The US is one of the biggest markets for car sales globally. This is not just a claim; it is a fact that’s established after years of gathering data, conducting surveys, and looking for changes in the global market. US car sales statistics also show what brands, models, and types of engine customers prefer.
It is safe to say that the market will keep growing because cars have become affordable, gas prices are relatively stable, and new technologies are being developed. Furthermore, it is good to know that competition among manufacturers and sellers is fierce, which will most likely increase the quality and lower the overall prices.
These and other findings are in the text in front of you. So go ahead and keep reading.
Fascinating US Car Sales Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- In 2021, the US car industry sold around 14.9 million light vehicle units.
- There were 3% more car sales in 2021 than in 2020.
- The first state where cumulative plug-in EV sales surpassed 1 million is California.
- US car sales dropped by 4.6% month-on-month in March 2022.
- There were sales of 14.46 million new-light vehicles in 2020.
- 7 in 10 new car buyers had incomes bigger than $75,000 in 2020.
- US sales of used light vehicles reached 39.3 million units in 2020.
- In 2021, Toyota was the leading car brand in the US in terms of sales.
Recent USA Auto Sales Statistics
2021 saw an increase of around half a million in car sales compared to 2020. However, almost half of the consumers in the US plan to keep and maintain the car they have for a longer period than they expected.
1. In 2020, 47% of US consumers planned on keeping and maintaining their car longer than they had expected.
However, American consumers weren’t the only ones with that trend. For instance, 65% of Chinese consumers, 48% of consumers in Japan, and around 40% of German consumers stated the same.
2. California is the first state where cumulative plug-in EV sales surpassed 1 million.
US car sales statistics show that this record was set in the last quarter of 2021. Believe it or not, that’s more than the next 10 states combined and seven times higher than the next closest state.
The reasons behind California setting this record are the market size and the high level of incentives and wealth.
3. According to predictions, California will sell 5 million plug-in EVs by 2030.
(Green Car Reports)
Car sales data confirms that it took 10 years for the state to get to 1 million plug-in electric vehicles sold. However, these forecasts might become a reality with mainstream marketing attention, robust incentives, a bullish approach to EV infrastructure, and a corresponding federal push.
4. In 2020, 35% of buyers knew exactly what vehicle they wanted when they started a car buying process.
Automobile sales data uncovers that, compared to what buyers stated two years before, it was an increase of 29%. In addition, almost 6 in 10 buyers considered both used and new vehicles in 2020. Compared to the previous year, that was a rise of 53%.
5. The car industry in the US sold around 14.9 million light vehicle units in 2021.
Automobile sales stats show that involved under 11.6 million light truck units and approximately 3.3 million cars. Moreover, the 2021 automotive industry data showed a rise of somewhere around 500,000 from the year before.
6. In June 2021, the average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $42,258.
Kelly Blue Book gave this estimation. In addition, automobile sales figures point out that the prices of new vehicles grew by $2,527 from June 2020, which translated to an increase of 6.4%. They even increased from May 2021 by $928, or 2.2%.
7. Compared to 2020, car sales increased by 3% in 2021.
Let’s not forget that the pandemic in 2020 heavily affected the auto industry. Moreover, the sales of the “Big Three” (General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler Stellantis North America) all dropped, with General Motors showing the greatest decline in 2021.
8. From 1993 to 2022, total auto sales in the US averaged 15.18 million.
The record high was set in October 2001, when there were sales of approximately 21.77 million vehicles. On the other side of the spectrum, the record low was in April 2020, when there were only 8.60 million car sales.
9. In April 2022, US car sales increased by 6.6% month-on-month.
In other words, there were sales of 14.3 million units. That was slightly below the forecast, which had estimated a decrease to 14.5 million. Calculated over a 27-selling day period, April’s daily selling rate was 58,401 units.
New Car Sales Statistics
Compared to 2019, there were fewer new car sales in 2020. In fact, there was a decrease of almost 15% between the two years.
10. In 2020, there were sales of 14.46 million new light vehicles.
Compared to 2019, that represented a decline of 14.7%. Despite this decrease, consumer retail sales dropped only by around 9%. Generally speaking, the COVID-19 pandemic left its impact on the whole US economy, including the new light-vehicle sales in 2020.
11. New car statistics imply that 7 in 10 new car buyers had incomes over $75,000 in 2020.
On the other hand, many lower-income buyers stayed out of the new car market. Namely, only 30% of new-vehicle buyers had incomes below $75,000. Compared to 2019, the number of people who bought new vehicles with incomes below $75,000 was 3% lower in 2020.
