Manufacturers prefer the retail over fleet market for now, with sales into large fleets falling 48% month over month in January to 97,707 units, according to Cox Automotive numbers released Feb. 8.
Combined sales into large rental, commercial, and government buyers were down 36% year over year in January. Sales into commercial increased 4% year over year. Sales into rental declined 61% year over year, while sales into government declined 23%.
Including an estimate for fleet deliveries into the dealer and manufacturer channel, Cox Automotive estimates that the remaining retail sales were down 6% year over year in January, leading to an estimated retail seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 13.2 million, which was down from 14.1 million last January but up from December’s 11.0 million rate.
January total new light vehicle sales were down 10% year over year, with the same number of selling days compared to January 2021. Month over month, January new-vehicle sales were down 18%. The January SAAR came in at 15 million, a 10% decline from last year’s 16.8 million. January 2020 had a 16.9 million rate.
Looking at automakers, year-over-year changes in fleet sales differed by manufacturer, with declines ranging from -2.9% to -100%. Hyundai posted the largest decrease compared to January 2021.