According to a report this week, Cox Automotive said that sales across all segments would fall in April and total around 1.23 million units, a 20% drop year-over-year and 1.7% less than March. The decrease can be attributed mainly to a severe lack of inventory and slowed production due to supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Year-over-year sales drops are expected to be seen across all segments, including a 40.3% drop for compact sedans and a 15.1% drop for midsize SUVs and crossovers. 

Thanks to stimulus checks and promising vaccines, the sales projections are significantly lower than April of 2021, which was one of the top-selling months in years. However, the heavy sales volume led to ongoing inventory shortages that have continued to hinder the market and impact sales numbers. 

Cox Automotive projects that the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for April will increase from 13.3 million last month to 14.3 million due to “seasonal adjustment factors” and not an increase in volume. 

Charlie Chesbrough, the Senior Economist for Cox Automotive, said inventory shortages have persisted for months. Many consumers have to purchase cars that will be delivered on a future date. He added that Cox Automotive is “expect[ing] production volumes to improve in the second half of the year” but that “fulfilling existing orders may not allow dealer inventory to accumulate in any noticeable way.”

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