DETROIT -- Edmunds.com on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. auto industry to sell 1.07 million new light vehicles this month, up 1.6 percent from January 2005.
The automotive Web site projects that General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group each will show a decrease in unit sales this month compared with the year-ago month. Ford sales will decline by 8 percent, Edmunds predicts, while GM sales will fall by 5 percent and Chrysler group sales by 3 percent.
At the same time, Honda and Toyota sales are likely to show sharp sales increases this month, Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com, told Automotive News.
Hondas U.S. sales in January will be up 18 percent to 96,000 vehicles, and Toyotas sales will be up 16 percent to 164,000 vehicles, Edmunds.com estimates.
The increase of Honda and Toyota sales essentially made up for the decrease in the domestic sales and resulted in a virtually flat month, Toprak said of Edmunds January projections.
Edmunds, of Santa Monica, Calif., also predicts a January rebound in sales of compact cars and SUVs. That improvement primarily benefits import brands, Toprak said, because they have more product offerings in these categories.
Toprak said he expects GM, Ford and the Chrysler group to lose U.S. market share in January compared with the year-ago month. He projects GMs share will drop to 24.3 percent from 26.0 percent, Fords share to slide to 16.8 percent from 18.5 percent, and Chrysler's share to drop to 13.3 percent from 14 percent.
Edmunds.com predicts Toyotas U.S. market share this month will increase to 15.3 percent from 13.3 percent, and Hondas share will go up to 9.0 percent from 7.7 percent. Nissans monthly share will remain flat at 7.2 percent, Toprak says.
The firms January new-vehicle sales projections for the Big Six automakers:
These numbers would result in a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 16.4 million U.S. new-vehicle sales, Toprak said.
Edmunds.com bases its monthly sales projections on such factors as past sales trends, nationwide monthly sales to date, and feedback from dealership personnel.
February is almost always better than January, for new-vehicle sales, Toprak said. January tends to be the worst month of the year in terms of sales.
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