U.S. light-vehicle sales are set up for a major comeback in the second half of 2021, but the industry isn't yet in the clear as it enters a testy winter wracked by an ongoing rise in coronavirus cases.
While the health crisis continues to keep the public on alert, there have been encouraging developments that could boost consumer sentiment in the months ahead and bolster vehicle sales. Several vaccines have been approved for emergency use, and President Donald Trump in late December signed a bill that will send a second round of stimulus checks.
The industry built momentum toward the end of 2020, achieving year-over-year sales gains in September and October after battling back from a brutal second quarter. Automakers and dealers closed the year on a high note for profitability as well, with average transaction prices for new vehicles in December projected by some to top $40,000 for the first time.