After Slow Start, New-Vehicle Sales in December Poised for a Strong Close
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Consumer Spending on New Vehicles to Set a Record for December
Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
Source: the Power Information Network® (PIN) from J.D. Power
Total Light-Vehicle Sales
2The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days in the month (25 days in December 2013 vs. 26 days in December 2012).
Total light-vehicle sales in 2013 are set to finish at 15.6 million units, while the LMC Automotive forecast for retail light-vehicle sales remain at 12.8 million units. LMC Automotive has increased its total and retail light-vehicle sales forecasts for 2014 each by 100,000 to 16.2 million and 13.3 million units, respectively.
"The budget deal in Washington is helping fuel a higher level of optimism for the economy and auto sales in 2014," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. "December sales faced some challenge early in the month, with some sales that pulled ahead in November and winter storms, they have rebounded well, and the year ahead is set up to edge new-vehicle sales closer to pre-recession levels."
North American Production
Vehicle production in North America year-to-date through November has increased 5 percent from the same time frame in 2013, with nearly 700,000 units of additional volume. Even as inventory has increased, production volume in November remained strong at 1.4 million units, a 4 percent increase from November 2012.
The Detroit Three continued to build inventory at a rapid pace, and their combined days' supply climbed from 87 days at the beginning of November to 93 days by the end of the month. Schuster explained that, while it is normal for manufacturers to build up inventory to meet year-end demand, the level is slightly ahead of expectations, and doing so this late in the year has the potential to affect production in the first quarter of 2014. In contrast, European and Asian manufacturers all maintained or reduced their inventory levels in November.
Given the unexpected Detroit Three production push in November, LMC Automotive has increased its volume outlook for 2013 North American production to 16.2 million units. First quarter 2014 production is expected to grow 4.2 million units, a 4 percent increase, compared with the same period in 2013. Full-year production in 2014 is forecast at 16.6 million units, which is a 3 percent increase from 2013.
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About LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive, formerly J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, is the premier supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base of automotive manufacturer, component supplier, logistics and distribution companies, as well as financial and government institutions around the world. LMC's global forecasting services encompass automotive sales, production and powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has offices in the United States, the UK, Germany, China and Thailand and is part of the Oxford, UK-based LMC group, the global leader in economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. For more information please visit www.lmc-auto.com.
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