Apr 3, 2024
2 mins read
2 mins read

First-Quarter Auto Sales Up 5%, EV Growth Minimal

First-Quarter Auto Sales Up 5%, EV Growth Minimal

DETROIT (NEWSnet/AP) — New vehicle sales in the U.S. rose nearly 5% January-March, as buyers stayed in the market despite high interest rates.

But electric vehicle sales growth slowed during the quarter.

Automakers, most of which reported U.S. sales numbers Tuesday, sold nearly 3.8 million vehicles in the first quarter compared to 2023, for an annual rate of 15.4 million in sales.

With inventory on dealer lots growing toward a pre-pandemic level, auto companies were forced to reduce prices.  J.D. Power said automaker discounts in March were 67% higher than Q1 2023, around $2,800. That includes increased availability of lease deals. 

Sales of electric vehicles grew 2.7% to just over 268,000 during the quarter, far below the 47% growth that fueled record sales and a 7.6% market share last year. The EV share of total U.S. sales fell to 7.1% in the first quarter.

Most automakers reported strong year-over-year sales increases January through March, but General Motors, Stellantis, Kia and Tesla each reported a decline.

GM, the top-selling automaker in the U.S., reported that sales were down 1.5% for the quarter. Stellantis sales were off nearly 10%. Kia sales were down 2.5%. All three companies reported strong first-quarter sales a year ago.

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