November auto sales expected to beat record
By Kalea Hall
Two extra selling days in November and Black Friday deals are expected to make November 2016 the best November for car sales since 2001.
Kelley Blue Book analysts expect new-vehicle sales to hit 1.37 million for a 4 percent increase over last year. Automakers report November sales Dec. 1.
“They started very early with Black Friday promotions,” said Michelle Krebs, senior auto analyst for Autotrader.com.
Edmunds.com analysts expect a smaller increase of 2.7 percent this November over last, with 1.32 million sales.
“From the start of November, we have seen auto sales be pretty strong,” said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for Edmunds.
The record levels in the stock market, low interest rates and automakers’ incentives on vehicles make consumers want to buy.
“Now is a good time for people to feel OK about buying a car,” Caldwell said.
Because Black Friday came later this year, automakers still have extra days to make November sales.
“That gives people more time, and people think it’s a better time to get a good deal on anything,” Caldwell said.
Both Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book analysts expect to see most automakers post sales increases during the month.
Edmunds’ analysts have General Motors with an increase of 8.4 percent, close to Kelley Blue Book’s forecast of 8.6 percent. Honda also is supposed to be up by 8.4 percent to 9.1 percent.
Utilities and trucks are once again supposed to be the big sellers. Kelley Blue Book analysts expect the crossover segment – the leading segment – to post a 4.4 percent increase in sales. Full-size trucks should post a 10.2 percent increase. The segments with the fewest sales, compact cars and midsize cars, are expected to post a 5.2 percent increase and 2.2 percent decrease, respectively.
The more sales this month, the more of a chance this year has to beat last year’s record sales of 17.47 million. Right now, sales this year are neck and neck with last year.
With Edmunds’ forecast, through November 2016 sales would be 15.84 million, which compares with 15.83 million sales made through November 2015.
“I think it will come down to December,” Caldwell said. “Last December it wasn’t a blockbuster month. It is possible. It’s very close at this point.”
Krebs also says it is still too close to call this year another record year.
“December is always a big month,” she said. “The biggest week of the year is the last week.”