U.S. auto retail sales are expected to rise in October as supply chains improve, making more vehicles available to dealerships, according to a report from consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
The report predicts retail sales of new vehicles will rise 12.1% to 1,008,200 units in October, compared with a year earlier. The report projects total new-vehicle sales in October, including retail and non-retail transactions, will reach 1,157,900 units, a 15.2% increase from October 2021.
The report shares consumers have been unaffected by higher vehicle prices and lack of incentives or discounts from automakers.
"Even with a modest increase in inventory, strong demand continues to allow manufacturers to maintain a low level of discounting," the report said, adding the average transaction price for new vehicles is expected to reach record levels in October.
"The vehicle market is being supported by improving inventories and product selection for some, but not all, brands," said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive.
The October Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate for total new vehicle sales is forecasted at 15.0 million units, up 1.8 million units from 2021, the J.D. Power-LMC Automotive report noted.
Still, Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, cautioned that while production has improved, it may not be enough to bring forward any material sales events.
King suggests per unit pricing and profitability may see a deterioration in coming months, as rising interest rates pressure affordability.
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