Smarter Perspective: Automotive - The U.S. Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of Vehicle Sales Succumbs to COVID-19

By Keith Spacapan

As we all know too well, when the “shelter-in-place” orders began to be issued in mid-March in response to COVID-19, showroom traffic slowed to a trickle, unemployment claims skyrocketed, and vehicle sales plummeted. The SAAR fell to 11.4 million vehicles in March, the lowest level since April 2010 when the industry was recovering from the Great Recession. The National Automobile Dealers Association, which had been forecasting 2020 sales at 16.8 million vehicles, is now calling for sales of between 13 million and 13.5 million.

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