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U.S. Auto Sales Decline Drastically in April 2020, Toyota Drops 55 Percent

Being an automaker or a car salesman is tough these days. The health crisis has brought the industry to a low point that few people were expecting a couple of months ago, so much so that Toyota’s sales in the United States in April 2020 have fallen 55 percent compared to April 2019.
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Honda posted similarly bad results, Hyundai nosedived 38.7 percent, and Mazda dropped 44.5 percent. The Kia Telluride – one of the few models to post an increase in March 2019 – has also been affected by the crisis that has taken the lives of 67,500 Americans as of May 3rd.

Because fewer and fewer automakers report sales on a month-to-month basis, it’s virtually impossible to tell how much the U.S. auto industry has contracted in April. Nevertheless, experts predict a downfall of more than 50 percent for passenger vehicles and light trucks.

January 2009 was a similarly bad month for car sales in the United States, posting 655,000 sales in the wake of the financial meltdown that saw GM and Chrysler file for bankruptcy protection. “April auto sales took the biggest hit we've seen in decades,” said Edmunds executive director of insights Jessica Caldwell. Worse still for automakers and fleet operators alike, “fleet sales are seeing an even more dramatic drop as daily rental business has dried up.”

Given how bad these results are, the silver lining is that upcoming months have room for improvement. Don’t expect auto sales to bounce back to their former levels, however, because consumers are still facing great uncertainties in terms of employment. In other words, the rain clouds have yet to fully give way to afternoons of warmth. Care to guess how Europe is holding up?

As it happens, March 2020 has seen the biggest fall in the last three decades for the Old Continent’s auto industry, contracting by more than a half from a year earlier. The biggest nosedive was reported in Italy at 85.4 percent, and as far as automakers are concerned, French juggernauts Groupe PSA and Renault reported drops of 69.3 and 63.7 percent, respectively.

 
 
 
 
 

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