New light vehicle sales in August, as estimated by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, were down 8.9% from August 2019 levels.
Sales reached an estimated total of 165,837 units sold in August 2020, down from the estimated 182,040 units sold in the same month of 2019.
August sales were within approximately 900 units of July’s total.
“After five months of violent swings in the market – first precipitous declines and then remarkable recoveries – we finally have a measure of stability,” said Andrew King, managing partner at DAC.
“The consolidation of the market is definitely a positive, although underlaying dynamics remain volatile and we do expect further twists and turns in the coming months.”
Analysts at DesRosiers say the short- to medium-term sales outlook is still very much a matter of debate.
“As the government starts to scale back its support of the economy, the implications for the automotive market remain unclear,” the company’s latest newsletter reports. “Moreover, the shifting public health and regulatory environment is still unstable and will continue to dictate market and economic performance in the months ahead.”
In the U.S., incoming sales figures from August reflect sustained auto demand levels, says Chris Hopson, manager, North America light vehicle sales forecast at IHS Markit.
“While the total volume for the month will be down when compared to the August 2019 result – due to two less selling days and a change in the 2020 calendar with Labor Day events occurring in September this year – auto sales are expected to moderately improve from the month-prior levels,” he said.
He said auto consumers continue to be motivated by OEM incentives, 0% interest rates, and government stimulus effects.
“The August seasonally adjusted, annual rate (SAAR) level should advance from July reading of 14.5 million units,” he said. “The IHS Markit calendar year 2020 projection stands at 13.6 million units as reflected in its August 2020 forecast release.”