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TrueCar’s ALG introduces the Retail Health Index (RHI) to measure automaker brand health; Forecasts January auto sales to start 2019 strong

SANTA MONICA, Calif., (January 25, 2019) – TrueCar, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TRUE) data and analytics subsidiary, ALG, is introducing the new Retail Health Index (RHI) to measure automaker brand health. RHI strips away the impact of price cuts, to show which OEMs are growing retail share due to increased consumer demand, versus which are “buying” share through higher incentives.

Looking at the industry overall, including fleet deliveries, TrueCar’s ALG projects total new vehicle sales will reach 1,157,796 units in January, up 0.3% percent from a year ago. This month’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total light vehicle sales is an estimated 17.0 million units for the month. Excluding fleet sales, U.S. retail deliveries of new cars and light trucks should increase 0.8% percent to 941,218 units.

“Consumer demand remains robust in January 2019, with positive economic indicators offsetting concerns over the government shutdown and market uncertainty,” said Oliver Strauss, Chief Economist at TrueCar’s ALG. “Retail sales are up while incentive spending is down, supporting ALG’s position that 2019 will be another strong year for the retail auto industry,” continued Strauss.

Incentive spending by automakers averaged an estimated $3,642 per vehicle in January down $33 dollars or 0.9% percent from a year ago, and down 3.1% percent from December 2018.

ALG also evaluates average transaction price (ATP) as an indicator for its Retail Health Index. For January, ALG estimates ATP for new light vehicles was $34,274, up 1.9% from a year ago while incentives as a percentage of ATP was down 2.8%.

“Ram stampedes out of the gates in 2019 with solid retail share growth and declining incentives as a percent of average transaction price. The result is the industry’s largest positive year over-year-change in ALG’s Retail Health Index,” said Eric Lyman, Chief Industry Analyst for TrueCar’s ALG. “We’re curious to see if 2019 will be the year Ram puts Chevy and Ford to the test while also siphoning off sales from historical or aspirational luxury buyers,” added Lyman.

Retail Health Index (Forecast)

RHI measures the changes in retail market share relative to changes in incentive spending and transaction price to gauge whether OEMs are “buying” retail share through increased incentives, or whether share increases are largely demand-driven. An OEM with a positive RHI score is demonstrating a healthy balance of incentive spend relative to market share, either by holding incentive spending flat and increasing share or by increasing incentives with a higher positive increase in retail share.

Top 12 Manufacturers

Jan 2019 Forecast YOY % Change MOM % Change
BMW -0.8% 0.1%
Daimler -4.4% -0.6%
FCA 0.9% -0.2%
Ford 0.4% -0.5%
GM 0.8% -1.1%
Honda -0.6% 0.1%
Hyundai 2.3% -0.1%
Kia 1.1% 0.6%
Nissan -0.2% 0.6%
Subaru 1.6% 0.3%
Toyota 1.4% 0.4%
Volkswagen Group -0.5% 0.2%

Mainstream

Jan 2019 Forecast YOY % Change MOM % Change
Buick 3.4% -0.6%
Chevrolet 0.9% -1.3%
Chrysler -1.0% 0.2%
Dodge -3.4% -0.1%
Fiat 4.7% -0.5%
Ford 0.3% -0.6%
GMC 0.5% -0.5%
Honda -0.9% 0.2%
Hyundai 2.3% -0.1%
Jeep -0.3% 0.3%
Kia 1.1% 0.6%
Mazda 0.9% 0.4%
MINI -2.7% -0.7%
Mitsubishi 3.1% 0.0%
Nissan -0.1% 0.7%
Ram 5.0% -1.1%
Smart -30.8% -6.8%
Subaru 1.6% 0.3%
Toyota 1.4% 0.5%
Volkswagen 1.0% 0.6%

