Sales of new vehicles in the United States benefited from strong demand in 2023, thanks in particular to attractive commercial offers in a context of rising interest rates and high inflation in the country.

Industry experts estimate that approximately 15.5 million vehicles will be delivered in the United States in 2023, an increase of nearly 13% year-over-year.

“Vehicle sales were ultimately much stronger than expected in 2023,” Garrett Nelson, CFRA Research analyst, commented for AFP.

“We are getting closer to pre-pandemic levels” which exceeded 17 million vehicles per year over the period 2015-2019, he notes, forecasting sales growth of 3% in 2024. They would be around 16 million.

The Edmunds firm is less optimistic, counting on a small increase of 1%, to 15.7 million.

The electric vehicle specialist Tesla has notably made several reductions over the months.

“Prices have fallen by 2% to 3% in general, much more for electric vehicles, but they still remain at high levels,” notes Garrett Nelson.

General Motors – the largest manufacturer in the US market, with a claimed 16.3% share for 2023 – delivered 2.6 million vehicles in the US between January and December.

According to Marissa West, head of its American division, the group has been able to do well with its pickup trucks and has had “great success” with its entry-level SUVs which have allowed it to cross, for the first time, the mark of one million SUVs sold in one year.

Buyers are “looking for cheap options,” notes Edmunds, noting that vehicles costing less than $50,000 are sold on average in 30 days, compared to 47 days beyond this threshold.

The share of electric vehicles is expected to continue to rise, to 8% of all sales in 2024, from 6.9% in 2023, according to this source.

Tesla, which does not detail its sales by country, delivered 1.81 million vehicles worldwide (38% year-on-year) in 2023.

Although it retained the world’s first place in electric vehicles for the year, it was demoted to second in the fourth quarter by the Chinese manufacturer BYD.

GM notably pushed back by one year, to the end of 2025, the conversion of its Orion, Michigan, assembly plant.

Its annual sales of electric vehicles across all brands jumped 93%, to 75,883 examples.

Ford noted on Thursday a year 2023 marked by an “acceleration” in electric (17.9%) – where it claims to have retained its second place – and hybrid (25.3%).

Over the whole year, the group sold a total of 1.99 million vehicles (7.1% year-on-year), a high since 2020.

For its part, Stellantis (Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo) delivered 1.53 million vehicles in 2023, a decrease of 1% year-on-year.

These three groups constitute the “Big Three,” Detroit’s historic builders.

They faced an unprecedented six-week strike, which paralyzed important sites like Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant, which has a turnover of $25 billion per year.

The movement ended on October 30 with new collective agreements containing wage increases and other benefits.

“Their margins will be under pressure due to higher labor costs following these social agreements,” underlines Garrett Nelson.

Ford says the new corporate agreement is expected to increase its labor costs by about $8.8 billion over four years, and increase the average cost of producing a vehicle by $900 by 2028.

A major player in the American market, the Japanese manufacturer Toyota sold 2.25 million vehicles (6.6%) in 2023, including more than 657,000 units (29.2%) of its 26 so-called electrified vehicle models (100%). electric, hybrid, etc.).

The group has announced nearly $16 billion in investments in the United States since 2021, including almost $14 billion for a gigantic battery factory in North Carolina.