NADA Issues Analysis of 2019 Auto Sales

TYSONS, Va. (Jan. 8, 2020)—With the end of 2019, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) issued an analysis of U.S. auto sales and the economy.


“All in all, the year ended strong with 17.1 million units,” said NADA chief economist Patrick Manzi. “In December 2019, we saw a continuation of many of the trends we have seen throughout the year.”

December 2019 trends include efforts by OEMs to bolster sales with elevated incentive spending, a continued shift to crossovers and pickups and an increase in consumers choosing used vehicles or leased vehicles in light of affordability concerns.

In 2019, light trucks continued to siphon off market share from the car segment. As of December 2019, light trucks represented 72.1 percent of all new light-vehicle sales – an increase of 2.9 percentage points compared to 2018. By the end of 2020, NADA expects the light truck segment to gain market share – topping 75 percent, compared to an anticipated car segment market share of 25 percent.

“As affordability remains a challenge, more consumers chose used vehicles in 2019,” added Manzi. “New cars are getting too expensive for many consumers. Even consumers with great credit or the ability to buy new are instead choosing a used vehicle.”

With the combination of affordability concerns and high used-vehicle inventories, the used vehicle market continues to pull new vehicle customers away from the new-vehicle market. In 2020, NADA anticipates the used-vehicle sales of 39.5 million units – a flat market compared to 2019.

Going into 2020, NADA anticipates new-vehicle sales of 16.8 million units – a 1 to 2 percent decrease from 2019.

“Consumers are feeling confident in the economy. Interest rates are low. Unemployment is low,” said Manzi. “In the U.S. economy, things look really good and I’m confident we will have another solid year in 2020.”

Click here to read the full December 2019 NADA Market Beat report.