The car industry nearly collapsed in the Spring of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic undermined sales severely. People could not go to dealers which were shuttered like other retailers. People stopped driving to work, school, and for vacation. Unit sales fell below even those last posted at the depth of The Great Recession. Then, in the third quarter, sales started to pick up. By the fourth quarter they were back to historic norms. By the first quarter, dealers could not keep some popular models in stock.
Late last year, supply started to be a problem, for two reasons. The first was pure demand. The other was that the chips key to the electrical systems of cars became scarse. Some of the largest manufacturers had to close factory facilities. These dual issues caused inventory demands that drove prices of cars, light trucks, SUVs, and crossovers higher. People started to turn to used cars. Prices for those began to spike, too.
In the first half of the year most car companies had sales which were extraordinary compared to last year. However, the vehicles most American favored did not change much. The best selling vehicle of the period was the Ford F-Series full-size pick-up. It has topped the list of the best selling car in America for years. In the first six months of the year, Ford sold 362,032 units. (Among the most exciting pieces of car news this year is the Ford will introduce an electric version of the F-Series).
The two vehicle that come behind the F-Series hold the same positions they have in recent years. And, they show the tremendous demand among American drivers for full-sized pick-ups. The Ram had units sales of 313,068. Sales of the Chevy Silverado were 286,410. The three have such a large lead over other car models at midyear that they are likely to hold the same positions for all of 2021.