Detroit, Michigan – March 2021 was the third best in history for US light vehicle sales, according to consultants LMC Automotive.
The strong March sales were only beaten in 2000 and 2018, the consultants said. At 1.6m units, they were up 63% on March 2020. If this rate continues through the year, then sales in the US will reach 18m.
Demand came from retail buyers, who purchased 1.38m units, and prices were high. LMC said the demand was likely to have been driven by relatively good weather and government stimulus packages.
Light vehicle demand is accelerating as the year passes, but there is a risk to sales from shortages of semiconductors. This shortage could lead to production stoppages in April and May, LMC said. If chip supply can be sorted out, then there could be strong second half sales, according to Jeff Schuster, president of LMC Automotive's Americas operations and global vehicle forecasts.
He said: 'Supporting the robust recovery in auto sales is an increased outlook for GDP growth to 7% in 2021 and continued progress in vaccine roll-out.'