New Automobile Gross sales Improve For the First Time In Over a Yr

Automobile gross sales elevated for the primary time in additional than a 12 months in August. Whereas general market circumstances appear to be bettering, many automakers are nonetheless in a tricky spot (we’re taking a look at you Toyota, Honda, and Subaru). Will growing new automotive stock and gross sales result in extra producer incentives and decrease costs? Right here’s what the August information reveals, and what new traits counsel for automotive patrons in September 2022.

August 2022 U.S. Auto Gross sales Numbers

Trade analysts at LMC Automotive and TrueCar are reporting that for the primary time since final summer season, new automotive gross sales elevated final month. Excluding fleet gross sales, TrueCar expects U.S. retail deliveries of recent automobiles to be 1,015,575 models, up 6 p.c from a 12 months in the past and up about 3% from July 2022. 

As YAA’s Ray Shefska factors out, an additional day in August actually helped pump up gross sales numbers for some automakers. August’s seasonally adjusted annualized charge (SAAR) for brand spanking new car gross sales (mild responsibility fashions) is roughly 13 million, which is down 14 p.c from August 2021. U.S. new automotive gross sales are nonetheless in a hunch, however August gross sales numbers are exhibiting some indicators of enchancment.

LMC Automotive reported complete light-vehicle gross sales rose 4 p.c to 1.13 million (together with fleet gross sales). Taken collectively, August would mark the primary month-to-month year-over-year achieve since summer season 2021. Does that imply the auto trade has come out of all-time low?

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The Large Image: We Have a Information Downside

Is the American auto trade climbing again to regular? The very best reply we’ve with August gross sales information is … perhaps? Solely seven automakers report month-to-month U.S. gross sales figures, and that leaves an enormous information hole that severely limits the interpretation of month-to-month gross sales. Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo launch gross sales information month-to-month, however huge names like Basic Motors, Stellantis and Tesla don’t. The seven who do tallied 617,363 gross sales in August, down 1.8 p.c year-over-year, in line with the Automotive Information Analysis & Information Middle. 

New Automobile Gross sales Improve For the First Time In Over a Yr
International mild car gross sales measured as a seasonally adjusted annualized charge (SAAR) exhibits that the stock scarcity is NOT over. Supply: LMC Automotive

From the automaker perspective, simply how you’re feeling about final month’s information is determined by who you’re employed for. Consultants at Cox Automotive take the most recent numbers with a grain of salt. Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough shared his cautious optimism.  “There are small indicators that new-vehicle stock ranges are stabilizing, however they’re additionally not getting considerably higher. Some automakers have much more stock than others, and a few are managing their operations extra effectively.”

In the meantime, TrueCar’s analysts see the information as validation for what they’ve predicted for months. “August is shaping as much as affirm our early predictions that the trade could also be turning the nook,” stated Zack Krelle, Trade Analyst at TrueCar. “We’re seeing consecutive month over month will increase for incentives, whereas common transaction costs are softening. Stock can be slowly rising, and gross sales are bettering barely.”

Ford, Hyundai and Kia New Automobile Gross sales Improve

2023 F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum, Lariat, XLT

In terms of winners, Ford Motor Firm was the shining instance of what many see as higher occasions forward. In August, complete Ford Motor Firm gross sales elevated 27.3 p.c to 158,088 models. Plus, there’s even higher information in case you’re out there to purchase. Ford ended August with 254,400 automobiles in supplier inventory or in transit (though one has to marvel what number of are literally on supplier’s tons proper now), up from 250,200 on the finish of July and 210,800 a 12 months earlier.

The F-150 added a brand new accolade final month: best-selling electrical truck. Ford says that electrical car gross sales had been up 307 p.c year-over-year. The automaker cited the Ram pickup, Tesla Mannequin 3 and Mannequin X because the Lightning’s prime three conquests.

Demand remained robust, with greater than 76,000 retail orders positioned for 2023 mannequin automobiles final month, a 41 p.c enhance in contrast with 2022 mannequin orders in August final 12 months.

Hyundai and Kia Had a Nice Month

2023 Kia Sportage
2023 Kia Sportage

Hyundai and Kia snapped a five-months of gross sales declines in August. Hyundai’s U.S. gross sales had been up 14 p.c, and Kia gross sales elevated 22 p.c. Stock can be wanting marginally higher for the 2 manufacturers. Hyundai Motor America stated it ended August with 19,209 automobiles vans in U.S. stock, up from 14,784 on the finish of July however nonetheless solely about half of the 39,357 it had a 12 months earlier.

“This month we’re seeing Hyundai and Kia doing effectively, which I imagine is partly because of the freshness of their lineups, with higher design adjustments than different OEMs,” stated Justin Colon, Vice President of OEM Options at TrueCar.

Honda, Toyota Nonetheless in a Droop

New automotive gross sales slipped at Toyota and Honda in August as Japanese automakers had been persevering with to really feel the direct impacts of Asian provide chain disruptions. Toyota’s gross sales fell 9.8 p.c, and Honda was down 38 p.c. Honda’s Acura model was even worse, with gross sales down 47 p.c. Honda’s U.S. month-to-month gross sales have dropped for 13 months straight. 

Test right here for the most recent new automotive stock numbers (up to date as they change into out there)

A Little bit of Perspective From YAA’s Ray Shefska

Different bits of excellent information had been to be present in August gross sales studies. Nonetheless, it’s essential to zoom out and remind ourselves that small month-to-month positive aspects are dwarfed by over a 12 months of sinking stock, increased costs, and fewer producer incentives. For instance, incentive spending was down 52% from final 12 months however up 9% from July 2022. TrueCar estimates that the typical transaction value in August was down barely from July, however remains to be up 10% from a 12 months in the past. Shopping for a automotive stays very costly, nonetheless rising rates of interest, barely higher stock and a softening used automotive market are all giving automotive patrons extra to consider as we head into autumn.

Our very personal Ray Shefska had this to say about August gross sales numbers. “The Seasonally-Adjusted Annualized Charge (SAAR) remains to be considerably beneath the place they thought it could be earlier this 12 months. That doesn’t depart me feeling optimistic. I feel all of us want to attend till early October earlier than drawing conclusions. By that point, we’ll have each automaker’s Q3 2022 gross sales numbers to pore over. It’s arduous to attract any conclusions when only some automakers report month-to-month gross sales numbers. After a 12 months of unhealthy information on the stock entrance, automakers and automotive patrons alike are prepared for optimism. Persistence is essential to knowledgeable automotive shopping for in a time like this.”

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