Car sales are rebounding, but they still haven’t returned to pre-epidemic levels

Major automakers reported that their third-quarter sales were lower than a year earlier – but less than a substantial drop in sales during the second quarter.

“It’s coming better than we thought,” said Cox Automotive senior analyst Michelle Krebs.

The temporary closure of auto plants earlier this year also limited inventions to some of the more popular models.

Better than train

While the epidemic has provided some headwinds for car sales, it is also helping lift sales in some cases, according to GM chief economist Ellen Buckberg. Surveys show that some consumers view private car ownership as a safer place, especially compared to public travel or riding services for local trips, or flight for longer trips.
Used car sales are booming

He said the epidemic also saved from pre-prepared holidays, entertainment and restaurant meals that some buyers are applying for new car purchases. He said some city residents have increased interest in owning a vehicle because some people want to move to the suburbs and others want to avoid the city on weekends.

The jump in new home construction has helped to increase demand for pickup trucks, and the rebound in the stock market after the first sale of the year has restored home property for some buyers who may have postponed some purchases Can.

Not coming back anytime soon

Even if some consumer demand for cars is showing anew, the huge drop in fleet demand is proving difficult to overcome for most brands. Fleet sales for rental car companies, which typically account for 10% of their own sales, have almost grounded because air travel has slowed demand for car rental.

Uncertainty about the economy, elections and epidemics will continue as a drag on sales. Krebs also mentions that debt has increased, particularly on the subprime part of the business.

“If you have good credit the rates are low,” she said. “But we are seeing more and more people exit the new car market because they cannot get credit.”

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Both Krebs and Breyer are forecasting full-year US sales of about 14 million vehicles, down from 17 million in 2019. Although Krebs has not yet made any forecast for 2021 sales, he said his firm believes the industry will not rebound 1.7 million anytime soon

Some automakers stated where September sales were in 2019, although Labor Day weekend was a year ago, when it was counted as part of August sales, making the month-to-month comparison somewhat difficult. Makes it

GM (GM)Leading US sales, the quarter reported a 10% drop compared to a year earlier, better than the 34% drop in sales in the second quarter. Although it did not pull out of September sales, it rebounded significantly by both industry and GM sales in September.
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) Sales fell by 10% in the second quarter after a 39% drop in the second quarter.
Toyota (TM) September sales broke and said they were up 16.2%, a year earlier, partly due to differences in the calendar. Its total third-quarter sales declined 11%. There was a 35% drop in sales in the second quarter.
Other vehicle manufacturers are due to report results on Thursday, though Wade (F) Will not report results until Friday and Tesla (TSLA) It is not yet known when it will report the third quarter sales.