March Vehicles Sales increased to 17.75 Million SAAR

Wards released their estimate of light vehicle sales for March yesterday. Wards estimates sales of 17.75 million SAAR in March 2021 (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), up 13.3% from the February sales rate, and up 56% from March 2020 (sales collapsed in March 2020).

This was well above the consensus estimate of 16.5 million SAAR.

Vehicle SalesClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows light vehicle sales since 2006 from the BEA (blue) and the Wards’ estimate for March (red).

The impact of COVID-19 was significant, and April was the worst month.

Since April, sales have increased.

The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.

Vehicle SalesNote: dashed line is current estimated sales rate of 17.75 million SAAR.

There was some bounce back from the weather related weakness in February, and apparently there was a surge in buying towards the end of March (probably related to the stimulus checks).