US vehicle market hits dip in the road

Fewer new US vehicles on the roads.

The last five months have seen a slowdown in new-vehicle demand in the US, with retail and fleet sales set to fall by 2.9% from last year.

August is usually a busy month in new vehicle sales but an extra selling day this year and generous discounts have not improved the number of new-vehicle deliveries.  The longer-term effects of these reduced sales are likely to take time to filter through to the lubes sector.

However, a recent report by NPD Group is already showing a dip in aftermarket sales against miles driven in the US. The lack of new-vehicle sales is only likely to steepen the curve.

Fleet vehicle sales are currently taking the biggest hit, down 8.3%, with retail dipping 1.9% from August 2016 to 1.28m units.

Jeff Schuster, LMC Automotive Senior Vice President of forecasting said, “The further market shift toward SUVs will need to be balanced with the future push toward electric vehicles (EVs) and investment in future mobility.”