May 2021

Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate hits 18.5 Million

April marked the second month in a row the SAAR has topped 18 million. Overall, industry sales rose 110% last month, analysts said. After April’s record results, “the question now turns to whether we potentially run out of cars?,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a report Tuesday, noting industry supplies hit a low of 33 days.

But chronically tight semiconductor supplies have idled auto factories worldwide, crippling dealer stockpiles and clouding the outlook. “The market is being driven by inventory right now, not incentives, and it is only getting worse as the chip shortage continues,” said Brian Finkelmeyer, senior director of new-vehicle sales strategy at Cox Automotive. “Most dealers are scrambling to secure inventory in any way they can. Those who aren’t paying close enough attention are losing out to those who are managing it more efficiently.”

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