Wards Auto released their estimate of light vehicle sales for January: U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Record Fifth Consecutive Increase in January (pay site).
Wards Auto estimates sales of 15.74 million SAAR in January 2023 (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), up 17.6% from the December sales rate, and up 4.2% from January 2022.
This graph shows light vehicle sales since 2006 from the BEA (blue) and Wards Auto’s estimate for January (red).
The impact of COVID-19 was significant, and April 2020 was the worst month. After April 2020, sales increased, and were close to sales in 2019 (the year before the pandemic). However, sales decreased late last year due to supply issues. It appears the “supply chain bottom” was in September 2021.
Sales in January were well above the consensus forecast.