New Car Sales in the USA: Growth and Challenges

Sales of new cars in the United States have increased by almost five percent from January to March of this year. Despite high interest rates, buyers remained in the market, as reported by Associated Press.

However, the growth in electric vehicle sales slowed down in the first three months of 2024. Conventional buyers still have reservations about the limited range and lack of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Automakers, most of whom have released their sales figures in the US, sold nearly 3.8 million cars in the first quarter, equating to an annual rate of 15.4 million units. With inventories at pre-pandemic levels, automakers had to reduce prices to attract buyers.

During March, the average selling price of cars was $44,186, a 3.6 percent decrease from the previous year, marking the largest decline on record for that month. Automakers offered around 66 percent more discounts compared to a year ago, with an average discount of $2,800.

The sales of electric cars saw a modest increase of 2.7 percent to just over 268,000 units in the first quarter of the year, significantly lower than the 47 percent growth seen in the previous year. Electric vehicle leases accounted for nearly a quarter of retail sales, up from 19.6 percent in March 2023.

The slowdown in electric vehicle sales, led by Tesla, highlights concerns that automakers may have moved too quickly in their electric vehicle ambitions. Electric cars made up 7.1 percent of the US market in the first quarter of 2024.

Ivan Drury, the Director of Insights at Edmunds, noted that automakers are facing increasingly skeptical buyers due to concerns about charging infrastructure, battery life, and insurance costs. The initial wave of electric vehicle enthusiasts has already made their purchases, according to Associated Press.

Overall, the sales data reflects the changing dynamics of the car market in the US, with a mix of traditional and electric vehicles appealing to a diverse range of consumers. Despite challenges, automakers continue to adapt to meet the evolving demands of the market.