The Totota dealership appeared on May 27, 2021, in Annapolis, Maryland, as many car shops in the country were reduced to new cars as the lack of a computer chip nearly halted production at many automakers.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
DETROIT – Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. remain healthy, but continue to decline car production and dealer inventory levels amid fears of inflation and global semiconductor chip shortages.
Analysts estimate that cars sold nearly 4.5 million cars in the U.S. in the second quarter – an increase from 52% to 53% compared to the number of Americans appearing in their shelters and temporarily closed car showrooms due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most major automakers will report June and second-quarter sales data on Thursday, with Ford expected to announce its results on Friday.
While the recovery from sales from the bottom of the coronavirus pandemic has been very impressive, sales have been declining this year. Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner estimates that the sales rate in June was 15.7 million units, down from 17.1 million units in May and 18.6 million units in April.
The sales rate of any given month, if sold at the same amount per month, measures how many cars the industry will sell during the year. This is a key barometer of industry health and consumer demand.
“The decline in sales probably reflects a decline in consumer demand, not in dealer batches, as cars struggle to replenish dealer stocks with the best models, particularly SUVs and pickups,” Rosner wrote in an investor statement. sales data for Thursday and June and the second quarter from Thursday.
Sales for each major automaker are expected to double in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to automotive research companies Cox Automotive and Edmunds. But they are slightly higher than the second quarter of 2019.
What doesn’t show signs of a slowdown is the cost of selling new vehicles due to tight supply and higher demand than consumers expected during the coronavirus pandemic, which stems from a global chip shortage.
According to JD Power and LMC Automotive, the average transaction price for a new vehicle is expected to reach a record $ 40,206 in June. According to the companies, the previous high for any month – $ 38,539 – was set in May 2021.
The high prices have brought huge benefits to cars and retailers, but have raised more concerns about inflation. Consumer spending on new cars is expected to hit a record $ 149.7 billion in the second quarter, up 60.7 percent from 2020 and 27.9 percent from 2019.
“While the inventory deficit limits the volume of vehicles sold to consumers, the main strength of consumer demand is clear. Consumers are buying more expensive vehicles despite small discounts, which dramatically increases the profitability of these sales for manufacturers and retailers,” Thomas said. . King is President of Data and Analysis at JD Power.
– Acesparks correspondent Michael Blum contributed to this report.