US new vehicle sales to slip in January

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vehicles for sale are seen at Serramonte Ford in Colma, California, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

(Reuters) – U.S. new vehicle sales are expected to fall 1.5% in January from a year earlier on seasonally slower sales and signs of cooling demand for electric vehicles, according to findings from a joint report by industry consultants J.D. Power and GlobalData on Friday.

Total new vehicle sales, which include retail and non-retail transactions, are estimated at about 1,087,900 units in January, according to the report.

Most consumers tend to complete their vehicle purchases in December to take advantage of the year-end sales and incentives, reducing the number of sales in January.

Consumers are expected to spend nearly $37 billion on new vehicles, down 2% in the same period last year.

Incentive spending per unit for the month is estimated at around $2,346, up about 74% from January last year.

Electric Vehicle(EV) retail share for the month is expected to drop to 8.1% from 9.2% at the end of 2023, as changes in government rebate criteria came into force at the beginning of the month.

“Changes in the eligibility of many electric vehicles to qualify for government rebates, which took effect Jan. 1, meant many EV purchases that would have occurred in January were made in December,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power.

The average transaction price (ATP) in the United States for new vehicles in January is expected to be $45,106, down $1,636 from the same period in 2023.