Edmunds: Dealers looking to ‘thin’ inventory this Black Friday

 SANTA MONICA, Calif.  - 

As dealers across the country gear up for what is arguably one of the biggest car shopping holidays of the season, the team at Edmunds announced they anticipate near record deals on new cars this upcoming Black Friday.

Edmunds experts shared they expect this year's post-Thanksgiving car shoppers to find some of the “best deals in years.”

What’s pushing these bargains? It has a lot to do with incentives trends.

"Incentives reached near-record levels in October, so we expect automakers to continue to sweeten savings as the year winds down," said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds. "With slower sales of 2017 model year vehicles, automakers and dealers are more likely to leverage fully the Black Friday holiday as an opportunity to thin bloated inventories to make room for 2018 models."

According to Edmunds research, Black Friday accounts for 15 percent of total November car sales. And for dealers, it’s a busy time of year — their traffic roughly doubles during big holidays sales weekends.

Although it will be interesting to see how Black Friday vehicle sales turn out this year, as normally busy holiday weekends earlier in the year were calmer than usual.

For example, according to data from Cox Automotive brands Dealer.com and Dealertrack, Columbus Day weekend car shopping activity took a downturn this year.

This past Columbus Day weekend, Dealer.com’s DataView saw a 5-percent drop in visits and a 1-percent drop in vehicle views compared to the six prior weekends. That said, earlier in the year Presidents Day and Memorial Day saw shopping activity go up by single and double digits, respectively, on Dealer.com dealership websites. 

Even back in October, industry experts were commenting on high incentives, and how the industry has struggled to create additional demand.

“We’re seeing OEMs continue to put a lot of incentive money out there. Inventories in terms of dates and supply are still quite high, so I think there’s been a pretty consistent push for serval months on getting additional demand out there,” Cox Automotive product analytics senior director James Grace said in a phone interview with AuSM in October.

We will just have to wait and see if recent efforts from OEM and dealers come to fruition this upcoming Black Friday.

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