NADA Issues First Quarter 2020 Analysis of Auto Sales


By Patrick Manzi, NADA Chief Economist

As the first quarter of 2020 has come to a close, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) issued an analysis of U.S. auto sales and the economy, including the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both.

“New-vehicle sales were on a healthy trajectory until mid-March, when we saw widespread social distancing measures due to the coronavirus go into effect and dramatically slow sales,” said NADA chief economist Patrick Manzi. “However, most dealerships remained open for essential services through much of March, which helped blunt the decline in new-vehicle sales somewhat.”

March saw a 37.9% decline in new vehicle sales compared to March of 2019, while the first quarter of 2020 experienced a 12.7% decline compared to the Q1 2019. Consumer preference toward light-trucks over light vehicles continued in Q1 with light-trucks representing 74.1% of all new vehicles sold.

To promote new vehicle sales…

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