Auto sales in the United States started stronger this year than in 2014, according to forecasters. TrueCar.com and Kelley Blue Book expect US light-vehicle sales in January to be around 13 percent higher than last year. On the other hand, LMC Automotive is expecting a 12-percent jump.
General Motors is seen to jump almost 20 percent while Chrysler and Ford are expected to log double-digit gains. The demand for vehicles in the US could be dampened by in the final days of the month by a blizzard hitting Boston and the northeastern of the country, although the weather system turned out to be less severe than forecast in and around New York City.
Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC, said in a statement that the US auto industry is starting 2015 on autopilot with January growing as expected following a vigorous December. January 2015 also has one more selling day than January 2014, as well as one additional weekend.
The estimates mean that the seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate for January would be between 16.4 million and 16.6 million – on track with the total sales of 16.5 million posted in 2014.
The first month of the year typically produces the lowest volume, no thanks to weather conditions that hit the country this time of the year. Such, sales in January is rarely seen as an accurate indicator of the overall sales performance for the entire year.
TrueCar analysts, however, expected a full-year 2014 sales of 17 million, citing solid economic expansion and consumer-friendly gasoline prices. Eric Lyman, vice president of industry insights for TrueCar, said in a statement that other indicators for a record year include the recent high in US single-family housing starts and pre-recession unemployment levels.
Thanks to a rebounding economy, falling gas prices, increasing consumer confidence as well as cheap leases, the pent-up demand for vehicles was literally unleashed in 2014, with more American consumers flocking into dealers’ showrooms last.
Nearly one million more vehicles were sold in the US in 2014 than in 2013. In 2014, around 16.45 million vehicles were sold in the US. This compares to 15.53 million vehicles sold in 2013. Likewise, the sales results in 2014 was a significant improvement than five years in 2009, when the auto industry suffered from a crisis, with only 10.4 million vehicles sold during the year.
While Ford was the best-selling brand in 2014 with sales of 2.38 million, General Motors sold most vehicles as a company. It sold nearly three million vehicles in the year, for a 5-percent jump over 2013. Moreover, seven of its vehicles set new records for annual sales.