TrueCar Forecasts Industry Retail Sales Soar 34% for the 4th Quarter

TrueCar projects that total retail sales for Q4 are expected to be up 0.6% from last year when adjusted for the same number of selling days and up 34.2% from Q3 when adjusted for the same number of selling days.

Total new vehicle sales will reach 1,605,101 units in December 2020, down 6.5% 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 16.2 million units. Excluding fleet sales, TrueCar expects US retail deliveries of new cars and light trucks to be 1,428,094 units, a decrease of 2.2% from a year ago, when adjusted for the same number of selling days.

Average transaction price (ATP) is projected to be up 5.3% or $1,950 from a year ago and up 2.6% or $988 from November 2020, setting an all-time record as the figure ticks closer to $40,000. TrueCar projects that US revenue from new vehicle sales will reach more than $62 billion for December 2020, up 10.2% (based on a non-adjusted daily selling rate) from a year ago and up 35.6% from last month.

“In the final days of 2020, we can finally look in the rearview mirror and appreciate the tremendous recovery that the automotive industry has made since the pandemic derailed auto sales in March. Retail vehicle sales have nearly reached normal levels with sales down only 2.2% from last year, which is a truly impressive outcome,” said Nick Woolard, Director of OEM Analytics at TrueCar. “The momentum from a strong third quarter carried into the fourth quarter and solidified the industry’s comeback. Production and inventory have gone back up in the fourth quarter and, as a result, retail sales are up 34% quarter-over-quarter.”

Total new vehicle sales are forecasted to reach 14.6M, down 15% year-over-year for 2020 and new-vehicle retail sales are forecasted to reach 12.7M, down 8% compared with 2019. Used vehicle sales are forecasted to reach 38.4M for 2020, down 6% year-over-year.

Insights from TrueCar’s end-of-year forecast by brand:

  • Three brands increased volume in 2020 (Tesla, Volvo, and Alfa Romeo) — all luxury brands.
  • Volvo moved up the most in the rankings, up four places from 27 to 23.
  • Tesla, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Lincoln each moved up two spots.
  • Tesla surpassed Audi sales to become the #4 luxury brand.

“Luxury vehicle sales were an unexpected sales story for 2020, with higher-income Americans, some of whom were not as financially impacted by the pandemic, delivering strong luxury vehicle purchases this year,” added Woolard. “Brands such as Tesla, Volvo, and Alfa Romeo increased their volume year-over-year, and even Lamborghini broke sales records in 2020.”

Additional Insights: (forecast by TrueCar)

  • Total retail sales for December 2020 are expected to be down 2.2% from a year ago and up 6% from November 2020 when adjusted for the same number of selling days.
  • Fleet sales for December 2020 are expected to be down 31.3% from a year ago and up 34.3% from November 2020 when adjusted for the same number of selling days.
  • Average transaction price is projected to be up 5.3% or $1,950 from a year ago and up 2.6% or $988 from November 2020.
  • Total SAAR is expected to decrease 4.4% from a year ago from 16.9 million units to 16.2 million units.
  • Used vehicle sales for December 2020 are expected to reach 3.1 million, up 6% from a year ago and up 7% from November 2020.
  • The average interest rate on new vehicles is 5.5% and the average interest rate on used vehicles is 8.0%.

“Average transaction price has continued to increase month-over-month this year and set a record in December, with the average new vehicle in the US costing $38,979. This is a notable increase of almost $1,000 from last month,” said Alain Nana-Sinkam, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at TrueCar. “New vehicle buyers are gravitating toward luxury brands such as Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. These brands are experiencing some of the biggest increases in their average transaction price month-over-month.”

Quarterly Insights: (forecast by TrueCar)

  • Total unit sales for Q4 are expected to be down 3.8% from last year when adjusted for the same number of selling days and up 4.5% from Q3 when adjusted for the same number of selling days.
  • Total retail sales for Q4 are expected to be up 0.6% from last year when adjusted for the same number of selling days and up 34.2% from Q3 when adjusted for the same number of selling days.