Luxury

Jan 2019 Forecast YOY % Change MOM % Change
Acura 2.3% -0.5%
Alfa Romeo -4.9% -0.4%
Audi -3.5% -0.5%
BMW -0.5% 0.2%
Cadillac -2.5% -0.5%
Genesis -3.9% -0.8%
Infiniti -1.5% -0.3%
Jaguar -0.3% 1.3%
Land Rover 1.0% 0.1%
Lexus 1.2% 0.1%
Lincoln 2.1% 0.4%
Maserati -4.2% -1.1%
Mercedes-Benz -4.3% -0.6%
Porsche 0.6% 0.2%
Volvo 3.3% -0.2%

Total Unit Sales

Manufacturer Jan 2019 Forecast Jan 2018 Actual Dec 2018 Actual YoY % Change MoM % Change
BMW 20,960 22,063 37,249 -5.0% -43.7%
Daimler 24,509 27,603 36,254 -11.2% -32.4%
FCA 131,445 133,700 197,691 -1.7% -33.5%
Ford 179,010 160,411 219,632 11.6% -18.5%
GM 192,411 198,386 296,632 -3.0% -35.1%
Honda 107,031 104,542 155,115 2.4% -31.0%
Hyundai 42,886 39,629 65,107 8.2% -34.1%
Kia 37,557 35,628 47,428 5.4% -20.8%
Nissan 105,088 123,538 148,720 -14.9% -29.3%
Subaru 47,297 44,357 64,541 6.6% -26.7%
Toyota 162,897 167,056 220,910 -2.5% -26.3%
Volkswagen Group 40,942 44,341 59,443 -7.7% -31.1%
Industry 1,157,796 1,154,885 1,627,481 0.3% -28.9%

Retail Unit Sales

Manufacturer Jan 2019 Forecast Jan 2018 Actual Dec 2018 Actual YoY % Change MoM % Change
BMW 20,538 21,419 36,354 -4.1% -43.5%
Daimler 22,271 26,108 33,930 -14.7% -34.4%
FCA 105,470 112,685 173,135 -6.4% -39.1%
Ford 114,010 106,650 161,328 6.9% -29.3%
GM 149,411 161,070 236,918 -7.2% -36.9%
Honda 104,031 104,060 154,138 0.0% -32.5%
Hyundai 32,976 23,119 55,545 42.6% -40.6%
Kia 33,467 29,744 41,013 12.5% -18.4%
Nissan 76,088 77,190 103,871 -1.4% -26.7%
Subaru 44,828 41,926 61,566 6.9% -27.2%
Toyota 143,111 147,015 200,856 -2.7% -28.7%
Volkswagen Group 37,605 41,721 57,149 -9.9% -34.2%
Industry 941,218 934,167 1,388,598 0.8% -32.2%

Fleet Unit Sales

Manufacturer Jan 2019 Forecast Jan 2018 Actual Dec 2018 Actual YoY % Change MoM % Change
BMW 422 644 895 -34.5% -52.8%
Daimler 2,239 1,495 2,324 49.8% -3.6%
FCA 26,000 21,015 24,556 23.7% 5.9%
Ford 65,000 53,761 58,304 20.9% 11.5%
GM 43,000 37,316 59,714 15.2% -28.0%
Honda 3,000 482 977 522.4% 207.0%
Hyundai 9,910 18,123 10,176 -45.3% -2.6%
Kia 4,090 5,884 6,415 -30.5% -36.2%
Nissan 29,000 46,348 44,849 -37.4% -35.3%
Subaru 2,469 2,431 2,975 1.6% -17.0%
Toyota 19,786 20,041 20,054 -1.3% -1.3%
Volkswagen Group 3,337 2,620 2,294 27.4% 45.5%
Industry 216,603 220,718 238,883 -1.9% -9.3%

