Cox Automotive, a leading provider of automotive data and solutions, has released its May 2024 U.S. Auto Sales Forecast, providing insights into the anticipated performance of the automotive industry in the coming months. The forecast projects a continued decline in new vehicle sales, coupled with a steady recovery in used vehicle sales.

Key Highlights

  • New Vehicle Sales Forecast: Total new vehicle sales in the United States are expected to reach 13.7 million units in 2024, a decrease of 2.3% compared to 2023.
  • Used Vehicle Sales Forecast: Used vehicle sales are projected to grow by 5.1%, with an estimated 40.1 million units sold in 2024.
  • Average Transaction Prices (ATPs): The average transaction price for new vehicles is expected to rise by 1.5% to $46,958 in 2024.
  • Interest Rates: Cox Automotive anticipates the Federal Reserve's ongoing efforts to combat inflation will lead to higher interest rates, which could impact consumer demand for vehicles.

New Vehicle Sales Analysis

The forecast indicates a modest decline in new vehicle sales in 2024, primarily attributed to ongoing inventory challenges and economic headwinds.

  • Inventory Constraints: The global semiconductor shortage and supply chain disruptions continue to limit vehicle availability, leading to reduced production and extended wait times for consumers.
  • Economic Factors: Rising inflation, interest rate hikes, and potential recessionary concerns may dampen consumer confidence and reduce demand for new vehicles.

Used Vehicle Sales Analysis

Used vehicle sales are projected to show a steady recovery in 2024, driven by several factors:

  • High New Vehicle Prices: Consumers are increasingly turning to used vehicles as a more affordable alternative to new car purchases.
  • Depreciating Values: Used vehicle values are expected to decline in 2024, making them more attractive to budget-conscious buyers.
  • Strong Demand: The ongoing inventory shortage for new vehicles is creating increased demand for used vehicles as well.

Impact of Interest Rates

Cox Automotive highlights the potential impact of rising interest rates on consumer vehicle purchases.

  • Higher Financing Costs: Increased interest rates result in higher monthly payments for auto loans, which may discourage some consumers from purchasing vehicles.
  • Consumer Demand: Rising interest rates can also reduce overall consumer demand for vehicles, as buyers may choose to postpone or cancel purchases due to affordability concerns.

Implications for the Industry

The forecast outlines several implications for the automotive industry in light of the anticipated sales trends.

  • Dealer Inventory Management: Dealers must prioritize optimizing inventory management strategies to meet the challenges posed by ongoing inventory constraints.
  • Consumer Engagement: Automotive manufacturers and dealers need to focus on providing exceptional customer experiences and delivering value to attract and retain consumers.
  • Alternative Transportation: The rise of ride-sharing, car-sharing, and other alternative transportation options may further impact traditional vehicle ownership patterns.
  • Electrification: The industry will continue to witness the increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), driven by consumer awareness of environmental sustainability and government incentives.


Cox Automotive's May 2024 U.S. Auto Sales Forecast provides valuable insights into the expected performance of the automotive industry in the near future. While new vehicle sales may face headwinds due to inventory constraints and economic challenges, used vehicle sales are anticipated to show a steady recovery. The impact of rising interest rates remains a concern, as higher financing costs may dampen consumer demand for both new and used vehicles. Automotive companies and dealerships must adapt to these changing market dynamics to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of consumers.

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