Car Buyers "Unfazed" by Fiscal Cliff Negotiations
In response to continued strong sales, LMC Automotive has increased its total light-vehicle sales forecast from 14.4 million units to 14.5 million units. "The U.S. light-vehicle sales market continues to be a bright spot in the tremulous global environment," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. "The only major roadblock ahead for the U.S. market is the fiscal cliff. Assuming that hurdle is cleared, 2013 is one step closer to a stable and sustainable growth rate for autos, with volume above the 15 million unit mark."
Of vehicles sold in December, 16% are expected to be luxury models, the highest monthly share for 2012 and the highest share since December 2009, when 16.2% of all vehicles sold were luxury models. "Luxury sales always do well this time of the year, but December is turning out to be a great month," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates, pointing to new and redesigned models combined with "enhanced" incentives on these types of vehicles.
The new-vehicle retail market continues to reflect impacts from Hurricane Sandy at the end of October. Vehicle inventories have fallen to a 69-day supply due to a strong sales pace in November, and both J.D. Power and LMC Automotive expect inventory to continue to tighten as automakers close assembly plants during the holidays and as light-vehicle sales remain brisk.