New normal: Car sales unlikely to hit pre-pandemic highs any time soon

Kalea Hall Breana Noble
The Detroit News

With automakers only expecting to sell about as many vehicles in 2021 as they did in the waning years of the Great Recession and supply issues still hampering production, the U.S. auto industry likely won't see recent pre-pandemic sales in the near future.

Forecasters expect 2021 will finish with about 15 million vehicle sales or slightly fewer when automakers report full-year and fourth-quarter figures next week. That would be up from 14.7 million in 2020 but well shy of 2019's tally of more than 17 million, and below even 2012's nearly 15.4 million.

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