First-Quarter US Vehicle Sales Show Persistent Demand Momentum

Cox Automotive expects first-quarter 2024 U.S. new car sales will grow 5.6% to 3.8 million units. Seasonally adjusted annual rate for March is expected to reach 15.5 million units, up 0.6 million from last year.  

According to J.D. Power and GlobalData, March light-vehicle retail inventory was 1.7 million, up 4.2% from February 2024 and 39% from March 2023. Inventory exceeded 2.5 million for the first time since 2021. J.D. Power anticipates March vehicle transaction prices to fall 3.6% to $44,186. Demand rises due to greater inventory and pricing.  

Most multinational automakers reported strong first-quarter 2024 U.S. sales. Toyota TM, Honda HMC, Volkswagen VWAGY, and Nissan NSANY sales have increased year-over-year. However, market leader General Motors GM saw a modest sales dip.

First-quarter 2024 U.S. sales from automakers. GM shipped 594,233 vehicles in the first quarter of 2024, down 1.5% year-over-year owing to reduced fleet deliveries. The Chevrolet Bolt EV phase-out may have hurt GM's sales. Retail sales rose 6% year-over-year for the iconic automaker. Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC retail sales rose 10%, 6%, 9%, and 3%, respectively, while GM envolve fell 23%.  

Toyota: The Japanese carmaker reported 565,098 deliveries, up 20.3% from the previous year. The manufacturer sold 206,850 EVs within the same period. EV sales increased 74% year over year and made up 36.6% of the company's sales. Toyota and Lexus sales grew 21.3% and 15% in the first quarter of 2024.  

Honda sold 333,824 units, up 17.3% year-over-year. Acura sales fell 9.2% and Honda sales rose 20.9% year over year. The manufacturer sold 61,915 EVs, up 25.5% over the previous quarter of 2023.  

Nissan: First-quarter US sales rose 7.2% to 252,735 vehicles for this Japanese automaker. Nissan sales rose 8.5% while Infiniti fell 11.8%. The company sold 20.9% more cars and 1.8% more trucks.

Volkswagen: The German automaker sold 82,101 vehicles in Q1 2024, up 21% year over year. From the same quarter in 2023, Jetta, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, GTI, and Golf sales increased 185%, 43%, 31%, 156%, and 125%.  

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