Cox: April Sales Dive

By Staff Writer April 29, 2020

Historic lows are expected in April as the full effects of COVID-19 are felt across the U.S. auto market for the entire month, according to a forecast released by Cox Automotive.

New light-vehicle sales volume is expected to finish near 620,000 units, down 53 percent compared to last April and down 37 percent compared to last month. After incorporating seasonal adjustments, the annual vehicle sales pace in April is expected to finish near 7.5 million, down significantly from last month’s 11.4 million and far below last April’s 16.5 million level, the company reported.

However, Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough said there is a silver lining.

“April is likely to be the sales bottom for the vehicle market during this crisis,” he said. “Recent sales data suggests demand is starting to recover modestly after the initial shock in March and early April. Year-over-year daily declines, while still high, are consistently showing improvement over recent weeks. Some people want to buy a vehicle or need to buy a vehicle, even in a pandemic.”

Dealership closures, which began in mid-March in many parts of the country, are now being lifted, and sales are slowly improving, Cox reported. Sales should continue to show modest improvement in May as the country gradually reopens.

It is expected that fleet activity will decline significantly in April as well.

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 April 2020 13:53

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