Total Unit Sales

Manufacturer Dec 2020 Forecast Dec 2019 Actual Nov 2020 Actual YoY %
Change
YoY % Change 
(Daily Selling Rate)
MoM % Change MoM % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 41,727 38,159 31,005 9.4 % -2.4 % 34.6 % 10.5 %
Daimler 28,568 35,279 29,580 -19.0 % -27.7 % -3.4 % -20.7 %
FCA 198,108 191,075 137,913 3.7 % -7.4 % 43.6 % 18.0 %
Ford 197,476 216,439 148,816 -8.8 % -18.5 % 32.7 % 9.0 %
GM 306,843 277,640 212,415 10.5 % -1.3 % 44.5 % 18.7 %
Honda 133,574 136,566 102,614 -2.2 % -12.7 % 30.2 % 6.9 %
Hyundai 69,174 66,945 56,106 3.3 % -7.7 % 23.3 % 1.3 %
Kia 54,813 51,229 47,897 7.0 % -4.5 % 14.4 % -6.0 %
Nissan 100,925 104,781 72,816 -3.7 % -14.0 % 38.6 % 13.9 %
Subaru 63,675 62,364 50,413 2.1 % -8.8 % 26.3 % 3.8 %
Tesla 35,197 23,300 21,650 51.1 % 34.9 % 62.6 % 33.5 %
Toyota 250,877 207,373 205,523 21.0 % 8.0 % 22.1 % 0.3 %
Volkswagen Group 61,962 58,816 51,397 5.3 % -5.9 % 20.6 % -1.0 %
Industry 1,605,101 1,533,555 1,214,891 4.7 % -6.5 % 32.1 % 8.5 %


Retail Unit Sales

Manufacturer Dec 2020 Forecast Dec 2019 Actual Nov 2020 Actual YoY %
Change
YoY % Change 
(Daily Selling Rate)
MoM % Change MoM % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 40,991 35,290 30,030 16.2 % 3.7 % 36.5 % 12.1 %
Daimler 27,984 32,707 28,753 -14.4 % -23.6 % -2.7 % -20.1 %
FCA 164,000 147,745 121,785 11.0 % -0.9 % 34.7 % 10.6 %
Ford 161,082 162,750 116,827 -1.0 % -11.6 % 37.9 % 13.3 %
GM 266,528 213,566 185,323 24.8 % 11.4 % 43.8 % 18.1 %
Honda 133,016 135,438 102,141 -1.8 % -12.3 % 30.2 % 7.0 %
Hyundai 64,361 56,015 51,118 14.9 % 2.6 % 25.9 % 3.4 %
Kia 52,774 47,036 46,529 12.2 % 0.2 % 13.4 % -6.8 %
Nissan 82,780 82,846 67,602 -0.1 % -10.8 % 22.5 % 0.6 %
Subaru 61,301 59,914 49,429 2.3 % -8.6 % 24.0 % 1.9 %
Tesla 35,185 23,300 21,636 51.0 % 34.8 % 62.6 % 33.6 %
Toyota 222,844 195,176 190,235 14.2 % 1.9 % 17.1 % -3.8 %
Volkswagen Group 61,009 56,137 51,189 8.7 % -3.0 % 19.2 % -2.1 %
Industry 1,428,094 1,303,388 1,106,613 9.6 % -2.2 % 29.1 % 6.0 %


Fleet Unit Sales

Manufacturer Dec 2020 Forecast Dec 2019 Actual Nov 2020 Actual YoY %
Change
YoY % Change 
(Daily Selling Rate)
MoM % Change MoM % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 736 2,869 975 -74.3 % -77.1 % -24.5 % -38.0 %
Daimler 584 2,572 827 -77.3 % -79.7 % -29.4 % -42.0 %
FCA 34,108 43,330 16,128 -21.3 % -29.7 % 111.5 % 73.7 %
Ford 36,394 53,689 31,989 -32.2 % -39.5 % 13.8 % -6.5 %
GM 40,315 64,074 27,092 -37.1 % -43.8 % 48.8 % 22.2 %
Honda 558 1,128 473 -50.5 % -55.8 % 18.0 % -3.1 %
Hyundai 4,813 10,930 4,988 -56.0 % -60.7 % -3.5 % -20.7 %
Kia 2,039 4,193 1,368 -51.4 % -56.6 % 49.0 % 22.4 %
Nissan 18,145 21,935 5,214 -17.3 % -26.1 % 248.0 % 185.9 %
Subaru 2,374 2,450 984 -3.1 % -13.5 % 141.3 % 98.2 %
Tesla 12 14 -14.3 % -29.6 %
Toyota 28,033 12,197 15,288 129.8 % 105.2 % 83.4 % 50.6 %
Volkswagen Group 953 2,679 208 -64.4 % -68.2 % 358.2 % 276.4 %
Industry 177,008 230,167 108,278 -23.1 % -31.3 % 63.5 % 34.3 %


