Second quarter expected to see slower growth in US new vehicle sales

The US auto sales growth rate is expected to have slowed down in the second quarter due to a cyber incident at CDK. Despite this setback, steady demand and improved availability of new vehicles helped keep sales elevated. Market research firm Cox Automotive estimates that new-vehicle sales volume in the second quarter will grow by 1% to approximately 4.2 million units, a significant decrease from the 16% year-on-year surge in sales during the same period in 2023.

**Impact of CDK Cyber Incident on Auto Sales**
Industry experts expect some impact on sales following the cyber incident at CDK in June, which affected dealers across the country. Jessica Caldwell, head of insights at Edmunds, highlighted how the cyberattacks disrupted sales during a crucial time for dealerships, potentially affecting their profits for the month and the quarter.

**Recovery and Sales Projections**
Analysts anticipate that the vehicle retailers and automakers will be able to recover most of the lost sales in July. Automakers have been benefiting from pent-up demand for SUVs, pickup trucks, and hybrid vehicles, as well as offering discounts and incentives to attract price-conscious shoppers.

**Top Automakers in the Second Quarter**
General Motors (GM) is expected to maintain its position as the top automaker in the second quarter, closely followed by Toyota Motor’s North America unit and Ford. Automakers have been launching more affordable models with advanced features to entice buyers looking to upgrade from older vehicles, contributing to their sales performance in the quarter.

**Concerns Over Future Growth**
Despite the positive trends in the second quarter, Cox Automotive remains concerned about sustaining auto sales growth in the latter part of the year due to various uncertainties, including the US presidential election. Chris Hopson, an S&P Global Mobility analyst, noted that concerns over new vehicle affordability and inventory levels may hinder the industry’s ability to maintain the same growth trajectory seen over the past year.

In conclusion, while the US auto industry experienced a slowdown in growth in the second quarter, automakers and dealers are expected to bounce back in the coming months. Factors such as pent-up demand, discounts, and new model launches have contributed to the steady sales performance, but challenges remain in maintaining the growth momentum amidst market uncertainties.

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