Cox: Slow, Steady Recovery

By Staff Writer May 31, 2020 264

According to a forecast released by Cox Automotive, the annual vehicle sales pace is expected to finish near 11.4 million, up from last month’s historically low 8.6 million pace but still far below May 2019’s robust 17.4 million level, after incorporating seasonal adjustments.

New light-vehicle sales volume in May is expected to finish near 1,050,000 units, down 33 percent compared to last May but up 49 percent from last month.

According to Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive: “Recent trends suggest daily sales are showing significant gains over March and April’s collapse. Data reveals the market hit a bottom around the first of April, and since then has been making a slow but steady recovery. The opening of dealerships, and whole states, over the last few weeks is greatly contributing to the upward sales trend. The key question for the market going forward is whether these modest but steady sales gains will continue into June or does the sales recovery stagnate.”

As the industry drives into the summer selling season, a full sales recovery faces multiple headwinds. Cox reports the crisis is unique because the industry is facing a negative demand shock and a negative supply shock simultaneously. Vehicle factories have been mostly closed since late March and are only beginning to restart. That means new-vehicle inventory is at the lowest volume in more than a year. Low inventory means less choice for consumers, particularly with popular vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs, according to Cox.

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Last modified on Monday, 01 June 2020 14:04

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