Fleet Penetration

Manufacturer Dec 2020 Forecast Dec 2019 Actual Nov 2020 Actual YoY % Change MoM % Change
BMW 1.8 % 7.5 % 3.1 % -76.5 % -43.9 %
Daimler 2.0 % 7.3 % 2.8 % -72.0 % -26.9 %
FCA 17.2 % 22.7 % 11.7 % -24.1 % 47.2 %
Ford 18.4 % 24.8 % 21.5 % -25.7 % -14.3 %
GM 13.1 % 23.1 % 12.8 % -43.1 % 3.0 %
Honda 0.4 % 0.8 % 0.5 % -49.4 % -9.4 %
Hyundai 7.0 % 16.3 % 8.9 % -57.4 % -21.7 %
Kia 3.7 % 8.2 % 2.9 % -54.6 % 30.2 %
Nissan 18.0 % 20.9 % 7.2 % -14.1 % 151.1 %
Subaru 3.7 % 3.9 % 2.0 % -5.1 % 91.0 %
Tesla 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.1 % -47.3 %
Toyota 11.2 % 5.9 % 7.4 % 90.0 % 50.2 %
Volkswagen Group 1.5 % 4.6 % 0.4 % -66.2 % 280.1 %
Industry 11.0 % 15.0 % 8.9 % -26.5 % 23.7 %


Total Market Share

Manufacturer Dec 2020 Forecast Dec 2019 Actual Nov 2020 Actual
BMW 2.6 % 2.5 % 2.6 %
Daimler 1.8 % 2.3 % 2.4 %
FCA 12.3 % 12.5 % 11.4 %
Ford 12.3 % 14.1 % 12.2 %
GM 19.1 % 18.1 % 17.5 %
Honda 8.3 % 8.9 % 8.4 %
Hyundai 4.3 % 4.4 % 4.6 %
Kia 3.4 % 3.3 % 3.9 %
Nissan 6.3 % 6.8 % 6.0 %
Subaru 4.0 % 4.1 % 4.1 %
Tesla 2.2 % 1.5 % 1.8 %
Toyota 15.6 % 13.5 % 16.9 %
Volkswagen Group 3.9 % 3.8 % 4.2 %


Retail Market Share

Manufacturer Dec 2020 Forecast Dec 2019 Actual Nov 2020 Actual
BMW 2.9 % 2.7 % 2.7 %
Daimler 2.0 % 2.5 % 2.6 %
FCA 11.5 % 11.3 % 11.0 %
Ford 11.3 % 12.5 % 10.6 %
GM 18.7 % 16.4 % 16.7 %
Honda 9.3 % 10.4 % 9.2 %
Hyundai 4.5 % 4.3 % 4.6 %
Kia 3.7 % 3.6 % 4.2 %
Nissan 5.8 % 6.4 % 6.1 %
Subaru 4.3 % 4.6 % 4.5 %
Tesla 2.5 % 1.8 % 2.0 %
Toyota 15.6 % 15.0 % 17.2 %
Volkswagen Group 4.3 % 4.3 % 4.6 %


Average Transaction Price (ATP)

