If you have seen flatbed carriers loaded with brand-new cars, you know that it is an incredible sight to behold. This year, you are more likely to spot this as U.S. car sales bounced back in the first quarter of 2021 to almost equal pre-pandemic figures.
Data from Focus2Move shows that there were 3.99 million vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2019 and 3.97 million sold in the first quarter of 2021, a difference of only a little more than 4,000 vehicles. In March 2021 alone, 1.5 million vehicles were sold.
According to CNBC, the forecast for automotive sales in 2021 ranges from 15.5 million to 16 million units. This comes after automotive sales slumped 14.8 percent when the coronavirus hit the country in 2020.
LMC Automotive has a higher forecast of 18 million sales for the year based on the sales in March, which had the third-highest sales for March in history, topped only in 2000 and 2018. Sales this March represents a 63 percent increase from March 2020. LMC further highlighted that sales were mostly from retail, with only 14 percent from fleet purchases.
Vehicle Prices and Supply
Forbes warns that vehicle prices will be high for new cars and trucks because while the demand is growing, supplies are still low due to production shutdowns in the pandemic. According to CNBC, further shutdowns are happening because of a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips used in braking systems, power steering, and other automotive functions.
General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor Company are pausing production with temporary plant closures in North America ranging from a week to several weeks. Both companies stated that they would make up for the stoppage by extending production time in the summer. Jeff Schuster, President of Americas Operations and Global Vehicle Forecasts, LMC Automotive, expects the plant closures to extend up to April and May, though, and the inventory levels to worsen.
Top Car Brands and Models
A report from Good Car Bad Car (GCBC) Automotive Sales Data & Statistics shows that in the first quarter of 2021, GM sold the largest number of vehicles at 696,226 units. Next was Toyota Motor Corp at 591,270 units. Coming in third was Ford at 518,681 units. Fourth to ninth place in descending order were Stellantis-FCA at 469,652 units, Honda Motor Company at 347,091 units, Hyundai Kia Auto Group at 344,472 units, Nissan Motor Co at 313,783 units, Subaru Corporation at 160,426 units, and Volkswagen Group at 160,123 units. The other brands sold less than six figures for the quarter.
For sales in March, Toyota was number one at 241,987 units, followed by GM at 230,765 units, and Ford at 213,270 units. Fourth to tenth places in descending order are Stellantis-FCA at 169,075 units, Hyundai at 160,676 units, Honda at 148,538 units, Nissan at 112,963 units, Subaru at 65,726 units, Volkswagen at 57,949 units, and Daimler AG at 32,368 units.
In terms of year-to-date (YTD) market growth, Volvo Group leads at 32.9 percent even if it sold the least number of units. Second in growth is Volkswagen at 22.46 percent, followed by Daimler at 17.71 percent and GM at 11.57 percent. Mazda Motor Corporation comes fifth at 6.93 percent, followed by Nissan at 6.48 percent.
The top-selling model for the quarter is the Ford F-Series, with 203,797 units sold. A far second is the Ram Pickup with 148,837 units sold, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado with 126,591 units sold. The rest of the top ten in descending order are the Toyota RAV4 at 114,255 units, Honda CR-V at 93,766 units, Nissan Rogue at 86,719 units, Toyota Camry at 78,151 units, Toyota Corolla at 72,520 units, Toyota Tacoma at 66,449 units, and Ford Explorer at 65,244 units. Close contenders for 10th place are the Toyota Highlander at 63,831 units, Chevrolet Equinox at 63,218 units, and GMC Sierra at 62,916 units.
For March, the top seller was still the Ford F-Series, followed by the Ram Pickup. The Toyota RAV4 moved up to third place, and the Chevrolet Silverado came in fourth. The rest of the top ten were the Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, Nissan Rogue, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Highlander, and Toyota Tacoma.
The Ford F-Series was also number one in sales in 2020. Other vehicles that were also in the top 10 in 2020 and continued to be popular in 2021 were the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram Pickup, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota Tacoma, and GMC Sierra.
Choose Your Ride
It is worth knowing why many people want these vehicle brands and models. Taking your budget and specific needs into consideration, you must investigate the pros and cons of each one.
If a brand-new vehicle is beyond your reach, check out used cars in these brands and models. Another option is leasing instead of purchasing a vehicle.
Having your ride keeps you safe from possible infection in crowded public transportation. Make sure you also drive safely, though.