New light-vehicle sales continued a streak of gains in July, posting the 11th straight month of year-over-year increases as the industry benefits from revived inventories.
The National Automobile Dealers Association said the seasonally adjusted annual rate jumped 18.3% year-over-year to 15.74 million units and that it anticipates continued growth for the rest of the year. The fleet slice of the sales pie shrank some month-over-month, making up 15.4% compared to 18% in June, according to Wards Intelligence data NADA cited.
Through the first seven months of the year, light-vehicle SAAR increased 13.6% year-over-year.
Alternative-fuel models represented about 16% of new-vehicle sales in the seven-month period, NADA said, with battery-electric vehicles making up 7% of that at more than 625,000 units, franchised dealers moving more than 36% of them, a number NADA said it expects to grow as more models are launched.
Inventory fell in July from 1.9 million at the start of the month to 1.79 million as it ended, NADA said, forecasting that it will resume gains this month and the remainder of 2023. It said incentives increases have consequently continued and estimated that average incentive spending rose 107% year-over-year in July to $1,888 per unit.
NADA said it believes interest rates are either at or near their peak. It said recent months have seen an average finance rate for new vehicles of 7%, and 10% for used.
The trade group forecasts new light-vehicle sales of 15.2 million units for the year.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today