Sales into large fleets decreased nearly 4% month over month in March to 176,322 units, after an improvement in February, and remained down more than 11% year over year, Cox Automotive reported April 6.
Rental fleet sales volume remains low and sales into government fleets saw a modest decline. Meanwhile, sales into commercial fleets in March saw an impressive gain year over year.
Combined sales into large rental, commercial, and government buyers were down nearly 4% year over year in March. Sales into rental were down slightly over 19% year over year, while sales into commercial fleets were up 19% and sales into government fleets were down 2%. Including an estimate for fleet deliveries into the dealer and manufacturer channels, Cox estimates the remaining retail sales were down 23% year over year in March, leading to an estimated retail seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 11.3 million, which was down 27% from 15.4 million last March and down 7% from last month’s 12.2 million rate.
March total new-light-vehicle sales were down nearly 22% year over year, with one less selling day compared to March 2021; however, retail sales were down slightly more at 23%. By volume, March new-vehicle sales were up 19% over February. The March SAAR came in at 13.3 million, a 24% decline from last year’s 17.6 million, and down 5% from February’s 15 million pace. Fleet share of total sales was 15%, up nearly 2% from last March’s fleet share.
Among manufacturers, GM saw a large increase in fleet deliveries in March, up nearly 85%. All other manufacturers were down from last year, with Nissan down the most at -62%.