Lower U.S. car sales volume but higher consumer spending

United States
Published:  06 January, 2020
Chevrolet Equinox

Overall U.S. automotive sales are expected to have declined about 1% in 2019 compared with the previous year, but consumers are said to have spent a record amount on new cars.

Market intelligence firms Cox Automotive, Edmunds and J.D. Power/LMC Automotive expect car sales in the U.S. to have declined 1% in 2019, year-on-year. This is not considered too bad a result, but marks the lowest sales since 2014 when 16.5 million vehicles were sold. According to J.D. Power estimates, consumers spent a record US$462 billion on new vehicles in 2019, US$8.4 billion more than in 2018. While many carmakers are expected to publish their annual figures in January, Cox Automotive expects U.S. December car sales to have fallen 3.2% year-on-year and J.D. Power/LMC Automotive forecasts a 6.6% drop in the month, largely due to one less sales weekend and one less selling day than in 2018.

For 2020, analysts say the U.S. market is showing signs of weakness but do not predict a downturn comparable to when vehicle sales dropped below 11 million in 2009.

Source: CNBC