SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TrueCar, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TRUE) data and analytics subsidiary, ALG, projects total new vehicle sales will reach 1,570,365 units in March, down­ 1.5% from a year ago when adjusted for the same number of active selling days in 2018. This month’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total light vehicle sales is an estimated 17 million units for the month. Excluding fleet sales, ALG expects U.S. retail deliveries of new cars and light trucks to be 1,259,018 units, a decrease of 4.3% from a year ago, but an increase of 30% from last month, largely due to seasonality.

“The declines we’re seeing at the start of 2019 are not unexpected,” said Oliver Strauss, Chief Economist at TrueCar’s ALG. “Tariffs and the rising interest rate environment have made consumers a bit cautious; however, both the economy and the auto industry remain strong despite uncertainty about the future.”

While automakers have historically raised incentives in times of economic uncertainty, ALG expects OEMs to continue decreasing their incentive spend. Average incentive spending by automakers should reach an estimated $3,604 per vehicle in March down $191 or 5% from a year ago, and up 0.1% or $5 from February 2019. For March, ALG estimates ATP for new light vehicles was $34,213, up 2.8% from a year ago while incentives as a percentage of ATP was at 10.5% down 0.9 percentage points year-over-year.

“Incentives are not as rich as they were last year,” said Eric Lyman, Chief Industry Analyst for TrueCar’s ALG. “That’s a sign of balance in the automotive space as automakers are better aligning production and incentive spend with consumer demand. GM’s Cadillac and Chevrolet brands are showing the largest improvements in ALG’s Retail Health Index leading the luxury and mainstream sectors respectively in March.”

ALGs Retail Health Index (RHI) assesses whether OEMs are gaining market share through consumer demand or through incentives.

Due to Tesla’s increased volume, ALG is ­now publishing a sales forecast for the brand alongside its other automaker forecasts.

“The eyes of the automotive industry are fixed on Tesla now that the brand is competing at a transaction price that is more in line with mass market vehicles following the launch of the Model 3,” said Lyman.

Retail Health Index (Forecast)

RHI measures the changes in retail market share relative to changes in incentive spending and transaction price to gauge whether OEMs are "buying" retail share through increased incentives, or whether share increases are largely demand-driven.  An OEM with a positive RHI score is demonstrating a healthy balance of incentive spend relative to market share, either by holding incentive spending flat and increasing share or by increasing incentives with a higher positive increase in retail share.

Graphics accompanying this announcement are available at

Forecasts for the 13 largest manufacturers by volume: 

Total Unit Sales (adjusted for same number of selling days as 2018)

 2019 Forecast
YoY %
BMW 32,382 35,958-6.6%
Daimler 28,096 31,484-7.5%
FCA 205,961 216,948-1.5%
Ford 224,389 243,021-4.2%
GM 274,801 296,138-3.8%
Honda 142,901 142,3924.1%
Hyundai 59,945 60,1543.3%
Kia 51,291 50,6455.0%
Nissan 141,365 162,535-9.8%
Subaru 57,765 58,0973.1%
Tesla 19,598 4,050401.8%
Toyota 214,076 222,782-0.3%
Volkswagen Group53,02157,748-4.8%
Industry 1,570,365  1,653,529 -1.5%

Incentive Spending

Manufacturer Incentive per Unit
March 2019 Forecast
Incentive per Unit
March 2018
Incentive Change
Volkswagen Group$3,460$3,618-4.4%
Industry$3,604 $3,795 -5.0%

Average Transaction Price (ATP)

ManufacturerMarch 2019
March 2018Feb 2019YOY %
Volkswagen Group$37,081$36,289$37,3112.2%-0.6%

For additional data visit the ALG Newsroom.

(Note: This forecast is based solely on TrueCar’s analysis of industry sales trends and conditions and is not a projection of the company’s operations.)

About TrueCar
TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) is a digital automotive marketplace that provides comprehensive pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars and enables consumers to engage with TrueCar Certified Dealers who are committed to providing a superior purchase experience. TrueCar operates its own branded site and its nationwide network of more than 16,000 Certified Dealers also powers car-buying programs for some of the largest U.S. membership and service organizations, including USAA, AARP, American Express, AAA and Sam's Club. Over half of all new car buyers engage with the TrueCar network during their purchasing process. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. TrueCar media line: +1-844-469-8442 (US toll-free) | Email:

About ALG
Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Santa Monica, California, ALG is an industry authority on automotive residual value projections in both the United States and Canada. By analyzing nearly 2,500 vehicle trims each year to assess residual value, ALG provides auto industry and financial services clients with market industry insights, residual value forecasts, consulting and vehicle portfolio management and risk services. ALG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TrueCar, Inc., a digital automotive marketplace that provides comprehensive pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars. ALG has been publishing residual values for all cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. for over 50 years and in Canada since 1981.

Dominique Koudsi