, compared with 16.6 percent and 16.1 percent in the year-ago and month-ago periods, respectively.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will see May sales of 117,600 vehicles, which would be a 22.2-percent uptick versus May 2009 and a 3.4-percent month-over-month gain. Market share for the automaker would then be 10.9 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from a year ago and a 0.8-percentage-point decrease versus April.

Next up, Hyundai's May sales are likely to hit 80,300 units, a year-over-year improvement of 27.5 percent and a month-over-month climb of 8.5 percent.

Edmunds.com said the Korean automaker's market share is likely to reach 7.4 percent. This compares to Hyundai claiming 6.9 percent of the market in the year-ago period and a 7.6-percent share last month.

Finally, analysts project that Nissan's sales will total 75,100 units for the month. This would mark an 11.3-percent year-over-year improvement and a 17.9-percent gain versus the previous month.

The automaker will likely command 7 percent market share, a 0.4-percentage-point dip from the year-ago level and a 0.5-percentage-point rise from April.

"It should be a great month for the industry, even though Chrysler and Toyota are continuing to pay for past mistakes and Honda is having trouble finding its way," Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs commented.