Total car sales in the US in April declined by 59pc, while light truck sales fell by 42pc compared to April 2019, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. The EIA attributed the steeper car sales decline to COVID-19 related shutdowns across the automotive sector last month.
For many years, cars and trucks shared the same market share, EIA indicated, however, the popularity of crossover utility vehicle has increased the market share for light trucks.
In 2019 light trucks made up 72pc of light vehicles sales with the share increasing to 77pc by April 2020. The higher market share for light trucks has meant more consumers are opting for these vehicles compared to cars, resulting in a drop in sales for the latter.
In April, EIA data indicated, 43 out of 44 automobile plants in the US had suspended operations with a total of 729,000 vehicles sold during the month, the lowest since 2010.
Some car markets were affected more than others, like the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) which sustained the highest drop in sales while diesel vehicles witnessed the least drops.
The fall in electric vehicle (EV) sales in April was higher than most power trains except for PHEV, accounting for 1.5pc of total light duty vehicle sales mainly driven by the increase in Tesla’s deliveries of its Model S and Model X.
In March and April, despite a halt in production, Tesla accounted for 81pc and 77pc of total EV sales in the US. After the shutdown, Tesla has now re-started its operation in the US.