The car shopping experts at Edmunds forecast that 3,416,266 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2021, which reflects a 13% decrease from the third quarter of 2020 and a 22.7% decrease compared to the second quarter of 2021.
“New vehicle sales in the third quarter have been a direct reflection of the worsening chipset and inventory situation. Although consumer demand continues to run high, sales have continued to slide downward each month because there simply aren’t enough of the vehicles that shoppers want,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. “The entire U.S. auto industry — including the Asian manufacturers, which were doing a bit better than their domestic counterparts until recently — is in an incredibly volatile position right now and we are seeing inflated retail prices across the board. It’s growing extraordinarily hard to predict who will come out on top heading into the rest of the year, as every automaker is at the mercy of its suppliers and challenged logistics around the globe.”
Since Edmunds analysts expect this volatility to continue through the rest of 2021, they advise car shoppers to do extra research, be flexible, and brace themselves for higher prices and increased competition if they know they need to make a new vehicle purchase soon.
“If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a lease ending this year and are happy with the car you have, consider buying out your vehicle or extending your lease to avoid the hassle of making a new purchase,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of insights. “If you do need to get into a new vehicle and see anything you like at this point, it’s best to bite the bullet and make the purchase immediately. Don’t wait as the situation could get worse, and don’t try to pit dealers against one another for the best price: You’ll more than likely end up empty-handed because there will likely be plenty of other shoppers vying for the same vehicle.”