LMC projects sales will slide 5.2 percent in August, with a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 16.8 million. That would be down from a SAAR of 17.86 million in July, the highest this year, and 17.81 million in August 2015.
Barclays Capital said it expects a 3.6 percent decline in volume and a SAAR of 17.1 million. Edmunds.com projects a 2.5 percent sales decline and a SAAR of 17.2 million, while Kelley Blue Book sees volume down 2.1 percent and the SAAR at 17.3 million.
Automakers report August sales results on Thursday, Sept. 1. August has the same number of selling days as in 2015, but this year it has one fewer weekend, exacerbating the decline analysts are expecting.
Barclays analyst Brian Johnson reduced his full-year forecast to 17.3 million from his previous projection of 17.6 million. He described the market as being in an “eroding plateau,” with automakers relying slightly more on fleet deliveries and incentives as volumes begin to ebb.
Edmunds and KBB are more optimistic about the potential for 2016 to beat last year’s sales total of 17.47 million cars and light trucks. KBB said it expects sales to end up between 17.4 million and 17.8 million.