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Monday, 26 April 2021 22:37

10 Takeaways from 1Q U.S. Auto Sales

Written by Vehicle Remarketing Staff
The rapid growth of electrified vehicle sales was the big theme in Q1, with sales of battery-powered vehicles---combined EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids---jumping by more than 60% year over year and now accounting for nearly 8% of the total market. The rapid growth of electrified vehicle sales was the big theme in Q1, with sales of battery-powered vehicles---combined EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids---jumping by more than 60% year over year and now accounting for nearly 8% of the total market. MOTEV

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The Kelley Blue Book data team counted 3,908,738 automobiles sold in the first quarter of 2021, a healthy increase from the same period a year ago and helped by building momentum in March.

The total sales for the quarter might have been higher, our analysts note, if not for tight inventories and freak winter storms that pummeled much of the market in February.

 

Sales to fleet buyers were off notably last quarter---down 28% percent from Q1 2020---but robust retail sales more than covered fleet’s shortfall and provided reason to believe new-vehicle sales have recovered from the pandemic meltdown one year ago. 

 

Kelley Blue Book’s final tally is provided in the traditional quarterly sales report below, and the team created a new quarterly report focused on sales of electrified vehicles in the U.S.

 

Additionally, here are 10 takeaways from the first quarter of 2021. 

 

1. The rapid growth of electrified vehicle sales was the big theme in Q1, with sales of battery-powered vehicles---combined EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids---jumping by more than 60% year over year and now accounting for nearly 8% of the total market. In Q1, there were nearly 300 different models available to consumers in the U.S.: More than 25% of those were either an EV or available as a hybrid.

 

2. The No. 1 segment in Q1 was the midsize crossover segment, a big, brutally competitive segment with nearly 30 players and hardly a dominant one, according to Kelley Blue Book’s view of the market. Ford Explorer is king, although as the Bard of Avon notes, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Explorer’s leadership position, with less than 10% share in the segment, is hardly guaranteed.

 

3. As more automakers abandon the popular but shrinking compact and midsize car segments, Toyota has held pat. And it may be paying off. Corolla is the best-selling compact car, with more than 25% segment share, and the midsize Camry dominates its category, enjoying a 31.5% segment share. 

 

4. In 2020, the Chevrolet Silverado outsold the full-size Ram Pickup and reclaimed its No. 2 status in the great pickup wars. Tight inventory for the Silverado and...


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