Analysis: May Auto Sales a Positive Sign for Industry

June 4, 2020
While May auto sales were certainly worse than usual, the uptick from a month earlier might represent hope for the auto industry amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

June 4, 2020—Multiple OEMs have noted fairly strong U.S. sales rebounds for the month of May, due in part to communities allowing businesses to reopen after COVID-19 retail restrictions, as noted in a post by Some numbers of note include the following: 

  • While Hyundai's overall U.S. sales in May decreased 13 percent, that was significantly better than experts had forecast. Hyundai also noted a 5 percent increase in retail sales. 
  • Toyota's overall U.S. sales reportedly decreased by nearly 25 percent in May, but retail demand rebounded to 86 percent of levels from one year earlier. And, a company spokesperson said that OEM's retail sales nearly doubled from April to May. 
  • Mazda rebounded to just a 1-percent decline in May. 

Also of note, the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers indicated that 64 percent of those polled in May said it was a good time to buy a car. That was up from 57 percent in April. Those saying times were bad or the future was uncertain fell to 28 percent, compared to 38 percent one month earlier.