According to the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), sales of light vehicles totaled 14.1 million at an annual rate in November, down from a 15.1 million pace in October. The November result was a 6.5 percent decrease from the prior month.
Weak auto sales had been largely a result of component shortages that limited production, resulting in plunging inventory and surging prices. More recently, weak consumer confidence, elevated inflation, and rising interest rates are likely contributing to softer demand.
Breaking down sales by the origin of assembly, sales of domestic vehicles decreased to 11.9 million units versus 12.11 million in October, a drop of 7.5 percent, while imports fell to a 2.95 million rate from 3.02 in October, a decline of 2.1 percent.
Within the domestic light-vehicles category, domestic car sales were 2.32 million in November versus 2.45 million in October, a drop of 5.4 percent. Domestic light truck sales were 8.88 million versus 9.66 million in the prior month, a fall of 8.1 percent. That puts the domestic light truck share of total domestic auto sales at 79.3 percent, down from 79.8 percent in the prior month.
The average consumer expenditure for a car fell to $30,659 in October, down 0.9 percent from September, while the average consumer expenditure on a light truck fell to $47,983 from $48,578 in September, off 1.2 percent for the month.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. According to experts from AutoForecast Solutions, the semiconductor shortage is easing, and they predict dramatic improvements in 2023. When inventory levels recover, prices are expected to ease, and so next year’s potential chip shortage respite should bring welcome relief to car shoppers.