Until 2018, vehicle prices were very high, interest rates were easy, and Americans are increasingly rejecting the traditional family limousine. Thus, car sales in the United States appear under the title of the second direct annual decline. But things did not go as expected: sales remained stable, although incentives were disciplined and prices continued to rise.
In the first eleven months of 2018, car sales in the United States increased by 0.4 percent compared to the same period last year. They are on track to complete more than 17 million vehicles for the fourth year in a row.
“Whenever you are in an environment where you sell 17 million units, it goes well from a sales perspective,” Eric Liman, chief industry analyst at ALG, told Automotive News.
The extremely strong year boosted better-than-expected results in November, which fell 0.5 percent but exceeded analysts’ expectations for a drop of more than 2 percent. Seasonally adjusted annual sales for November amounted to 17.55 million, compared to 17.65 million a year ago.
Last year, car sales in the U.S. were 17,238,905. So far, it seems that 2018 is in the rhythm to win. Sales were 15,695,288 by November, so 1,543,618 units were due to be relocated in December. For the previous three rooms, sales of American light ranged from 1.6 to almost 1.7 million.
In the decade before the Great Recession, the sale of incentives for big profits was offered, but expensive layoffs were avoided. Not this year.
GDC TrueCar estimates that the average transaction price of the new lightweight category rose 1.7 percent in November to $ 34,438. At the same time, the average consumption of incentives for each vehicle drops from 131 to 3,672 dollars. This means that incentives average 10.7 percent of the transaction price, compared to 11.2 percent a year earlier.
Still, there are headaches.
The average annual percentage of new vehicle sales fell to 6 percent in November from 6.2 percent the previous month, Edmunds said. But this relief may be temporary – thank you, discounts for Black Friday! – said Edmunds, noting that the average APR in November 2017 was 4.8 percent.
“An average interest rate higher than 6 percent is still difficult to swallow, especially for buyers who enter the market after many years,” Jeremy Acevedo, manager of analytics at Edmunds’ industry, said in a statement. “Customers who bought a car in November five years ago could have increased the rate by 47 percent in November.”
Edmunds said that 0 percent of the business represents only 5.5 percent of the total sales financed by retail – the lowest level in November since 2005.