The for sale sign can be seen at Serramonte Subaru, an auto dealership in Colma, California.
Stephen Lam | Reuters
High interest rates, supply chain issues and recession fears were among the major challenges for the global automotive industry in 2022.
These issues are not expected to be resolved quickly next year, or not at all, raising concerns that this year’s supply shortfall could quickly turn into a “demand-destroying” scenario. Years, just when production is picking up.
In a note to investors earlier this month, Bernstein analyst Daniel Roska said, “Given inflation, interest rates and energy costs, the industry is experiencing aggressive demand destruction, but so far this has been the case. mainly affects the backlog.
Roeska wrote that as car production recovers, the market will try to understand where, when and how much pain automakers will feel early next year.
Car sales could still rise
Most analysts expect global and U.S. vehicle sales to increase in 2023, unlike traditional recessions and periods of weak demand in the past. This is primarily because auto sales in the US and other parts of the world have already been at or near recessionary levels since the start. of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
The pandemic has disrupted manufacturing and supply chains around the world, forcing automakers to drastically cut production. The resulting shortage of new cars, trucks, and his SUVs left automakers and dealers asking and getting much higher prices for the vehicles they could offer.
Cox Chief Economist Jonathan Smoak said in a recent video, “The supply of new cars is finally improving, but the industry is trading supply problems for demand problems, which will impact earnings and profits in the year ahead. Not a good sign for
Cox Automotive forecasts 14.1 million U.S. new car sales in 2023, calling Charlie Chesbrough, Senior Economist and Senior Director of Industry Insights at Cox, “lukely optimistic.” .
Analysts expect US car sales to total about 13.7 million units this year. Sales in the US were 15.1 million in 2021 and 14.6 million in 2020.
S&P Global Mobility expects global new car sales to reach approximately 83.6 million units in 2023, up 5.6% year-on-year. In the US, data and consulting firm sales are expected to grow 7% to about 14.8 million units by 2023.
Chesbrough said the expected increase was already due to low-income and subprime borrowers leaving the new-car segment, citing low inventories and record prices, typically during recessions. pointed out that there is
But fat gains can be at risk
These sales increases could come at the expense of the unprecedented pricing power and profits automakers have enjoyed on new vehicles over the past few years.
“The market will recover cautiously due to ongoing supply chain challenges and recession concerns. US consumers are leaning back and returning to pre-pandemic levels of auto demand feels like a tough sell.” Inventories and incentive activity will be key barometers for the market, said Chris Hopson, Manager of North American Light Vehicle Sales Forecasts at S&P Global Mobility, in a statement.
In other words, rising interest rates, growing recession fears and excess inventories will force automakers to cut prices and forgo profits in order to lure potential buyers into their showrooms. Is not it?
This is good news for consumers facing record high new car prices this year.But if so, it would be costly for automakers − and possibly its shareholders.