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Biggest sales year since 2019 wraps up with Hyundai group surpassing Stellantis, though there are more signs market is cooling.

Friday, January 05, 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

[From Automotive News] General Motors and Ford Motor Co. eked out small fourth-quarter gains while Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. finished 2023 with double-digit sales increases in December, capping the U.S. auto industry's best full-year total since 2019.

But there are signs of a slowing market as automakers head into 2024, as elevated borrowing costs and new-vehicle prices sideline some shoppers. Among major automakers, Stellantis was the only one to post a fourth quarter and annual decline.

SAAR outlook
The seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of sales is projected to tally 15.1 million to 15.4 million for December, forecasters say, up sharply from 13.77 million in December 2022. Still, the sales pace has cooled since its 2023 peak of 16.22 million in June.

New-car and light-truck stockpiles totaled 2.56 million vehicles at the beginning of December, more than 900,000 above levels a year earlier, Cox Automotive said. J.D. Power and GlobalData estimated that retail inventory finished December around 1.7 million vehicles, a 7.6 percent increase from November and a 55 percent jump from December 2022. However, stockpiles remain 40 percent lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic, they said.

Average new-vehicle discounts were expected to rise $145 from November and 91 percent from December 2022 to an estimated $2,458 last month, J.D. Power and GlobalData said. In November, incentives exceeded $1,000 per vehicle at every major automaker; in the case of the Detroit 3, incentives topped $2,400, according to Motor Intelligence.

Click here to get complete sales results for 2023 (subscription required).

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