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S&P Global Mobility: April auto sales to sustain spring volume push

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S&P Global Mobility projects new light vehicle sales volume in April 2024 to reach 1.34 million units, sustaining the spring selling momentum. Despite a drop from the previous month and year-ago levels, the sales pace of 16.0 million units indicates continued growth. Retail inventory is up 65% from last year, with increasing discounts for buyers. The outlook for North American vehicle production is positive, with a 3% increase in sales volume projected for 2024.

S&P Global Mobility prevede che il volume delle vendite di nuovi veicoli leggeri in aprile 2024 raggiungerà 1,34 milioni di unità, mantenendo il momento positivo di vendita primaverile. Nonostante una diminuzione rispetto al mese e all'anno precedente, il ritmo di vendite di 16,0 milioni di unità indica una crescita continua. L'inventario al dettaglio è aumentato del 65% rispetto all'anno scorso, con sconti crescenti per gli acquirenti. Le prospettive per la produzione di veicoli nordamericani sono positive, con un aumento del 3% nel volume di vendite previsto per il 2024.
S&P Global Mobility proyecta que el volumen de ventas de nuevos vehículos ligeros en abril de 2024 alcanzará 1.34 millones de unidades, manteniendo el impulso de venta de primavera. A pesar de una caída respecto al mes y año anterior, el ritmo de ventas de 16.0 millones de unidades indica un crecimiento continuo. El inventario de venta al detalle ha aumentado un 65% respecto al año pasado, con mayores descuentos para los compradores. La perspectiva para la producción de vehículos en Norteamérica es positiva, con un aumento del 3% en el volumen de ventas proyectado para 2024.
S&P 글로벌 모빌리티는 2024년 4월 신규 경량 차량 판매량이 134만 대에 이를 것으로 전망하며 봄 판매 동력을 유지할 것으로 보입니다. 전월 및 전년 대비 감소에도 불구하고 1,600만 대의 판매 속도는 지속적인 성장을 나타냅니다. 소매 재고는 지난해보다 65% 증가했으며, 구매자에 대한 할인이 증가하고 있습니다. 북미 차량 생산에 대한 전망은 긍정적이며 2024년 판매량은 3% 증가할 것으로 예상됩니다.
S&P Global Mobility projette que le volume des ventes de nouveaux véhicules légers en avril 2024 atteindra 1,34 million d'unités, maintenant l'élan des ventes printanières. Malgré une baisse par rapport au mois précédent et à l'année précédente, le rythme des ventes de 16,0 millions d'unités indique une croissance continue. L'inventaire de détail a augmenté de 65 % par rapport à l'année dernière, avec des remises croissantes pour les acheteurs. Les perspectives de production de véhicules en Amérique du Nord sont positives, avec une augmentation de 3 % du volume des ventes prévu pour 2024.
S&P Global Mobility prognostiziert, dass der Neufahrzeugabsatz im April 2024 1,34 Millionen Einheiten erreichen wird und somit das Frühjahrsverkaufsmomentum aufrechterhält. Trotz eines Rückgangs gegenüber dem Vormonat und dem Vorjahresniveau zeigt das Verkaufstempo von 16,0 Millionen Einheiten weiterhin ein kontinuierliches Wachstum. Der Einzelhandelsbestand ist im Vergleich zum Vorjahr um 65% gestiegen, mit zunehmenden Rabatten für Käufer. Die Aussichten für die nordamerikanische Fahrzeugproduktion sind positiv, mit einem für 2024 projizierten Anstieg des Verkaufsvolumens um 3%.
Positive
  • New light vehicle sales volume in April 2024 projected to reach 1.34 million units, sustaining spring selling momentum

  • Sales pace of 16.0 million units suggests continued growth in the market

  • Retail inventory up 65% vs. last year, providing more opportunities for discounts to buyers

  • Positive outlook for North American vehicle production, with a projected 3% increase in 2024 sales volume

Negative
  • New light vehicle sales volume expected to drop from previous month and year-ago levels

  • High interest rates and vehicle prices could affect affordability for buyers

  • Month-to-month sales volatility is likely, indicating potential challenges in the market

  • Immediate term volatility anticipated in battery-electric vehicle sales, with BEV share expected to reach 7% in April

The projected sales volume for light vehicles in April, as reported, shows a slight decline when compared to the previous month and year. However, attributing this to fewer selling days offers a more nuanced understanding. The steadiness of the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) at 16.0 million units is notable, as it indicates a level of demand resilience. This resilience is a positive sign for automakers and may suggest a robust underlying consumer demand despite economic headwinds such as higher interest rates. Investors should appreciate the nuanced nature of car sales data, as raw numbers can be affected by external factors like the number of selling days, which may not reflect actual market conditions.

A 65% year-over-year increase in retail advertised inventory signals that supply constraints may be easing. This could potentially lead to competitive pricing strategies and higher sales volumes in the long term, which in turn may improve automakers' revenue streams. The revision of the North American light vehicle production forecast upwards by 1.5% may seem marginal but is symbolically important, suggesting an industry that is overcoming previous supply chain bottlenecks. For investors, the production outlook is important as it impacts company valuations based on future earnings potential. The anticipated sales volume increase of 3% for the calendar year indicates moderate growth, possibly a conservative estimate given the industry's recovery trajectory.

