TrueCar Forecasts New Vehicle Retail Sales Flat, Used Retail Sales Down for February 2021

February 23, 2021

Average transaction price continues to increase, while incentives reach lowest levels since 2017

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 23, 2021) – TrueCar, Inc., the most efficient and transparent way to find a car, projects total new vehicle sales will reach 1,170,856 units in February 2021, down 7.6% from a year ago when adjusted for the same number of selling days. This month’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total light vehicle sales is an estimated 15.5 million units. Excluding fleet sales, TrueCar expects U.S. retail deliveries of new cars and light trucks to be 967,545 units, a decrease of 0.4% from a year ago when adjusted for the same number of selling days. Used vehicle sales for February 2021 are expected to reach 3.5 million, down 4% from a year ago and up 12% from January 2021. 

“New vehicle retail sales are expected to be flat for February, which is a good result given the expansive and prolonged nature of the winter storms throughout many parts of the country, including southern states, which do not typically experience snow storms of this caliber. At this time, many people are thinking about basic necessities, not purchasing their next vehicle. Those consumers are likely deferring their vehicle purchasing to the end of the month or to March,” said Nick Woolard, Lead Industry Analyst at TrueCar.

“We’re seeing fleet recovery slow down significantly year-over-year. February is typically a big month for fleet sales, but the continued reduction in travel by consumer is delaying fleet recovery.  This may be a sign that manufacturers are beginning to triage the ongoing microchip shortage by further pulling back from fleet and reallocating towards retail to help limit inventory shortages,” added Woolard.

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“It’s important to call out GM and Toyota, which are both up year-over-year in retail sales as a result of their strong and diversified lineups with in-demand SUVs and trucks. Toyota has doubled down on their hybrid strategy with the RAV4, Highlander, Sienna, and Venza, while GM continues to successfully produce a variety of popular trucks,” said Valeri Tompkins, Senior Vice President, OEM Solutions at TrueCar.  

Average transaction prices (ATP) are projected to be up 6.6% or $2,366 from a year ago and up 1.4% or $518 from January 2021. TrueCar projects that U.S. revenue from new vehicle sales will reach approximately $44 billion for February 2021, down 9.1% (based on a non-adjusted daily selling rate) from a year ago and up 7% from last month.

“As average transaction price continues to increase and inch closer towards the $40,000 mark, incentives continue to trend downward. Based on TrueCar data, incentives are the lowest that we have seen since at least 2017. With inventory still recovering from pandemic related production pauses and the chip shortage threatening to disrupt production again, incentives will stay low until the recovery is met,” added Tompkins.  

Additional Insights (forecast by TrueCar):

  • Total retail sales for February 2021 are expected to be down 0.4% from a year ago and down 1.9% from January 2021 when adjusted for the same number of selling days.
  • Fleet sales for February 2021 are expected to be down 31% from a year ago and up 65% from January 2021 when adjusted for the same number of selling days.
  • Average transaction price is projected to be up 6.6% or $2,366 from a year ago and up 4.5% or $518 from January 2021.
  • Total SAAR is expected to decrease 7.4% from a year ago from 16.7 million units to 15.5 million units.
  • Used vehicle sales for February 2021 are expected to reach 3.5 million, down 12% from a year ago and up 12% from January 2021.  
  • The average interest rate on new vehicles is 4.4% and the average interest rate on used vehicles is 8.0%.

February 2021 forecasts for the 13 largest manufacturers by volume. For additional data, visit the TrueCar Newsroom.

Total Unit Sales

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

YoY % Change

YoY % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)

MoM % Change

MoM % Change      (Daily Selling Rate)

BMW

                       23,839

                       27,476

                       19,740

-13.2%

-6.0%

20.8%

20.8%

Daimler

                       17,416

                       26,088

                       25,268

-33.2%

-27.7%

-31.1%

-31.1%

Ford

                     158,869

                     189,561

                     142,577

-16.2%

-9.2%

11.4%

11.4%

GM

                     214,265

                     238,448

                     201,954

-10.1%

-2.7%

6.1%

6.1%

Honda

                     100,884

                     120,006

                       92,225

-15.9%

-8.9%

9.4%

9.4%

Hyundai

                       42,436

                       54,600

                       46,208

-22.3%

-15.8%

-8.2%

-8.2%

Kia

                       44,569

                       52,177

                       44,965

-14.6%

-7.5%

-0.9%

-0.9%

Nissan

                       86,810

                       99,253

                       71,081

-12.5%

-5.2%

22.1%

22.1%

Stellantis

                     142,459

                     183,926

                     134,406

-22.5%

-16.1%

6.0%

6.0%

Subaru

                       46,158

                       51,695

                       46,400

-10.7%

-3.3%

-0.5%

-0.5%

Tesla

                       21,981

                       20,450

                       24,700

7.5%

16.4%

-11.0%

-11.0%

Toyota

                     177,461

                     195,407

                     167,936

-9.2%

-1.6%

5.7%

5.7%

Volkswagen Group

                       44,351

                       50,390

                       44,953

-12.0%

-4.7%

-1.3%

-1.3%

Industry

                   1,170,856

                   1,373,324

                   1,109,578

-14.7%

-7.6%

5.5%

5.5%

Retail Unit Sales

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

YoY % Change

YoY % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)

