News / Economy

US December Auto Sales Seen Up 4 Percent

FILE - Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally stands by a Ford Focus during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jan. 15, 2013.
FILE - Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally stands by a Ford Focus during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jan. 15, 2013.
Reuters
December U.S. auto sales, spurred by end-of-the-year bargains, likely rose about 4 percent from a year earlier, industry analysts said.
 
If confirmed, that would mean 2013 will end as the best for U.S. auto sales since pre-recession 2007, at around 15.6 million new cars and trucks sold, which would be an increase of about 8 percent from 2012.
 
Major automakers report December sales on Friday.
 
U.S. consumers are expected to spend more than $34 billion on new vehicles in December, a historic high for the month, said J.D. Power & Associates, which said the annual sales haul would also be a record at more than $370 billion.
 
Auto sales continue to outpace the recovery of the U.S. economy. While auto sales are expected to rise again in 2014, the pace of the sales climb is expected to slow.
 
Factors that contributed to higher sales throughout 2013 were at play again in December, including low interest rates on loans, attractive lease deals and consumers wanting to replace older vehicles.
 
Plus, in December, there were manufacturer discounts as shoppers had time off during the holidays to visit a dealership, said Alec Gutierrez, analyst with auto research firm Kelley Blue Book.
 
December is one of the strongest months for U.S. auto sales, in part because of the bargains available, but also because consumers have developed over decades behaviors that favor end-of-the year buying, said Thomas King, senior director at J.D. Power & Associates.
 
December's typical rise in auto sales is often followed by a drop in sales in January. This past January, U.S. retail auto sales were down 40 percent from December.
 
Larry Dominique, president of auto industry research firm ALG, said discounts as deep as 25 percent from manufacturers' list prices were seen in December, including $5,000 off the price of a 2014 Ford Motor Co Focus hatchback.
 
The Ford F-Series pickup truck, the top-selling vehicle in America, has been discounted by 23 percent for a new F-150 Super Cab, Dominique said.
 
Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters see the annual sales rate for December U.S. auto sales at 16 million vehicles, a level that has been topped only in November and August.
 
Incentives paid by manufacturers in December rose only about $100, while the average transaction price per vehicle rose to about $31,000 from about $30,200, which should help the profit margins for auto manufacturers, said Jesse Toprak, president of Topak Consulting in California.
 
General Motors Co, will see auto sales slide about 3 percent from a year earlier, while No. 2 Ford Motor Co, will sell about 5 percent more vehicles this month than a year ago, according to auto research firm TrueCar.com.
 
TrueCar also predicted that Toyota Motor Corp  December sales will rise 3 percent, and Chrysler Group's will increase 4 percent. Chrysler's majority owner is Italy's Fiat SpA.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8896
JPY
USD
119.26
GBP
USD
0.6475
CAD
USD
1.2451
INR
USD
61.816

Rates may not be current.