2010 trends see about a 10% increase in vehicle sales

Dec 10, 2009

Edmunds.com, Santa Monica, Calif., forecasts that in 2010, approximately 11.5 million cars and light trucks will be sold in the United States. The industry is currently on track to sell approximately 10.3 million cars and light trucks this year.

Edmunds’ forecasters readjusted their findings up from earlier analyses that noted 2009 sales would be closer to 8.8 million vehicles. Edmunds.com’s assessments now are more in alignment with R. L. Polk & Co., Southfield, Mich., which reported in October that 2010 light vehicle sales will be 9.6% over 2009, reaching 11.2 million units.

“Most car shoppers will focus on value and fuel economy as the economy continues to recover,” stated Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. “It has already become trendy to make sensible choices, and we expect that this will be a theme for 2010 sales.”

Edmunds.com analysts predict that about 3.2% of 2010 sales will be hybrids, about 2.2% will be diesel and less than 1% will be electric.

In 2009, hybrid market share will be approximately 2.8%, Edmunds.com noted, with a continued increase at the rate of about half a percentage per year for the foreseeable future.

In 2009, diesel market share will be approximately 2.1%. In the past decade, that market’s highest market share, 4.1%, was reached in 2006.

“Given historical alternative fuel trends, the ‘early adopters’ will boost electric car market share upon launch, but it will take some time before significant market share builds for the segment,” said Edmunds.com senior statistician Zhenwei Zhou.