Automatic inventory a little better; Always short of demand

The limited supply of new cars and trucks continues to limit auto sales in the United States, but sales are expected to increase by about 9% for the month of September compared to September 2021, according to the latest forecast from S&P Global Mobility.

The forecast calls for September auto sales of around 1.1 million in September, down from around 1.0 million in September 2021. S&P Global Mobility said new vehicle inventory is still low by historical standards , but the inventory of around 1.2 million in September was the highest. since July 2021.

Year-to-date, S&P Global Mobility forecasts U.S. auto sales of about 10.1 million through September, down about 1.6 million units, a drop of almost 14%, compared to the first three quarters of 2021.

For all of 2022, S&P Global Mobility forecasts U.S. auto sales of 14 million, down about 6% from 2021.

Last year, U.S. auto sales got off to a good start in the first quarter, before a shortage of computer chips and other supply chain issues took hold, combined with a strong consumer demand. Since last spring, the US auto industry has been unable to produce enough cars and trucks to meet demand.

High prices are the predictable result. According Kelly’s Blue Bookthe average transaction price for a new vehicle rose for the fifth consecutive month in August 2022, to a record high of $48,301, an increase of $4,712, or nearly 11%, from a year ago year.

For new vehicles from non-luxury brands, the August average was a record $44,559, with non-luxury buyers paying an average of $1,102 above list price. For luxury brand buyers, the average was $65,935.

S&P Global Mobility forecasts state, “Consumer willingness to pay for vehicles available at these prices is evidence that pent-up demand remains in the market.

Joe Langley, associate director, U.S. production analytics for S&P Global Mobility, said new vehicle inventory is expected to remain below average, “through 2023.”

Last week, Automatic forecasting solutions estimated that since January 2021, the chip shortage has cost North American auto assembly plants nearly 2.9 million cars and trucks that could not be produced, and potentially up to 4 .5 million if the loss of production cannot be compensated.