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USA January 2022: Market down -9% to lowest January in 8 years, Hyundai (+10.3%) in shape

Hyundai Tucson sales are up 64% YoY in January. Picture

New light vehicle sales in the U.S. drop -9% year-on-year in January to just above 1 million units according to LMC, the weakest January volume since 2014. However this is the first single-digit loss since U.S. sales started on a negative trend last August. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Rate of sales (SAAR) is down -10% year-on-year to 15.2 million vs. 16.84 million but up sharply on the 12.71 million from December. In fact this is the highest SAAR since last June (15.4 million). Still according the LMC, retail sales amount to roughly 900,000 units in January, meaning fleet sales are at their lowest since the start of the pandemic at 11% share vs. 18% a year ago as manufacturers prioritises higher profit retail sales.

New vehicle inventory is down 61% or 1.2 million units year-on-year, which has pushed the average transaction price up to a January record of $44,905 according to J.D. Power. The effects of the microchip shortage are likely to be felt into the 2nd half of 2022, with an annual volume predicted to reach 15.5 million units vs. 15.06 in 2021. TrueCar says average incentives are down 57% year-on-year and -19% on December to $1,479. The most generous are BMW at $2,607, Stellantis at $1,928, Kia at $1,703 and Ford at $1,610 while at the other end of the scale we have Subaru at $881, Hyundai at $928 and Toyota at $1,054. Light trucks account for 80.1% of the market in January, a record for the month.

Looking at the manufacturers that still communicate sales monthly, Toyota Motor (-5.1%) outpaces the market as light truck sales dip -3% and cars are down -9.6%, Ford Motor sales are stable (-0.1%) but Hyundai-Kia manages an uptick at +3.1%. American Honda (-19.8%) is hit hard. Brand-wise, Toyota (-6.4%) manages to stay above Ford (+1.4%) notching a slight gain, Honda (-18.5%) implodes whereas Hyundai (+10.3%) ends a five-month negative streak with a double-digit gain. Subaru (-4.8%) and Kia (-5.5%) lose less ground than the market but this isn’t the case for Mazda (-16.5%). Lexus (+5%) sports a solid lift whereas Acura (-32.8%), Lincoln (-25.8%) and to a lesser extent Volvo (-12.8%) would rather forget this month. Finally Genesis (+29.3%) continues to gear up.

Model-wise, once again when taking into account the nameplates with monthly sales still available, the Ford F-Series (-8.6%), Toyota RAV4 (-6.1%) and Toyota Camry (-9.7%) manage to keep their losses within the single-digits while the Toyota Highlander is up 2.3%. The Honda HR-V (+111.8%) shows explosive growth with the Subaru Forester (+2.5%) edging up. In contrast the Ford Explorer (-10.2%), Toyota Corolla (-20.2%) and Tacoma (-19%) all struggle. It’s a horrendous month for the Honda CR-V (-48.1%) losing almost half its year-ago volume. Further down, note the strong performances of the Hyundai Venue (+70%), Tucson (+64%), Lexus GX (+36.2%), Toyota Venza (+32.9%), Ford Mustang (+31.2%), Honda Ridgeline (+28.4%) and Honda Passport (+22.6%). Among recent launches, the Ford Bronco leads the way above the Ford Maverick, Toyota Corolla Cross and Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Previous post: USA Full Year 2021: Toyota ends 90 years of reign by General Motors

One year ago: USA January 2021: Kia, Volvo help keep market loss to -3.3%

Full January 2022 data for selected groups, brands and models below.

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