Manufacturer Dec 2020
Forecast
Dec 2019
Actual
Nov 2020 Actual YOY MOM
BMW $61,779 $58,988 $59,733 4.7 % 3.4 %
Daimler $60,259 $57,641 $57,393 4.5 % 5.0 %
FCA $44,618 $41,940 $44,167 6.4 % 1.0 %
Ford $44,750 $42,785 $43,840 4.6 % 2.1 %
GM $44,776 $41,393 $43,805 8.2 % 2.2 %
Honda $31,247 $29,938 $31,100 4.4 % 0.5 %
Hyundai $29,733 $26,854 $29,204 10.7 % 1.8 %
Kia $28,460 $26,108 $28,027 9.0 % 1.5 %
Nissan $30,411 $29,767 $30,006 2.2 % 1.3 %
Subaru $30,777 $30,463 $30,528 1.0 % 0.8 %
Toyota $36,272 $34,330 $35,696 5.7 % 1.6 %
Volkswagen Group $45,195 $43,093 $43,904 4.9 % 2.9 %
Industry $38,979 $37,029 $37,991 5.3 % 2.6 %


Incentive Spending

Manufacturer Dec 2020
Forecast
Dec 2019
Actual
Nov 2020
Actual
YOY MOM
BMW $5,774 $5,901 $5,211 -2.1 % 10.8 %
Daimler $4,336 $6,246 $4,438 -30.6 % -2.3 %
FCA $4,559 $5,346 $4,567 -14.7 % -0.2 %
Ford $4,914 $4,952 $4,449 -0.8 % 10.4 %
GM $4,649 $5,742 $4,974 -19.0 % -6.5 %
Honda $2,750 $2,615 $2,460 5.2 % 11.8 %
Hyundai $2,926 $3,101 $2,497 -5.6 % 17.2 %
Kia $3,304 $3,686 $2,999 -10.4 % 10.2 %
Nissan $4,940 $4,781 $4,496 3.3 % 9.9 %
Subaru $1,540 $1,244 $1,505 23.8 % 2.3 %
Toyota $3,027 $2,854 $2,690 6.1 % 12.5 %
Volkswagen Group $4,554 $4,896 $4,263 -7.0 % 6.8 %
Industry $3,991 $4,309 $3,783 -7.4 % 5.5 %


Incentives as a Percentage of Average Transaction Price (ATP)

Manufacturer Dec 2020
Forecast
Dec 2019
Actual
Nov 2020
Actual
YOY MOM
BMW 9.3 % 10.0 % 8.7 % -6.6 % 7.1 %
Daimler 7.2 % 10.8 % 7.7 % -33.6 % -6.9 %
FCA 10.2 % 12.7 % 10.3 % -19.8 % -1.2 %
Ford 11.0 % 11.6 % 10.1 % -5.1 % 8.2 %
GM 10.4 % 13.9 % 11.4 % -25.1 % -8.6 %
Honda 8.8 % 8.7 % 7.9 % 0.8 % 11.3 %
Hyundai 9.8 % 11.5 % 8.5 % -14.8 % 15.1 %
Kia 11.6 % 14.1 % 10.7 % -17.8 % 8.5 %
Nissan 16.2 % 16.1 % 15.0 % 1.1 % 8.4 %
Subaru 5.0 % 4.1 % 4.9 % 22.5 % 1.5 %
Toyota 8.3 % 8.3 % 7.5 % 0.4 % 10.7 %
Volkswagen Group 10.1 % 11.4 % 9.7 % -11.3 % 3.8 %
Industry 10.2 % 11.6 % 10.0 % -12.0 % 2.8 %


Quarterly Tables

Total Unit Sales, Quarterly

Manufacturer Q4 2020 Q4 2019 Q3 2020 YoY % Change YoY % Change 
(Daily Selling Rate)
QoQ % Change QoQ % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 103,531 100,738 78,634 2.8 % 1.5 % 31.7 % 28.3 %
Daimler 87,230 104,672 72,868 -16.7 % -17.7 % 19.7 % 16.7 %
FCA 496,197 545,693 504,058 -9.1 % -10.2 % -1.6 % -4.1 %
Ford 528,112 598,728 549,134 -11.8 % -12.9 % -3.8 % -6.3 %
GM 778,751 732,618 662,143 6.3 % 5.0 % 17.6 % 14.6 %
Honda 363,175 401,961 388,433 -9.6 % -10.8 % -6.5 % -8.9 %
Hyundai 183,729 188,742 174,573 -2.7 % -3.9 % 5.2 % 2.6 %
Kia 158,804 151,740 165,013 4.7 % 3.3 % -3.8 % -6.2 %
Nissan 245,420 301,291 221,150 -18.5 % -19.6 % 11.0 % 8.2 %
Subaru 175,499 174,788 169,446 0.4 % -0.9 % 3.6 % 1.0 %
Tesla 47,064 53,750 55,700 -12.4 % -13.5 % -15.5 % -17.6 %
Toyota 660,336 604,017 558,449 9.3 % 7.9 % 18.2 % 15.3 %
Volkswagen Group 164,463 167,745 147,880 -2.0 % -3.2 % 11.2 % 8.4 %
Industry 4,181,850 4,290,911 3,898,745 -2.5 % -3.8 % 7.3 % 4.5 %


