There are a lot of reasons why car prices are sky high right now but for the first quarter of 2022, sales are dipping hard. Year over year, the American market just experienced a 16.6 percent drop during the quarter. It’s so rough that some brands are touting the fact that they slid less than competitors.
Of course, at the heart of the issue is a huge parts shortage that includes the dramatic lack of microchips available for new vehicles. Due to those shortages and other factors, the supply of available cars, trucks, and SUVs is far less than the current demand.
Still, it might come as a shock to many of you to learn that GM sold 20.4 percent fewer cars in Q1. That includes a 58.2 percent drop in total sales under the Buick brand. Dodge was down 36 percent, Chrysler 27 percent, and RAM 15 percent. Even Jeep with its new fancy Grand Wagoneer was down a couple of points.
Import brands weren’t spared either. Honda was down 23 percent, Toyota was down 14.9 percent, and Nissan saw a 28 percent drop. Porsche saw a 24.9 percent dip and the VW group as a whole was down 23.2 percent.
Not every brand is suffering the same though. BMW reported an improvement year over year for its own namesake brand as well as for MINI and Rolls Royce. With all three combined, BMW is up 3.8 percent year over year. Genesis popped up 42.6 percent for its part. So some brands are still making headway despite the market environment.
In addition, demand for electric vehicles is growing even more than anticipated. During the first quarter, 16 percent of Hyundai’s U.S. sales were electric vehicles. “If gas prices remain high, that’s going to continue to push consumers toward green technology,” said Randy Parker, Hyundai’s senior vice president for U.S. sales.
We’ve talked a lot about the parts shortage and the transition to electric vehicles but it looks like the two might be more connected than ever before. If you’ve been waiting for a new gasoline-powered vehicle that’s not yet available due to a parts shortage, would you consider an EV if you could have it a lot sooner?