The auto industry is hoping to finish off a strong 2015 with a record-breaking holiday sales season. This year’s holiday sales push kicked into full gear on Thanksgiving week when many manufacturers and dealers offered unprecedented Black Friday deals. Analysts predict this holiday season will be a historic one for the auto industry.
Kicking off the season with Black Friday deals
Here’s a look at some of this season’s big sales so far:
- The Buick Black Friday Sales Event offered up to $8,000 cashback on 2015 models such as LaCrosse, Regal, Verano and Enclave. In addition, buyers could get a $175 per month lease on the 2015 Encore for just $175 down.
- The Chevrolet Black Friday All Month Long event offers buyers 20% cashback on 2015-models like the Cruze, Impala, Malibu and Camero SS sport Coupe, as well as 0% financing for 72 months on the 2015 Silverado 1500 pickup.
- The GMC Black Friday Sales Event offered 15 percent cash back on select 2015 models such as the Sierra 1500 pickup and the Acadia and Terrain SUVs.
- The Chrysler Black Friday Blockbuster Sales Event advertised 0% financing for 75 months on the 2016 Chrysler 200 and 2015 Chrysler 30 sedans and the 2015 Town and Country minivan.
- Dodge’s Black Friday Blockbuster Sales Event included a range of 0% financing and cashback deals on the 2015 Charger, Grand Caravan and other models.
- Nissan’s Black Friday Holiday Event offered up to $1,000 bonus cash on 2015 models such as the Altima, Sentra, Versa, Juke, Rogue and Titan.
The deals continue
If the Thanksgiving weekend was not the best time for you to be car shopping, there are plenty of deals to be had throughout the month of December as well. The Season of Audi Sales Event, the Unwrap a Jaguar Sales Event, Ford’s Friends & Neighbors Pricing Event and the Volkswagen Sign Then Drive Event are just a handful of the deals that will continue throughout the holiday season.
Interested in buying a car this holiday season? Don’t do it before checking your credit.
Not only are there plenty of deals this year, they are bigger than ever according to Autotrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs. “This year’s holiday deals are the richest seen since the peak of the recession in early 2009,” she explains. The average industry incentive per vehicle over the past four months has been around $3,100, highest since 2009.
KBB.com is projecting 1.3 million auto sales in the month of November, a seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales (SAAR) of 17.8 million. That number comes in ahead of the 17.0 million SAAR from November 2014, which was the biggest November for auto sales since 2003. Not only is this November projected to outdo last November, it will likely do so despite two fewer selling days on this year’s calendar.
“November 2015 likely will go down as the biggest November ever,” Krebs says. “In addition to hefty incentives, car sales also are being driven by stronger economics – reasonably robust stock market, healthier employment picture, cheap and easily available credit and declining gas prices.”
Looking ahead, Edmunds.com Director of Industry analysis Jessica Caldwell believes that the auto industry could close out 2015 with a record month, although it would take a very strong showing. “It’s possible but not likely,” Caldwell says. “The ‘Get America Rolling’ campaign following 9/11 in October 2001 saw a very high sales rate – the highest seasonally adjusted annual rate in our history – 21.7M.”
Is the holiday season the best time of year to buy?
Patient car shoppers typically get rewarded by waiting until the end of the year to buy, but sometimes that wait comes at a cost.
Auto insurance is another cost, but you can control it. Here’s how.
“The best week often is the last week of the year when automakers and their dealers really push to close the books on a high note,” Krebs explains.
However, Caldwell warns that buyers waiting until the last week of the year should expect a chaotic experience. “I wouldn’t wait until the last few days of the year, though, as that can be quite a hectic time at the dealership and there might be more waiting than usual.”
This year, possible last-minute deals on top of the already generous holiday sales terms could make a year-end auto purchase well worth the wait.