New Vehicle Sales Continue Downward Slide in April, Edmunds Forecasts
Analysts say April will be the worst auto sales month in at least 30 years due to the coronavirus pandemic

SANTA MONICA, CA — April 30, 2020 — The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that April will be a record down month for the auto industry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, forecasting that 633,260 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 7.7 million. This reflects a 52.5% decrease in sales from April 2019, and a 36.6% decrease from March 2020. Edmunds analysts note that this is the lowest-volume sales month dating back to at least 1990; the second worst month for sales in the past 30 years was January of 2009, when 655,000 vehicles were sold.

"April auto sales took the biggest hit we've seen in decades," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. "These bleak figures aren't just because consumers are holding back on their purchases — fleet sales are seeing an even more dramatic drop as daily rental business has dried up. Like many other industries, the entire automotive sector is struggling as the coronavirus crisis continues to cripple the economy."

Edmunds experts note that plans for easing shelter-in-place orders across the country in May could open up opportunities for automakers and dealers to capture some deferred demand, but there is still economic uncertainty ahead.

"April is likely the bottom for auto sales, so hopefully there's only room for improvement from here," said Caldwell. "But with employment and consumer confidence at new lows, the question remains: Will people be in the position to purchase new cars? Although automakers are doing their part by offering landmark incentives, those might not be enough if consumers cannot recover financially from this crisis."

2020 April
April 2019 March 2020 Change from
April 2019
Change from
March 2020
GM 123,408 231,375 167,339 -46.7% -26.3%
Ford 103,105 194,219 169,012 -46.9% -39.0%
FCA 91,766 172,900 127,593 -46.9% -28.1%
Toyota 75,679 183,866 135,730 -58.8% -44.2%
Hyundai/Kia 56,396 108,410 81,500 -48.0% -30.8%
Honda 48,363 125,775 77,153 -61.5% -37.3%
Nissan 35,443 95,698 78,159 -63.0% -54.7%
VW/Audi 25,694 46,333 35,258 -44.5% -27.1%
Industry 633,260 1,333,560 998,268 -52.5% -36.6%

*NOTE: April 2020 had 26 selling days, April 2019 had 25 and March 2020 had 25.


Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 6.7 million vehicles in April 2020, with fleet transactions accounting for 13.0% of total sales.

2020 April
April 2019 March 2020 Change from
April 2019
Change from
March 2020
GM 19.5% 17.4% 16.8% 2.1% 2.7%
Ford 16.3% 14.6% 16.9% 1.7% -0.6%
FCA 14.5% 13.0% 12.8% 1.5% 1.7%
Toyota 12.0% 13.8% 13.6% -1.8% -1.6%
Hyundai/Kia 8.9% 8.1% 8.2% 0.8% 0.7%
Honda 7.6% 9.4% 7.7% -1.8% -0.1%
Nissan 5.6% 7.2% 7.8% -1.6% -2.2%
VW/Audi 4.1% 3.5% 3.5% 0.6% 0.5%

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at

About Edmunds
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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