Automakers reported an increase of 0.3% over a year ago. The increase came despite rising interest rates, a volatile stock market, and rising car and truck prices that pushed some buyers out of the new-vehicle market. Industry analysts and automakers said strong economic fundamentals pushed up sales and should keep them near historic highs in 2019.
U.S. car and light-truck deliveries are projected to be flat or down in July, forecasts from J.D. Power/LMC, Edmunds and Cox Automotive show, with one less day and weekend of sales. It would be only the third monthly year-over-year drop in 2018.
Automakers are reporting sales throughout Tuesday. When they’re finished, industry-wide sales are likely to rise only a little above April of 2011, and the annual pace is expected to slow somewhat from February and March. But automakers and analysts aren’t concerned, noting that this April had more Sundays than last year and fewer cars are sold on Sundays
Americans who couldn’t bear a new payment and kept driving their old car during the economic downturn are back on the market. With gas above $4 in some parts of the U.S., buyers are leaning toward new fuel-efficient compacts like the Chevrolet Cruze and sub-compacts such as the Honda Fit to save money.
J.D. Power says September new-vehicle retail sales are projected to come in at 842,400 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 10.3 million units.