November New Car Sales Rise; May Help Set 15-Year Annual Record
By Philly Murtha, November 24, 2015
Despite fewer selling days (23 days) than any month since September 2013, November is projected to be a vigorous sales month for the U.S. auto industry, according to an update from J.D. Power and auto forecasting partner LMC Automotive. Total new light-vehicle (retail and fleet) deliveries are expected to increase 7%* in November on a selling-day adjusted basis, to nearly 1.3 million units.
Through the first 11 days of the month, retail new-vehicle sales in November were projected to hit 1.078 million units—down from 1.095 million a year ago. However, that’s a 7% increase on a selling-day adjusted basis. In addition, the seasonally adjusted selling rate this year in November equates to 17.7 million units vs. 17.1 million a year ago. Fleet sales are expected to account for 15.7% of total sales in November 2015, the same level as in November 2014.
“So far this month, the average transaction price of $31,498 is the highest level ever for any November and the second-highest for any month,” Humphrey added. The record price of $31,519 was set in December 2014. To manage these higher transaction prices, customers are opting for leases and long-term loans with term lengths of 72 months and longer, Humphrey pointed out.
Due to the market’s continued resilience, LMC Automotive has raised its 2015 forecast for total light-vehicle sales to 17.5 million units from 17.3 million units. “U.S. auto sales are now clearly on the path to set a record in 2015, with volume we haven’t seen in 15 years,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “Even with the strong possibility for the Fed to increase interest rates, growth should continue into 2016, with sales expected to reach 17.8 million units.”
*There are 23 selling days in November 2015 vs. 25 days in November 2014.