The economy continues to show strong signs of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The widespread dissemination of the COVID-19 vaccine and the stellar new light-vehicle sales in March are reasons to be optimistic for the remainder of 2021.
New light-vehicle sales in March 2021 were stellar. March’s SAAR of 17.75 million units is the second highest of all time for the month and just shy of March 2000.
Despite the chip shortage headwinds, we are very optimistic about new-vehicle sales in 2021. We expect continued steady retail demand and improving fleet demand growth throughout the rest of the year.
New light-vehicle sales in January started off the year at a strong pace. While the January 2021 SAAR of 16.63 million represents a decline of 1.4% from January 2020, it was the highest monthly SAAR since the start of the pandemic.
Commercial truck sales closed out 2020 with total sales just shy of 410,000 units, a decline of 22.3% from the 2019 total.
2020 came to a close with new-light vehicle sales of 14.46 million units, down 14.7% compared to 2019.
The year came to close with new light-vehicle sales of 14.46 million units, down 14.7% from 2019 and the lowest full-year sales total since 2012.
For 2020, we expect that new light-vehicle sales will total 14.2 million units. There may be some regional ups and downs in sales as the country deals with spikes in COVID-19 cases throughout the winter months.
The new light-vehicle sales volume in October equated to a SAAR of 16.2 million units, the second straight month with a SAAR above 16 million units.
Look for commercial truck sales to continue improving the rest of the year and into 2021.