The first half of 2021 looked a bit like the story of two cities as automakers and dealers grappled with dwindling inventories and fewer vehicles to sell amid high demand and sustained sales.
Automakers such as General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen have all reported sharp increases in sales from a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the industry. This happened even as the availability of new models was dwindling. Subaru, one of the automakers that publishes monthly sales results, said deliveries fell last month due to tight inventories.
GM announced a 40% increase in the second quarter over last year in what it described as “a single market supported by strong customer demand but constrained by low inventories resulting from the global shortage of semi -conductors “.
âThe US economy is accelerating, consumer spending is strong and jobs are plentiful,â said Elaine Buckberg, GM’s chief economist. âConsumer demand for vehicles is also strong, but constrained by very tight stocks. We expect continued high demand in the second half of this year and into 2022. â
Kurt McNeil, GM’s US Vice President of Commercial Operations, said, âThe agility and creativity of our supply chain, purchasing, engineering and manufacturing teams, working with our suppliers and dealers, have helped us continue to meet some of the most demanded segments of the market.
Nissan’s sales increased 68.1% in the second quarter, driven primarily by its Nissan division, which grew 73.8%. The company is up 34.2% in the first six months of the year. Its passenger car sales helped push those numbers up, particularly Versa and Sentra, which rose 108.3% and 77.8% respectively in the first half of 2021.
Toyota division sales in June increased 41.6%. For the first half of 2021, Toyota division sales increased by 44.1%. The Lexus division posted a 29.1 percent sales increase in June. In the first half of the year, sales of the luxury unit rose 47.7%, TMNA ââreported.
Bob Carter, Executive Vice President of Sales, Toyota Motor North America, said, âWe are grateful to our loyal customers for their confidence in the Toyota and Lexus brands. Our manufacturing team has worked tirelessly to deliver ever better and safer vehicles to our 1,500 dealers across the country, and we value their partnership to exceed our customers’ expectations.
The good times keep rolling
Hyundai Motor America reported June total sales of 72,465 units, an increase of 45% from June 2020. This is the highest June sales total in Hyundai history and the fourth month consecutive setting a new monthly record.
âThe dedication of our business partners to providing Hyundai vehicles with exceptional customer experiences is paying off with even more sales records,â said Randy Parker, senior vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America.
“The demand will increase,” Parker predicted in a telephone interview, adding that “the economy is very strong”.
Hyundai’s business performance was bolstered by its strong passenger car lineup with 37% of vehicles sold last month being passenger cars and 11% alternative drive vehicles, i.e. plug-in hybrids or vehicles. electric.
Volkswagen announced a 72% increase in sales in the second quarter and noted that 73% of its total sales were commercial vehicles. Porsche followed the lead of parent company VWs, reporting a 55% sales increase.
Mitsubishi Motors North America also recorded strong sales of 25,146 in the second quarter, an increase of 106% from the second quarter of 2020. First half sales of 53,377 were up nearly 12% from the previous quarter. same period last year, with the brand focusing on retail sales of its highest specification models to minimize the impact of the global chip shortage.
All did not come roses
Subaru, however, said its sales fell as inventory in dealers’ hands dwindled. Subaru of America, Inc. today announced 42,877 vehicle sales for June 2021, down 20.5% from June 2020 due to lower inventory resulting from the global shortage of microchips. For the second quarter, Subaru recorded a gain of 20.3% compared to the same period in 2020.
âGiven our inventory at that time, we are pleased with the June sales results that our agile retailers have worked hard to deliver, and we thank them for their efforts,â said Thomas J. Doll, President and CEO. of Management, Subaru of America Inc.
Although used car prices are expected to hit record highs in the second quarter, Edmunds data shows new car prices appear to be stabilizing – the average transaction price for new vehicles hit $ 40,827 in the second quarter 2021, compared to $ 40,070 in the first quarter. quarter and $ 38,895 for the same period in 2020.
Experts from Edmunds note that this is due to a shift in the range of vehicles available in the new vehicle market and signs of consumer resistance to higher prices.
âTighter stocks and fewer discounts in the new car market are driving buyers to seek respite from the used market, and this consumer behavior is also what drives used car prices up to new levels. astronomical levels, âsaid Jessica Caldwell, executive director of Edmunds.
âCar buyers are used to getting deals, and often well below the sticker price for the new one, so anyone returning to the auto market for the first time in some time risks a serious shock. ‘sticker.”