Even in the face of a year filled with economic turmoil, auto manufacturers in the U.S. appear not to have been affected at all, as the industry is on track for an all time record number of sales in 2015.
Even though December is not yet over, estimates already put the number of sales for light vehicles, which includes cars, pickups and SUV’s, at around 1.4 million units, a strong increase of an estimated 6 percent from the same month last year. If the forecasts are accurate this will bring total annual sales of new vehicles across the country to approximately 17.5 million, which will be a new all time record for new vehicle sales.
December’s numbers are also benefiting from an unusually high number of ‘selling’ days due to the way that the holidays have mostly fallen partly on the weekend this year. In total December will have 28 selling days and will also have five weekends, giving potential customers more time to browse and pick out their new vehicle.
Strong Selling Environment
The economy is also proving to be very conducive for vehicle sales as gas prices are down, interest rates are still low and the public’s overall perception of the economy is positive. This is encouraging buyers who may have been holding out on a new purchase to take the plunge and invest in a new car.
Manufacturers are picking up on this consumer goodwill and pushing special promotions and discounts to encourage people to buy a new vehicle. Interestingly, recent surveys have also shown that consumers are paying higher than average transaction prices as the cheaper loan environment is encouraging them to get larger, higher end vehicles, rather than looking for the best bargain. This situation bodes very well for both Ford and General Motors as they should generate strong profits from the U.S this year, potentially offsetting a slowdown in their other markets globally.