US auto sales in December seen to hike 5% to 1.4 million units

Article by Anita Panait, on December 25, 2013

Auto sales in the United States are expected to surge up to 5 percent in December 2013 to 1.4 million vehicles, according to analysts. They expect most of vehicle purchases to occur in the week after Christmas. Light vehicle sales in full 2013 are expected to reach over 15.6 million units, representing an 8-percent jump from the 14.5 million vehicles sold in 2012.

“Similar to November, sales will be heavily skewed toward the final week of the month as automakers and dealers try to beat year-end sales targets,” Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in a statement. He remarked that the period is generally the best time of the year to purchase a new vehicle for consumers as dealers are trying to clear their remaining 2013 model-year inventories, which account for 26 percent of current inventory, according to AutoTrader.com listings.

KBB expects sales in December 2013 to be around 5 percent higher than in December 2012, for a seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate of 16 million. The industry SAAR was 15.3 million in December 2012. Edmunds.com, meanwhile, expects a 5-percent surge in December light-vehicle demand, for a SAAR of 16.1 million.

LMC Automotive is projecting a 3-percent climb in sales for a SAAR of 15.3 million. “The budget deal in Washington is helping fuel a higher level of optimism for the economy and auto sales in 2014,” said Jeff Schuster, LMC’s senior vice president of forecasting. He pointed out that vehicle sales faced some challenge early in the month, but rebounded well.

Topics: united states, sales

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