Welcome back for another 2019 automotive predictions post. It appears 2018’s final automotive sales number will come in at approximately 17.2 million vehicles amid a mixed sales environment. The four interest rate increases last year may have slowed progress while the tax reform efforts had a positive impact.
2019 is expected to show approximately 16.7 million vehicles sold. This would be the first time in five years that US sales dipped below the 17 million unit mark. Light vehicle sales continued the year-end downward trend approximately 1.2% lower in 2018 and are expected to fall .6% – 1% in 2019 according to Moody’s. Look for the CUV/small and light truck segment to continue its sales momentum this year.
A potential contributor to new 2019 vehicle sales could be rising used car prices. Off-lease vehicles have attracted buyers, but their prices spiked in recent months. Shoppers will continue to look at the cost and value differences in new vs. used vehicles. As this price gap closes, consumers may opt for new vehicles instead.
I noticed a significant improvement in the ways dealers managed their operations last year. Dealers who paid little attention to items such as high-level acquisition and behavior continue to discover the power of the data at their fingertips. Dealers are asking more critical questions and seeing a massive difference between the digital solutions that deliver results and those that don’t. This trend shows no sign of slowing, especially with a tighter market on the horizon.
On to the 2019 automotive predictions… [Read more…]