January sales numbers fall short of 2022 totals

Used car sales in January came up a little short.

According to Cox Automotive’s January estimates, used car sales were down 8 percent compared to January 2022. The total sales were estimated at 2.8 million.

But with the current interest rates averaging more than 12 percent and the high prices, the sales numbers were encouraging. Cox Automotive in its 2023 forecast expected used car sales to dip by 1 percent.

“The used market is showing some surprising strength to start the year. Although down from last year, the recent sales pace has been ticking slightly higher,” said Charles Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive, in a press release. “High prices in the new market, coupled with weakening used car prices, is supporting slightly stronger used demand. If this holds up for the next few months, the spring selling season may be better than initially expected.”

Retail sales numbers were estimated at 1.5 million, down 7.5 percent from January 2022.

Total sales and retail sales were the highest since October 2022, when total sales topped 3 million and retail sales neared 1.7 million.

Certified pre-owned sales boosted January’s sales. According to data from Motor Intelligence, 202,074 CPO units were sold in January. It was the best January for CPO sales since 2020.

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