VW Sales Hit 10-Year Low in 2021, BMW Races Ahead

First Up 01/13/22

Used-vehicle Sales Hit All-Time U.S. Record in 2021

The number of used vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2021 hit an all-time record, bolstered by a robust spring selling season that analysts say may not be easily repeated. Cox Automotive estimated that overall used-vehicle sales for 2021 were 40.9 million, an increase of about 10 percent compared with 2020. Of those, an estimated 22.2 million were retail sales — vehicles sold to consumers by dealerships and other retailers such as Carvana. That also was an all-time record, Cox said, and reflected an increase of nearly 13 percent year over year. But the records will likely stop there, at least for a while. In a preliminary forecast, Cox said it is predicting 2022 volume will come in at 39.3 million used-vehicle sales in total and 22.1 million used-vehicle sales at retail. According to Automotive News, if the forecast holds, those numbers will land below 2021 volume but still register slightly higher than 2020's total used-vehicle sales of 37.3 million and used-vehicle retail sales of 19.8 million. For the full story, click here.

Americans Want Cheaper EVs With Over 500 Miles of Range: Survey

How much range do electric vehicles need to appeal to American car buyers? 300 miles? Maybe 400, like GM thinks people want of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV? Well, according to the 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study from professional services firm Deloitte, even that isn't enough. Instead, Americans expect 518 miles of driving range from battery-powered cars. According to The Drive, Deloitte reached this figure by surveying 927 American "consumers of driving age," whose range demands would today be met only by the 520-mile 2022 Lucid Air. It comes as no surprise, then, that American drivers still overwhelmingly prefer internal combustion power, with 69 percent of respondents stating they want their next vehicles to be fossil-fueled exclusively—not even aided by a hybrid system, which just 22 percent of respondents would consider. Only five percent said they wanted an EV, as opposed to 91 percent sticking with some form of combustion power. For more survey results, click here.

Cox Automotive Sees 2022 Light-Vehicle Sales Rebound

Cox Automotive expects a relatively modest rebound in new, light-vehicle sales this year, to about 16 million cars and trucks, up 6.6 percent from 14.9 million in 2021 but still below pre-COVID-19 sales of about 17.1 million in 2019. “We do expect growth in sales, but it is very much a supply-constrained story, especially in the first half of the year” in 2022, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive, says during a Jan. 7 webinar. The growth in sales in 2022 depends on higher production, which depends in turn on better access to computer chips and straightening out other supply-chain constraints, he says. According to Wards, Cox Automotive also expects sustained high consumer demand relative to supply. With variants such as omicron spreading, COVID-19 is still the biggest risk factor to both the U.S. economy and the 2022 forecast, Smoke says: “We have to keep COVID on the radar.” For more ’22 sales predictions, click here.

VW Sales Hit 10-Year Low in 2021, BMW Races Ahead

Volkswagen Group posted its lowest sales figures in 10 years in 2021 at 8.9 million deliveries, the carmaker said on Wednesday, and it said it expected supply chain conditions to remain volatile in the first half of this year. By contrast, Reuters reports that luxury carmaker BMW saw record deliveries of 2.21 million vehicles from the BMW brand, a success attributed in part to its ability to adapt to supply chain shortages. "Under unusually challenging circumstances, Volkswagen reached a satisfying sales result," sales and marketing chief Klaus Zellmer said. "However, the huge effects of chips on production were not able to be fully compensated." Performance for the premium carmakers was weakest in Europe, with the BMW and Mini brands registering just 3.9 percent growth and Mercedes-Benz an 11.2 percent drop. North America was a strong market for all three carmakers. Mercedes-Benz registered 0.4 percent growth in the United States and BMW 19.5 percent. Volkswagen saw 13 percent growth in the region. For the full story, click here.

Detroit Auto Show to Return with New Vehicles, Outdoor Events This Fall

The Detroit auto show will return with plans for attractions from the riverfront to parks throughout downtown, Sept. 14-25. According to the Detroit Free Press, the plan, which includes displays inside the Huntington Place convention center, will be the first full-scale auto show in Detroit since January 2019. The show, which has international status as the North American International Auto Show, took place in January for several decades before the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which runs the show, decided to move it to June so automakers could offer outdoor demonstrations of new vehicles and technologies. That move brought with it an ambitious plan to have outdoor attractions along the Detroit riverfront and at the parks to make the most of the scenic location, downtown restaurants and attractions. The September show retains those goals, NAIAS executive director Rod Alberts said Tuesday, promising “a destination event” that will showcase the region and draw visitors. For more on the show’s return, click here.

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