New car unit sales for March 2023 totaled 10,732 units, this is a drop of 454 units or -4.1% compared to a year- over-year basis of March 2022. It is an increase of 1,423 or 15.3% compared on a month-to-month basis of February 2023. This is the fifth consecutive month of decreases in sales.
Still, new car sales for March 2023 were higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019. In 2019, march sales totaled 9,307 units, when compared, this is a 15% increase. Sales of cars hit record highs in the past years due to low interest rates, high consumer confidence and more money in the economy. Since then, interest rates have increased over 9 times while consumer confidence starts to loom. Also, problems with inventory continue to hurt some models and brands.
The biggest drops in sales were in the sports car seg- ment, with a decrease of 46.6% compared to last year, followed by compact pick-ups with a decrease of 40.6%, sub-compact sedans with a decrease of 39.9% and compact sedans with a decrease of 38.8%, among other segments.
However, the commercial vans segment had an increase of 509.3%, followed by the Full Size SUV segment with an increase of 113.0%.
Year-to-date sales totaled 29,546 units, a decrease of -9.7% compared to the same period (January to March) in 2022. Yet, they remain above pre-pandemic levels.
Top brands sold year-to-date include RAV4, Venue, Corolla, Corolla Cross, Outlander Sport, and Seltos, with all these models have sold over 1,000 units.
In 2022 new car sales ended with 123,604 units, a -4.3% decrease in sales. GUIA estimates that in 2023 sales will total 118,000 cars units, -4.5% less.