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GM Strike and Lower Automaker Incentive Spend Contribute to Dip in October New Car Auto Sales, TrueCar’s ALG Forecasts

SANTA MONICA, Calif., (October 28, 2019) – TrueCar, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TRUE) data and analytics subsidiary, ALG, projects total new vehicle sales will reach 1,339,420 units in October 2019, down 4.7% from a year ago when adjusted for the same number of selling days. This month’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total light vehicle sales is an estimated 16.6 million units. Excluding fleet sales, ALG expects U.S. retail deliveries of new cars and light trucks to be 1,136,920 units, a decrease of 4.3% from a year ago when adjusted for selling days.

“Even though consumer sentiment has improved month-over-month, lower incentive spend this month compared with September and the GM strike are contributing to lower sales in October,” said Oliver Strauss, Chief Economist for ALG, a subsidiary of TrueCar.

Additional Insights: (Forecasted by ALG)

  • Among mainstream brands, Hyundai and Kia continue to show year-over-year sales growth and are expected to be up 9.8% and 5.4% respectively on total sales with lower incentives.
  • For luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz stands out and is expected to be up 7.3% year-over-year in total sales, and 12.4% in retail sales with incentives flat year-over-year.
    • Mercedes is expected to have a sales edge over BMW of close to 5,000 total unit sales for October as the race for the luxury sales leader ramps up moving toward the end of the year.
  • Tesla’s sales momentum continues to hold up despite difficult compares after last summer’s Model 3 ramp up. The electric automaker is expected to be up 18.4% in total units year-over-year.
  • GM and Nissan are forecast to be down 11.4% and 10.6% respectively in total unit sales compared to a year ago.
    • GM’s sales decline may be due to inventory availability related to the strike and shutdown of their factories.
    • Even with the largest expected dollar decline in incentives month-over-month, Nissan is still about 50% higher on incentives as a percentage of average transaction price than industry. Nissan’s fleet share is expected to reach 28% this month.
  • Average automaker incentive spend is expected to reach $3,767, up 4.7% or $170 dollars year-over-year, but down 5.1% or $204 from September 2019.
    • The most notable YoY declines in incentive spend are expected from Kia, Hyundai, and Nissan. Meanwhile FCA, GM, and Honda are expected to have double-digit incentive increases.
  • Used vehicle sales for October 2019 are expected to reach 3,439,074 up 3.7% from a year ago and up 0.2% from September 2019.

“The UAW strike has created a tricky sales landscape for GM. Incentives are down versus last month but are still elevated as the automaker competes for lucrative Fullsize Pickup share,” said Eric Lyman, Chief Industry Analyst at ALG, a subsidiary of TrueCar. “With the strike just ended, GM isn’t out of the woods yet as dealers must work with aging inventory ahead of ramped up production to refresh their showrooms going into the busy end of year selling season.”

October 2019 forecasts for the 13 largest manufacturers by volume: (Adjusted for same selling days as October 2018.)

Total Unit Sales

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual YOY % Change YOY % Change (Daily Selling Rate) MOM % Change MOM % Change (Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 29,157 26,522 31,100 9.9% 5.9% -6.2% -20.1%
Daimler 34,129 31,814 32,002 7.3% 3.3% 6.6% -9.2%
FCA 172,913 177,391 181,221 -2.5% -6.1% -4.6% -18.7%
Ford 183,394 191,682 173,333 -4.3% -7.9% 5.8% -9.9%
GM 219,764 238,953 209,658 -8.0% -11.4% 4.8% -10.7%
Honda 130,014 122,182 113,925 6.4% 2.5% 14.1% -2.8%
Hyundai 58,220 53,025 53,510 9.8% 5.7% 8.8% -7.3%
Kia 47,550 45,102 44,619 5.4% 1.5% 6.6% -9.2%
Nissan 102,096 109,962 101,244 -7.2% -10.6% 0.8% -14.1%
Subaru 55,702 55,394 51,659 0.6% -3.2% 7.8% -8.1%
Tesla 17,526 14,800 16,000 18.4% 14.0% 9.5% -6.7%
Toyota 190,895 191,102 169,656 -0.1% -3.8% 12.5% -4.2%
Volkswagen Group 51,527 50,251 48,679 2.5% -1.3% 5.9% -9.8%
Industry 1,339,420 1,353,846 1,272,583 -1.1% -4.7% 5.3% -10.3%