MoM % Change

MoM % Change      (Daily Selling Rate)

BMW

                       22,861

                       24,271

                       19,407

-5.8%

2.0%

17.8%

17.8%

Daimler

                       17,101

                       24,513

                       24,751

-30.2%

-24.4%

-30.9%

-30.9%

Ford

                     111,916

                     120,607

                     116,069

-7.2%

0.5%

-3.6%

-3.6%

GM

                     164,432

                     169,235

                     175,007

-2.8%

5.3%

-6.0%

-6.0%

Honda

                     100,282

                     118,802

                       91,837

-15.6%

-8.6%

9.2%

9.2%

Hyundai

                       39,248

                       42,863

                       43,554

-8.4%

-0.8%

-9.9%

-9.9%

Kia

                       41,225

                       45,983

                       43,292

-10.3%

-2.9%

-4.8%

-4.8%

Nissan

                       58,715

                       68,093

                       58,548

-13.8%

-6.6%

0.3%

0.3%

Stellantis

                     112,778

                     117,974

                     111,096

-4.4%

3.6%

1.5%

1.5%

Subaru

                       43,604

                       48,655

                       44,670

-10.4%

-2.9%

-2.4%

-2.4%

Tesla

                       21,969

                       20,450

                       24,692

7.4%

16.4%

-11.0%

-11.0%

Toyota

                     155,138

                     160,981

                     148,143

-3.6%

4.4%

4.7%

4.7%

Volkswagen Group

                       42,855

                       45,272

                       44,298

-5.3%

2.5%

-3.3%

-3.3%

Industry

                     967,545

                   1,052,254

                     986,522

-8.1%

-0.4%

-1.9%

-1.9%

Fleet Unit Sales

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

YoY % Change

YoY % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)

MoM % Change

MoM % Change      (Daily Selling Rate)

