LMC Automotive and JD Power predict lower new car sales in April

LMC Automotive and JD Power said in a report Wednesday that they expect US new-vehicle sales to decline for the month of April. Analysts expect retail sales to total just 1.1 million units, a 23.8% drop in sales from April 2021.

In total, retail and non-retail new vehicle sales are now expected to fall 21.5% year-over-year, totaling 1.2 million units.

The companies say the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new car sales for the month will end at 14.5 million units, down nearly 4 million units year-over-year. They also cut their projection for global light vehicle sales to 81.7 million units for the year.

Inventories at dealerships remain low, totaling less than 900,000 units, which would have a significant impact on sales volume. Supply chain constraints and parts shortages also continue to weigh on automakers, with various COVID-19 related lockdowns and the ongoing war in Ukraine further hampering production.

Consulting firms also cited continued strong demand and rising interest rates that are keeping prices high. Wednesday’s report said firms expect the average transaction price to hit $45,232, up 18.7% from April 2021. Interest rates are expected to rise to 4.61%, which would also have a significant impact on prices.

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