Where used- and new-car sales could finish November

CARY, N.C. - 

Used-car sales could slide under 3 million units this month, but the seasonally adjusted annualized rate is still projected to approach 39 million sales.

That’s according to a forecast released last week by Edmunds. The company is projecting 2.9 million used-car sales for November, down from 3.2 million last month.

However, the used-car SAAR for November is expected to remain steady at 38.9 million, Edmunds reported.

On the new-car side, Edmunds is expecting 1,422,212 sales for the month. That would beat October by 5.3 percent and year-ago figures by 3.5 percent. It would also represent a 17.8-million SAAR.

“Usually, the first two weeks of the month are slow, especially before a holiday,” Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis, said in a news release. “But this year retailers are pushing the Black Friday bargains throughout the entire month of November, and it’s putting everyone in a buying mood. It also doesn’t hurt that automakers are starting to really sweeten the deals to clear out lingering 2017s and end this year on a high note.”

She added: “While 2017 may have gotten off to a sluggish start, strong sales through the back third of the year are making up for lost time. We expect full-year sales to be over 17 million for the third year in a row, and are still tracking near our forecast of 17.2 million.”

Meanwhile, Kelley Blue Book expects just 1.36 million new-car sales for a 17.1 million SAAR. Likewise, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive have a more moderate forecast than Edmunds, as well, projecting 1,374,102 new-car sales for a SAAR of 17.3 million. 

For retail specificially, J.D. Power and LMC are calling for just under 1.2 million sales.

“The need to clear out record inventories of prior model-year vehicles continues to keep incentive spending aggressive in November,” Thomas King, senior vice president of  J.D. Power's data and analytics division, said.  

He added: “Savvy car shoppers took advantage of additional discounts over the Thanksgiving weekend, and that sales bump will likely push spending to a new all-time high,” King said

Over at KBB, analyst Tim Fleming said: “Following two months of more than 18 million SAAR, we project November sales to return to the low 17 million range. The strong numbers from the last two months were influenced by replacement demand in the hurricane-impacted regions of Texas and Florida, which appears to be largely satisfied at this point. Despite the lower SAAR, this will be the second highest November on record, trailing only November 2016, so more than a few sales records could be broken this month.”


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