The U.S. auto market is booming, and not just when comparing sales in March 2021 to those in early in the pandemic in March 2020.
Jeff Schuster, the global automotive forecaster for LMC Automotive, noted on Twitter that sales data for the month released by automakers shows that March 2021 was the second-strongest March for sales since 2000.
"FOMO (fear of missing out) and more optimistic view of recovery drive U.S. light vehicle sales to a 17.9 million [seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales] in March, shattering expectations despite lowest inventory level in years," he wrote.
Toyota saw its sales climb 87 percent for March 2021 vs. 2020, while Honda posted a staggering 93 percent increase, according to our sister paper Automotive News.
General Motors Co. said in a news release that the U.S. sales rate was running at an average of 16.7 million vehicles.
"Consumer confidence and spending will continue to increase due to stimulus, rising vaccination rates and the progressive reopening of the economy," said Elaine Buckberg, GM chief economist. "Auto demand should remain strong throughout the year."
Now if only the industry can get all the parts it needs to keep up with demand. That includes resin for seating, interior and exterior trim and microchips. Supply shortages have forced global automakers to halt assembly of even some of their most popular vehicles this year.