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NADA Market Beat: Slight New Light Vehicle Sales Increase Results in 15.9 Million Unit SAAR



New light-vehicle sales in May totaled a SAAR of 15.9 million units. May 2024’s SAAR is up 2.4% from May 2023 and up 0.8% from April 2024. Retail sales accounted for 82.1% of May’s overall sales total. And overall sales increases in May were driven in part by sales of more affordable car and CUV models.


Year to date through May 2024, alternative-fuel vehicles represented 17.9% of all new vehicles sold—an increase of 2.5 percentage points of market share from the same period in 2023. But not all powertrains saw market share gains. Hybrids’ and plug-in hybrids’ year-to-date market share rose by 2.1 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively, while battery electric vehicles (BEVs) lost 0.2 percentage points of market share. When looking at raw sales volumes, year-over-year growth of BEV sales slowed to just 0.5% through May, while hybrids and plug-in hybrids saw their sales volumes leap by 36.1% and 37.8%, respectively. 


New light-vehicle inventory declined slightly in May. New light-vehicle inventory on the ground and in transit totaled 2.73 million units at the end of May, down 0.3% from the start of the month and up 50.3% from May 2023. As new-vehicle inventory has grown, so have manufacturer incentives. According to J.D. Power, average incentive spending per unit is expected to total $2,640, an increase of 48.1% compared with May 2023.


Looking out to the rest of the year, we believe that month-to-month inventory levels won’t change much throughout the summer, but will begin to build again in the final quarter of the year. For new light-vehicle sales, we expect more slow and steady growth. Our full-year 2024 forecast for new light-vehicle sales remains unchanged at 15.9 million units.


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NADA Market Beat May 2024

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