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From Cox Automotive News December 8, 2023


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.

With only 27 days left in 2023, we are going full throttle to finish the year strong with Forecast: 2024 launching next week. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at some new research and fresh data and insights from Cox Automotive.
In light of the pandemic’s volatility and the increasing sales of electric vehicles, the 2023 Cox Automotive Service Study is perhaps more important than ever. The study was published today, revealing that vehicle owners’ trust in dealerships is declining. For the first time, dealerships are no longer the “most preferred” service provider among vehicle owners. Below you will find links to the press release for other interesting insights and to download the study summary to learn what consumers expect from their service experience.
In the latest 
Auto Market Report video, Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke noted, “Declining vehicle prices in new and used are helping demand. Meanwhile rates are off their peaks, which should also helps. It’s a perfect setup for the dynamics we expect to encounter in 2024 – weak volume growth but improving affordability.”
Early indications suggest the new-vehicle sales pace came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.3 million in November, aligned with the Cox Automotive forecast. 2023 appears to be the best sales year since the pandemic but will be down more than 11% from the average volume sold between 2015 and 2019.
Worth a Read: Check out the latest commentary from Cox Automotive Senior Director of Enterprise Insights and Advisory Brian Finkelmeyer: 
Trade Winds Are Shifting in the Auto Business  
Save the Date: We look forward to bringing you even more actionable and thought-provoking insights in 2024. Plan to join us as we kick off the new year with our annual Cox Automotive Industry Insights webcast on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Visit the Cox Automotive Newsroom for the latest on the industry’s most important topics. Bookmark the Auto Market Snapshot, a one-stop dashboard for the data our team is tracking.


The 2023 Cox Automotive Service Study, which was published this morning, examines this growing, nearly $400 billion U.S. auto care industry. The last time Cox Automotive conducted a survey on service was in 2021. We decided to go back to the field to understand how things have changed over the past three years, especially considering today’s new environment. We talked to more than 2,500 vehicle owners, including 182 EV owners, who had at least one service visit in the past 12 months, which totaled over 5,500 service visits. In addition, we spoke to 529 franchised dealers who had decision-making authority in fixed operations.
Check out the five key takeaways from the 2023 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study, and download the study summary.


In the Auto Market Report published this morning, Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said, “We are ending 2023 with normalizing supply in the new-vehicle market and fading vehicle demand, but it continues to be up over last year and not losing too much momentum. Meanwhile, the used market is stronger than normal for what is typically the slowest time of the year.”
Read the Auto Market Weekly Summary and watch the Auto Market Report video for more data and insights from Smoke on consumer sentiment, new and used retail sales and inventory, auto financing, and Cox Automotive leading indicators.


New-vehicle sales last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.3 million, up more than 7% year over year. Although sales volumes were slightly higher than last month, the increase was muted at best. Despite improving new-vehicle inventory, prices remain stubbornly high, and auto loan rates are still challenging, which is keeping some buyers on the sidelines. Retail auto sales in November were healthy but slowed compared to October. However, the U.S. market is expected to finish 2023 with new-vehicle sales volumes up by more than 10% from 2022, which will be the highest level since 2019.
Read the latest sales forecast commentary from Cox Automotive.


In the final month of 2023, there’s plenty of discussion on the health of the U.S. auto industry. With the UAW contracts signed and indications the Fed may slow interest rate hikes, the market is expected to undergo significant changes in the coming years. In a recent post, Brian Finkelmeyer, senior director of Enterprise Insights and Advisory at Cox Automotive, identified three specific dynamics that will contribute to this transformation.
Read more from Finkelmeyer.


Mark your calendar to join Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough, and the Industry Insights team for Cox Automotive Industry Insights 2024, a special webcast on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, at 11 a.m. EST. This 60-minute session will provide a comprehensive update on the automotive industry for the new year, covering the new, used, and wholesale markets for 2023, along with insights and data from Cox Automotive and the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index. The team will also share Cox Automotive’s 2024 forecasts and the major themes that are expected to shape the year ahead.

Looking ahead: We will report the November Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index on Dec. 7. The Q4 Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index will be reported later this week. Updates on new- and used-vehicle inventory will be published as well.
Next week, we will report the November updates to the average transaction prices, the Dealertrack Credit Availability Index, and the Cox Automotive/Moody’s Analytics Vehicle Affordability Index. Plus, Jonathan Smoke will provide his thoughts on the outcome of the last Federal Reserve meeting of the year. Also, we will launch Forecast: 2024, the Cox Automotive Industry Insight team’s look into the future on what themes will be driving the auto market in the coming year.

Contact us if you have questions or want to connect with the Cox Automotive Corporate Communications team.