Auto Sales Continue To Rise

By Jeffery Bellant March 30, 2021
New-vehicle sales in Q1 2021 are projected to reach 3,744,900 units New-vehicle sales in Q1 2021 are projected to reach 3,744,900 units

New-vehicle retail sales for the month of March are expected to show growth over March 2020 and March 2019, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales for new vehicles are projected to reach 1,288,100 units, a 70.7J percent increase compared with March 2020, and an 9.2 percent increase compared with March 2019, when adjusted for selling days. March 2021 contains one more selling day than March 2020 and one fewer selling day—and one fewer selling weekend—than March 2019. Comparing the same sales volume without adjusting for the number of selling days translates to a year-over-year increase of 77.5 percent from 2020 and an increase of 5.1 percent from 2019. 

New-vehicle retail sales in Q1 2021 are projected to reach 3,160,500 units, a 20.5 percent increase from Q1 2020 and a 4.7 percent increase from Q1 2019.

Strong demand for vehicles among U.S. households continued to rise in March

Total new-vehicle sales for the month of March, including retail and non-retail transactions, are projected to reach 1,468,300 units, a 43.6 percent increase from March 2020 and a 5.0 percent decrease from March 2019 when adjusted for selling days. Reporting the same numbers without controlling for the number of selling days translates to an increase of 49.4 percent from March 2020 and a decrease of 8.6 percent from March 2019. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total new-vehicle sales is expected to be 16.4 million units, up 5.2 million units from 2020 and down 0.9 million units from 2019. 

New-vehicle total sales in Q1 2021 are projected to reach 3,744,900 units, an 8.0 percent increase from Q1 2020 and a 6.1 percent decrease from Q1 2019 due to the decline of less-profitable non-retail/fleet sales. 

“The very strong demand for new vehicles among U.S. households seen in January and February is continuing in March, meaning that multiple performance records will be broken for the first quarter,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division. “On a volume basis, Q1 retail sales of 3.16 million units will be the second highest ever, and records will be established for average transaction price, total consumer spending on new vehicles and retailer profitability. 

“The strong Q1 sales performance is despite lean inventories and ongoing disruption to vehicle production….Manufacturers who are experiencing supply chain challenges are prioritizing production of their most profitable and desirable products, minimizing the net effect. There is no question that sales of specific models in specific geographies are being disrupted by low inventories, but consumers are nevertheless demonstrating their willingness to buy despite having fewer vehicles to choose from in retailer inventory.” 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 30 March 2021 12:16