January auto sales preview: Modest sales gains as profitability takes center stage

|By:, SA News Editor

Kelley Blue Book forecasts new auto sales will rise 1.6% Y/Y to 1.06M units in January.

Nissan (NSANY) is expected to have the strongest pace of sales growth at 7.5%, while Ford (F) and Toyota (TM) are forecast to see a drop from last year's sales level with their biggest model introductions for 2014 set to come down the road. Honda (HMC) and Hyundai (HYMLF) are also

Between them, General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) should account for a third of all sales in the U.S. in January.

What to watch: As profitability takes center stage in the industry, the levels of incentives used by automakers will be closely watched. KBB thinks GM will reduce incentives on the all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.