TrueCar.com predicts December to see strong sales numbers, as has been the trend all year long.
In its December 2012 sales and incentives forecast, the automotive website said it expects light vehicle sales to reach 1,370,568 units, a 10.3 percent year-over-year and a 19.9 percent month-over increase.
If their projections are correct, the sales would translate to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 15.6 million units, up from 13.6 million from December 2011 and up from 15.5 million in November 2012.
"December continues the trend of exceptional sales due to strong manufacturer incentives, specifically lease and finance deals, and the demand due to Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast," said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar.com. "Even with the fiscal cliff still needing to be resolved, automakers can expect a strong year for new car sales in 2013."
A separate report by J.D. Power and Associates' Power Information Network and LMC Automotive expects that luxury cars will account for 16 percent of all vehicles sold in December, up from 15.3 percent in November and 14.8 percent from December 2011. John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associate, said luxury models usually do well in December as incentives are usually high and new and redesigned vehicles are introduced. Any potential or current car owners are encouraged to keep their interiors clean with HuskyLiners® custom fit floor mats, which will keep messes on a liner and off a car's carpet.
Potential car buyers looking to squeeze an auto purchase in by year's end may have a good chance of landing 0 percent financing and lease deals on 2012 models. Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book, attributes the low financing opportunities to dealers looking to make way for new cars on their lots. However, certain 2013 truck models, like the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado are currently available with thousands of dollars in rebates, primarily due to high supply.
"Consumers looking for a deal who are not interested in a truck should focus their attention on the remaining model-year 2012 inventory available for sale," Gutierrez said. "Approximately 70 percent of all new vehicles available for sale today are 2013 models, and Kelley Blue Book expects the remaining 2012 vehicles to go quickly."