Posted in: Cars,
by Gregg Laskoski on Sep 6, 2012 06:00 AM
There's some good news on the economic front. After postponing major purchases as long as possible Americans are buying new cars again. And we're making those purchases at the strongest rate seen in more than four years.
According to Nathan Bomey of the Detroit Free Press, robust numbers on new vehicles bought in August represent the most convincing evidence yet that the industry's recovery is sustainable as consumers replace aging vehicles and capitalize on zero percent financing.
Vehicle sales rose 20% in August compared with 2011 data on auto sales, boosting the industry's seasonally adjusted annual selling rate to 14.52 million vehicles, according to Autodata.
The major driver, analysts agree, seems to be a tremendous amount of pent-up demand. High gasoline prices helped sales of small cars throughout the industry without hurting truck sales.
Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for TrueCar.com, said "Small cars did well due to continuously high gas prices and full-size trucks did well," he said.
Bomey notes that U.S. auto sales have outpaced the overall economy because consumers who deferred purchases during the last several years are returning to the market with the help of lenders that have eased credit requirements.
Several auto companies are financing vehicles at 0% for buyers with strong credit and consumers are responding. Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota, says the company is expanding 0% financing in September to include its best-selling Camry sedan.
Detroit's Big 3 automakers each posted double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year. Chrysler was up 14.1%; Ford, 12.6%, and General Motors, 10.1%.
Additionally, GM's four brands all enjoyed sales increases. Buick rose 12.4%, Chevrolet, 11.3%, Cadillac, 11.3%, and GMC, 3.7%.
Does this news make any impression on you? If a new vehicle you liked was available to you with zero-percent financing, would that make you a new car buyer in the next 30, 60 or 90 days?