After weeks of a continuing decline in car sales across the United States amid growing concerns brought by the coronavirus pandemic, new data released by JD Power confirms that auto sales have already started to recover. This includes places hit by COVID-19 the hardest.
The data shows that significantly low car sales at the end of March are likely to have been caused by the enactment of shelter-in-place orders in several U.S. states. But in the first two weeks of April, sales gradually stabilized and showed signs of improvement.
This gives experts reason to believe that the projected losses in the automotive industry may not be as bad as initially expected.
Now, as April comes to an end, regional markets are also starting to show positive progress. Many of these regions where improvements were noted are in the southern part of the U.S. Sales in this region have reportedly started approaching pre-virus levels based on the data.
An example would be the Miami area, where sales slid by 34% in mid-April compared to an alarming drop of 47% the week prior. Meanwhile, in Arizona, sales are only down from normal by 14%.
Improvements are also seen in two of the hardest-hit areas, which are considered epicenters of the pandemic in America: New York state and Detroit. New York saw an 80% drop while Detroit lost 98% of sales in the second week of April. But last week, these numbers recovered to 77% and 85%, respectively.
The statistics are still far from good, but if the trend continues, it could be a good sign for the American automotive industry.
Also seen as a cause for the improvement are the deals that automakers are offering to customers, which includes 0% financing for up to 84 months.
Coming into May, industry experts are optimistic that further improvement will be seen. But JD Power is still projecting car sales to fall by around 1.2 million vehicles for the whole year due to the pandemic.