Although auto manufacturers saw new car sales fall in the third quarter compared to last year, the losses were not as bad as they were in the previous quarter in 2020. According to Edmunds, third-quarter new vehicle sales were 11% lower than the same time last year. However, that is better than the second quarter, when there was a 30.6% decline.
Toyota, which saw a 35.6% decrease in sales in Q2 2020, had an 11% drop in third-quarter sales. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also rebounded from a 38.6% loss in the second quarter to a 10.2% decrease the following quarter. General Motors saw a 34.0% drop in sales last quarter, but its Q3 2020 sales improved, with sales falling by only 9.9%.
Edmunds’ executive director of insights, Jessica Caldwell, attributed the improvements in new car sales in the third quarter to low interest rates and the rising prices of used cars. However, Cox Automotive senior economist Charlie Chesborough said the fourth quarter may be a challenge because so few 2021 models are in showrooms. Cox showed that 3% of new inventories are currently available, compared to 25% the same time last year.
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