The North American auto industry would like you to know that things could be worse.
Sales of passenger vehicles plunged about 50 percent in North America during April, but that compares to earlier estimates by J.D. Power that had expected up to an 80 percent drop.
And in fact, retail sales that had been down 60 percent during the last week of March, when shutdowns hit most of the U.S., managed to rebound to only 40 percent behind average for the last week of April compared to April 2019.
"The week ending April 26 marks four straight weeks of improving conditions," J.D. Power said in a report. "U.S. retail sales are now in recovery."
The concern now, according to a story in our sister publication Automotive News, is whether assembly plants and suppliers can ramp up again when demand grows from car buyers who were forced to wait out the market.
"Supply of pickup trucks in general is the one thing we're watching very closely because that's the metric right now that could really knock the sales out of this recovery," said Tyson Jominy, vice president of automotive consulting at J.D. Power.