Cox Predicts 16.5 Million Pace

By Staff Writer April 30, 2021 283

April U.S. auto sales, when announced next week, are expected to reveal a very hot new-vehicle market, according to Cox Automotive.

The April sales pace is expected to finish near 16.5 million, which is down from last month's robust 17.7 million level but still a healthy pace for the industry. Sales in March were especially strong due in part to some February sales being delayed as a result of bad weather and the resulting power outages. The extra boost that benefitted March is not likely to be seen in April though.

Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist, Cox Automotive.

"The robust sales pace is the story for the industry right now, as strong retail demand continues, even though a downtick from March is expected," said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist, Cox Automotive. "There is little reason to expect buyer interest to wane anytime soon given recent economic growth rate expectations and improvements to consumer sentiment. But inventory is a huge problem in the vehicle market – a lingering result of the COVID-19 shock last year." The computer chip shortage also remains a problem.

Sales volume is expected to finish near 1.36 million, up nearly 640,000 units, a near 90% increase from last April's historic low result. Given the shock to the market last spring, a better comparison to measure the strength of the market is calendar year 2019, the last year the industry saw a robust 17.0 million market. Versus April 2019, vehicle sales are expected to increase more than 30,000 units, or 2.3%, which suggests automobile sales are normalizing. There is the same number of selling days this month as last month (26) and last April; however, there is one more than in April 2019.

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Last modified on Friday, 30 April 2021 13:48