Monday, 27 September 2021 15:22

Cox Automotive Forecast: New-Vehicle Sales Stall in September


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September U.S. auto sales are forecast to be significantly hampered by an ongoing lack of new-vehicle inventory.

According to a forecast released Sept. 27 by Cox Automotive, the pace of auto sales, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), is expected to finish near 12.1 million, the slowest pace since May 2020, when much of the country was closed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The September sales pace will be down from August's 13.1 million pace and down from the September 2020 pace of 16.3 million.


Sales volume is forecast by Cox Automotive to come in near a notably low 1 million units. The low volume expectations for September put the month on course to be among the worst in the past decade. Sales volume is expected to be down nearly 26% from last September and down 8.5% from last month.

The sales pace in the U.S. market has fallen every month since reaching a peak of 18.3 million in April.


"After a strong spring selling season, the supply situation has worsened precipitously and is dragging sales down with it," said Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough. "The monthly declines have been large---the sales pace has declined by more than a million units in each of the past five months. Available supply on dealer lots is now 58% lower than last September, down nearly 1.4 million units."


The new-vehicle supply shortage is impacting the market in many ways. Manufacturers have cut back significantly on incentives, and transaction prices have risen as a result. In addition, the lack of new-vehicle inventory is steering many dealers and consumers into the used-vehicle market, resulting in higher prices for both wholesale and retail used vehicles.


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