Edmunds exec. Jessica Caldwell discusses end-of-year sales for 2021

People want cars, it's just tough says, Jessica Caldwell.

Consumers are coming back into the showroom or looking through your inventory online this holiday season. So as we wrap up the year, we want to know more about today’s consumer demand. What are they shopping for? On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds Executive Director of Industry Insights, to discuss what car shopping looks like now in the final month of the year and today’s latest trends.

msrpNationally, inventory is down around the 75% range. Caldwell says the good news is that she hasn’t necessarily seen worse. Many dealers are operating with very few vehicles. Usually by the time inventory comes into the showroom, it’s already pre-sold. Caldwell says they believe, the end of the year sales is the best time to get the best deals.

Caldwell says April SAAR was the highest they have seen in quite a number of years. A lot of consumers want to purchase a vehicle post-pandemic. But, at that point, inventory begins to dip. She says the high prices are turning people off. Transaction prices are about $600 over MSRP on average. People want cars, it’s just tough says, Caldwell.

Caldwell says she is seeing signs of Detroit brands starting to look better than they did a few months ago in terms of inventory. She says it’s still down but not as bad. Things seem to be getting better, not worse when the microchip shortage started happening.

Related: A look inside the current state of the semiconductor microchip shortage

For 2022, Caldwell is asking, how many of these vehicles can automakers produce? She says things do look like they’re stabilizing at such a low rate, but you can’t make up that many vehicles in the course of a few months. The recovery will be slow into the year. Caldwell says they do know, there is a lot of deferred demand because consumers haven’t been purchasing vehicles.

I don’t hear people complaining about gas prices as you would think says Caldwell. People are so used to paying more for everything, that gas just rolled right into it. She says if this continues, she does believe people will start looking into EVs.

They are looking at SAAR to be a 15.2 million year.

Did you enjoy this interview with Jessica Caldwell? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at newsroom@cbtnews.com.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.