Sales into large fleets continued a streak of gains in April, surging 39% year-over-year to more than 214,000 units.
The Cox Automotive statistics exclude sales to dealer and manufacturer fleets.
Cox reported that combined sales into large commercial, government and rental fleets have now posted nine consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year upticks.
Sales to commercial fleets rose 12%, those to government fleets rose 54%, and sales to rental fleets rose 64%, Cox said.
The surge in fleet deliveries helped fuel overall retail sales in April, whose results bested Cox’s forecast for the month. The fleet share of retail sales reached 17.5%, up 2% year-over-year.
“The major automakers appear to be preemptively pulling the fleet lever to stymie any significant increase in retail inventory,” said Cox Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough.
“April’s new-vehicle sales were driven by larger-than-expected sales into fleet, particularly in the rental channel, but we haven’t seen clear evidence that overall new-vehicle demand is waning either. However, automakers aren’t taking any chances.”
Stellantis led large carmakers in year-over-year fleet volume increases, followed by General Motors, though none had less volume.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today