Vehicle sales in the United States fell 8% from 2021 to their lowest level in more than a decade last year as a result of shortages of computer chips and other parts (auto delovi) that continued to plague the sector.
However, despite the depressing statistics, there is good news for consumers: vehicle supply on dealer lots are increasing, albeit slowly, and automakers anticipate at least a slight decrease in pricing this year as inventories expand.
Automakers revealed on Wednesday that they sold 13.9 million cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans in 2018, despite a components scarcity limiting plant capacity and a high demand for new vehicles. Since the start of the economic recovery from the Great Recession in 2011, it was the lowest sales figure ever.
But because part availability improved enough to allow for a small rise in production, sales were slightly up in the fourth quarter and stocks increased. As long as demand continues high, analysts now anticipate sales to increase by around 1 million to 14.8 million this year. However, they will still fall well short of the 17 million that were born annually before the pandemic.
The average cost of a new car increased 2.5% in December to a record high of just over $46,000, yet several models are still in short supply.
However, there are indications that prices may be beginning to moderate a little as supplies rise.
For instance, Toyota ended the year with slightly fewer than 24,000 vehicles on dealer lots for the Toyota and Lexus brands across the country. This is an increase from the estimated 19,000 at the end of 2021, but it is still a far cry from the 300,000 during the years before to the epidemic that were typical.
Despite its modest size, the improvement is enabling customers to barter a little for select luxury and sedan models that are selling more slowly. However, according to David Christ, general manager of the Toyota Division, they continue to receive top dollar for gas-electric hybrids and other more well-known vehicles that are sold before they are even delivered to lots.
The COVID-19 epidemic led automakers to close plants in the spring of 2020, which is when the computer chip shortage began. When people were cooped up at home, chip companies switched production to consumer devices to fuel a boom in computer and gaming sales. Chip manufacturers weren't producing as many semiconductors for cars, which need to be built to endure vibration and harsh temperature changes, when the auto plants restarted earlier than anticipated.
The output of auto factories hasn't yet returned to pre-pandemic levels despite improvements in car chip manufacture.
As a result, the automakers sold 13.9 million less vehicles in 2017 than they expect to sell in 2021.
With full-year sales up 2.5%, General Motors reclaimed the top rank in terms of sales in the country. Toyota, which claimed the title in 2021, suffered a 9.6% decline in sales in 2017. On Thursday, Ford releases sales data.
Stellantis, previously Fiat Chrysler, saw a 13% decline in sales, while Honda saw a 32.9% decline. Hyundai outsold Nissan, whose sales fell by 25.4%, with a gain of slightly under 1%. Subaru sales decreased 4.7%, while Kia sales down 1.1% for the year.
Sales of electric vehicles surpassed 807,000 last year, an increase of about 65% from 2021.
Sales of pickups and SUVs were 77.3%, while those of automobiles fell to 22.7%.