New-vehicle sales had a robust month and quarter, according to estimates released by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
Combined retail and nonretail deliveries will total a projected 1.3 million units for the month, up 6.2% year-over-year, and 3.5 million for the quarter, up 7.3% year-over-year.
Year-over-year retail sales alone are forecasted to increase about 2% for the month to 1.1 million, and 2.9 million in the first quarter, up 0.2% year-over-year.
Consumers are set to spend almost $50 billion in March on new vehicles, up 5.5% from a year earlier, J.D. Power said.
“Retail demand for vehicles remains strong, due primarily to considerable pent-up demand,” said Thomas King, president of J.D. Power’s data and analytics division.
“The availability of new vehicles in inventory at retailers is improving, resulting in a softening of dealer margins and increased manufacturer incentive spending. But, overall, the industry remains supply constrained, and profitability is well above historical norms.”
The average new-vehicle transaction price is projected to hit a March record of $45,818, up 3.5% year-over-year.
High prices despite increased production remain due to carmakers’ focus on fleet sales, which are expected to increase 31% year-over-year, J.D. Power said.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today