April’s new light-vehicle sales saw an 18.5 million-unit SAAR—the second straight month (following a March revision) of sales above 18.0 million units and the highest monthly sales rate since July 2005 with a 20.6 million SAAR.
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.
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.
New light-vehicle sales increased for the fifth straight month in September.
August’s SAAR of 15.2 million units marked a 4.8% increase from July’s SAAR of 14.5 million units but is down 11% compared with August 2019.
The July SAAR totaled 14.5 million units, a decline of 14.4% compared with July 2019 but up from the SAAR of 13.1 million units for June 2020.