This Morning in Metals: February US auto sales forecast to rise 3.3%

automotive sale in dealership
Maksym Povozniuk/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: J.D. Power and LMC Automotive released their joint forecast on February US auto sales; meanwhile, US steel imports fell by 23% in January; and, lastly, Ford’s CEO urged the US government to support the implementation of electric vehicle applications.

February US auto sales forecast to rise

New-vehicle retail sales in February are forecast to rise by 3.3% when adjusted for selling days, LMC Automotive and J.D. Power said.
“Despite challenges posed by inclement weather in most of the country, retail sales demand continues to be strong with the industry posting a second consecutive month of year-over-year gains,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power.
Meanwhile, the average manufacturer incentive is down. According to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, the average incentive is on pace to be $3,562 per vehicle, or down $614 from a year ago.
Furthermore, as incentives decline, average transaction prices are going up. Per the report, the forecast calls for the average transaction price to rise 9.8% to $37,524, a February record.
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Steel imports drop 23%

US steel imports dropped 23% in January on a year-over-year basis, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.
January imports totaled 2.42 million net tons. However, January imports jumped 62.2% from the previous month.
In addition, steel import market share reached an estimated 15% in January, the AISI added.

Ford CEO urges government to step in on EVs

Ford CEO Jim Farley on Wednesday urged the US government to step in and promote battery production and EV charging infrastructure, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at securing several critical supply chains. Among the critical products targeted are semiconductors, which have automotive applications.
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