Sales into rental fleets were up 85.4% year over year, sales into government fleets were up 40.9%, and sales into commercial fleets were up 14.6%.  -  Graphic: Cox Automotive

Sales into rental fleets were up 85.4% year over year, sales into government fleets were up 40.9%, and sales into commercial fleets were up 14.6%.

Graphic: Cox Automotive

Sales into large fleets, not including sales into dealer and manufacturer fleets, increased 44.6% year over year in June to 217,572 units, according to an early estimate released July 7 from Cox Automotive.

“The return of fleet was a key driver of the first half new auto sales increase,” said Cox Automotive senior economist Charlie Chesbrough in a recent news release. “With production levels returning to normal and retail demand only modestly improved, sales to fleet channels have increased dramatically.”

Combined sales into large rental, commercial, and government fleets have seen 12 consecutive double-digit, year-over-year increases. Sales into rental fleets were up 85.4% year over year, sales into government fleets were up 40.9%, and sales into commercial fleets were up 14.6%.

All large manufacturers showed gains in fleet over last year. Stellantis had the largest increase, followed by General Motors.

Fleet Share of Retail Sales Increases in June

Including an estimate for fleet deliveries into dealer and manufacturer channels, the remaining retail sales were estimated to be up 16.9%, leading to an estimated retail seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.4 million, up from last year’s 11.1 million pace but down from last month’s 12.7 million pace.

The fleet market share was estimated to be 17.4%, a gain of 2.1% over last year’s share and an increase from May’s 16.3% market share. For comparison, nearly 22% of all vehicles sold in 2019 were through fleet channels.

“Overall, fleet share of industry sales increased 4.6% over the first half of last year,” Chesbrough notes. “However, we anticipate that the appetite for these vehicles may be a bit less voracious during the remainder of the year.”

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