2023 Fleet Vehicle Sales Soar Past 2 Million Mark

The December spike in rental fleet sales pushed up overall sales for the month, leading to a stronger cap for the year.

Graphic: Bobit

U.S. fleet vehicle sales passed another post-pandemic milestone in 2023 as supply chain kinks straightened out and vehicles inventory available to fleets ramped up, according to Bobit/Automotive Fleet sales data released Jan. 3.

Among all commercial, rental, and government sector fleets total sales for the year reached 2,179,751 vehicles compared to 1,698,656 in 2022, for a robust increase of 28.3%.

Bobit fleet sales numbers reflect aggregate sales from the three major Detroit-based auto manufacturers and the Asian Big 6. [Three of the Asian automakers exclude sales figures from their luxury vehicle sub-brands].

Broke down by fleet sector, 2023 sales figures show:

  • Commercial sales totaled 888,123, up 4.1% from 853,113 in 2022.
  • Rental fleet sales reached 1,019,225, up a sizable 58.1% from 644,494 in 2022. The auto rental industry benefitted from increased supply as it was able to replace higher mileage vehicles that were run during the COVID years.
  • Government sales came in at 272,403 vehicles, up 35.5% from 201,049 in 2022.

December 2023 Fleet Sales Provide End of Year Bump

The December spike in rental fleet sales pushed up overall sales for the month, leading to a stronger cap for the year.

Overall, among the three fleet sectors, December sales totaled 201,808 vehicles, up 21.7% from 165,809 in 2022. Monthly sales figures broken down by fleet sector:

  • Commercial fleets were the only category to decline in December, dipping to 69,647 vehicles sold last month compared to 80,888 in December 2022, a decrease of about 14%.
  • Rental fleets surged 71.8% year-over-year in December, from 64,152 vehicles sold in December 2022 to 110,198 last month.
  • Government fleet sales last month were 21,963 vehicles sold, up 5.7% from 20,769 in December 2022.

In analyzing the monthly results, Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough said: “The key question for 2024 is how much increase can there be over 2023’s big gain. Some of the pent-up demand from fleet is now satiated, so further growth will likely be more challenging.”

Some new key players emerged with Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai reporting much more fleet activity. Although less than half of what the Detroit Three average, fleet sales for Nissan and Hyundai are up over 100% and Toyota is up almost 80% compared to December last year.

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