Commercial fleet sales from nine manufacturers totaled 58,348 in September 2020, representing a 6.4% overall decrease when compared to the same time last year, but an improvement over the 16.8% drop from the previous month.
Total fleet sales for the month — which is comprised of commercial, rental, and government sales — came in at 124,930, which represented a 34.2% drop from the same time last year. These overall declines, which have been consistent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are primarily driven by significant declines in the rental market.
Month-over-month declines in commercial fleet sales have become less significant following the start of the pandemic: commercial truck and SUV sales are still down 7.4%, but this is an improvement over the 19.6% decline seen in August. Commercial car sales are up 4.8% in August; however, sedans represent the smallest segment volume for commercial fleets.
The rental fleet segment has continued to maintain its low numbers in September, though when compared to the previous month, is not as significant. Overall rental sales are at negative 61.9%, which was a 21.1% better than what was sold in August.
Through September 2020, rental fleet car sales fell by a drastic 64.7% totaling 14,132 units. Truck and SUV segment sales decreased 60.2% at 27,736 units. Combined, rental fleet sales totaled 41,868 for the month of August.
Meanwhile, the government fleet continued its overall recovery in September, despite the decline in car sales. There were 1,327 cars sold to government fleets, representing the 35.3%% decline. However, this was offset by a 49.4% increase in truck and SUV sales. Combined, truck, SUV, and car vehicle sales for government fleets amounted to 24,714 units, which reflected a 39.6% month-over-month increase.
Year-to-date, as of September 2020, overall fleet sales from nine manufacturers total 1,254,461, 43.2% less on a year-over-year basis, indicating there is still a long road to recovery for 2020.
So far car sales are down 59% year-to-date and truck and SUV segment sales are down 37% year-to-date, both of which are improvements over September and are still impacted heavily by declines of the rental market.