Forecasters see May auto sales up by 9.4% at 15.2m annual units

23 May 2013 23:14  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Several auto forecasting firms and a Wall Street analyst said Thursday that they expect May US auto sales to climb back above the 15m-unit annual rate.

Both LMC Automotive and TrueCar predicted that May auto sales will be about 15.2m annual units, up from 14.9m units last month and 9.4% higher than the 13.9m unit figure reported May 2012.

Kelly Blue Book expects May auto sales to be at a rate of about 15m units, while Wells Fargo analyst Richard Kwas has the market pegged at 15.1-15.2m units.

The forecast is important because automakers and the petrochemical firms that supply the raw materials for auto parts were worried when the April sales figures came in at 14.9m annual units. That marked the first time auto sales had dipped below the 15m-unit annual pace in five months.

In addition to the upbeat forecasts, market participants were buoyed earlier in the week when Chrysler, Ford and GM all announced that they were either adding shifts of shortening vacations to meet increasing demand.

The automakers are expected to report monthly sales on 1 June.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each automobile contains an average of $3,297 (€2,572) worth of chemicals, such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), nylon, polycarbonate (PC) and others.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Mark Yost
+1 713 525 2653

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