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Tuesday, 28 April 2020 20:55

Auto Sales Out of Intensive Care

Written by Steven Finlay, Wards Auto

Index

U.S. vehicle sales remain weak but are out of intensive care.

That’s according to J.D. Power’s weekly webinar on how the COVID-19 virus is affecting the auto industry. This week's report markedly contrasts with previous ones that were dire.

 

“Things are looking up,” says Tyson Jominy, J.D. Power’s vice president of data and analytics. He points to three straight weeks of improved sales this month.

 

April vehicle sales to date are 294,000, about half of pre-virus forecasts. J.D. Power predicts sales of 12.6 million to 14.5 million for the year, compared with a pre-virus baseline of 16.8 million.

 

Still, all things considered, “indications are that the U.S. auto industry is in recovery, with April sales so far a full 11 percentage points higher than at the end of March,” Jominy says.

 

Retail auto sales had declined steadily and dangerously last month. Sales are stabilizing this month, according to J.D. Power.

 

Much of the improvement centers on all states now allowing vehicle sales in some form or another, which had not been the case previously due to strict stay-at-home orders in certain parts of the country.

 

Showroom sales now are permitted in 24 states. Online sales only are allowed in the other 26, with Michigan and lastly Pennsylvania easing their stay-at-home mandates to allow the remote vehicle sales.

 

“While several markets remain depressed, all major markets are showing signs of a recovery,” Jominy says.   


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