Jan 26 (Reuters) - U.S. auto retail sales are expected to
dip in January as reduced manufacturing due to the Omicron
variant, supply chain constraints and global inflation caused
prices to soar amid high demand, consultants J.D. Power and LMC
Retail sales of new vehicles could fall 8.3% to 828,900
units from a year earlier, according to a report released by the
consultants on Wednesday.
"The volume of new vehicles being delivered to dealerships
in January has been insufficient to meet strong consumer demand,
resulting in a significantly diminished sales pace," said Thomas
King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused bottlenecks in supply
chains, driving up costs for everything from labor to raw
The average new-vehicle retail transaction price in January
is expected to reach $44,905, the previous high was in December
2021 at $45,283.
U.S. business activity grew at its slowest pace in 18 months
in January as a winter surge in COVID-19 infections worsened
worker shortages at factories, though demand remained strong.
Total new-vehicle sales for January 2022, including retail
and non-retail transactions, are projected to reach 932,099
units, a 15.6% decrease from last year.
The seasonally adjusted annualized rate for total
new-vehicle sales is expected to be 14.1 million units, down 2.6
million units from 2021.
Separately, research firm Cox Automotive said on Wednesday
new-vehicle sales in January were expected to reach 1.01 million
units, a drop of 8.9% compared to January 2021.
Cox Automotive expects seasonally adjusted annual rate to
finish near 15.3 million, up from 12.4 million in December, the
slowest pace since May 2020.
Despite the added risk, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive expect
2022 global light vehicle sales to improve by 6% to 86.2 million
(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini