Demand for new SUVs, trucks and cars in the U.S. picked up steam in the second quarter, but the stronger sales kept prices high for consumers
Demand for new SUVs, trucks and cars in the U.S. picked up steam in the second quarter, but the stronger sales kept prices high for consumers.
Auto sales rose a healthy 16.8% from April through June to just over 4.1 million, fueled by pent-up demand from nearly two years of short supplies due to factories that were hobbled by the global computer chip shortage.
For much of the year, average prices pulled back a bit and automakers raised discounts a little. But in June, those trends began to stall out, said Ivan Drury, director of insights for Edmunds.com.
Consumers paid an average of $45,978 per vehicle in June, according to J.D. Power estimates. That’s flat from June of last year, but almost $1,400 less than in December of 2022 when prices peaked.
Inventory on dealer lots was expected to be just over 1.2 million vehicles in June, about the same as most of this year, J.D. Power said. Because of increased demand, supplies aren’t growing.
Electric vehicle sales continued to rise during the first half of the year to more than 557,000 vehicles, or 7.2% of all new vehicle sales. In all of last year, consumers bought just over 807,000 EVs, or 5.8% of new vehicle sales.
With prices flat and average new-vehicle interest rates of around 7% expected to stay elevated through at least the summer, Drury says those in the market for a new car should hold off buying if they can. If they can’t, they should figure out if they need as many bells and whistles.
“Any of those upgrades are likely going to cost you far more than you might expect,” he said.
General Motors led all automakers in second-quarter sales with almost 690,000, a 19% increase over a year ago. Toyota, which had been in second place, posted sales of 569,000, up 7%. Ford will release sales on Thursday.
Stellantis sales rose 6% for the quarter, while Nissan sales jumped 33%, and Honda’s leaped 45% over poor numbers from a year ago due to parts shortages. Hyundai and Kia sales each rose 15% from a year ago. Subaru sales were up 22%.
For the first half of the year, auto sales rose 12% over 2022 to 7.7 million, still below pre-pandemic levels.
Tesla again was by far the leader in electric vehicle sales at nearly 337,000 in the U.S. from January through June, according to estimates from Motorintelligence.com.