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Consumer Demand for New Vehicles Picks Up in November

Consumer Demand for New Vehicles Picks Up in November

By Philly Murtha,
Consumer demand for new vehicles through the first half of November has increased following two months that included two hurdles--the two-week U.S. government shutdown in October and lower sales totals in September due to a calendar aberration of two less selling days that did not include Labor Day deliveries in the month's sales figures.

In November, U.S. new-vehicle sales are likely to reach 1.2 million units--up 3% from November 2012--after adjustment for one more selling day this year vs. the same month a year ago,* based on an auto sales forecast update from J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

The average sales pace in November is expected to translate to a 16.1 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, which would be nearly 700,000 units stronger than the 15.4 million-unit SAAR in November 2012. It would also outpace the 15.2 million-unit SAAR in October, 2013.

"Consumer demand for new vehicle sales remains strong," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power, who also notes that consumers will spend 10% more on new vehicles during the month than they did in November 2012, which nearly doubles the level spent in November 2008 during the Great Recession.

Analysis from the Power Information Network(R) (PIN) from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive finds that the average transaction price of new vehicles in the first half of November is $30,079, which is up by $461 from November 2012. "The level of consumer spending in November is impressive and consistent with trends throughout 2013," Humphrey said, noting that the amount that consumers will spend on new vehicles this year is likely to exceed $370 billion--the highest on record and considerably above even pre-recession levels.

*November 2013 has 26 selling days, while November 2012 had 25 selling days.

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