pre-owned vehicles

Used-vehicle sales for 2020 were expected to finish 6% softer than the final 2019 tally, but it appears the year at least closed on a positive note for pre-owned.

In a forecast released Dec. 28, TrueCar was projecting 3.1 million used-vehicle sales for December, which would beat November sales by 7% and prior-year figures by 6%.

That would put the final year-end total at a projected 38.4 million used sales for 2020, a 6% drop from 2019, according to TrueCar.

Separately, Cox Automotive analyst Kayla Reynolds said in an earlier December interview that 2020 was expected to close with 36.3 million used-car sales overall, with used retail (sales from dealers) at 19.3 million.

For 2021, it is expected that the used total will climb to 39.3 million.

On the new-car side, TrueCar was forecasting total sales of 14.6 million for full-year 2020, a 15% drop. For retail new-car sales, specifically, it was projecting 12.7 million, an 8% decline.

For December, in particular, TrueCar was projecting 1.61 million total new-car sales---a 6.5% year-over-year decrease, adjusting for selling days---and 1.43 million retail sales, down 2.2%.

“In the final days of 2020, we can finally look in the rearview mirror and appreciate the tremendous recovery that the automotive industry has made since the pandemic derailed auto sales in March. Retail vehicle sales have nearly reached normal levels with sales down only 2.2% from last year, which is a truly impressive outcome,” TrueCar Director of OEM Analytics Nick Woolard said in a news release.

“The momentum from a strong third quarter carried into the fourth quarter and solidified the industry’s comeback,” Woolard said. “Production and inventory have gone back up in the fourth quarter and, as a result, retail sales are up 34% quarter-over-quarter.”

We thank Auto Remarketing for reprint permission.

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