TrueCar Forecasts 16 Million New Vehicle Sales for 2021

Larger vehicles and electric vehicles are expected to do well.

January 20, 2021

SANTA MONICA, Calif.—TrueCar Inc. estimates that 16 million new light vehicles will be sold in 2021, an increase of 10% from the previous year. Retail sales are expected to reach 13.9 million, an increase of 9.6% from 2020.

“The year 2020 was a challenging one for the automotive industry and the economy at large, but the recovery came faster than most expected, providing strong momentum and pent-up demand going into 2021,” said Nick Woolard, lead industry analyst at TrueCar, in a press release. “Retail demand is healthy and will remain the driving force for total vehicle sales in 2021. Fleet sales will also increase, but at a much slower pace, due to the uncertainty surrounding travel.”

The fourth quarter of 2020 saw record-breaking average transaction prices for new vehicles, as incentives eased and consumers opted for more expensive SUVs and trucks. The trend toward more expensive vehicles continues in 2021. Average transaction prices are projected to increase 3.1% year over year to $37,925. In previous years, the average transaction increased about 4% year over year.

“As the K-shaped recovery takes shape in 2021, we expect higher-income households, who have not been financially impacted by the pandemic, to continue making new vehicle purchases,” Woolard said. “Continued trends toward large trucks, SUVs and a growing array of electric vehicles, as well as additional safety and technology content will lead to even higher average transaction prices in 2021.”

Convenience and fuel retailers looking for practical advice for providing charging infrastructure should read “Gas Stations Eye an EV Future,” NACS Daily’s reporting of the 2020 NACS Crack the Code Experience session: How to Succeed in the EV Market. 

For more on EVs and their adoption timeline, download the Fuels Institute’s “State of Transportation Energy and Vehicle Electrification” report available at