Sales into large fleets increased 27% month over month in February to 124,507 units, the highest volume in the past seven months, but remained down year over year, Cox Automotive reported March 8. Rental fleet sales volume remains low while commercial and government both saw modest year-over-year gains last month.
Combined sales into large rental, commercial, and government buyers were down 30% year over year in February. Sales into rental were down 52% year over year, while sales into commercial and government fleets had modest year-over-year gains of 1% and 8%, respectively.
Including an estimate for fleet deliveries into the dealer and manufacturer channel, Cox estimates the remaining retail sales pace was down only 8% year over year in February, leading to an estimated retail SAAR of 12.2 million, which was down from 13.2 million last February and also last month’s 13.2 million rate.
February total new-light-vehicle sales were down 12% year over year, with the same number of selling days compared to February 2021. By volume, February new-vehicle sales were up 6% over January. The February SAAR came in at 14.1 million, an 11% decline from last year’s 15.9 million, and down 6% from January’s 15 million pace. Fleet share of total sales was 12%, down 3% from last February’s share.
Among manufacturers, only GM saw an increase in fleet deliveries in February, up nearly 9%. All other manufacturers were down from last year, with a range of -18% to -63% among the large companies.