July 26, 2018—Edmunds forecasted that 1,378,108 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in July for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $16.7 million. This reflects a 10.7 percent decrease in sales from June 2018 and a 2.3 percent decrease from July 2017.
Edmunds experts note that unseasonably strong June may have played a role in pulling ahead sales.
"July sales are looking reasonably strong, but we're starting to see the first signs of speed bumps on the road ahead," said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. "With market factors such as rising interest rates keeping shoppers at bay, we expect to see a continued slowdown of the vigorous sales pace that the industry experienced in the first half of the year."
Edmunds experts note sales experienced a lift in the first half of the month thanks to Fourth of July sales, but then dropped in the second half of the month.
"Sales likely slowed down due to a dry-up of deals as automakers wrapped up Fourth of July sales," said Acevedo. "As consumer wallets get increasingly squeezed by rising prices through the second half of the year, holiday sales events may play an increasingly significant role in getting shoppers to the dealership."
Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.3 million vehicles in July 2018, with fleet transactions accounting for 14.4 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.4 million used vehicles will be sold in July 2018, for a SAAR of 39.5 million (compared to 3.2 million―or a SAAR of 39.2 million ―in June).