Retail Unit Sales

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual YOY % Change YOY % Change (Daily Selling Rate) MOM % Change MOM % Change (Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 26,814 25,623 27,433 4.6% 0.8% -2.3% -16.7%
Daimler 33,056 29,412 30,757 12.4% 8.2% 7.5% -8.4%
FCA 132,939 140,224 126,511 -5.2% -8.7% 5.1% -10.5%
Ford 135,579 141,573 130,057 -4.2% -7.8% 4.2% -11.2%
GM 181,242 184,321 170,279 -1.7% -5.3% 6.4% -9.3%
Honda 127,012 120,085 111,332 5.8% 1.9% 14.1% -2.8%
Hyundai 46,082 41,843 44,125 10.1% 6.1% 4.4% -11.0%
Kia 42,167 38,337 39,668 10.0% 5.9% 6.3% -9.4%
Nissan 73,694 87,270 77,432 -15.6% -18.7% -4.8% -18.9%
Subaru 53,827 54,438 49,807 -1.1% -4.8% 8.1% -7.9%
Tesla 17,526 14,800 16,000 18.4% 14.0% 9.5% -6.7%
Toyota 172,264 173,131 163,442 -0.5% -4.2% 5.4% -10.2%
Volkswagen Group 49,132 48,852 45,001 0.6% -3.2% 9.2% -7.0%
Industry 1,136,920 1,143,761 1,075,829 -0.6% -4.3% 5.7% -10.0%

Fleet Unit Sales

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual YOY % Change YOY % Change (Daily Selling Rate) MOM % Change MOM % Change (Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 2,343 899 3,667 160.8% 151.1% -36.1% -45.6%
Daimler 1,073 2,402 1,245 -55.3% -57.0% -13.8% -26.6%
FCA 39,974 37,167 54,710 7.6% 3.6% -26.9% -37.8%
Ford 47,815 50,109 43,276 -4.6% -8.1% 10.5% -5.9%
GM 38,522 54,632 39,379 -29.5% -32.1% -2.2% -16.7%
Honda 3,002 2,097 2,593 43.2% 37.9% 15.8% -1.4%
Hyundai 12,138 11,182 9,385 8.6% 4.5% 29.3% 10.2%
Kia 5,383 6,765 4,951 -20.4% -23.4% 8.7% -7.4%
Nissan 28,402 22,692 23,812 25.2% 20.5% 19.3% 1.6%
Subaru 1,875 956 1,852 96.2% 88.9% 1.2% -13.8%
Tesla - - - - - - -
Toyota 18,631 17,971 6,214 3.7% -0.2% 199.8% 155.4%
Volkswagen Group 2,395 1,399 3,678 71.2% 64.9% -34.9% -44.5%
Industry 202,500 210,085 196,754 -3.6% -7.2% 2.9% -12.3%

Fleet Penetration

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual YOY % Change MOM % Change
BMW 8.0% 3.4% 11.8% 137.2% -31.9%
Daimler 3.1% 7.6% 3.9% -58.4% -19.2%
FCA 23.1% 21.0% 30.2% 10.3% -23.4%
Ford 26.1% 26.1% 25.0% -0.3% 4.4%
GM 17.5% 22.9% 18.8% -23.3% -6.7%
Honda 2.3% 1.7% 2.3% 34.5% 1.5%
Hyundai 20.8% 21.1% 17.5% -1.1% 18.9%
Kia 11.3% 15.0% 11.1% -24.5% 2.0%
Nissan 27.8% 20.6% 23.5% 34.8% 18.3%
Subaru 3.4% 1.7% 3.6% 95.1% -6.1%
Tesla - - - - -
Toyota 9.8% 9.4% 3.7% 3.8% 166.5%
Volkswagen Group 4.6% 2.8% 7.6% 67.0% -38.5%
Industry 15.1% 15.5% 15.5% -2.6% -2.2%

Total Market Share

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual
BMW 2.2% 2.0% 2.4%
Daimler 2.5% 2.3% 2.5%
FCA 12.9% 13.1% 14.2%
Ford 13.7% 14.2% 13.6%
GM 16.4% 17.6% 16.5%
Honda 9.7% 9.0% 9.0%
Hyundai 4.3% 3.9% 4.2%
Kia 3.6% 3.3% 3.5%
Nissan 7.6% 8.1% 8.0%
Subaru 4.2% 4.1% 4.1%
Tesla 1.3% 1.1% 1.3%
Toyota 14.1% 14.1% 13.3%
Volkswagen Group 3.8% 3.7% 3.8%

