COX AUTOMOTIVE – The February sales pace came in below the Cox Automotive forecast of 16.3 million, as harsh winter weather likely stopped a number of sales from occurring, and those may get pushed into March. Still, the market’s estimated sales pace of 15.7 million is healthy and, as Chief Economist Jonathan Smokes notes in his weekly video update, with vaccines rapidly rolling out and more government stimulus in the offing, “We're likely to see a very strong spring in the vehicle market; the only limiters to the sale potential are going to be the tight supply and record prices.” Watch the entire 7-minute video update from Smoke, which has been posted in the Cox Automotive Newsroom.
“We're likely to see a very strong spring in the vehicle market; the only limiters to the sale potential are going to be the tight supply and record prices.”
Also, look for further data updates in the coming days as the Cox Automotive Industry Insights team dives into the results and shares insights on average transaction prices, fleet performance, CPO sales, inventory levels and other key market health indicators.
2020 Was a Breakout Year for New Form Online Retailers
Our latest study on vehicle shopping, the Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey: Pandemic Edition, uncovered a significant jump in the number of shoppers visiting what the team labels “New Form Online Retailers” (NFORs)—online used-vehicle outlets such as Carvana, Shift and Vroom. The NFORs are clearly promising what consumers want: an easy way to buy used vehicles. Read more on that: 2020 Was a Breakout Year for New Form Online Retailers.
Used-Vehicle Values on the Rise
At mid-month, wholesale used-vehicle prices were heading up, an indication that used-vehicles are in high demand and inventory is tight. Wholesale values traditionally increase each spring, but the increases typically start in March and coincide with the distribution of tax refunds. Stay tuned: We’ll have our full February report on Friday.
Save the Date
Please plan to join us for a Q1 update hosted by Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough and the Industry Insights team on Monday, March 29, 11 a.m. EDT. Our team will provide a Q1 U.S. auto sales forecast and discuss the overall health of automotive retail. RSVP to attend the event.