Vehicle Sales Over the Model Year

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Detroit (2022)


China, model year, NEVs, New energy vehicles, Pricing, production


Vehicle Sales Over the Model Year

What are the dynamics of the model year? Most vehicles are sold with a refreshment cycle of 4-8 years, shorter for sedans, longer for light trucks. This paper will survey the literature, and then examine monthly model-level data on personal vehicle sales in China. Prices potentially vary across the model year, with early sales focused on high-priced trim levels and at the opposite end, discounting as a model approaches the end of production. This suggests that observed sales will be level over time, corrected for seasonality and COVID shutdowns. I use Chinese data to test that hypothesis empirically, for regular vehicles and also for the now-important subset of New Energy Vehicles (BEVs and PHEVs).


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