In July, 115,976 total fleet units were sold, a 16% month-over-month decrease compared to 138,801 in June but an 11% increase from July 2020 which recorded 104,769 units, according to a Cox Automotive report released Aug. 5.
This brings the 2021 year-to-date total combined large rental, commercial, and government purchases of new vehicles to 1.09 million units, a 6% increase from this time in 2020 when 1.03 million units were sold and a 40% decrease from the same time in 2019 when 1.81 million units were sold.
Sales into rental increased 248% year over year in July and are up 3% compared to the same time period last year. Commercial sales remain down 11% year over year but are up 20% year to date in 2021. Including an estimate for fleet deliveries into the dealer and manufacturer channel, we estimate that the remaining retail sales are up 5% year over year in July, leading to an estimated retail SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) of 13.1 million, up from 13 million last July and down from July 2019’s 14.4 million rate.
July total new-vehicle sales are up 4% year over year, with one more selling day compared to July 2020. The July SAAR came in at 14.8 million, an increase from last year’s 14.7 million but down from July 2019’s 17 million rate.
Looking at automakers, year-over-year changes in fleet sales differed by manufacturer, ranging from a decline of 48% to an increase of 206%. Toyota saw the largest growth last month with more than 18,000 sales.