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Coronavirus continued to hammer car sales in April

Results from automakers such as Hyundai, Honda and Subaru show steep decreases, but there's hope for recovery.

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If the US keeps the virus under control, 2020 may not be all lost for auto sales.
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For the month of March, we got our first true picture of how the coronavirus pandemic affected auto sales, and it wasn't pretty. While numerous automakers report sales on a quarterly basis, those who still issue monthly reports showed the pain continued through April. However, the most recent data shows consumers still have an appetite to purchase and there's strong hope recovery will continue through May.

Below are the results from automakers that reported April sales. We'll continue to update this story as more companies issue results, but not every automaker issues monthly data. In some cases, we'll have to wait for second-quarter results. April 2020 also had one more selling day than April 2019.


The Japanese automaker, which operates the Acura luxury division as well, reported a sales decline of 54% at Honda year-over-year. At Acura, sales dove 57% in April. Not a single model from either lineup posted a sales gain.


The South Korean automaker managed to hold its decline to 39%, partially buoyed by the addition of the Venue and Palisade to the lineup, which didn't exist at dealerships this time last year. The automaker also credited its response to COVID-19, with the Job Loss Assurance Program, as a mighty helpful factor.


Like cousin Hyundai, Kia sales were off a chunk with a decline of 38%. The new Seltos likely helped matters since the new small SUV wasn't available last year.


The automaker posted a sales decrease of 45% compared to April 2019 in its latest report. One bright spot is the new CX-30, which  found 1,483 homes last month and it easily outsold the CX-3.


The brand best known for all-wheel-drive posted a sales decline of 47% for April. Even the newly launched Outback and Legacy took hits, down 51% and 55%, respectively.

Recovery in sight?

For the week ending April 26, JD Power data showed the auto market is, indeed, recovering. As the outlet continues to monitor sales, April decidedly showed an uptick in sales after a crater toward the end of March and early last month. As of April 26, sales were down 39% compared to estimates before COVID-19. The figure is a five-point improvement compared to the week ending April 19, or in other words, more people bought cars as the month of April motored along. Even in the hardest hit areas across the US, like New York City and Detroit, decreases slowly began to recover. In other areas, such as Dallas, sales were only off 5% compared to previrus estimates.

Most automakers continue to run incredible incentive offers, such as 0% financing for up to 84 months, to pull consumers back into the market.

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