New-vehicle retail sales in March are expected to fall from a year ago, according to J.D. Power.


Sales are expected to decline to 1,195,000 units, a 3.4 percent decrease compared with March 2018. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for retail sales is expected to be 13 million units, down 400,000 from a year ago.


New-vehicle retail sales in the first quarter are projected to reach 2,944,200 units, a 4.9 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2018.


Total sales in March are projected to reach 1,562,800 units, a 2.1 percent decrease compared with March 2018.  The SAAR for total sales is expected to be 16.9 million units, down 400,000 from a year ago.


New vehicle total sales in the first quarter are projected to reach 3,952,100 units, a 2.5 percent decrease compared to the first quarter of last year.


The combination of lower volumes and higher prices means that consumer expenditures on new vehicles will be down only 3 percent.


The rise in transaction prices reflects a combination of factors and is being accelerated by the severe contraction of industry sales at lower price points. For example, retail sales of vehicles under $25,000 are expected to be down 12 percent in the first quarter compared with 5 percent overall. Incentive discipline also helps drive prices higher.


Incentive spending-to-date in the first quarter is $3,821 per unit, down $119 from the same time last year. Spending on cars is down $333 to $3,627, while spending on trucks/SUVs is down $27 to $3,903.

The estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $37,149 in January, according to Kelley Blue Book.


New-vehicle prices increased $1,481 from January 2018, while decreasing $643 from December. 


Subaru had another strong month, as average transaction prices rose more than 5 percent.


 On the other hand, Hyundai-Kia prices fell nearly 1 percent for the month.