Car sales in the United States in the first half of the year decreased by about 17% compared to the same period last year, predicts Cox Automotive.

Disruptions in logistics chains continue to put pressure on car stocks in warehouses and sales, which pushes prices for new cars to record levels, The Wall Street Journal notes.

The average value of transactions in June exceeded $45.8 thousand per car, which is almost 15% higher than a year earlier, according to J.D.Power.

Automakers’ executives note the continued strong consumer interest in new cars, despite rising interest rates and concerns about a possible recession in the US economy. According to them, a significant number of customers who are enrolled in waiting lists for the purchase of a new car should maintain stable sales, at least until the end of this year.

“We still see more demand than supply,” said Jose Munoz, president of Hyundai Motor Co.’s North American division (KS:005380). “We would sell all the vehicles we could get.”

Car companies started 2022 with optimism that supply chain problems would ease and sales would recover. But the continuing shortage of semiconductor components and other restrictions continue to affect production, which reduces sales.

According to the research company Wards Intelligence, car production has recovered somewhat, increasing by 4% in January-May and amounting to about 6.1 million.

However, car dealers say that this is not enough. The cars they receive usually go to customers who ordered them a few weeks or months before, and are not sent to the warehouse.

The number of cars in dealerships or on their way to stores in May fell by 25% compared to last year and amounted to 1.1 million, according to Wards Intelligence.

Analysts believe that the industry is now better prepared for the possible deterioration of the economic situation in the country than before, because stocks are at such a low level. “If the recession really comes, we will not fall off the cliff, we will fall off the curb,” says Charlie Chesbro, senior economist at Cox Automotive.

and this week, Cox Automotive for the second time lowered its forecast for car sales in the United States in 2022 – to 14.4 million from the previously expected 16 million.