May brought a fifth consecutive drop in U.S. light vehicles sales but total volume was still high from a historical perspective. Automakers delivered nearly 1.59 million car and trucks to new owners in May, down 0.3% from May 2018 but ahead of analyst predictions.
Just-Auto.com reported that after five months, slightly more than 6.5 million vehicles have been sold or leased. That’s about 2.4% fewer than the same period last year.
May’s seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) came in at 17.4 million the second-highest reading this year. It was even an improvement over last May’s 17.26 million.
After a long spell of carmaker pricing discipline, incentives crept up in May. There was slightly more volume in zero interest financing which allowed the average interest rate to drop slightly to 6.1% APR. That’s still 7.6% higher than May 2018 and nearly 40% higher than it was five years ago. However, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board has indicated that no further increases in the interest rate are planned so the financing situation may ease a bit.
Counterbalancing this was another increase in the average transaction price. Depending on the source, estimates of the increase ranged from 3.2% to 4.2% but all agreed it was another new record.
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