U.S. FIRST-QUARTER SALES EXPECTED TO FALL TO LOWEST LEVEL IN 10 YEARS2022.04.01 09:31
U.S. FIRST-QUARTER SALES EXPECTED TO FALL TO LOWEST LEVEL IN 10 YEARS
According to foreign media reports, market research firm Cox Automotive said on March 28 that due to factors such as chip shortages, the situation in Russia and Ukraine, and the decline in the purchase intention of less wealthy buyers due to rising new car prices, new car sales in the United States may fall to 10% in the first quarter. The lowest level in the past 10 years.
Cox Automotive expects U.S. passenger car and light truck sales to fall more than 24% year over year to about 1.22 million units in March, and a more than 16% decline in the first quarter.
The agency's senior economist Charlie Chesbrough said the U.S. new car market is stuck in a lower gear. Sales will continue to hover at current low levels until supply improves.
Cox Automotive doesn't expect a recession in the U.S. economy, but the agency lowered its forecast for full-year 2022 U.S. passenger car and light truck sales to 15.3 million units, 700,000 fewer than its January forecast. Even the adjusted target would require the auto industry to drastically improve supply chain disruptions.
China's recent epidemic prevention and control measures, as well as the situation in Russia and Ukraine, have reignited supply chain bottlenecks that have been easing in recent months, and tight supply has pushed new car prices to record highs. Detroit's mainstream auto brands, along with Nissan, are hurting as less affluent consumers abandon new car purchases, analysts at Cox Automotive said on a conference call. Major Detroit brands such as Chevrolet are losing market share, and Cox Automotive predicts that Japanese automaker Toyota could become the top-selling automaker in the U.S. market in the first quarter.
The share of households earning less than $75,000 a year is currently in the U.S. light vehicle market by nearly two percentage points less than a year ago. The average new car buyer now earns $124,000 a year.
The agency's chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, said the number of people likely to buy a new car was shrinking in the long run.