Insights from the 12-05-23 Commercial Pulse Report – Automotive Industry Data Roundup

Published: December 4, 2023 by Marsha Silverman

As new car production is finally nearing pre-pandemic levels, supply is catching up to demand. For many potential new car buyers that held off because of the tremendous mark-up on new and used
cars during the pandemic, the beginning trend of new car incentives and discounts is welcoming. However, the increase in car loan interest rates are eating up any incentives being offered, and those consumers who have patiently waited are actually worse off now than if they had purchased a car during the past couple of years.

Many consumers did purchase cars during the pandemic, driven by necessity. During the pandemic, jobs were lost due to business shuts downs, and many were forced to seek new job opportunities. As remote work became the new normal and the demand for delivery of food and products skyrocketed, people purchased cars at marked up prices to employ themselves to meet this increasing demand. It turned out to be a good business decision as higher interest rates now make car purchasing an even more expensive experience.

What I am watching:

It will be interesting to see how quickly the automotive industry and car dealers increase the incentives to offset the increased cost of borrowing to purchase a car. After the aggressive interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation over the past 18 months, there is rumbling that the Fed will soon begin cutting rates.

If interest rates come down and borrowing for auto loans is more reasonable, the increase in demand will be a welcome sight for the auto sector that finally was able to ramp up supply.

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