10 Takeaways from 1Q U.S. Auto Sales

Trend No. 1: The rapid growth of electrified vehicle sales was the big theme in Q1, with sales of battery-powered vehicles – combined EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids – jumping by more than 60% year over year and now accounting for nearly 8% of the total market.

Photo: MOTEV

The Kelley Blue Book data team counted 3,908,738 automobiles sold in the first quarter of 2021, a healthy increase from the same period a year ago and helped by building momentum in March.

The total sales for the quarter might have been higher, our analysts note, if not for tight inventories and freak winter storms that pummeled much of the market in February. Sales to fleet buyers were off notably last quarter – down 28% percent from Q1 2020 – but robust retail sales more than covered fleet’s shortfall and provided reason to believe new-vehicle sales have recovered from the pandemic meltdown one year ago. 

Kelley Blue Book’s final tally is provided in the traditional quarterly sales report below, and the team created a new quarterly report focused on sales of electrified vehicles in the U.S. Additionally, here are 10 takeaways from the first quarter of 2021. 

Download light vehicles sales report

Download electrified vehicles sales report

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