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Cox Automotive Newsletter August 30, 2022


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Welcome to From the Newsroom, a roundup of news from Cox Automotive and perspectives from its analysts and experts on topics dominating the automotive industry.

As summer fades into the rearview mirror and the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, how auto sales will unfold in August is top of mind for many of us. Today’s newsletter highlights the Cox Automotive new-vehicle sales forecast for August. Many OEMs will be posting results starting Thursday, so check back in the Newsroom later this week for additional insights into sales.
 
In the Auto Market Report video posted this afternoon, Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke notes that we are seeing very little change in the vehicle market trends compared to what we had in July.
 
Recent changes in electric vehicle (EV) tax credit rules and California moving to end sales of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 are grabbing headlines. There is no denying, the path to an EV future is set. Cox Automotive Mobility announced today that it is expanding its network of EV battery service centers with two new sites in the U.S. It is just one additional example of how Cox Automotive is ready to support the transition to battery-powered vehicles.

 
And just how long will the transition take? It’s hard to say, as EV adoption has many challenges, not least of which is Americans
love for larger, gas-powered vehicles. (They don't write hit songs about wanting a new EV; as Dylan Scott notes, we all really need a New Truck). A recent Cox Automotive analysis of Kelley Blue Book shopping data revealed that as gas prices retreated from record highs in June, shopping for EVs and hybrids fell in July, and that trend continued in August. 

We hope you find this selection of articles informative and helpful. Visit the Cox Automotive Newsroom for the latest on the industry’s most important topics, and bookmark the Auto Market Snapshot, a one-stop dashboard for the data our team is tracking. Register now for the Q3 Cox Automotive Industry Insights and Forecast Call on Wednesday, September 28.


COX AUTOMOTIVE FORECAST: AUGUST U.S. AUTO SALES LANGUISH AT SLOW PACE WITH PERSISTENT HEADWINDS

U.S. new-vehicle sales in August are expected to show that the substantially slower pace of sales that started a year ago continues as new-vehicle supply remains virtually unchanged. According to the Cox Automotive forecast, the U.S. auto sales pace, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), is expected to finish flat month over month in August at 13.3 million, up from last year’s 13.1 million level.

The sales volume in August is forecast to finish near 1.14 million units, up 3.6% from last year but down 0.3% from July. With 26 selling days in August, the same as last month and one more than last year, the year-over-year gain in volume is expected to be lifted by the extra day.
 
Read the press release for all the details, and register now to attend for the Q3 Cox Automotive Industry Insights and Forecast Call in late September.


RECOVERY TREND STALLS, BUT CONSUMERS STAND FIRM

The Back-to-Normal Index is down slightly and the Index of Consumer Sentiment from Morning Consult is unchanged week over week. According to Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, the recovery trend has stalled out as inflation has surged and gas prices have declined.

However, the Cox Automotive leading indicators are stable to improving in August. In the Auto Market Report video published this afternoon, Smoke said,
The data show no clear sign of a substantial pulling back in consumer-driven activity.

Read the Auto Market Weekly Summary and watch the Auto Market Report video for more data and insights from Smoke on new and used retail sales and inventory, 0% financing offers and depreciation patterns.


COX AUTOMOTIVE MOBILITY AND SPIERS NEW TECHNOLOGIES EXPAND GLOBAL EV BATTERY SERVICE NETWORK

Focused on management and innovation within the entire EV battery lifecycle, Cox Automotive Mobility and Spiers New Technologies today announced the expansion of its global EV battery service center network with new facilities in Belleville, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, and Las Vegas. Cox Automotive Mobility in collaboration with Spiers New Technologies also operates end-to-end EV battery service centers in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Ede, Netherlands.
 
“The expansion of our EV battery service centers in the Midwest and West reinforces Cox Automotive’s commitment to being the world’s best battery health innovator and end-to-end battery services provider,” said Lea Malloy, AVP of EV Battery Solutions, Cox Automotive Mobility.


Read more about how Cox Automotive Mobility is strategically steering its business to support the transition to battery-powered vehicles.


BIG TRUCK AND MIDSIZE SUV SHOPPERS CONSIDERED DOWNSIZING AS GAS PRICES SOARED

High gas prices through the spring and early summer led many truck and SUV shoppers to consider downsizing to smaller, more fuel-efficient versions of trucks and SUVs, according to a Cox Automotive analysis of consumer shopping data on Kelley Blue Book. Large truck shoppers also considered electric trucks. Midsize SUV intenders added hybrid versions to their shopping lists.

As gas prices have retreated, consumers are now falling back into familiar shopping patterns to some degree. Shopping for EVs and hybrids lost share in July and so far in August. Full-size vehicle shopping has inched up.

 
Check out a quick take from Cox Automotive Executive Analyst Michelle Krebs. Download the report to see how gas price volatility is impacting shopping interest in electrified vehicles.


DEALERSHIP SERVICE ACTIVITY AND REVENUE UNEXPECTEDLY DECREASED IN JULY, ACCORDING TO XTIME METRICS, LIKELY DUE TO LABOR AND PARTS SHORTAGES

Both service activity and service revenue at U.S. franchised dealerships decreased in July, according to the latest Cox Automotive analysis of Xtime metrics. The Repair Order Revenue Index decreased month over month again in July but remains up year over year. Meanwhile, the Repair Order Volume Index remained down both month over month and year over year.

“In speaking with dealers, I am hearing that this unexpected decline in service appointments observed in July Xtime data is likely related to their own capacity and labor challenges,” said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “This situation is creating wait times for consumers to get cars serviced. Technician shortages limit capacity, and at the same time ongoing supply chain issues are impacting the delivery of some parts. It is also a difficult time to get loaner or rental cars, and that may be creating an additional inconvenience. Consumers may be delaying service and repair appointments, hoping the situation will improve in the future.”


See the Data Point for more specifics on the monthly Xtime volume and revenue metrics designed to showcase average service department performance.

REGISTER NOW TO ATTEND TO Q3 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS AND FORECAST CALL

The Cox Automotive Q3 Industry Insights and Forecast Call will be held on Wednesday, September 28, 11 a.m. EDT, shortly before the auto industry closes the book on the third quarter.
 
Our experts and analysts, led by Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, will provide insights and data to help quantify how the consumer, the industry and the economy performed in Q3. We will review our 2022 forecasts and will share how we see the industry progressing through the end of the year.

REGISTER TO ATTEND
Looking ahead: Check back in the Cox Automotive Newsroom next week as we will publish commentary on the dealer perspective and sales as the month and quarter come to a close.

Data Points on certified pre-owned and fleet sales will be published the week September 5th. The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index for August will be published on Thursday, September 8.


If you have questions or want to connect with the Cox Automotive PR team in the meantime, feel free to contact us.
AUTO QUOTES

“We’re taking charge of the EV battery lifecycle, offering efficient and sustainable solutions that will effectively extend battery first life and help keep batteries out of our oceans and landfills.”
– Lea Malloy, head of EV Battery Solutions, Cox Automotive Mobility. Read today's announcement for more details.
 
 

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