Automotive Industry Seeks First Sales Gain for 2019

U.S. new light-vehicle sales are expected to be on a downward trend for the sixth consecutive month according to automakers reports from June.  The results will be released June 2nd, 2019- making this the second time in three years that the automotive industry failed to achieve a single month increase from January into June. Although showroom traffic hasn’t necessarily slowed, dealerships simply aren’t offering large incentives to increase their monthly numbers.  Higher interest rates and rising vehicle prices are also a factor.

Some automakers have experienced changes that will be important to watch.  Ram recently had a 22% increase, making it the nation’s number two ranked pick-up truck five months into the year, threatening the Silverado that has come in first on an annual basis.  Chevy says it plans to increase sales to commercial and other fleet customers after focusing on its retail business. For Subaru, May marked the 90th consecutive year-over-year sales gain for the brand.

Although light-vehicle sales were down 2.4% through May, light trucks will likely top 12 million in sales for the first time.  Manufacturers had never sold over 10 million trucks in a year until 2016.  Meanwhile, cars are down 11% in the first five months of the year, the lowest since 1958.

Interest rates have also played a huge role in the sales process.  An increase in interest rates has consumers spending less on upgrades, and holding back on overall buying.