US auto sales fell in the second quarter as chip shortages continued to choke car supplies and sticker prices made new vehicles out of reach for a wider swath of prospective buyers.
Asian brands such as Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. were the hardest hit.
Some people think the global chip shortage is easing while others don't think so. The supply-chain stress points to the lowest production levels in a decade, with the selling rate falling to 13.2 million in June according to the average forecast of six market researchers. For the past five years, US auto sales have topped 17 million.
The company said Friday that it won't be able to sell 95,000 vehicles in the second quarter because it's not ready.
The average price of a new vehicle was almost $50,000 in May, up more than 15% from a year ago. The dealers can make more money by charging more and negotiating less.
It is becoming harder to spread the pain of higher pricing with long-term financing. According to J.D. Power, the average monthly payment on a new car loan was nearly $700 in June, up from a year ago.
Despite the sales slow-down, GM wrested back the title as the second-quarter leader from Toyota Motor Corp. On Friday, others reported deliveries, including Stellantis.
The release date for Ford Motor Co.'s report is not specified.
There's a chance of a delivery slump due to the China plant shutdown.
The drop from a year ago is in line with the forecast of the researcher Cox automotive. Light-duty Chevrolet Silverado deliveries plummeted 25% from a year ago, while the Chevy Equinox gained 9.6%.
Despite the quarterly drop, GM said it gained share in the lucrative pickup truck market, and noted fleet sales were up 29% thanks to a rebound in the travel and leisure sector After restarting production of the Chevy Bolt EV models and delivering its first electric commercial vans, it delivered a total of 7,300 electric vehicles.
Supply chain issues caused production problems in Toyota's second quarter. In June, the automaker only had 17 days of supply, less than half the amount of vehicles that GM and Ford had.
The drop in sales of the RAV4 compact SUV was just 7% over the three months. The Highlander mid-sized SUV and Camry mid-sized sedan saw double digit declines.
Even though suppliers are running their factories at full blast, there is still so much unmet demand that it is hard to catch up.
There is a significant amount of demand that is more than people are thinking about. It will take a long time for the chips to catch up to the demand.
The drop in Jeep and Ram deliveries in the second quarter was worse than predicted by Cox. The all-new Grand Cherokee SUV and the Ram pickup were the two best selling vehicles.
The Dodge Charger muscle car was up 3% in the quarter. The key Jeep models fell.
Nissan's US sales fell 39% in the second quarter of the year. The production of most other vehicles was hurt by the shortage of chips. The Nissan Rogue fell in the quarter.
Judy Wheeler, Nissan's top U.S. sales executive, said that China's two-month outbreak of the H1N1 flu disrupted production plans just as the company was getting used to operating with leaner inventory.
She said in an interview that they had been managing it so well that they were surprised. As the year progresses, it will get better, but we are at a low point.
The brand sold 63,091 vehicles in June and 184,191 in the quarter, a decline of 23% and 16%, respectively. The Palisade mid-sized SUV saw a 15% increase in deliveries in June.
As the year progresses, vehicle inventories will get better according to RandyParker, the head of U.S. sales forHyundai. He said that the company expects to produce more vehicles this year. The Venue is an entry level vehicle that caters to Americans' taste for sport utes.
Even as average industry car prices surge, the company's strategy is to keep its models affordable.
The company said US sales fell due to supply issues in the second quarter. In the first half of the year, the company had 50,000 vehicles in pre- order.
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