Analyst Note| David Whiston, CFA, CPA, CFE |
Automakers reported September U.S. light vehicle sales that as expected showed major headwinds from lack of inventory due to the semiconductor shortage. Per Wards, September sales fell 24.9% from September 2020 and the September seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate was 12.18 million, the lowest of 2021, and down from 16.28 million in September 2020 and 17.08 million in September 2019. It was also the lowest September SAAR since 11.74 million in 2010. We continue to believe the problem is lack of supply rather than lack of demand. We expect continued weak sales for the rest of the year but remain optimistic that the very worst of the chip shortage is happening now. We expect gradual improvement in sales as inventory improves in late fourth quarter or early 2022. We expect the chip shortage to be an issue until at least second-half 2022 and perhaps into 2023.