The consistent development in battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sales is essential. The BEV market share holding steady at 7% for April, with potential for growth, reflects consumer interest in environmentally friendly options. The introduction of new models like the Chevrolet Equinox EV and the Tesla Cybertruck may stimulate further growth. For investors, the BEV segment's performance is increasingly becoming a determinant of an automaker's future prospects, as it is a significant growth vector in the industry. The performance and consumer reception of these upcoming models could be a bellwether for the industry's ability to appeal to a market that is gradually shifting towards electric mobility.

While expected to be below the March 2024 volume total, new light vehicle sales volume in April should sustain some of the spring selling momentum

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Global Mobility projects new light vehicle sales volume in April 2024 to reach 1.34 million units. While this unadjusted volume total would be a drop from both the month prior (down 7%) and year-ago (down 2%) levels, two fewer selling days than March 2024 and one less than April 2023 more than account for any potential declines. This volume would translate to an estimated sales pace of 16.0 million units (seasonally adjusted annual rate: SAAR), just the third time in the past twenty-four months the metric has reached this level.

Advancing production levels set the stage for continued incentives and inventory, potentially enticing new buyers

"With an auto sales environment currently defined by the mixed signals of advancing inventory and incentives, together with affordability concerns from high interest rates and still high vehicle prices, the anticipated April result reflects that consumers are still in the market for a new vehicle," said Chris Hopson, principal analyst at S&P Global Mobility.

Retail advertised inventory continues its steady rise, and stands now at 2.97 million units, an increase of 65% vs. last year. While most dealer inventory comprises 2024 and some 2025 model year vehicles, pockets of older inventory remain. 

"Consumers in the market for a new vehicle are increasingly able to find opportunities for discounts coming from the availability of more vehicles in dealer inventory," said Matt Trommer, associate director at S&P Global Mobility.

The supply side of the auto equation is continuing to show signs of advancement, hinting at sustained growth for inventories and incentives moving through 2024. According to Joe Langley, associate director at S&P Global Mobility, "The outlook for North American light vehicle production for 2024 was revised higher by 1.5% to 16.0 million units on demand resilience and more importantly on stronger production results, indicating minimized impact of supply chain issues."

"Advancing production levels set the stage for incentives and inventory to continue to develop, potentially enticing new vehicle buyers who remain on the sidelines due to higher interest rates," said Hopson. "It will be a bumpy ride and month-to-month sales volatility is likely. S&P Global Mobility projects calendar-year 2024 light vehicle sales volume of 16.0 million units, a 3% increase from 2023."






U.S. Light Vehicle Sales



Apr 24 (Est)

Mar 24

Apr 23

Total Light Vehicle

Units, NSA

1,338,000

1,438,012

1,357,844


In millions, SAAR

16.0

15.5

15.7

Light Truck

In millions, SAAR

12.9

12.5

12.5

Passenger Car

In millions, SAAR

3.1

3.0

3.2

Source: S&P Global Mobility (Est), U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis


 

Continued development of battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sales remains an assumption in the longer term S&P Global Mobility light vehicle sales forecast. In the immediate term, some month-to-month volatility is anticipated. April BEV share is expected to reach 7%, similar to March, as Telsa volumes are likely to be reflective the first quarter levels. BEV share is expected to advance over the next several periods though, supported by the pending the launches of vehicles such as the Chevrolet Equinox EV, Honda Prologue and Fiat 500e, all scheduled for market introductions over the first half of 2024, as well as advancing Tesla Model 3 and Cybertruck sales.

About S&P Global Mobility

At S&P Global Mobility, we provide invaluable insights derived from unmatched automotive data, enabling our customers to anticipate change and make decisions with conviction. Our expertise helps them to optimize their businesses, reach the right consumers, and shape the future of mobility. We open the door to automotive innovation, revealing the buying patterns of today and helping customers plan for the emerging technologies of tomorrow.

S&P Global Mobility is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI). S&P Global is the world's foremost provider of credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity, and automotive markets. With every one of our offerings, we help many of the world's leading organizations navigate the economic landscape so they can plan for tomorrow, today. For more information, visit www.spglobal.com/mobility.

Media Contact:

Michelle Culver
S&P Global Mobility
248.728.7496 or 248.342.6211
Michelle.culver@spglobal.com

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SOURCE S&P Global Mobility

FAQ

What is the projected new light vehicle sales volume in April 2024?

S&P Global Mobility projects new light vehicle sales volume in April 2024 to reach 1.34 million units.

What is the sales pace estimated for April 2024?

The estimated sales pace for April 2024 is 16.0 million units, indicating continued growth.

How much has retail inventory increased compared to last year?

Retail inventory has increased by 65% compared to last year, providing more opportunities for discounts to buyers.

What is the projected increase in sales volume for 2024?

A projected 3% increase in sales volume is expected for 2024, according to S&P Global Mobility.

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