U.S. light-vehicle sales continued to fall in April, with a SAAR of 16.43 million—a decline of 4.5% compared to this time last year. Despite a strong March performance, sales through the first four months of the year were also down by 2.1%.
The crossover segment continues to inch closer to 40% market share and will likely reach that number by year-end as many new crossover models roll into showrooms. With the exception of vans, all light-truck segments gained market share. The total year-to-date market share for light-trucks is just 0.1 percentage point shy of 70% market share.
And with many manufacturers trimming their incentive spending in April, J.D. Power reports that average incentive spending per unit declined by $300 per unit compared to April of last year.
We expect sales to continue to decline for the year due to increasing transaction prices on new vehicles, post-recession high interest rates and competition from a peaking supply of nearly new off-lease vehicles returning to dealership lots. For 2019, NADA expects sales of 16.8 million new light vehicles.