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CarMax Adds Buyer Benefits, 2021 New Car Sales Estimated at 16 Million

Portrait of a crowdsource taxi driver wearing a facemask while driving a couple of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Average Listing Price Breaks $40,000, New Inventory Stabilizes

In a report released last week, Cox Automotive revealed that new-vehicle inventory is stabilizing at 3 million with an average 70 days’ supply and average listing price of $40,684.

This time last year, new-vehicle inventory was at 3.59 million vehicles. One factor influencing the lower amount of new vehicles in 2021 is a shortage of computer chips. 

Luxury brands are seeing a lower days’ supply, with Mercedes-Benz at 44 and Lexus at 33. The highest is Fiat at 149. The report noted that available supply has been rising, but so have sales – a combination that keeps the days’ supply stable.

16 Million New Car Sales in 2021, According to TrueCar

TrueCar forecasts a 10% industry-wide increase in light vehicle sales for 2021. The 16 million unit prediction represents a healthy increase over 2020’s suppressed performance.

Limiting factors include the semiconductor shortage, COVID-19, and political changes. Whether these outside influences have a short-term or long-term effect on yearly sales is yet to be determined.

The Federal Reserve has indicated that interest rates will stay low, allowing customers to take advantage of cheaper financing. The K-shaped recovery that the economy is experiencing means higher-income buyers have been less affected by the pandemic and continue to trend toward higher-priced vehicle purchases. 

CarMax Introduces Longer Test Drive and Return Windows

The used-car chain CarMax is taking steps to stay competitive with franchised and used-only dealerships. CarMax customers can now take advantage of a 24-hour test drive prior to the sale. The money-back-guarantee has been extended from seven days to 30 days. 

The move will put CarMax into competitive territory compared to rivals like Carvana, which still offers a seven-day return policy. AutoNation has a five-day return policy on used cars. In addition to test drives and returns, CarMax offers a 90-day/4,000-mile limited warranty.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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