Vehicle Sales Plunge by 5.5 Million Units, Most Since 1987

Mish

Motor vehicle sales plunged over 5.5 million units. On a unit basis this is more than any time since 1987.

The 1987 stat is somewhat misleading because it was preceded by unprecedented surges.

Total Vehicle Sales vs Lightweight Vehicle Sales

Image placeholder title

Vehicle Sales Month Over Month

Image placeholder title

On a month-over-month basis, sales fell 32.15%. On a percentage basis, this is more than 987 but less than the 35.37% decline in September 2009.

There is no reason to expect a huge rebound in sales.

Incomes and savings have been clobbered by layoffs that have just started.

As noted earlier day, Unemployment Rate Jumps to 4.4% But Worst is Yet to Come

I expect the unemployment rate to hit at least 12% in April and more likely something close to 20%.

A deep recession is coming up.

For discussion, please see Covid-19 Recession Will Be Deeper Than the Great Financial Crisis

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Comments (22)
No. 1-15
Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Actually, all the auto sales plunges (except this one) were preceded by some sort of a spike. Sales were topping out anyway so it was a matter of time before manufacturers and dealers got into trouble.

Dubronik
Dubronik

Cash for clunkers coming up?

bradw2k
bradw2k

Is this NEW vehicle sales? Unless you're in the home delivery biz, who needs a new car when 31 states have stay-at-home orders.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

The Trump Recession is here and the hurt is real.

NewUlm
NewUlm

April will have even fewer auto sales, we are going to skip a recession (actually we are in one now) and head straight to depression. BTW, I was in the market for a used late model SUV... held off on that purchase, thankfully.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

On Deck

Home sales

Stuki
Stuki

Once sales pick up (they eventually will, at lest a little) again, my bets will be on plug in hybrids with an inverter output: Less need to expose yourself to contagion at gas stations as long as the grid is still operational, in addition to a nice battery and genset providing backup for power outgages prolonged by sick or quarantined electricians and/or linemen.

QE2Infinity
QE2Infinity

This summer may be a good time to buy a car! You can keep to hybrid and electric cars. I'll take a good old internal combustion variety.

Franny
Franny

My seventeen year old car picked a good year to fail inspection. Used cars will be cheap. What about new cars, though? Can dealers drop prices?

JG1170
JG1170

I've lived by the same Cadillac dealer and the same shopping mall for all of my life. Last December, I went to the mall, which has an impressive 6-story parking structure. I had nothing better to do, so I decided to go to the "roof" of the parking structure and check out the view - as I have done plenty of times over the years. Lo and behold...about a couple hundred unsold Cadillacs were hiding up there, most of them the monster-truck SUV kind. At that point I knew the bubble economy had rolled over.

Sechel
Sechel

the trend toward older cars has been around for a while along with a larger number of people in urban areas doing without. in nyc more and more people giving them up . garaging them is simply too expensive. my car is going on 15 years and performing great. I may not replace it.

For me a couple of problems

  1. cost of storage
  2. car price too high
  3. cars have too many features i don't want or convinced i need

renting per dium for when i require a car sounds like a better and better option although with the current pandemic i'm glad i'm not sharing. now adays you pretty much have to buy heated seats, rear cameras, gps, turbos etc. spending 40k-50k on a small sedan (i drive a 2006 bmw) to get something comparable feels nuts and I can't see myself in an entry level car that feels worse than the one i owned after college.

abend237-04
abend237-04

Pavlovian dog here. I've been trained to expect a cosmic-scale "save the auto industry" Cash for clunkers ll. I have a 14 year old Hemi with a quarter million miles on it quivering in the garage in fear. The Hemi has a good read on me.

BobSmith
BobSmith

I see people taking out 84 month loans now on cars. Insanity

mark0f0
mark0f0

Between oversupply and collapsing consumer demand, could probably shut down the brand-new auto industry for years. I suspect they'll try to ramp up medical manufacturing in the worst hit areas.

Modrich
Modrich

Not being reported is the booming clickbait trade being done by scaremongering and rumour based sites quoting CNN et al. They are doing great.


Global Economics

FEATURED
COMMUNITY