NADA – The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) issued its analysis of 2021 U.S. auto sales and the economy.
“The major theme for new-vehicle sales in 2021 was constrained inventory,” said NADA chief economist Patrick Manzi. “The coronavirus pandemic and resulting microchip shortage and production cuts significantly constrained new-car and truck inventory at dealerships across the country. Constraints further led to suppressed new-vehicle sales, as well as used-vehicle inventory shortages and increased vehicle prices.”
2021 came to a close with new-light vehicle sales of 14.93 million units, an increase of 3.1% compared to 2020’s sales volume of 14.47 million units. December 2021’s SAAR totaled just 12.44 million units, a decrease of 23.7% compared to December of 2020.
When contrasting vehicle sales to inventory, Inventory levels at the end of December 2021 totaled 1.12 million units, up 7.4% compared to the end November 2021, but down 59.1% compared the end of December 2020’s total of 2.75 million units.
While microchip shortages, one of the causes for diminished inventory, are slowly improving, shortages are expected to last through at least the second quarter of 2022. Auto Forecast Solutions expects that 11.3 million vehicles will not be produced globally as a result of the chip shortage.
Moving into 2022, NADA anticipates new-vehicle sales of 15.4 million units – an increase of 3.4% from 2021.