Wednesday, 27 October 2021 16:58

October New-Vehicle Sales Expected to Slow for 6th Straight Month


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October U.S. auto sales are forecast to be hit hard by supply limitations from the chip shortage, resulting in a fresh low point for the 2021 market.

According to a forecast released today by Cox Automotive, the sales pace, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), in October is expected to fall to 11.8 million units, down from September's 12.2 million pace and down from the October 2020 pace of 16.4 million.


Sales volume in October is expected to take a significant hit as well and fall to just 950,000 units, down nearly 30% from October 2020 and down nearly 6% from September. There is one less selling day this October compared to last year, but two more days than September. However, with supply levels so low, the number of sales days will have minimal impact on the month's results.


"October new-vehicle sales will be downright scary when announced next week," said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist, Cox Automotive. "We expect to see direct evidence that the chip shortage continues to impact all the automakers, even those that have been doing a remarkable job managing through this ongoing crisis."


The expected decline in October would be the sixth month in a row of falling sales pace and the lowest October volume since 2010, when the market was in the early days of the Great Recession recovery. It would also be the lowest sales volume since April 2020, when the market was initially slammed by the first wave of COVID-19 and sales reached a historic low of 717,063.


The automotive market started the year with a tight supply, but the situation has gradually worsened. Inventory levels are...

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