Dealers and analysts alike expect light-vehicle sales in the United States in December 2012 to be stronger than the same month in 2011, yet weaker than they had anticipated. According to LMC Automotive, US light-vehicle sales would rise around 14 percent year-on-year in December 2012 to around 1.4 million units.
This would bring the total number of light vehicles sold in the US for the entire 2012 at around 14.5 million units. LMC expects the auto industry to log its second-best selling rate of the year in December, just short of the 15.6 million units sold in November. Danny Leach, a sales manager at Shore Toyota in Mays Landing, N.J., told Automotive News that November was “busier than normal” while sales in December “slowed down a little bit more." He, however, sees a big increase "right after Christmas.”
The strong December sales comes as carmakers are trying to finish 2012 on a strong note, with General Motors and other auto companies offering big year-end discounts to help empty their inventories. On the other hand, sales of light vehicles in the US are expected to have a slower growth in 2013, though many expect dealers to sell over 15 million new cars and trucks. It is even expected that by late 2013, the monthly selling rate could even reach near 16 million.
The auto industry has something bigger to worry about in 2013 – the so-called fiscal cliff, referring to a series of federal tax hikes and spending cuts set to commence at the end of December 2012 if the US Congress does not act. The fiscal cliff could stunt economic growth and force consumers to avoid making big purchases. Many experts, however, remain confident that Congress will delay or prevent many of the changes.