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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March Vehicle Sales Forecast: 35% Year-over-year Decline

by Calculated Risk on 3/25/2020 09:59:00 AM

From New Vehicle Sales Drop in March to Close a Down First Quarter in 2020, Edmunds Forecasts

The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that March will be a down month for the auto industry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, forecasting that 1,044,805 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 11.9 million. This reflects a 35.5% decrease in sales from March 2019 and a 23.4% decrease from February 2020.

"The first two months of the year started off at a healthy sales pace, but the market took a dramatic turn in mid-March as more cities and states began to implement stay-at-home policies due to the coronavirus crisis, and consumers understandably shifted their focus to other things," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. "The whole world is turned upside down right now, and the auto industry is unfortunately not immune to the wide-ranging economic impacts of this unprecedented pandemic."
Vehicle Sales ForecastClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows actual sales from the BEA (Blue), and Edmunds forecast for March (Red).

Note that the low during the great recession was 9.02 million SAAR in February 2009.

With the sudden stop in activity, this forecast may be high - and sales will probably be lower in April.