US: April sales pick up the pace image

As the very harsh winter is finally a fading memory, and the advent of new products and a rising consumer confidence, US auto sales are forecasted to spur this month.

According to preliminary reports, the warm weather and the fact that April is traditionally the start of a very busy sales season have been key factors in sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers appearing to gain momentum.

Surveys show that new car sales in the US seem to be close to the 16 million mark on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, or SAAR, for April, while the industry had sales of 15.5 million new cars for all of 2013.

“Auto sales are hitting their stride as the spring selling season begins, and the pace has returned to the level expected at this stage of the recovery,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive.

“The April 2014 consumer spending reflects a combination of record average transaction prices—which, at nearly $29,800, surpasses the previous April high of $28,754 in 2013—and strong retail sales volume,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.

J.D. Power & Associates forecasts consumers to spend $33.5 billion purchasing new vehicles in April, with the lure of better discounts clearly upping demand. The industry average incentive spending is seen at $2,751 in April, growing by 8.9% from last year’s April.