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New-Vehicle Retail Sales On Pace for 1.1 Million, the Strongest November Since 2001

New-Vehicle Retail Sales On Pace for 1.1 Million, the Strongest November Since 2001

By Jeff Youngs, November 25, 2014

Retail sales of new vehicles in the United States in November are forecast to reach a higher level than any November since 2001, 5.5% higher than November 2013 on a selling-day-adjusted basis. (November 2014 has one fewer selling day than November 2013.) According to a monthly auto sales forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, new-vehicle retail sales in November 2014 are projected to come in at 1.1 million units. Further, the retail seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) in November is expected to reach 13.5 million units--200,000 units stronger than in November 2013.

"The industry continues to demonstrate strong sales growth, which is exceptional considering that November is currently on pace to record the highest average customer-facing transaction prices ever," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.

Through November 16, retail transaction prices are averaging $30,874, which is $165 more than the previous record of $30,709 in October 2014. The combination of record transaction prices and strong new-vehicle retail sales puts November on pace for a record month for consumer spending on new vehicles at $33.3 billion. That's an increase of $1.1 billion over November 2013, the previous record-setter for that month.

"Automakers will take advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the highest-volume holiday weekends of the year," said Humphrey.

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast that more than 238,000 units will be sold over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which would make it the second-highest-volume holiday weekend of 2014. Labor Day weekend is traditionally the holiday weekend with the most sales: 279,000 units in 2014.

LMC Automotive is holding the 2014 U.S. light-vehicle retail sales forecast at 13.6 million units, and total U.S. light-vehicle sales forecast at 16.4 million units for the year. Growth of new-vehicle sales is likely to continue in 2015, but at a slower pace, according to the most recent forecast. The 2015 forecast for retail sales is for 13.9 million units, and total light-vehicle sales are expected to increase to 16.8 million units--both up 2% from 2014.

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