Retail Market Share

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual
BMW 2.4% 2.2% 2.5%
Daimler 2.9% 2.6% 2.9%
FCA 11.7% 12.3% 11.8%
Ford 11.9% 12.4% 12.1%
GM 15.9% 16.1% 15.8%
Honda 11.2% 10.5% 10.3%
Hyundai 4.1% 3.7% 4.1%
Kia 3.7% 3.4% 3.7%
Nissan 6.5% 7.6% 7.2%
Subaru 4.7% 4.8% 4.6%
Tesla 1.5% 1.3% 1.5%
Toyota 15.2% 15.1% 15.2%
Volkswagen Group 4.3% 4.3% 4.2%

Incentive Spending

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual YOY MOM
BMW $5,683 $5,549 $5,006 2.4% 13.5%
Daimler $5,808 $5,806 $6,137 0.0% -5.4%
FCA $4,835 $4,356 $4,989 11.0% -3.1%
Ford $4,576 $4,400 $4,632 4.0% -1.2%
GM $4,683 $4,229 $5,140 10.7% -8.9%
Honda $2,167 $1,965 $2,305 10.3% -6.0%
Hyundai $2,565 $2,669 $2,667 -3.9% -3.8%
Kia $3,523 $3,749 $3,424 -6.0% 2.9%
Nissan $4,196 $4,326 $4,750 -3.0% -11.7%
Subaru $1,242 $1,165 $1,405 6.6% -11.6%
Toyota $2,458 $2,495 $2,627 -1.5% -6.4%
Volkswagen Group $3,824 $3,760 $3,760 1.7% 1.7%
Industry $3,767 $3,596 $3,971 4.7% -5.1%

Incentives as % of ATP

Manufacturer Oct 2019 Forecast Oct 2018 Actual Sep 2019 Actual YOY MOM
BMW 10.2% 10.7% 9.3% -4.7% 9.8%
Daimler 9.8% 10.0% 10.7% -1.6% -7.8%
FCA 13.2% 12.4% 13.6% 6.7% -3.2%
Ford 11.5% 11.5% 11.8% 0.3% -2.4%
GM 12.0% 11.3% 13.3% 6.1% -9.5%
Honda 7.7% 6.7% 8.1% 13.7% -5.4%
Hyundai 10.4% 11.9% 10.8% -12.1% -3.5%
Kia 14.4% 16.5% 14.0% -12.7% 2.8%
Nissan 15.5% 15.7% 17.5% -1.3% -11.2%
Subaru 4.1% 3.9% 4.8% 5.2% -13.1%
Toyota 7.5% 7.7% 8.1% -1.8% -6.8%
Volkswagen Group 9.2% 9.3% 8.9% -0.7% 3.3%
Industry 10.7% 10.5% 11.3% 2.1% -5.3%

(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.)

About TrueCar

TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) is a digital automotive marketplace that provides comprehensive pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars and enables consumers to engage with TrueCar Certified Dealers who are committed to providing a superior purchase experience. TrueCar operates its own branded site and its nationwide network of more than 16,000 Certified Dealers also powers car-buying programs for some of the largest U.S. membership and service organizations, including USAA, AARP, American Express, AAA and Sam's Club. Over half of all new car buyers engage with the TrueCar network during their purchasing process. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit www.truecar.com, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. TrueCar media line: +1-844-469-8442 (US toll-free) Email: pressinquiries@truecar.com

About ALG

Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Santa Monica, California, ALG is an industry authority on automotive residual value projections in both the United States and Canada. By analyzing nearly 2,500 vehicle trims each year to assess residual value, ALG provides auto industry and financial services clients with market industry insights, residual value forecasts, consulting and vehicle portfolio management and risk services. ALG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TrueCar, Inc., a digital automotive marketplace that provides comprehensive pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars. ALG has been publishing residual values for all cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. for over 50 years and in Canada since 1981.

TrueCar and ALG PR Contact: Shadee Malekafzali shadee@truecar.com