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Strong Demand For New Cars During Pandemic Has U.S. Industry Feeling Good About 2021



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General Motors, together with a few other carmakers, managed to post strong fourth quarter sales in the U.S. for 2020, with execs now confident that the market rebound could continue well into 2021.

GM reported a 4.8% sales increase in Q4 in the U.S., with Toyota and VW up 9.4% and 10.8% respectively. Toyota officials now expect 2021 new vehicle sales in the U.S. to hit 16 million units, while VW predicts some 15.6 million, reports Reuters.

“We’re ready to rock 2021,” said Toyota North America VP, David Christ, with VW of America CEO Scott Keogh mirroring those sentiments, stating that he’s “as optimistic as one can be.”

Related: 2020 Was Brutal For Automakers As Many Post Decline In Sales

Industry officials believe that around 14.5 – 14.6 million units were sold in 2020 as a whole, and even though that’s less than the 17.1 million cars sold in 2019, vaccines, low interest rates and consumer savings could all lead to a rebound this year.

“Widening vaccination rates and warmer weather should enable consumers and businesses to return to a more normal range of activities, lifting the job market, consumer sentiment and auto demand,” stated GM chief economist Elaine Buckberg.

Meanwhile, industry consultant Edmunds claims that consumers that are financially able to buy new cars during the pandemic, are also willing to upsize their purchase and go with something larger, featuring more amenities.

Interestingly enough, the average down payment for a new car reached $4,734 in Q4 of 2020, up from $4,329 a year ago.

A full global market rebound can also be expected, with various carmakers such as Hyundai and Kia also feeling optimistic about their upcoming sales this year.

Updated: January 6, 2021 — 2:41 pm

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