About 3.3 million used-vehicle sales are expected in March, a 4% reduction year-over-year, according to Cox Automotive’s estimated monthly used-vehicle SAAR and volume.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate is forecasted to finish near 35.5 million, down from March 2022’s 34.5 million but up slightly from February’s revised 33.9 million.
“Sales are holding up fairly well given rising interest rates, but we expect them to see greater headwinds in April and through summer,” says Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive.
Retail used-vehicle sales, or used vehicles sold after removing private-party sales, are expected to be 1.8 million, down 3.5% from March 2022. Same-store Dealertrack data reveals used retail sales were weaker than the initial report and 9% lower compared to the same period last year. However, according to Cox Automotive, Dealertrack estimates may understate sales because they do not account for the increase in cash buying, a growing trend as interest rates soar to 20-year highs.
The used-retail sales pace ticked higher to 18.8 million in March from February’s revised 17.9 million level, Cox reported.
Cox forecasts total used sales for 2023 will be 36.2 million, nearly flat compared to 2022.
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