SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- TrueCar, Inc. projects 16 million new light vehicle sales for 2021, an increase of 10% from the previous year. Retail sales are expected to reach 13.9 million, an increase of 9.6% from 2020.
"The year 2020 was a challenging one for the automotive industry and the economy at large, but the recovery came faster than most expected, providing strong momentum and pent-up demand going into 2021," said Nick Woolard, Lead Industry Analyst at TrueCar. "Retail demand is healthy and will remain the driving force for total vehicle sales in 2021. Fleet sales will also increase, but at a much slower pace, due to the uncertainty surrounding travel."
Q4 2020 saw record-breaking average transaction prices for new vehicles, as incentives eased and consumers opted for more expensive SUVs and trucks. The trend towards more expensive vehicles continues in 2021. Average transaction prices are projected to increase 3.1% year over year to $37,925. In previous years, the average transaction increased roughly 4% year over year.
"As the K-shaped recovery takes shape in 2021, we expect higher-income households, who have not been financially impacted by the pandemic, to continue making new vehicle purchases," added Woolard. "Continued trends towards large trucks, SUVs, and a growing array of electric vehicles as well as additional safety and technology content will lead to even higher average transaction prices in 2021."
Average interest rates for new vehicles in 2020 were 4.74%, and interest rates for used vehicles were 8.47%. TrueCar forecasts that interest rates for 2021 will remain similar to those we saw in Q4 2020.
"Car shoppers in 2021 can expect interest rates for new and used vehicles to remain at the low levels we saw towards the latter part of 2020 with support from the Federal Reserve," said Alain Nana-Sinkam, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at TrueCar. "The Fed is signaling continued support into 2021 as the U.S. economy recovers from the pandemic. The low interest rates are likely to stay at least through the end of the year."
(Note: This forecast is based solely on TrueCar, Inc.'s analysis of industry sales trends and conditions and is not a projection of TrueCar, Inc.'s operations.)
TrueCar is a leading automotive digital marketplace that enables car buyers to connect to our nationwide network of Certified Dealers. We are building the industry's most personalized and efficient car-buying experience as we seek to bring more of the purchasing process online. Consumers who visit our marketplace will find a suite of vehicle discovery tools, price ratings, and market context on new and used cars – all with a clear view of what's a great deal. When customers are ready, TrueCar will enable them to connect with a local Certified Dealer who shares in our belief that truth, transparency, and fairness are the foundation of a great car-buying experience. As part of our marketplace, TrueCar powers car-buying programs for over 250 leading brands, including AARP, Sam's Club, and American Express. Nearly half of all new-car buyers engage with TrueCar-powered sites, where they buy smarter and drive happier. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.
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SOURCE Truecar, Inc.