COX AUTOMOTIVE – With new-inventory extremely tight for most brands across the country, a slowdown in sales compared to July was widely expected. Initial reports indicate that tight inventory is now negatively impacting sales at nearly all brands. A few will ultimately squeeze out small year-over-year gains – Acura, Mazda – but a vast majority will be down in August. Given the severity of the supply crunch in the market, some brands are down well below last year’s levels. Even Toyota, which has been able to successfully navigate tight supplies through the spring and summer suffered a sales decline in August.
August will be a fourth consecutive month of slowing sales and looks to be coming in even lower than our forecast of 1.2 million, a 9% decline from August 2020. Current data points to a drop closer to 17%, with sale volume near 1.1 million. At this point, indications are new-vehicle inventory issues will continue to stress dealers and consumers through the remainder of the year. The global auto supply chain has always been a fragile operation, and this year has demonstrated just how fragile indeed.