George Pipas, Ford Motor Co.'s senior sales analyst, said that the U.S. seasonally adjusted annualized rate of vehicle sales won’t reach the 13 million unit range until summer ends. For the month of May, the SAAR was at 11.8 million units.
Pipas believes that June's rate will be similar. Pipas said that inventory isn’t sufficient for July to get the industry sales rate back to 13 million units and that the earliest that the rate could get close to 13 million would be in August.
Pipas said that Ford’s sales are predicted to be higher than last year’s record. He said that the total market share of the carmaker in the U.S. will be around 17%. He also said that it’s expected to have a retail market share of about 15%.
Pipas said that Lincoln's retail sales are expected to increase in June compared to the previous year on the strength of sales of the MKZ sedan and MKX crossover. However, Lincoln's retail market share will likely still be the same compared to the prior year.
Since the March 11 Japan disaster, there have been inventory shortages at several automakers in Japan. But their inventories are expected to grow later in the summer and so U.S. industry sales are likely to get a boost.
Pipas said that another factor that is aiding industry sales is the slowly expanding U.S. economy, a growing average age of vehicles on the road and new drivers entering the market. Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said last month that June's auto sales will probably be the same as May's and could be even better.