Although many agree that Black Friday isn’t usually identified as a big day for auto sales, Kelley Blue Book is estimating sales will be 3.6 percent higher than that day last year. That would be an impressive gain, as Black Friday in 2012 saw strong sales spurred by a rebound on the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy.
The biggest sales on Friday may be racked up by the luxury automakers, who are all aggressively marketing holiday specials. Whether it’s Lexus running its annual December to Remember Sales Event, or BMW promoting its Happier New Year Event, the luxury automakers have been working harder than ever to close out the year with strong sales.
“Sales in November tend to be heavily skewed toward the end of the month because of Black Friday sales events, such as General Motors’ current supplier pricing promotion and deals on Ford models, so [the month’s] sales could surpass current expectations if the available deals are especially enticing,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
December has traditionally been one of the strongest months of the year for luxury auto sales. Part of the reason is the heavy marketing of upscale names as they try to end the year as the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S. Through October, Mercedes-Benz led BMW in the race by 5,005 vehicles, according to the research firm Autodata.
Another reason luxury typically sells during the holiday: Executives are spending their year-end bonuses. But another factor this year is the explosive growth in new models priced under $40,000. Those cars have luxury automakers increasingly winning over buyers who typically buy a mass-market brand such as Toyota or Ford.
Increasingly, Wall Street also expects the November sales pace to be higher than that in September and October. JPMorgan estimated the November sales rate at 15.9 million vehicles, with the retail sales rate coming in at 13.2 million.