BMW

                           978

                         3,205

                           333

-69.5%

-67.0%

193.8%

193.8%

Daimler

                           315

                         1,575

                           517

-80.0%

-78.3%

-39.0%

-39.0%

Ford

                       46,953

                       68,954

                       26,508

-31.9%

-26.2%

77.1%

77.1%

GM

                       49,833

                       69,213

                       26,947

-28.0%

-22.0%

84.9%

84.9%

Honda

                           602

                         1,204

                           388

-50.0%

-45.8%

55.2%

55.2%

Hyundai

                         3,187

                       11,737

                         2,654

-72.8%

-70.6%

20.1%

20.1%

Kia

                         3,345

                         6,194

                         1,673

-46.0%

-41.5%

100.0%

100.0%

Nissan

                       28,094

                       31,160

                       12,533

-9.8%

-2.3%

124.2%

124.2%

Stellantis

                       29,681

                       65,952

                       23,310

-55.0%

-51.2%

27.3%

27.3%

Subaru

                         2,554

                         3,040

                         1,730

-16.0%

-9.0%

47.6%

47.6%

Tesla

                             12

                             -  

                               8

-

 -

42.5%

42.5%

Toyota

                       22,323

                       34,426

                       19,793

-35.2%

-29.8%

12.8%

12.8%

Volkswagen Group

                         1,495

                         5,118

                           655

-70.8%

-68.3%

128.2%

128.2%

Industry

                     203,311

                     321,070

                     123,056

-36.7%

-31.4%

65.2%

65.2%

Fleet Penetration

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

YoY % Change

MoM % Change

BMW

4.1%

11.7%

1.7%

-64.8%

143.3%

Daimler

1.8%

6.0%

2.0%

-70.0%

-11.6%

Ford

29.6%

36.4%

18.6%

-18.8%

59.0%

GM

23.3%

29.0%

13.3%

-19.9%

74.3%

Honda

0.6%

1.0%

0.4%

-40.5%

41.8%

Hyundai

7.5%

21.5%

5.7%

-65.1%

30.8%

Kia

7.5%

11.9%

3.7%

-36.8%

101.7%

Nissan

32.4%

31.4%

17.6%

3.1%

83.5%

Stellantis

20.8%

35.9%

17.3%

-41.9%

20.1%

Subaru

5.5%

5.9%

3.7%

-5.9%

48.4%

Tesla

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

-

60.1%

Toyota

12.6%

17.6%

11.8%

-28.6%

6.7%

Volkswagen Group

3.4%

10.2%

1.5%

-66.8%

131.4%

Industry

17.4%

23.4%

11.1%

-25.7%

56.6%

Total Market Share

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

BMW

2.0%

2.0%

1.8%

Daimler

1.5%

1.9%

2.3%

Ford

13.6%

13.8%

12.8%

GM

18.3%

17.4%

18.2%

Honda

8.6%

8.7%

8.3%

Hyundai

3.6%

4.0%

4.2%

Kia

3.8%

3.8%

4.1%

Nissan

7.4%

7.2%

6.4%

Stellantis

12.2%

13.4%

12.1%

Subaru

3.9%

3.8%

4.2%

Tesla

1.9%

1.5%

2.2%

Toyota

15.2%

14.2%

15.1%

Volkswagen Group

3.8%

3.7%

4.1%

Retail Market Share

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

BMW

2.4%

2.3%

2.0%

Daimler

1.8%

2.3%

2.5%

Ford

11.6%

11.5%

11.8%

GM

17.0%

16.1%

17.7%

Honda

10.4%

11.3%

9.3%

Hyundai

4.1%

4.1%

4.4%

Kia

4.3%

4.4%

4.4%

Nissan

6.1%

6.5%

5.9%

Stellantis

11.7%

11.2%

11.3%

Subaru

4.5%

4.6%

4.5%

Tesla

2.3%

1.9%

2.5%

Toyota

16.0%

15.3%

15.0%

Volkswagen Group

4.4%

4.3%

4.5%

Average Transaction Price (ATP)

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

YOY

MOM

BMW

$59,919

$57,587

$57,922

4.0%

3.4%

Daimler

$62,806

$61,188

$62,387

2.6%

0.7%

Ford

$44,925

$42,465

$43,535

5.8%

3.2%

GM

$42,797

$39,979

$42,045

7.0%

1.8%

Honda

$31,166

$29,398

$31,059

6.0%

0.3%

Hyundai

$31,037

$29,279

$31,073

6.0%

-0.1%

Kia

$28,796

$25,988

$28,233

10.8%

2.0%

Nissan

$30,087

$28,470

$29,304

5.7%

2.7%

Stellantis

$43,903

$40,100

$42,713

9.5%

2.8%

Subaru

$30,701

$30,007

$30,616

2.3%

0.3%

Toyota

$35,135

$33,429

$34,890

5.1%

0.7%

Volkswagen Group

$43,870

$40,286

$43,358

8.9%

1.2%

Industry

$38,075

$35,709

$37,558

6.6%

1.4%

Incentive Spending

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

YOY

MOM

BMW

$4,497

$5,821

$5,177

-22.8%

-13.1%

Daimler

$3,740

$6,246

$4,438

-40.1%

-15.7%

Ford

$3,472

$4,918

$4,441

-29.4%

-21.8%

GM

$4,710

$5,688

$4,944

-17.2%

-4.7%

Honda

$2,290

$2,559

$2,363

-10.5%

-3.1%

Hyundai

$2,205

$3,078

$2,558

-28.4%

-13.8%

Kia

$2,825

$3,686

$2,999

-23.4%

-5.8%

Nissan

$3,543

$4,749

$4,510

-25.4%

-21.4%

Stellantis

$4,186

$5,093

$4,642

-17.8%

-9.8%

Subaru

$1,401

$1,244

$1,505

12.6%

-6.9%

Toyota

$2,363

$2,649

$2,616

-10.8%

-9.7%

Volkswagen Group

$3,113

$4,435

$4,153

-29.8%

-25.1%

Industry

$3,356

$4,177

$3,787

-19.7%

-11.4%

             

Incentives as a Percentage of Average Transaction Price (ATP)

Manufacturer

Feb 2021 Forecast

Feb 2020 Actual

Jan 2021 Actual

YOY

MOM

BMW

7.5%

10.1%

8.9%

-25.8%

-16.0%

Daimler

6.0%

10.2%

7.1%

-41.7%

-16.3%

Ford

7.7%

11.6%

10.2%

-33.3%

-24.3%

GM

11.0%

14.2%

11.8%

-22.6%

-6.4%

Honda

7.3%

8.7%

7.6%

-15.6%

-3.4%

Hyundai

7.1%

10.5%

8.2%

-32.4%

-13.7%

Kia

9.8%

14.2%

10.6%

-30.8%

-7.6%

Nissan

11.8%

16.7%

15.4%

-29.4%

-23.5%

Stellantis

9.5%

12.7%

10.9%

-24.9%

-12.3%

Subaru

4.6%

4.1%

4.9%

10.0%

-7.2%

Toyota

6.7%

7.9%

7.5%

-15.1%

-10.3%

Volkswagen Group

7.1%

11.0%

9.6%

-35.5%

-25.9%

Industry

8.8%

11.7%

10.1%

-24.6%

-12.6%

             

(Note: This forecast is based solely on TrueCar, Inc.'s analysis of industry sales trends and conditions and is not a projection of TrueCar, Inc.’s operations.)

About TrueCar

TrueCar is a leading automotive digital marketplace that enables car buyers to connect to our nationwide network of Certified Dealers. We are building the industry's most personalized and efficient car buying experience as we seek to bring more of the purchasing process online. Consumers who visit our marketplace will find a suite of vehicle discovery tools, price ratings, and market context on new and used cars – all with a clear view of what's a great deal. When they are ready, TrueCar will enable them to connect with a local Certified Dealer who shares in our belief that truth, transparency, and fairness are the foundation of a great car buying experience. As part of our marketplace, TrueCar powers car-buying programs for over 250 leading brands, including AARP, Sam’s Club, and American Express. Nearly half of all new-car buyers engage with TrueCar powered sites, where they buy smarter and drive happier. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.

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