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Data Point

Fleet Sales Decrease Slightly in August, Rental Comeback Continues

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Article Highlights

  1. In August, 112,069 total fleet units were sold, a 3% month-over-month decrease compared to 115,976 in July and an 11% increase from August 2020 which recorded 101,159 units.
  2. Sales into rental increased 118% year over year in August and are up 7% compared to the same time period last year.
  3. Toyota saw the largest growth last month with more than 15,000 sales with General Motors seeing a 20% decrease compared to August 2020.

In August, 112,069 total fleet units were sold, a 3% month-over-month decrease compared to 115,976 in July and an 11% increase from August 2020 which recorded 101,159 units. This brings the 2021 year-to-date total combined large rental, commercial, and government purchases of new vehicles to 1.2 million units, a 6% increase from this time in 2020 when 1.1 million units were sold and a 41% decrease from the same time in 2019 when 2.0 million units were sold.

Fleet Unit Sales – August 2021 Versus August 2020

Sales into large rental, commercial, and government buyers were up 11% year over year in August. Sales into rental increased 118% year over year in August and are up 7% compared to the same time period last year. Commercial sales are down 44% year over year and are up 17% in 2021. Including an estimate for fleet deliveries into the dealer and manufacturer channel, we estimate that the remaining retail sales were down 19% year over year in August, leading to an estimated retail SAAR of 11.5 million, which was down from 13.0 million last August and down from August 2019’s 13.8 million rate.

Total new-vehicle sales in August were down 17% year over year with one less selling day compared to last year. Month over month, August new-vehicle sales were down 15%. The August SAAR was 13.1 million, which was the lowest sales pace in 15 months and down 14% from last year’s 15.2 million and 23% lower than August 2019’s 17.1 million rate.

Looking at automakers, year-over-year changes in fleet sales differed by manufacturer, ranging from a decline of 20% to an increase of 107%. Toyota saw the largest growth last month with more than 15,000 sales with General Motors seeing a 20% decrease compared to August 2020.

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