Fleet Penetration

Manufacturer Jan 2019 Forecast Jan 2018 Actual Dec 2018 Actual YoY % Change MoM % Change
BMW 2.0% 2.9% 2.4% -31.0% -16.2%
Daimler 9.1% 5.4% 6.4% 68.7% 42.5%
FCA 19.8% 15.7% 12.4% 25.8% 59.2%
Ford 36.3% 33.5% 26.5% 8.3% 36.8%
GM 22.3% 18.8% 20.1% 18.8% 11.0%
Honda 2.8% 0.5% 0.6% 507.9% 344.9%
Hyundai 23.1% 45.7% 15.6% -49.5% 47.8%
Kia 10.9% 16.5% 13.5% -34.1% -19.5%
Nissan 27.6% 37.5% 30.2% -26.4% -8.5%
Subaru 5.2% 5.5% 4.6% -4.8% 13.2%
Toyota 12.1% 12.0% 9.1% 1.3% 33.8%
Volkswagen Group 8.2% 5.9% 3.9% 38.0% 111.3%
Industry 18.7% 19.1% 14.7% -2.1% 27.5%

Total Market Share

Manufacturer Jan 2019 Forecast Jan 2018 Actual Dec 2018 Actual
BMW 1.8% 1.9% 2.3%
Daimler 2.1% 2.4% 2.2%
FCA 11.4% 11.6% 12.1%
Ford 15.5% 13.9% 13.5%
GM 16.6% 17.2% 18.2%
Honda 9.2% 9.1% 9.5%
Hyundai 3.7% 3.4% 4.0%
Kia 3.2% 3.1% 2.9%
Nissan 9.1% 10.7% 9.1%
Subaru 4.1% 3.8% 4.0%
Toyota 14.1% 14.5% 13.6%
Volkswagen Group 3.5% 3.8% 3.7%

Retail Market Share

Manufacturer Jan 2019 Forecast Jan 2018 Actual Dec 2018 Actual
BMW 2.2% 2.3% 2.6%
Daimler 2.4% 2.8% 2.4%
FCA 11.2% 12.1% 12.5%
Ford 12.1% 11.4% 11.6%
GM 15.9% 17.2% 17.1%
Honda 11.1% 11.1% 11.1%
Hyundai 3.5% 2.5% 4.0%
Kia 3.6% 3.2% 3.0%
Nissan 8.1% 8.3% 7.5%
Subaru 4.8% 4.5% 4.4%
Toyota 15.2% 15.7% 14.5%
Volkswagen Group 4.0% 4.5% 4.1%

Incentive Spending

Manufacturer Incentive per Unit January 2019 Forecast Incentive per Unit % Change vs. January 2018 Incentive per Unit % Change vs. December 2018
BMW $5,297 -0.4% -0.7%
Daimler $5,987 14.5% -4.4%
FCA $4,573 6.7% -2.3%
Ford $4,515 6.8% 0.4%
GM $5,056 -2.6% -0.0%
Honda $2,132 21.0% -2.4%
Hyundai $2,839 1.4% 1.3%
Kia $3,388 -12.0% 0.0%
Nissan $4,188 0.7% -4.7%
Subaru $1,072 -20.6% 0.7%
Toyota $2,349 -10.5% -6.2%
Volkswagen Group $3,784 2.6% -8.2%
Industry $3,642 -0.9% -3.1%

Average Transaction Price (ATP)

Manufacturer January 2019 Forecast January 2018 December 2018 YOY % change MOM % change
BMW $55,367 $52,304 $53,896 5.9% 2.7%
Daimler $62,343 $61,978 $60,360 0.6% 3.3%
FCA $36,299 $34,528 $36,190 5.1% 0.3%
Ford $38,901 $37,980 $39,729 2.4% -2.1%
GM $36,692 $36,527 $37,620 0.4% -2.5%
Honda $28,281 $28,144 $28,781 0.5% -1.7%
Hyundai $23,022 $22,709 $22,887 1.4% 0.6%
Kia $22,766 $23,094 $22,870 -1.4% -0.5%
Nissan $27,403 $27,422 $28,656 -0.1% -4.4%
Subaru $29,076 $27,848 $29,275 4.4% -0.7%
Toyota $32,192 $31,895 $32,733 0.9% -1.7%
Volkswagen Group $36,858 $35,922 $37,404 2.6% -1.5%
Industry $34,274 $33,624 $34,790 1.9% -1.5%

(Note: This forecast is based solely on TrueCar’s analysis of industry sales trends and conditions and is not a projection of the company’s operations.)