12. From January to March 2022, USA auto sales involved under 3.3 million new cars.
Compared to the first quarter of 2021, that represented a decline of over 14%. The decreases were enormous for some carmakers.
13. New car sales are predicted to involve 15.47 million vehicles by the end of 2022.
If the predictions come true, there will be an increase in new car sales of 400,000 from the estimations for the year before. In other words, that will be an increase of 1.2%.
Used Vehicle Sales
More and more people buy used cars. In fact, compared to the new-car market, the used-car market in the US is more than twice as large.
14. In 2022, there are almost 139,723 used car dealerships in the United States.
Furthermore, that represented a 2.1% rise in used car dealerships compared to the previous year. Namely, 136,811 such dealerships were in the US that year, used car sales statistics from 2021 show.
15. In 2020, US sales of used light vehicles reached 39.3 million units.
Compared to 5 and 10 years before, that represented an increase. In other words, there were sales of 37.3 million used vehicles in 2015, while that number was even lower in 2010—36.9 million.
16. The US sold 40.8 million used cars and trucks in 2019.
It’s safe to say that, on a unit-sales basis, the used-car market in the United States is more than twice as large as the new-vehicle market. For instance, there were sales of 17 million new vehicles that year.
The US Car Sales by Manufacturer
Concerning the United States, 2021 saw a change in the leading brand regarding car sales.
17. Toyota was the leading car brand in terms of sales in the US in 2021.
The brand overtook Ford as the leading car brand in the US in terms of vehicle sales, having delivered around 1.9 million units to US buyers. Apart from these two brands, General Motors was also near the top on the list of brands with the highest number of car sales.
18. Chevrolet sold 1.4 million of its vehicles in 2021.
(GM Authority, CarProUSA)
That represented a 17% drop compared to 2020. Moreover, monthly car sales statistics from 2021 reveal that January, February, and March were the best months for this brand, as 427,972 vehicles were sold in those three months.
19. In 2021, Genesis showed the highest increase in car sales compared to the year before.
As a matter of fact, its sales rose by 202% compared to 2020. Even though it had a less substantial increase than Genesis, Maserati was the second brand with the highest growth in sales from the year before. In fact, it showed a 32% rise.
20. Car sales by company stats show that Audi A4 sold 16,263 vehicles in 2021.
In detail, the months with the highest number of sales were April and June. In fact, there were 2,408 sales of this model in either of those months. On the other hand, the months with the fewest sales were October, November, and December, with only 579 sales each month.
As presented above, American cars sales are recovering from a significant decrease between 2008 and 2009. The global economic crisis damaged every industry, but the real estate and car industries recorded the most considerable losses.
During the next decade, numbers started picking up, and the industry started recording growth once again.
There is an increase in selling electric cars and the production of German cars on American soil. Moreover, estimates show these trends will only continue and increase in the forthcoming years. So, let’s wait and see.
People Also Ask
How many cars were sold in the US in 2021?
The number of vehicles sold in the United States rose in 2021 compared to the year before. In fact, that was a 500,000 increase.
Namely, the car industry in the United States sold approximately 14.9 million light vehicles in 2021. More specifically, 11.6 million of them were light trucks, and about 3.3 million were cars.
How many cars were sold in 2020?
We have already mentioned that compared to 2021, there were fewer vehicles sold in 2020. As a matter of fact, there were sales of somewhere around 14.4 million cars that year.
In addition, with around 21.8 gallons of gas needed to complete 100 miles, the light vehicle brand with the best miles per gallon in 2020 was Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
How are car sales in the USA throughout the years?
In the last 45 years, there have been ups and downs in the car industry in terms of sales. In fact, the year with the highest number of sales was 2016, when there were 17.47 million light-vehicle sales.
The second year with the highest number of sales was the year before—2015, with 17.40 million light-vehicle sales. Then again, the year with the lowest number of these sales was 1982, when there were sales of only 10.3 million light vehicles.
Who sold most cars in 2021?
The three brands that sold the most cars in 2021 were Toyota, Ford, and General Motors. However, the best of them in sales was Toyota, with 1.9 million units sold in 2021.
In addition, US car sales statistics note that the Toyota models with the highest number of sales that year were:
- Camry midsize sedan
- Tacoma compact pickup truck
- RAV4 compact SUV
- Corolla compact sedan
- Highlander midsize SUV