Retail Unit Sales, Quarterly

Manufacturer Q4 2020 Q4 2019 Q3 2020 YoY % Change YoY % Change 
(Daily Selling Rate)
QoQ % Change QoQ % Change
(Daily Selling Rate)
BMW 101,705 92,484 51,760 10.0 % 8.6 % 96.5 % 91.5 %
Daimler 85,447 96,189 56,995 -11.2 % -12.3 % 49.9 % 46.1 %
FCA 410,767 415,481 322,158 -1.1 % -2.4 % 27.5 % 24.3 %
Ford 430,783 447,712 355,210 -3.8 % -5.0 % 21.3 % 18.2 %
GM 676,434 583,040 438,178 16.0 % 14.5 % 54.4 % 50.5 %
Honda 361,658 398,547 290,488 -9.3 % -10.4 % 24.5 % 21.3 %
Hyundai 170,945 155,082 141,767 10.2 % 8.8 % 20.6 % 17.5 %
Kia 152,897 136,668 122,218 11.9 % 10.5 % 25.1 % 21.9 %
Nissan 201,297 228,008 151,149 -11.7 % -12.8 % 33.2 % 29.8 %
Subaru 168,956 168,684 133,709 0.2 % -1.1 % 26.4 % 23.2 %
Tesla 76,421 53,750 25,248 42.2 % 40.4 % 202.7 % 195.0 %
Toyota 586,550 567,177 386,069 3.4 % 2.1 % 51.9 % 48.1 %
Volkswagen Group 161,933 162,686 114,221 -0.5 % -1.7 % 41.8 % 38.2 %
Industry 3,720,682 3,652,993 2,702,199 1.9 % 0.6 % 37.7 % 34.2 %


Total Market Share, Quarterly

Manufacturer Q4 2020 Q4 2019 Q3 2020
BMW 2.5 % 2.3 % 2.0 %
Daimler 2.1 % 2.4 % 1.9 %
FCA 11.9 % 12.7 % 12.9 %
Ford 12.6 % 14.0 % 14.1 %
GM 18.6 % 17.1 % 17.0 %
Honda 8.7 % 9.4 % 10.0 %
Hyundai 4.4 % 4.4 % 4.5 %
Kia 3.8 % 3.5 % 4.2 %
Nissan 5.9 % 7.0 % 5.7 %
Subaru 4.2 % 4.1 % 4.3 %
Tesla 1.1 % 1.3 % 1.4 %
Toyota 15.8 % 14.1 % 14.3 %
Volkswagen Group 3.9 % 3.9 % 3.8 %


Retail Market Share, Quarterly

Manufacturer Q4 2020 Q4 2019 Q3 2020
BMW 2.7 % 2.5 % 1.9 %
Daimler 2.3 % 2.6 % 2.1 %
FCA 11.0 % 11.4 % 11.9 %
Ford 11.6 % 12.3 % 13.1 %
GM 18.2 % 16.0 % 16.2 %
Honda 9.7 % 10.9 % 10.8 %
Hyundai 4.6 % 4.2 % 5.2 %
Kia 4.1 % 3.7 % 4.5 %
Nissan 5.4 % 6.2 % 5.6 %
Subaru 4.5 % 4.6 % 4.9 %
Tesla 2.1 % 1.5 % 0.9 %
Toyota 15.8 % 15.5 % 14.3 %
Volkswagen Group 4.4 % 4.5 % 4.2 %

(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.)

TrueCar Forecasts Industry Retail Sales 2020


Source: TrueCar Forecasts Industry Retail Sales Soar 34% for the 4th Quarter