It’s the Philly Auto Show’s opening weekend, and the return of new models, future cars, classics, and more also makes it a good time to evaluate where the industry has been and where it’s headed.
Show chair Maria Pacifico says the event’s timing this year is perfect for buyers and dealers ready to talk cars.
“It’s the unofficial start to our selling season around Presidents’ Day, so the show kicks that off,” Pacifico said.
The 119th edition of the auto show features 36 manufacturers, and highlights this year include the Land Rover Defender, Porsche Taycan, and Chevrolet Corvette.
As for sales, 2020 is expected to be a good year for maintaining the momentum of sales, which have stayed at a plateau since 2016.
Jessica Caldwell, director of Insights for the automotive website Edmunds, said company analysts expect sales to remain relatively flat. A total of 17.1 million cars were sold in 2019, down from 17.3 million in 2018.
“A bit of an X factor this year is that it’s an election year,” Caldwell said. Sales have gone up in every election year since 1964 except for 1980 and 2008, she said, both among the weakest economic years in recent history.
So where will buyers’ dollars be going?
Caldwell outlines the 2019 sales breakdown. Trucks made up 19% of sales and SUVs 51%, so together they total 70% of the market. An additional 25% is traditional cars, and the last 5% is full-size vans. Larger vehicles in general are drawing the strongest interest.