Vehicle sales in the United States are expected to gain slightly this month. LMC Automotive expected sales in the US to surge 1 percent from January 2013, while Kelley Blue Book forecasted a 2 percent gain. Both forecasters estimate auto industry's seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate to be 15.9 million in January 2014, up from 15.4 million in December 2013 and 15.2 million in January 2013. LMC expected retail sales to hike 3 percent to 847,400 units, the highest January level since 2004. J.D. Power and Associates, meanwhile, expects retail transaction prices to set a new January record of over $29,500, up almost $300 year-over-year.
"All systems are a go for a strong and stable US auto market in 2014, with risk of not achieving modest growth diminished," Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC, said in a statement. He attributed the expected strong 2014 sales to be driven by US economic growth; a robust level of lease maturities; 70 percent more new model launches; and a surge in consumers' willingness to spend.
Carmakers are set to publish their US auto sales figures for January on Feb. 3, 2014. KBB is expecting Nissan North America to log an 8 percent year-over-year sales gain in January. It also expects US sales increase of 6 percent for Chrysler Group, 4 percent for Hyundai-Kia Automotive and 0.2 percent for General Motors.
KBB, however, expects January declines for Ford Motor Co. (4 percent) and for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. (2 percent). "January is typically the weakest sales month of the year as many consumers take advantage of holiday deals in December," Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for KBB, said in a statement. "However, winter storms also could impact new-vehicle sales this month, as much of the country deals with historically cold weather and snowstorms.”