This year is proving to be stellar for automakers and dealers, according to CNBC, because they have already sold 4.5 million brand-new vehicles worth $149.7 billion in the first six months alone. It is more than a 50 percent increase from 2020.
Low New Auto Loan Rates
It is easier to buy a brand-new vehicle because Bankrate reports that rates for brand-new auto loans are declining. The 60-month new auto loan national average rate at the start of 2021 was at 4.24 percent but this fell to 4.18 percent by the end of June. Bankrate Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride noted that this represents a record-low since the early part of 2015.
Low Inventory of Units
There is a problem, though. Automakers and dealers are having difficulties meeting demand because there is a global shortage of semiconductor chips. This hampers production and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) states that there were only 1.5 million vehicles available for sale in North America at the end of May this year compared to 2.6 million in May last year.
They predict that the inventory will slip down to 1.3 million units by the end of July 2021. Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner points out that this lack of inventory in dealerships will result in a decline in sales despite high demand.
High Demand and Shortage Equals High Prices
As a basic economic equation, the situation is causing the prices of brand-new vehicles to soar. The Kelley Blue Book shows that in May 2021, the average price for a brand-new light vehicle was about $41,263, representing a 1.2 percent increase from April and a 5.4 percent increase from May 2020. J.D. Power president for data and analytics Thomas King observed that consumers are purchasing high-end vehicles even with low discounts.
Most Popular Brand-New Vehicles in 2021
If you plan to purchase a vehicle, it will be good to know which ones have the highest sales and why. This can give insights you can figure in with your budget and driving needs. Car and Driver gives a rundown of the top-selling vehicles as of June 2021.
The most preferred vehicle is the Ford F-Series pickup truck, with 362,032 units sold starting at $30,985. Ford also took 15th place with its Explorer sport utility vehicle (SUV), starting at $34,170 however, that there were problems in the 2013 to 2018 models of the Ford F-Series regarding the engine, transmission, drive system, electricals, brakes, and more. It cites Consumer Reports giving the 2021 model a predicted reliability rating that is below average.
Number two in popularity is the Ram Pickup starting at $34,920. MotorBiscuit reports, however, that the vehicle has problems in its electrical and fuel systems as well as engine and transmission. MotorBiscuit adds that Consumer Reports does not recommend any Ram vehicle.
The third is the Chevrolet Silverado pickup starting at $28,995. The Chevrolet Equinox compact SUV took 13th place starting at $26,995. Buyers have reported problems in the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado to Consumer Reports, covering the engine, transmission, brakes, drive system, and electronics.
Toyota has five vehicles on the top 20 list, the most number for any brand. The Toyota Rav4 compact crossover took fourth place starting at $27,425. The Toyota Camry mid-size sedan took seventh place starting at $26,040. The Toyota Corolla compact sedan took ranked eighth starting at $21,020. The Toyota Highlander SUV took 10th place starting at $37,000.
The Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup took 11th place starting at $28,000.The number of recalls for Toyota vehicles, including 1.8 million units in March 2020.
The Honda CR-V compact SUV ranked fifth starting at $26,525. The Honda Civic compact sedan or hatchback ranked ninth starting at $22,245. The Honda Accord mid-size sedan ranked 16th starting at $25,965. Experts cite Consumer Reports rating the 2021 Civic and Accord three out of five in reliability.
The Nissan Rogue compact SUV placed sixth starting at $27,000. But is already being recalled for problems in assembly.
The GMC Sierra pickup truck ranked 12th starting at $29,795. It gives a rough ride, is a bit small, and still has the same interior as the previous model.
The Jeep Wrangler placed 14th starting at $30,395. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV placed 17th starting at $36,465. The Jeep Wrangler also has a rough ride, and that Consumer Reports gave it a score of 29/100.
The Subaru Forester SUV ranked 18th starting at $26,000. The Subaru Outback station wagon ranked 20th starting at $28,070. Consumer Reports considers the Forester to be best-in-class and the Subaru in general as one of the most reliable SUVs. Experts in Subaru maintenance and repair state, however, that the Subaru head gasket leak is common in older models.
What is best for others may not necessarily be the best for you. Your foremost consideration will be your budget. Choose the best vehicle you can buy with that, which meets your needs. For instance, you cannot go for a sleek sedan if you have to ferry six children and your spouse every day.