With manufacturers pouring money into advertising, marketing and incentives this month, new car sales are expected to finish the year on a high note when the final numbers are totaled up in early January.
TrueCar, Inc., the negotiation-free car buying and selling platform, now expects December 2014 auto sales will show healthy year-over-year growth with a volume increase of as much as 11% and a 16.6 million SAAR, a pace not seen since before the great recession.
Low fuel prices, sustained economic growth and U.S. consumers’ appetite for pickups, utility vehicles and luxury models have buoyed sales this year, up an estimated 5.8% to 16.5 million cars and trucks from last year’s 15.6 million. That demand has also resulted in higher transaction prices and revenue gains for automakers, according to True Car analysts.
When comparing this December sales date with the numbers last year, it’s also clear this year will end on a higher note as unseasonably severe winter storms in parts of the U.S. held the SAAR to 15.4 million in the final month of 2013. TrueCar’s detailed December forecast will be issued later this month.
With the price of gasoline dropping to its lowest level in half a decade and U.S. economy growing more robust, carmakers are bullish about the prospects for the American market during 2015.
The combination of lower gasoline prices, rising consumer confidence and the marketing push leading to Black Friday raised November new vehicle sales in the U.S. to their highest level in more than a decade. Carmakers reported an annual rate of vehicle unit sales reached 17 million units.
(November auto sales hit highest mark in 10 years. For more, Click Here.)
Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations, noted earlier this month more people have jobs and their wages are starting to increase, household wealth is growing and low pump prices look like they’re here to stay through 2015.
(Click Here for details about Mercedes taking the U.S. luxury sales crown.)
“We think next year looks very promising for us,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan North America, who noted that automakers generally are optimistic about the outlook for 2015.
(To see how Porsche sales are pushing Germans over the top, Click Here.)
Joe Eberhardt, president of Jaguar Land Rover North America, said that he is comfortable with the predictions the strong sales will continue next year. The outlook is very stable and very promising, he said. James O’Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Mazda North American Operations, also said the coming year looks good. “I’m optimistic,” he said.
Ford Chief Economist Emily Kolinski Morris noted during a recent conference call the U.S. economy is on stable path toward 3% growth thanks to falling commodity prices, which represent a substantial gain for the typical consumer. Reduced gasoline prices alone are saving the U.S. economy roughly $180 million per day with all of the money going into the pockets of consumers.