New-Car Sales to Decline for First Year in Eight, Estimates Kelley Blue Book

The vehicle-valuation source expects a dip after record sales year in 2016.

byKate Gibson| PUBLISHED Nov 27, 2017 4:40 PM
New-Car Sales to Decline for First Year in Eight, Estimates Kelley Blue Book

New-vehicle sales are expected to drop in November from the year-ago month, with 2017 sales expected to show a decline of as much as 3 percent from last year's record tally.

Sales are expected to fall 1 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.36 million units in November, resulting in an estimated 17.1 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The estimated decrease would follow a record year of sales in 2016 and seven consecutive annual increases, according to the vehicle-valuation provider's recent forecast.

"Following two months of more than 18 million SAAR, we project November sales to return to the low 17 million range," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "The strong numbers from the last two months were influenced by replacement demand in the hurricane-impacted regions of Texas and Florida, which appears to be largely satisfied at this point. " 

Still, the projected sales would mark the second-highest November on record, "so more than a few sales records could be broken this month," the analyst noted.

Kelley Blue Book said it anticipates mixed sales results by manufacturer, with American Honda on track to have one of its strongest months and grow volume by 3 percent in November. "Despite the overall consumer shift toward SUVs, Honda's cars are still faring well and are now bolstered by the well-received new Accord," Kelley Blue Book added.

Conversely, Hyundai-Kia stands to lose almost a full point of market share in November. "While Hyundai-Kia's fleet sales are projected to be down 20 percent and explain part of the drops, retail sales of the mid-size Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata sedans appear particularly hard hit this month, perhaps affected by the recent launches of the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord," the forecast said.